BJÖRN VERMEIRE advocates more assertive sales of lighting systems

To argue that many electricians may not be the most commercially minded is to kick an open door. Björn Vermeire, therefore, calls on the installer to attract the customer more confidently, convinced of the good solution they are proposing. "All too often, for fear of an invoice that is too high, a suboptimal solution is chosen to still get a job done."
"Dare to propose the optimum, high-quality solution! Customers are willing to pay more for high-performance lighting systems that generate emotion," swears the enthusiastic sales engineer from Qbus.


First and foremost, Björn Vermeire argues for really taking the time as an installer to listen to the wishes of the customer. “The installer has an important advisory function; be aware of that. Try to ask the right questions to find out the problems and wishes of your customer. In the first place, that is really not about the specific technical lighting questions ... rather, what experiences, what kind of atmosphere, what kind of light the person in question wants. It is always a good idea to have a light study carried out in order to get started with a solid lighting plan.

The practical implementation then takes place at a later stage, and you also have the leading role of adviser and technical expert there.”




The fear that electricians often incur to propose "too expensive" solutions is unfounded, according to Vermeire. “Price is a poor priority choice parameter anyway. Customers are certainly willing to pay more for high-performance lighting systems that cause emotion. They understand that quality has its price. If that is not the case, you must make it clear to them by all means. Pricey investments in designer kitchens or luxury living rooms are there to be seen, and so they must be provided with equivalent lighting. ” According to the sales engineer, a lack of self-confidence and a commercial attitude often hurts the electrician. "I often hear the phrase" customers won't pay ". If one enters into a conversation with the customer with that attitude, one immediately throws in one's own windows. When one self-consciously proposes the optimum solution, outlines the numerous possibilities without immediately taking out the calculator, the customer will not often be fooled. "



“All too often, for fear of an invoice that is too high, a suboptimal solution is chosen in order to win a project,” says Björn Vermeire. “I often notice differences between full-time electricians and people doing it as a secondary occupation. Self-employed people in secondary occupation earn their living well. I even knew someone who did not immediately realize that he did not get a discount at his wholesaler. With a percentage calculated on the gross price of modules, no customer had complained. He did great projects, always choosing the suitable installation. " According to Vermeire, when transferring to a full-time job as an electrician, a change in mentality takes place: “After a few months, the shock starts to strike… fears that he will not get enough work and will draw up the quotes cheaper in order to get work and certainly to fill the order book ... "


Courses, information evenings, even reading professional articles, also suffer from the changed mindset and associated lack of time. “It's incredible how the full-time electrician suddenly has time for nothing. All the free moments now also creep into the preparation of tenders with the aim of bringing in enough work ... Gaining knowledge and keeping the sight open is so important. Basic knowledge is in the advisory role of the electrician a minimum requirement. Supplementing with additional training, courses ... always gives you a competitive advantage. With that knowledge - combined with the necessary expertise - you can propose the best solution. It seems better to me to do a little less projects, but then the
projects in which high-performance installations can be installed. Your professional ethos, your portfolio with reference projects and your portfolio will benefit. "


Opinion piece Björn Vermeire by Dieter Devriendt - Electrician Oct 2019

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