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13 min read

SBA 307: 5 Unique Ways to Identify BAS sales opportunities

By Phil Zito on Jan 24, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Topics: Podcasts

In this episode, we will discuss unique ways to identify BAS sales opportunities.

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Phil Zito 0:00
This is the smart buildings Academy podcast with Phil Zito episode 307. And, well, I just learned something really important about the streaming software is that even if you hit Go Live in the streaming software, you still have to hit Go Live in YouTube studio wise it doesn't stream. Awesome. So, hey, it's been a while since I've talked to all of you, I've been going and moving from Wisconsin to Arizona. Now I'm up in Prescott, Arizona. And we're gonna be getting right back into things with the podcast, here's what you can expect, we're going to go through kind of what you can expect for the rest of this year. And then we're going to go into the podcast material itself. Alright, so what you can expect is that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 830, Mountain Standard Time, we're going to be recording this podcast on YouTube. And then shortly after it, it will be uploaded to the podcast and probably a week or two after that will be converted to a blog as well. So these podcasts, sometimes they're just going to be me on the screen here talking other times, they're going to be our smart board over there. And we're going to be going and kind of covering for those of you who are listening and you can't see the smartboard Don't worry, I'm going to do a really good job of explaining what I'm writing down. And you can always go to YouTube and watch the video as well, you got to forgive the mess behind me. I literally just moved in here last week. So we'll be getting that cleaned up. And yeah, got a lot of fun things ahead of you are ahead of us. So what you can expect over the next several weeks are going to be we're going to be going through sales related podcast episodes kind of talking through sales strategies. These are going to apply to you whether you are in sales, or if you're on more of the technical side or managerial side. Because I remember back when I was a service tech, oftentimes I would have to go sell and help the salespeople sell because we had newer sales team and they really struggled to go and estimate work. So as a technician, you still need to understand sales, because sales is going to help you keep from sitting on the bench. And you're going to have to go and have no work. So you got to go and find your work right. Now in today's episode, we're going to go through five unique ways to identify bas sales opportunities. And if I'm fully transparent with you, I woke up this morning expecting to walk down here, grab my smart stylus and map this all out and be prepared, proceeded to look through a ton of boxes, couldn't find my stylist for the vibe whiteboard. And spent the past 20 minutes doing that. Fortunately, I have a very experienced sales team. And I said, Hey, can you guys quickly come up with five unique strategies for sales? Because I'm not prepared? I promise you that's not going to happen again. But today, yeah, it just was kind of a cluster, you You all know how it is when you move or you recall, relocate, it just becomes kind of crazy. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the five topics that my sales team, and you know, combined, we have almost 100 years of sales experience. So I'm going to take the sales team, and I'm going to take their feedback, and I'm going to go through it, except for the stuff from Julian, our sales director where he's telling people to go to Twin Peaks, but we're gonna pass on that. But all the rest of the sales advice we're definitely going to go through. Okay, so let's go and dive in.

Phil Zito 3:45
So one of the really cool things that I started to notice when I was reading through right, and is that one of our newer sales hires Tony, he was talking about looking at existing commercial real estate looking at real estate listings that are switching hands. And I never really thought about this. And if I'm quite honest, I've been kind of what is it bullish, I guess, or bearish, bearish on the real estate market. I've been like, man, people aren't going back to business buildings. People are just working out. I mean, I'm working out the house. And so I thought to myself, Man, real estate's not really gonna take off again, but what I what he brought up was a really good point is as these real estate assets are changing hands, oftentimes you have a new management team coming in, you have a new team that maybe is adding this asset to their existing portfolio, and in which case, you can go and present to whoever purchased that and you can find that through public records who purchased a building and you can find that or you can be preventative or proactive. If I guess, and step in and be like, hey, you know, I'm gonna work with the people who are basically changing hands of ownership of this building. And we're gonna go and say, Alright, you got this new building, you need to monitor it, you want to add it to your portfolio, you want to put in maybe a sidewalk to make sure everything's good to go. These are all opportunities for you to step in, whenever an asset changes hands, from a management perspective, or an ownership perspective is a good opportunity for you to step in from a sales perspective. Because basically, when it's changing state, when someone is going and saying, Hey, I used to own this building, now it's owned by someone else, that other person may have a BAS preference, they may have a portfolio of assets they want to manage, they may not be tied to the current mechanical service company. So there are opportunities for you to go and take advantage of when a building changes hands or any business in general changes management. Alright, let's dive in. So another thing is the kind of questions you ask when you start to deal with owners, and you're going to notice a lot of these strategies here are going to be owner focused. And they're going to be kind of looking at the owner, which if I'm looking at sales, and I'm thinking about where can I get quick hits, it's typically with owners. Yeah, there's plan and spec in the construction world, there's design bid build, but those are typically 12 to 18 month engagements unless you catch it like right at the right time. But let's be honest, in plan and spec work, you're often at the mercy of whoever is going. And essentially, being the mechanical or the GC, depending on where you are in the tiers of contracting. When you're dealing directly with owners, you have a little bit more influence, especially if if, as I mentioned during the state changes, management changes, etc, you're able to go in. So another area you can focus in on and is looking at one utilities. But also I AQ know my father, he is a lawyer who is focused on insurance litigation. So you know, when large airline or an oil company has an issue and they get sued, and they want to solve it in mediation, they bring him in as a specialist. And essentially, he mediates to make sure that whatever payout is not as high as it could have been. Well, he sent me a really interesting article from The Wall Street Journal on IQ and litigation and fiduciary duty, and essentially, as a building owner, and this is very common in financial, right, is that as a financial person or from a financial perspective, you have a few dishy airy duty to the company, right? So what happens is, is you have a company, and you have to do the right things financially or there are legal ramifications, especially when it's a traded company, because you have a duty to the shareholders. Well, what he's starting to see and what this Wall Street Journal article addresses is few dishy airy duty around the concept of indoor air quality, and building health. And I don't know exactly how you're going to prove that someone got sick, but I know how you can use analytics and building data to disprove. So this is more of instead of proving that you took the duty this is proving that you took the duty through disproving that conditions, at least according to you know, ASHRAE CDC, we're in when I say conditions, I mean environmental conditions, we're in a state in which that would go and potentially cause issues. So what you do, you can go to customers, and you can position that this is more of an executive or high director or above level sale. But you can talk about IQ monitoring, you can talk about analytics, you can talk about airflow monitoring, and you can tie all these things to CDC and ASHRAE recommendations. And you could talk about building health. And building health can be used both from an anti litigation perspective granted, I'm not a lawyer, so consult a lawyer. But also what you can look at is not just anti litigation, but you can also look at that as a value add to your asset. If a corporation has to choose two co working spaces to work in, which one are they going to choose the one that is showing strategies for environmental conditioning and proper airflow etc, are the one that just doesn't seem to care. And the nice thing about these kind of changes are they are often programmatic and IO changes. So input outputs, and programmatic, they don't usually require rip and replace of large scale control systems. So from that perspective, you're able to go and implement some strategies right

Phil Zito 10:31
there. So that's number two, right? So number three, we're going to talk about kind of retro commissioning and energy audits. So this, so that right there came from both Julian and Emily, this comes from Jonathan on our sales team. And what he's talking about is, he came from the Pacific Northwest. And now he lives in Texas, and he covers our south region. So what he's talking about is getting tied into companies that perform retro commissioning or energy audits. And this is always one that was really interesting to me. But I was never really able to execute it due to the culture of the areas I worked in. So I worked in Dallas at the time, I did work in the Pacific Northwest, but I wasn't experienced enough back then to actually implement this. But when I finally got that level of experience, I was working in Texas, and Texas has such cheap energy. People were like, whatever, just run their conditioning all the time. But I will tell you that in a lot of metropolitan areas, especially New York, and California, there are clear initiatives for energy efficiency of buildings that are typically tied or coupled to the utilities. So you can work with the utilities, as well as working with these retro commissioning and energy auditing companies. And what happens is two things, one, you become aware of people who are actually doing retro commissioning, and audits. So that gives you some conversational points, but to what is really cool is there's funding. And I've, I've not really appreciated this, although Julian, our sales director has brought this up to me multiple times, we really live in a time where there is a ton of funding, I'm not going to get into the politics of whether funding is good, whether it's bad, whether debt is good, whether debt is bad. The reality is there is funding out there for so many things around IQ, around efficiency, there's tons of school districts that still have funding. And so being able to take advantage of this funding properly, so that you can utilize it as an offset to reduce your total cost of your project is a really cool strategy. To do that you need to make friends with folks at the school, city, local boards, councils, etc. And you'll start to understand when things are coming up for vote, when things are coming up for bonding, etc. So that way, you can go and influence. Now this is a longer term sell. But it is something that is definitely different than just going into dodge leads or wherever and shopping for new construction bits. So that's number three, right? As we continue looking around, is if you are selling projects on new construction, and this is one that still to to just boggles my mind that folks don't do I'm actually like getting goose bumps as I'm talking about this because I still see it so much. And it's insane that it happens, which is if you're the mechanical or even if you're the controls company, going in and doing a sales to service handoff after operations is done. And this is really important. And this comes from Tony and Tony talks about a couple different angles here. One is going and doing proper documentation, putting together a documentation package. Now, my personal sense, let me take a sip of water real quick, my throat is getting a little dry.

Phil Zito 14:19
I gotta get used to excuse me, the fact that I'm in Arizona, and the humidity is much, much lower. But one of the real interesting things that Tony points out here is that going and properly documenting the asset. And I believe, rightly done, you could actually sell this as a service. And you could sell this as a service to existing customers who you just built their control system implemented the control system, as well as going to well I know you could go to your competitors sites and sell the service because I've seen it done. I remember in Texas that every time We was at a large OEM would do a job, this other company would come behind us, and we quote, retrofit the job or commission the job, right? And they would actually get paid crazy bucks. And I looked at what they did, and all they did was take pictures and run spreadsheets. And it was insane, that they would actually get money for this. I'm like, Really, why are we not offering this? So add that on. At any time. There's this concept called share of wallet, right. And so share of wallet is where you, our customer has wallet, right? And then the wallet, they have 100 bucks. And let's say they're spending 10 bucks on controls. Well, if you can get to 1520 30 bucks, then you've just increased, right your ability to go and sell or rather bring revenue in within pretty equal sales effort, because you're already in the conversation. So the sales effort, the level of increase is not substantially more, but you're getting a much greater return on revenue. Alright,

Phil Zito 16:04
let's scroll down and take a look. Okay? Now, this may seem obvious number four, and this comes from Julian. But looking at your field, guys, right. And this is one that actually, I embodied back when I was working for a service organization. I'm a bigger guy. As you can tell, I like to eat food. And this was back in my, I really like Mongolian stir fry barbecue days. And so there was this Mongolian stir fry barbecue place in Seattle, it was amazing. It's out of business, unfortunately, now, and I don't live in Seattle. But every time I would go and write up a service retrofit, where I would go create a deal, the salespeople would take me to go get Mongolian barbecue for lunch. And that's partially why I gained so much weight. But it was a great opportunity for me, because I got to go and get what was called service rewards, which you got a certain percentage based on everything you brought in, and the salespeople got all these leads, it was like having a salesperson out there. And we really played off one another, I was the technical expert, they were the relationship person. And so I would bring credibility, and they would have the relationship. And that would get us some really high margin work, right, we would get some really high margin work from these sales opportunities. So that's number four. And number five, what I'm going to go and bring up and this comes from myself, right? Number five sales opportunity. And this is going and linking systems. So what I like to do, and this doesn't work for all buildings, but universities, healthcare systems, etc. And I'm actually going to give you six, I'm going to give you a bonus here. But number five is linking systems. So going into a hospital or going into a university, going into a school district, and understanding what they try to achieve. So maybe. And I remember there was this car manufacturing company, and they had a building. And apparently for three years, that building was running, but it wasn't occupied. And no one knew it was running, maintenance would go and do maintenance on it, like cleaning stuff like that. But there was such a lack of communication in that space in that organization that they didn't know this building was running. And if they had simply had access, control, and Bas, integrated together, they could have said, okay, hey, we realized no one's access the building ever. So we're going to put the HVAC systems in standby and leave them there until someone accesses the building. And that would have saved them a substantial amount. And that's a simple integration. So there is a slew of simple integrations, access control to bas lighting, to Bas, parking management, the BAS, etc. that you can implement that from a cost perspective is pretty low, but you can make high margin on it because it is a mid tier expertise. So things like commissioning optimization of plants that's more high tier expertise, but integration is kind of a mid tier expertise topic. Alright, so I said I would give us six. And I would be remiss as the leader of one of the largest training organizations in the smart buildings industry, if I didn't mention training. This is something that while we would love everyone to use our training You can train your customers, right? You can train your customers now we do have customers of ours who will go and they will take their owner customers and put them through our training. Because a more educated customer buys more, there's actually some statistics on that, I'll see if I can pull those out. And they're statistics that on the more educated a buyer is, the more that buyer tends to consume, implement and utilize the technology they're educated on. So definitely thinking through how you can educate your buyers post installation. So maybe this looks like putting on some training for them or reselling our training, which a lot of our contractor customers like to do. Or this looks like going and finding an existing customer and putting on a seminar, putting on some form of training seminar, which is something we offer to our contracting customers as well. We, on a case by case basis will go and do online live trainings for their customers. It's really truly a case by case basis. But that is something that is almost pure margin from your perspective that you can do. Yeah, there is some cost. But once you've implemented a training once, you tend to be able to go and continue to implement that training. So I'd like to hear from you definitely in the comments, whether on YouTube, whether on LinkedIn, or Facebook or on our website. Let us know some unique ways that you identify bas sales opportunities. Now as always, everything will be available at podcast at smart buildings academy.com forward slash 307 Once again, that's podcast that's smart buildings academy.com Ford slash 307.

Phil Zito 21:53
Thanks so much for being here. I hope you enjoyed this new format. And I really look forward to talking to you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30am Mountain Standard Time. Thanks a ton and take care

Phil Zito

Written by Phil Zito

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