How NOT to win business

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How NOT to win business

I use Green Mountain Energy. I do this because I have children and I would like for them to have a planet to live on when I am gone. Well, let me rephrase, I don’t think there is anything we can do to make Mother Earth not be here… I do think we are in the process of making it so that we (humans) won’t exist on Mother Earth in the future… but I digress, this is not the point of this post. The point is to offer a few tips to Reliant Energy and others who would like for me to give them my money.
Let me lay out the scene from which this post occurs:
Its 700PM.
I am in yucky work-out cloths from squeezing a work-out into my already jammed packed schedule.
I have managed to feed my family and finally myself some dinner. My boys and I have walked to the Movie Store (as my kids say, its really Blockbuster – and yes, walked. Its a block and half away and even in the light drizzle, we decided not to take the car and to use our legs.) So, my husband is out for the evening and we are on the couch for our Wednesday Mommy Movie Night, watching an amazing rendition of The Three Musketeers starring Micky, Donald, and Goofy. The dogs go bananas. I have 2 big dogs… and there are incredibly protective and loud when my husband is not home… I try to wave the 2 men in bright yellow Reliant shirts away from the door. This is the 3rd time since we moved into the house a year and half ago they have made a house call. They are not taking the hint. Usually the dogs barking ferociously in the window and my “no thank you” wave are enough to send people packing. I wrestle the dogs back, purposely letting them be badly behaved as an excuse not to talk too long… I am missing a really great movie here! All along I am preparing my “I use Green Mountain for Spiritual reasons and you are not going to convince me to switch” speech. And I open the door…
The guy ask are you Mrs.Laa-sen(mumble)-burg? Yes. I am Ms. Lassberg. He points to my name on a list and says we used to be one of there best customers. I say no… the people who lived here before us were Reliant customers. I jump into my well prepared speech…
… and then it happened. The defining moment in my continued commitment to NOT use Reliant.
The Not-Talking-Guy makes a confused and disgusted look at me mentioning Spiritual reasons for using Green Mountain. It was like a little comic bubble was floating above his head saying, “What the heck is the crazy lady talking about?” And I get it… I mean I am grungy looking with 2 crazy dogs rattling on about a Spiritual commitment to using renewable energy…  but don’t make a bad face at someone you are trying to garner business from. And then it gets even better. Talking-Guy pounces at the chance to argumentatively point out that Reliant now has a green solution. I am truly intrigued and if he had taken a different tone… you know, like… nice, or conversational, or oh-did-you-know… I might have listened to what he had to say (except for the dogs, and the kids and the movie and all that…) But, he didn’t. He chose a condescending, in-your-face tone of voice and I really didn’t feel like standing on my porch and missing Micky and snuggle time with my boys to hear anything else. So, I said well thank you – I will look it up on the Internet. He said, (in the same tone) “you do that and I will be Back TOMORROW, cause Green Mountain doesn’t deliver a 100% green solution and it says so in your contract.” I smiled and closed the door in his face.
So here are my tips:

  1. Don’t come by my house and knock on my door at 700PM. Hello? I don’t care what you are selling. I am not inviting you to my house for a cup of coffee so we can talk about it, and you are not convincing me while I stand on my front porch. As a matter of fact, I think even less of your company cause you sent someone by to knock on my door at 7 o’clock at night.
  2. Don’t make a face at me. Don’t make a bad face at anyone you are trying to sell to. Isn’t that like Sales 101?
  3. Don’t condescend me.
  4. Don’t and I repeat, don’t threaten to COME BACK TOMORROW. It makes me want to tell you to F*ck Off.
  5. Don’t bad mouth the competition, isn’t that also in Sales 101?

I did look up Reliant’s Green Solution (after the movie was over.) And they do indeed have one. They have 2 actually… impressive. And it is only .1 cent more expensive than their cheapest package. So, my question is… why don’t they just use this renewable energy for everything?
That’s what I like about Green Mountain. I did look that up too… and here is where Reliant’s Sales Strategy is going to totally backfire – I am going blog my approval of the competition. And riding on the high of my blog training at Schipul today… I have been led to believe that it might actually have some impact! So, here are the 2 things about Green Mountain I am going to share.

  1. Our Mission: Green Mountain was founded on the mission to change the way power is made. Our mission is critical because the traditional production of electricity is the largest source of industrial air pollution in the U.S.
  2. Our Commitment: Green Mountain is 100% carbon neutral and mitigates the impact of its greenhouse gas emissions through participation in the Environmental Protection Agency