By Misty Byers
AD held its second annual Clean Energy Summit July 23-25 in Chicago. The meeting featured a Clean Energy Expo, one-on-one strategy sessions, supplier training sessions, and affiliate and supplier business meetings as well as updates on AD’s Clean Energy Initiative, marketing, and program enhancements.
“Last year, we had many affiliates and suppliers who were investigating our clean energy program,” noted Christian Siebens, director of clean energy for AD, “this year, the people who are here believe in clean energy and are engaged in the program.
“The knowledge gap is narrowing,” he added. “We certainly see our affiliates becoming better versed in the clean energy sales concept. However, sales training will be ongoing as more people learn how to sell a broader spectrum of products, services, and solutions.”
During a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, Siebens addressed the nearly 200 affiliates and suppliers in attendance and, using a golf theme, outlined the Clean Energy Initiative and how AD plans to help its affiliates and suppliers drive sales and increase business by fostering closer working relationships between affiliates and suppliers.
Using the AD theme for 2012—“Lead. Connect. Grow”— Siebens outlined the following game plan for “Going for the Green”:
1. Lead. Siebens noted that this is about having the proper equipment and the proper instruction. “Using the golf theme, the ball is the opportunity, and you need to get it in the hole,” he explained. “The clubs are your suppliers. Figure out how to embrace them, how to swing the club and take advantage of what they have to offer.” AD’s Clean Energy Committee and Clean Energy Supplier Advisory Council are some of the ways AD is helping affiliates take control of this first step.
2. Connect. This step is all about “getting on the course and using all of the clubs to move the ball closer to the hole,” noted Siebens. The AD initiatives that support this step include Clean Energy Training Workshops, involvement with different industry associations, various clean energy events, and the AD Clean Energy Sales Center.
3. Grow. “Growing is mastering the short game,” said Siebens. “We can have any number of programs and training and events, but it all boils down to selling something—getting the ball in the hole.” To aid in this step, AD has engaged in five programs: the AD technical hub, financing and software solutions, and partnerships with EPC and supplyFORCE.
Ultimately, Siebens noted, creating strong team partnerships, expanding knowledge and experience, selling systems vs. components, enhancing clean energy awareness, and offering financing solutions will be the steps that will drive the electrical channel to overcome the challenges of mastering the clean energy market.
“Every building is a potential order,” said Siebens. “Show them the opportunity rather than walking by it. That’s the key.”tED