Wish You Were Here

Whenever I think of change, I think of this Pink Floyd song- particularly the lines “And did they get you to trade / Your heroes for ghosts? / Hot ashes for trees? / Hot air for a cool breeze? / Cold comfort for change? / And did you exchange / A walk on part in the war / For a lead role in a cage?”

Change is always uncomfortable. The very thought of doing something different is anesthetizing to most of us, causing us to stumble forward in hopes that the road we’re on will take us somewhere that’s halfway decent. All those dreams we had as children were destroyed long ago by the industrialized educational programs in this country that trained the “Why?” out of us, and with the “Why?” went the “Why not?” and all sense that we could do something different, that our dreams were worth holding on to.

The momentum required to overcome this inertia is ginormous! We aren’t inspired to change by money (it’s only temporary), by accolades (it’s even more temporary), or by our own economic survival. What I think, and I may be wrong, is that we are inspired to change when something deep down inside us sparks those childhood dreams. You know, the ones where you were the hero that saved everyone, where you were brave, strong, held to your values like a rock in spite of the odds against you, and came out on top because the good guys always win in the end.

That tiny, glowing ember of a burnt dream bursts into a flame when you find your destiny, that task you were designed for, that purpose for your life that you are compelled to pursue with passion. This is what fuels the momentum to carry us passed the point of no return, to stand on our hind legs like people and shout at the universe “I will succeed!”

Even though we know the odds are against us, we know that we will make it. We know that nothing will stop us- not because we are so great at what we do, but because we simply won’t give up. And it’s not that we don’t recognize the dangerous world we walk in- we see those dangers, but we are no longer cowed by fear into inaction.

One question I ask my business consulting clients is “If it were absolutely impossible for you to fail, what would you be doing with your life?”

All too often, the answer I get is something completely unrelated to what they are doing now. Why? Because they are afraid to step out and risk everything in pursuit of their dreams.

I’m convinced that 98% of success is just showing up and not quitting. The other 2% is learned behavior.

I remember one Building America research project I worked on. The local HVAC contractor was asked to install a high performance duct system designed by a colleague of mine from Florida, Dennis Stroer. About 4 months after the job was completed, I ran into Hector at another client’s office.

“Hector, how did that duct system work out? Was it less expensive to install?” “Yes.”, he replied.

“Was it faster to install?” “Yes.”, he replied.

“We know it performs better because we’ve tested it- so it’s less expensive, faster, and performs better?” “Yes.” he replied.

“So you’re going to put it in that way in all your homes from now on?” “No.” he replied, “It’s different, so we didn’t like it.”

Fear of change is costing that HVAC company thousands of dollars every year, the builders they work for thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses, and the homeowners who have to live with crappy HVAC systems thousands of dollars over their tenure in the home. All because they are afraid to change.

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Overcoming Price Objections

Here are some techniques I’ve picked up over the years from a variety of resources. I can guarantee they are not my original thoughts…

1. Listen very carefully & patiently to what your prospect says.

2. Make sure you understand their objection by repeating it as a question: “So, if I have understood you correctly, what you are saying is… (repeat their objection). In addition to that, are there any other objections?” This is usually when the real objection surfaces.

3. Acknowledge and show respect for their point of view. Say: “I can understand why you might say that. In fact, we’ve heard this before from other clients. But what they found- and I’m sure you will too- is that we provide quality services at a fair price.”

Alternate endings:
“We know the climate, the codes, the construction methods suitable for this area, so we know what works and what doesn’t.”
“The job gets done right, mitigating risk for you and reducing comfort callbacks. We provide personalized service and accountability.”
“Our staff is trained in the latest standards which make us more efficient. This keeps our expenses down and that is reflected in our price.”
“We have staff available to respond to your questions, comments, concerns, and complaints.”
“Everyone pays the same rate- and we disclose all charges up front.”
“We offer discounted rates on additional services, saving you money.” Be absolutely honest with your response. They can tell when you are being a deceitful, bottom-feeding scumbag.

4. Check that your answer has met their concern by asking them, “Does that make as much sense to you as it does me?” For Pete’s sake, only say this if your proposal actually makes sense.

5. Ask for the business. “Would you like us to go ahead and start?” At this point, BE QUIET. Wait for them to talk. More salespeople screw up because they are afraid of silence. If they could only keep their trap shut- but they usually talk their way out of a sale.

6. If they say they can get it for less somewhere else, respond with “I’m sure you aren’t the cheapest builder (or whatever industry they are in) in town. I’m also certain our competitor knows the value of the services they provide. I know the value of what we do, and our price is fair.”

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RESNET Green Rater training scheduled for June 1-2 in Austin, TX

IBS Advisors, LLC is proud to announce that we will be holding a RESNET Green Rater training in Austin, TX, on June 1 and 2.

This two day course was developed by RESNET and is only delivered through RESNET-accredited Green Rater Training Providers. Designed for HERS Raters, it provides an additional certification for them but is also a useful introduction to green building for builders, architects, home inspectors, and government officials.

This course is recognized as meeting one of the prerequisites for the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes™ Green Rater course and is taught by a LEED for Homes Green Rater Faculty member.

The course is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1st and Thursday, June 2nd, 8 am to 5 pm.  Lunch is not provided.

Cost: $200.00

Austin, TX
The specific location is TBD, but will be in a hotel meeting room at a location with convenient access to restaurants.

Click here to sign-up today!

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ENERGY STAR v3 training announced for June 6-8 in Dallas/Fort Worth area!


ENERGY STAR(R) has made more changes to the version 3 program, including requiring all Rating Field Inspectors who will perform inspections on ENERGY STAR homes to attend training approved by the EPA and RESNET.
Version 2.5 & 3.0 Training is HERE!
IBS Advisors is conducting a 3 day training to cover the details of the new ENERGY STAR program in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area on June 6-8. This course is approved by the EPA and RESNET for 18 hours of professional development for Raters and is required for Raters and Field Inspectors who intend to work with the ENERGY STAR program.

There are lots of rumors and misconceptions floating around- don’t fall prey to the confusion! This course will clarify exactly what is required of builders, HVAC contractors and Rating organizations, as well as estimated costs for builders and alternatives for marketing energy efficient homes.

There are only a few remaining seats, so sign-up today!

Brett Dillon
IBS Advisors, LLC

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Gear-up for Energy Star 3.0!

Brett teaching a HERS Rater course

It’s time to gear-up…huge changes in the Energy Star program are coming our way!

All HERS Raters and Inspectors that want to continue doing work in the Energy Star program in 2012 must take the Energy Star 3.0 course. (As a side note, the course is also approved to meet the requirement for 18 hours of continuing education.)

But here’s the real hot issue right now: We’re staring version 2.5 right in the face, meaning a lot of changes are coming our way, and they’re coming soon. That’s why the EPA recommends that raters take the training before version 2.5 kicks in. I strongly recommend that as well. The major changes I’m talking about for version 2.5 include the Size Adjustment Factor, the variable HERS index, and having all the checklists filled out. To get the full implementation schedule, click here.

Although I may be a bit biased, I recommend signing up for one of Brett’s upcoming classes. After all, he is the only trainer that has legitimately taught the course. And what it truly boils down to is, I believe we are the best, because we constantly dwell on ways we can help raters succeed and utilize their full potential in the marketplace. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, read this flyer to see what some of our clients have had to say about our trainings.

You can get detailed information, as well as sign-up for one of the classes, on our website. The price is $395, which includes the test.

Here are the courses that we have scheduled so far:

  • March 16-18, San Antonio, TX
  • April 6-8, Corpus Christi, TX
  • April 27-29, TN
  • June 6-8, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  • June 29-July 1, San Antonio, TX

Anyhow, regardless of what trainer you use, I highly encourage you to take the course. I took it, and let me tell you, a lot of change is coming.

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