Course Attended: KNX Sales and Specification
Candidate and Author: Keith Jones, Director of Designflow
'My business partner and I recently attended the KNX Sales and Specification course at Ivory Egg. Our trainer for the day, Mark Warburton, made what could have been a pretty dull training course into a very enjoyable day where the learning was achieved through an entertaining and informative presentation.
We attended the course for two main reasons:
- We had wanted to get a better understanding of KNX for a few years
- We had recently worked on a project with a fairly extensive KNX system and we felt that we needed a deeper understanding of the KNX ecosystem and inside knowledge of the general do's and don’ts (for example who knew that KNX cable should be run alongside mains cable?)
"Mark Warburton made what could have been a pretty dull training course into a very enjoyable day"
The course covered the different categories of influencers and how you can influence them:
- Client/Owner: Design led, typically struggle with the complexity of KNX, so when talking to them you should focus on features and benefits.
- Architect: Design led, easy to convince if you focus on the holistic building control that KNX provides.
- Electrical Consultant: A key influencer as they need to approve the use of KNX as a system, they are easy to convince in a similar way to architects, as long as they are willing to learn.
- Mechanical Consultant: Need assurance that KNX will work as required, often specify their preferred BMS.
- Quantity Surveyor: Driven by price, can lead client away from KNX if they are unaware of all the possibilities available.
To support and empower us in the KNX sales process Mark introduced a concept called SPIN:
SPIN selling was developed by Neil Rackham after a 12 year research project based on 35,000 sales calls in 20 different countries. It is all about asking the right questions and establishing that there is a problem that exists that needs solving, what the consequences of the problem are and the benefits that will come with the resolution of the problem. We hadn’t come across SPIN before but we were so impressed by the concept that we have already started to implement it into our own sales process. Previous to being introduced to SPIN, our selling method was usually all about presenting what we do and ensuring people understood what it is we do and how we can help them. Now we are far more interested in what problems people experience within their businesses and how we can help them by resolving these problems.
"Now we are far more interested in what problems people experience within their businesses and how we can help them by resolving these problems."
Another great aspect of the course was that it talked about the importance of design documentation, one of our favourite specialist topics. Mark not only discussed the importance of design documentation but went into how crucial it is to get all the project stakeholders to buy into the documentation and actually make good use of the information within. After all, design documentation is only as good as its implementation. You can draw up the best of plans but if they are poorly executed or even ignored (not uncommon) the end result can be as bad as having no plan at all!
"You can draw up the best of plans but if they are poorly executed or even ignored (not uncommon) the end result can be as bad as having no plan at all! "
We are looking forward to putting what we learned to the test and already feel much more equipped and confident in selling and specifying KNX systems, thanks to Mark's teaching and the ongoing support Ivory Egg offer us. KNX specification, here we come!