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Rachel Christenson and Mark Jewell
Mark Jewell and Rachel Christenson are co-founders of Selling Energy.
Mark Jewell is a nationally recognized subject matter expert, coach, speaker, and best-selling author focused on overcoming barriers to implementing projects. His experience includes over 30 years in commercial real estate, 20 years in energy efficiency, and 40 years as an entrepreneur. Over the last two decades, he has influenced efficiency decisions in more than three billion square feet of North American real estate. Mark is the co-founder and President of Selling Energy. He received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rachel Christenson has over ten years of leadership experience in business development and organizational management roles. Her specialties include building high-performance teams to create value at the intersection of technology and program design, marketing and outreach, and curriculum development and delivery. She is the co-founder and CEO of Selling Energy. Rachel received her B.S. in Architectural Studies from the University of Utah, and a Master’s degree in International Management with a specialization in Corporate Sustainability from Portland State University.
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Title: Selling Energy: Inspiring Ideas That Get More Projects Approved!
Author: Mark Jewell and Rachel Christenson
Publisher: Energy Efficiency Funding Group, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 1, 2014
Retail Price: $29.99 US (Hardcover color)
PRAISE FOR SELLING ENERGY
Sample Interview Questions on Selling in the Energy Space
1) What would you say are the three most important “must-haves” in the toolkit of an efficiency sales professional?
2) I’ve heard you say that sales professionals take the time to develop a whole quiver of elevator pitches, so that he or she can pull out the perfect “arrow” (i.e., the perfect 15-second “elevator pitch”) for a given prospect. How different could those pitches really be given that you’re essentially selling the same product or service to a wide variety of prospects?
3) What are some of the roles who could benefit from efficiency sales training?
4) How do we know your approach to selling efficiency actually helps close more sales?
5) Does this approach to selling efficiency work equally well with homeowners and business people?
6) How is the selling process different when dealing with very small or very large prospects? Do the same key tools apply?
7) You’ve written that efficiency sales professionals shouldn’t focus on the technical details of what they’re selling – like the number of control points in an energy management system, or the projected savings in kilowatt-hours. What should they be talking about instead?
8) You talk a lot about the various categories of benefits that efficiency often produces (utility-cost-financial, non-utility-cost financial, and non-financial). Could you give us some examples of each of these categories, and then elaborate on which ones deserve the most attention when you’re evaluating whether or not to approve a given energy project?
9) You make a point of emphasizing “efficiency-focused professional sales training.” Is selling efficiency that much different than selling photocopiers, houses, cars, or perhaps intangibles like life insurance?
10) Could you give us some tips on how an efficiency sales professional might construct an elevator pitch? What does it typically sound like? Give us some examples of the best and worst elevator pitches you’ve heard in this energy space.
11) Having encountered countless salespeople who spend too much time talking and virtually no time listening, I found your remarks about how to listen – and how important it is to be comfortable with silence – to be spot-on…Could you tell us a bit more about your “glass of water” trick?
12) You mention in your book that people don’t make decisions, they make comparisons. Could you give me some examples of how that plays out when prospects are evaluating energy-saving projects?
13) You also mention in your books that folks make emotional decisions and then justify them financially. I thought most folks invested in energy efficiency to save money. Where does the emotion come in?
14) I’ve heard you say that contrary to popular belief, energy efficiency is far from a “no-brainer.” What’s so complicated? I would think that the decision to invest to save on one’s utility bill is a fairly easy equation to navigate, no?
15) What advice would you have for someone making a career transition into selling efficiency from, say, software sales?
16) I’ve heard from people who have taken your training – and I can even see it in your book – that you rely on stories and a sense of humor to anchor your messages. How important are stories and humor when selling, and what if someone doesn’t have a knack for telling stories or jokes? Can that person still become a “rock star” sales professional in this business?
17) How advantageous (or disadvantageous) is it to incorporate an environmental perspective when you’re trying to sell efficiency?
18) You mention that many of the insights on selling efficiency effectively have come from “efficiency sales rock stars.” How do you find these people? And what questions do you ask them?
19) You spend a lot of time talking about how to sell efficiency more effectively. Do these same principles apply…do these same techniques apply…when one is selling renewable energy?
20) How much of what you teach about selling effectively applies to products and services outside the energy space?
21) I’ve heard that your weeklong long trainings spend a bit of time on purpose, mission, values, goals…You also cover time management and other productivity tips/tricks…personal empowerment stuff. How vital is all of that to selling efficiency (or anything else) effectively?
22) If a high school or college student were to approach you wanting to get into the energy or sustainability industry, what advice would you have?
23) How did you get so smart on the topic of selling?
24) I’ve heard that you’re a big fan of reading – in fact, in your workshops I hear that you recommend dozens and dozens of books that folks can consult for more information on the various topics you cover. Do the people who take your workshops actually need to read all of those additional books to start applying the techniques you teach?