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Putting Yourself in the Right Place at the Right Time

Putting Yourself in the Right Place at the Right Time

By Greg Ehrich, Premiere Lighting and Get A Grip On Lighting podcast

At some point, everyone has heard someone successful say “I was just in the right place at the right time.” What’s not said – but occurs when someone is successful – is that they are also the right person who chose to be in the right place at the right time. How do you become the right person, in the right place, at the right time?

It’s all about positioning. To be successful at anything, you need to position yourself mentally and physically. This can apply to all aspects of life, but this article is going to focus on how to be correctly positioned in the lighting industry.

To start, you need to be mentally positioned. Everyone is different, but this list applies to anyone looking to be successful in lighting:

  • Study and gain a deep understanding of traditional light sources. We all know, as of now, that most lighting will be LED at some point, but you need to know about our world before LED.
  • Continually study and learn LED lighting. There is no start and stop to this, as LED is constantly advancing. Ask questions and search for information on things that you don’t know the answer to. Dedicate time every day to learning something new about LED.
  • You are sick of hearing it by now, but understand the ins and outs of lighting controls. Whether the industry’s push for lighting controls takes off or not, it is important to know everything you can about controls now, so you are in the right position when/if mass adoption takes place.
  • Dissect and understand utility rebate programs better than the utility company offering it does. Lighting rebates are one minor aspect of a utility company and they often don’t spend as much time as they should getting it right. Determining the best rebate for a lighting project can often be the difference between getting the sale and not.
  • Know your enemy. Sounds intense, but there is a lot of competition in lighting. Learn everything you can about your competition, so you are in the right position to battle them and win the business.
  • Arm yourself with options. If you are a distributor, talk to as many manufacturers as you can. You need as many options in your sales tool belt as possible, and there is not one lighting manufacturer that has the best option for all lighting applications. The more options you have the more likely it is that you will get the sale. If you are a manufacturer, ask your distributors what they are in need of and actually listen to them. Better yet, implement what they request. Some of the most successful lighting manufacturers today were very small or nonexistent before LED. By listening to what their customers need, and making it easy to do business with them, they have gained significant market share.
  • Believe in yourself, your company, your product, and your service.

Doing all of this will take time and it is an on-going process, but by dedicating yourself and following this list, you will be the right person.

Being mentally positioned is the most important step and will make you the right person, but now you need to be in the right place, at the right time. You can accomplish this by being physically positioned. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be physically present, but simply ready when the time comes. Here’s how you can be physically positioned for success in lighting:

  • Position yourself with a company that is innovative at a fair price, efficient in its processes, team-orientated, and follows through with what they say.
    • You need innovation and fair pricing in lighting today, otherwise, you will get passed by.
    • Make it easy on your customer. Unfortunately, as much as you want end-users to care about lighting as much as you do, they often don’t. Although necessary for their business, lighting is often a minor detail to them. They want to deal with a company who makes it quick and easy for them to do business with.
    • You can always accomplish more with a team than you can by yourself – position yourself with the right team.
    • Work with a company that will back and follow through with what they say. If you are going to promote longevity, project energy savings, state light level improvements or suggest productivity claims, make sure you are prepared to back it now and be there in the future to defend it.
  • Position yourself with colleagues who help you get better at lighting. If you have a difficult time finding them, there are many lighting-focused associations you can join. Networking with people who do what you do in lighting is perhaps the most valuable step you can take to position yourself physically. Doing this will enhance your mental positioning at the same time.
  • Automate your day-to-day tasks. You can’t rely on hand-written notes and memory anymore. In order to be successful in lighting, you need to have an automated system that keeps you on track with what your job requires you to do. If you are in sales, you need timely cold calls and follow-up. If you are on the financial side, you need to keep orders and money moving. There are many CRM systems available that can do all of this for you. Sure, you will pay something for this, but if you truly follow an automated process, that investment will be recouped in no time.

Every facility will be doing something with their lighting at some point in the future, so position yourself mentally and physically to be ready for the opportunities to come.

You can now be the person who blows off their success by saying, “I was in the right place at the right time”.

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