Air-con and cooling appliance sales are through the roof. No-one could buy a fan in London last week! But now is the time to plan for winter. “Don’t wish for it, enjoy the summer while we can” I hear you shout. Sorry, but heating season will soon be on us and planning for the inevitable shift in temperature could be the make or break for many of the key smart heating brands. There are now 5 key players trying to build their market share – Nest, Hive, Tado, Netatmo and Honeywell. Ironically if you search the trusted review sites they all get 4 stars, so how do they leverage?

Of course this is a self-serving editorial, but with 89% of shoppers doing online research before purchasing an item in-store, many brands focus on their online presence. What everyone seems to forget is that 88% of consumers made their final purchase decision in-store, so we are missing influencing that critical final step.

Smart heating is one of the most debated categories, leaving many shoppers confused about the pros and cons. Imagine if your team could affect that decision by using the simplest of tools – empathy. Any team worth their salt must get into the customer’s head, understand their challenges, learn about their environment and provide relevant solutions. The sales team who truly understands what’s best for the customer will have the most power to influence.

OK, soap box away. Whoever you use – make sure the sales process is robust and customer focused. Be the solution your customer needs.

Julian Duncan – Director @BigPicture

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