Day 5 Recap: National Home Performance Virtual Conference

Another day of great content and connection. Good thing the weekend is coming up, so we can begin digesting all the great information and insights and making it our own.

(Note: All the on-demand events will be available to view after May 18. All the live sessions are recorded and available to review now. Look at the bottom of the “Live Events” page. One exception—today’s session with Mark Jewel, “Learn the Secrets of Selling in a Recession: Put the Wind Back in Your Sales!” Good thing you can read about some highlights below, or you can access all of Mark’s material at

(Also Note: There will be another online Happy Hour next Thursday evening at 5 pm. Sign up and decide what interest group you want to e-drink with.)

It’s Friday!


Mark Jewell began his session, “Learn the Secrets of Selling in a Recession: Put the Wind Back in Your Sales!” with a quote by Tony Roberts: “Sailors are used to sailing into the wind.”

With half our national workforce working at home and 18% unemployment, we are definitely sailing into the wind. But Mark shows us, in detail, how we can do it. With so many people at home, this is a great chance to sell homeowners on health and comfort in the places where they live and work. Here are some practical ways to take advantage of that:

• People are working from home, so you can make sales calls during the day and not at dinner time when everyone is sitting down to dinner.
• Train, roleplay and coach. “Sharpen your saws,” says Mark.
• Revisit lost proposals and talk with people about future opportunities.
• People care about human contact. Start a blog if you haven’t already.
• Be prepared to equip all your workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). Then put signs on your vehicles letting people know how you are committed to their health and safety.
• If possible, don’t lay off staff. Don’t skimp on marketing; you have to “retain mindshare” in the market.
• Build your brand and extend your marketing efforts. Consider expanding into solar or other service areas.

Mark is enthusiastic and talks to you like you are a friend who he has insider tips for you.

Andrew Isaacs of Allegheny Science and Technology and Steve Dunn from Home Performance with Energy Star led a lively panel discussion with top contractors from Oregon to Virginia: “Contractor Showcase: Innovations and Best Practices from HPwES Participating Contractors - Operating in the COVID 19 Environment”

Jay Best, CEO of Green Team USA, in Holbrook, New York, described the tremendous growth of his company, which does comprehensive work such as seismic retrofits and HVAC, as well as the traditional home performance measures. And he shared some stories from the epidemic about furloughing staff and putting in a security system at his office. But Jay sees this as an opportunity to “Offer new kinds of training, emphasize healthy homes from here on out, and experiment with ‘virtual audits’,” or remote assessments.

Jason Dispenza of EDGE Energy in McLean, Virginia, thinks that our industry can’t count on the government and utility programs to bankroll business success on into the future. He believes in harnessing the power of corporate American and the aggregation of savings so that there is a steady flow of capital to finance home performance work in a way that everyone can benefit, including business owners and homeowners of all income levels.

Bill Hoelzer of GreenSavers in Portland, Oregon believes that “We need to thrive if we are to do anything about Climate Change. That is the wind in my sails.” Bill is a marketing guy and thinks that now is the time to build trust with your clients. “It’s an opportunity to be helpful, not promotional right now.” Jonathan Waterworth of AZ Energy Efficient Home in Rio Verde, Arizona, is all about shifting loads and helping homeowners save energy and money. “With temperatures in areas of Arizona already in the triple digits, people are prioritizing comfort.” His phone has been ringing off the hook. “Need a job? Come to Arizona.”

Finally, today, a trusted marketing expert and veteran of many home performance conferences, Peter Troast, founder of Energy Circle, presented on “Tactics and Strategies for Marketing Through the COVID-19 Crisis and Rebound.” Peter believes that now is the time to focus on “soft touch lead capture,” or lots of time spent on getting clients to pre-commit to work to be done after the crisis is over. This is the time to engage potential new customers and not to make the sale necessarily. Peter has plenty of common sense, targeted means of helping you create and maintain a business that is media savvy, well marketed, well run, and successful. For example, “Set up a TouTube channel, it’s easy.” Many of his clients are skeptical at first that having a chat option on their web site will help them find and maintain customers. But many of us introvert types would rather send a text or enter a chatroom rather than calling someone on the phone.


Peter suggests that “During this COVID-19 pandemic is a good time to bring around a healthy home opportunity.” And he sees more and more funding sources going in that direction.

Have a great weekend everyone. See you next week.

If you haven’t been with us this past week, there is plenty more to come. You can still register for the conference here:






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