April 5, 2019 General

Listen & Learn

Listen and Learn
The best sales people are those that take the time to listen to what you need and then propose a solution that meets your needs. It’s a simple enough process providing you first listen and secondly understand what you have been told.

Now wouldn’t this be wonderful if this was the reality of how business was done but unfortunately this is not the case. We are all guilty of not listening and I am the first to hold my hand up to having done this in the past. If you are working in sales then often you don’t fully listen to whats being said instead you listen with the intention of getting the conversation directed towards your end game.You are not processing the information but working out your next move based on a sales script that you have found works for you.

The art of conversation and small talk is a powerful tool in developing relationships but as with our partners at home we need to listen and focus on whats being said. Your opinion will be asked for at the appropriate time so listen and digest what is being said.

When attempting to explain a problem its often very difficult to get across a simple interpretation of a problem. By their very nature some problems can be complex and some simple, its often the complex ones that your customer is going to need support with.

Once you have the essence of the problem then you need to break that problem down further into a series of sub categories that can be addressed individually.

In lighting control these can be split into a number of sub categories but just for the sake of this blog I will use the following.

Level of Control

What are you doing within the space, as this will determine the level of control and overall functionality. Do you need to switch the lighting, dim, recall scenes, interface to other systems. How many control points are there and how long will the client be occupying the space.


In modern office lighting we generally use DALI or to give it, its full title IEC 62386. In some applications we may choose DMX 512, especially if we have dynamic light chase sequences and legacy systems where we are linking into an existing project we may wish to use analogue technology. Also, its important that we address the issue of wireless here and not all systems are the same so depending on the application an appropriate wireless solution can also be offered.

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We need to agree if the controls will operate independently or will they be connected to other controls and if so what level of integration is required. Is this an essential feature of the project.


Graphics play a key role in the visualisation of buildings and again, the level of integration and the amount of detail required can determine whether a list view or full plan view is required to visualise your building.

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A huge topic and one that must be considered when developing the clients/engineers needs. Listening to their requirements can help you select the most appropriate emergency lighting solution for both luminaire and testing system

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This is often overlooked but with the possibility of linking different technologies on common platforms, be they wireless or wired then you introduce a level of risk that needs to be managed. Clients will often understand the level of risk that applies to their buildings so its critical that you listen to their stance on security.

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We all would love to have the most advanced and sophisticated of everything but in practise there is a limit to what can be spent and its managing this that perhaps helps the client, engineer and contractor better visualise their ideas. Working within a clients brief and listening to what they need can save money in the long run if properly managed. The worst type of selling is that which relies on selling a solution that isn’t relevant or overtly complicated.

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There are of course many more steps in the process so this was just a taste of what should be run through when agreeing the controls/management specification and each project is unique and has its own challenges and opportunities.

With technologies such as zencontrol where everything is built around Open Standards then the risks are minimised and the opportunities for expansion and upgrade over the life of the installation are significantly improved. Hardware is interoperable and software linked to the zencontrol cloud with the appropriate level of security ensures features such as space utilisation, emergency testing and other analytic functions are available at the touch of a button or the press of an icon to upload an app.

Not all projects will have all the features from the outset so smart IoT connected platforms such as zencontrol ensure each project is tailor made to suit the clients needs, throughout the life of the project.

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” Diogenes 


For more information drop me a line

Stewart B Langdown FSLL


m +44(0)7774 821093