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Green Building Blog

A Great Experience at the West Coast Green Booth

Helping people get what they need is even more rewarding than sitting in my office juggling a budget.

One thing I like about trade shows is that I get an opportunity to talk to customers and potential customers. But the cool part is that all I have to do is be honest and answer questions. There’s no real sales pitch because I’m confident that Green Building Advisor can help them. If not, I point them to the publication that can — _Environmental Building News_, _Fine Homebuilding_, or the bookstore right next to our booth where _GreenSpec_ is on sale.

A very skeptical engineer was humoring me as I tried to work into my ‘non-sales pitch.’ He wasn’t skeptical of green building, he was skeptical of green building information. He thought we were greenwashers.

I knew this engineer wasn’t interested, so I just struck up a conversation and abandoned the pitch. I pulled my hands away from the laptop and backed away. “Show me what you think is coolest on this site,” he said, so I dug in to the encyclopedia of green building, which is something I spent a lot of time on during development. I showed him the landing page for the Green Building Encyclopedia
and explained that we organized the information the way people build houses rather than the way Green Rating systems rate them. This made sense to him.

He seemed a little surprised at the sheer number of articles; when he saw the depth, he started to get it. He asked me who wrote all this stuff and I told him former _Fine Homebuilding_ editors, except the landscape section, which was written by a former _Fine Gardening_ editor. This struck a chord with him because he has a lot of respect for Fine Homebuilding.

I clicked into a page that I had already visited (water heating
) because I knew it would load quickly — we had a not-so-fast wireless connection. He was drawn in further. “Let me look at something that’s applicable to me,” he said, so I let him drive. He clicked into the slab page
and saw good informational preliminaries.

Then he scrolled down. There he saw some construction detail thumbnail images. “Are these some of the construction details you have?” Yes, would you like to have a look at that library?” We clicked Strategies and Details and then worked into the slab section. He liked the details, and began muttering things like “Wow” under his breath.

When I showed him My GBA, he said “Wow” again, but loud enough for others around us to hear. Another guy that had walked up just moments before started paying closer attention. “Is this any good?” the new guy said; the engineer said, “Yes, this is very cool.”

Nice to get good feedback from skeptics.


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