30 September 2021

The lighting consultant: more than an account manager

The role of a lighting consultant is an unusual one. But what exactly does it involve? We asked Klaus Rahne, manager of Multiline, for a detailed description, as he also partly fulfils the role of lighting consultant at the company.

lighting consultant

“Any other company would talk about an account manager, but in our company it goes much further than just the commercial aspect,” says Klaus. “Obviously, a lighting consultant must maintain contact with existing customers and look for new projects, that is at the core of the job. But we also expect from a lighting consultant that he or she acquires the necessary technical knowledge about our products, in order to act as a reliable partner for potential customers.”


Bringing in new customers

Bringing in new projects is the main task of a lighting consultant: “This can be done by informing existing customers about our products or by looking for new architects, engineering offices, building owners and installers who do not yet work with us,” Klaus explains.

“And that last part is not an easy task,” he continues. “Above all, a lighting consultant has to be creative when contacting potential customers. This can happen via an existing contact or via a particular project in which the client has played a role. It is important not to ‘cold call’, because that just doesn’t work.”


Long term relationships

A good lighting consultant is also someone who can handle a “no” in the short term and convert it into a “yes” in the long run. Klaus: “You have to be decisive and persistent, without hard selling. Making sure that you are and remain ‘top of mind’ with your main audience is essential. That is why the technical expertise is so important. When you possess such knowledge, you can provide the customer with tailor-made information and you rarely fall through the cracks.”

“A good lighting consultant is persistent and decisive. You often hear “no”, but with the right motivation you can turn that into a “yes” in the long run.”

A lighting consultant at Multiline is also never alone. “At Multiline, we have an in-house sales team that operates like a very well-oiled machine,” tells Klaus with some pride. “These colleagues are briefed by the lighting consultant, after which they draw up a lighting plan and make or adapt  a quotation. They also sort out technically difficult challenges so that the lighting consultant can provide an answer to almost all of a customer’s questions.”


A unique role in a family environment

Life on the road is also typical for a lighting consultant. “You have to be actively present in the market, build a network and know what’s going on,” says Klaus. “You sometimes see opportunities along the way and respond to them.”

“The role of a lighting consultant for Multiline is quite unique”, Klaus explains. “You breathe life into the project and see it evolve from the planning phase to the end result. You are also the face of the company for the customers, a first impression of who we are and what we can do. Multiline is from a technical perspective one of the top lighting manufacturers in Belgium. We can and have achieved quite a lot, and a lighting consultant should also be able to show that.”

“Light follows function: At Multiline we are always finding the solution to the question of which light is best in function of the use. Giving the right advice is the crucial role of a good lighting consultant.”

Working for Multiline is an enrichment in itself. “At Multiline, we have a unique team of experts with a lot of technical expertise,” Klaus confirms. “From a lighting study to questions about installation, we have an answer to everything. The lighting consultant finds perfect support among all his or her colleagues.”

“In addition, it is also important to emphasise that we are a warm family business, where initiative and professional ‘hunger’ are highly appreciated. We are quite direct in our communication and the organisational structure is pretty flat. We have the right people on board, who know how essential lighting really is!”, concludes Klaus.

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