Bigger names garner the attention of buyers. How can solar contractors compete in their local markets to win jobs?
Sometimes being a local solar contractor can feel limiting, especially when you consider the resources of competing national chains. However, rather than being a liability, being local is an asset! “Tips to Sell Customers on a Local PV Installer Instead of National Chains” demonstrates how you can leverage this asset, including:
- Delivering top customer service
- Providing high-quality equipment
- Delivering on what you promise
To emphasize the article’s conclusion: “The last, best advantage you have over national chains is your knowledge of local requirements. Because of this, you add efficiency to each project. Partnering with a wholesaler that provides all the documentation needed for permits will supercharge this advantage.”
1. Go (Further) Online
“Until people feel safe again, door-to-door sales will be hit.” —Tara Narayanan, solar analyst at BloombergNEF
Like many solar contractors, you’ve probably been relying heavily on door-to-door sales. This is going to change, at least for the short term. Now is the time to re-evaluate your web presence and take advantage of online tools and partners that can help you. Solar Power has an excellent two-part series that features “World Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for solar contractors: Choosing the right keywords” and “Search engine optimization (SEO) for solar contractors: Best practices.” For additional reading, we recommend “Solar Energy Sales—Every Tool Contractors Can Use to Win Projects.”
The right supply partner can streamline the entire process. Solerus Energy is more than just an equipment distributor; we also offer a complete range of solar design and planning services. Whether you’re installing a basic system or need an entire package covering the design, permit paperwork, and even a commissioning report, Solerus Energy is here to help.
2. Be Smart with Lead Purchasing
With solar contractor door-to-door sales drying up, you might be tempted to try to make up the difference with lead purchases. According to SolarReviews, companies can spend millions each year on content creation and still only generate a few hundred leads per day across the whole nation.
Commercial Construction & Renovation (CCR) cites the drawbacks of buying solar leads as quality assurance, exclusive rights, freshness factor, one-size-fits-all, and of course, expense. On the other hand, the benefits of in-house lead generation include forever traffic, better coverage, quality control, low-pressure sales, and less guesswork.
3. Best Practices Matter, Now More Than Ever
Whether you are a large solar contractor or a small one, there is one common factor critical to business success or failure: best practices, with your customer at the center. You can start with these “Solar Sales Best Practices to Increase Business NOW!,” which emphasizes making sure your current customers are happy and treating them as you would wish to be treated in their place. Such tactics may not be rocket science, but they are oft-overlooked golden rules.
Additional resources include:
- SEIA’s Installation Best Practices Guide—Residential Portfolios (PDF)
- SEIA’s Best Practices for Solar Risk Management—A practical guide for financiers of solar projects and portfolios (PDF)
- Safeopedia’s Contractor Management Best Practices: You Should Be Using Them . . . But Are You Really? (These are from the perspective of a company hiring contractors; assess yourself!)
4. Your Present Customers Are Your Best Source for Leads
While evaluating solar lead gen options, do not overlook your present customers. This is because the single greatest predictor of future solar is installed solar; when folks see their neighbors installing solar on their homes and businesses, they are more likely to purchase solar themselves.
5. Remember What Maslow Said
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs purports that needs lower down in the hierarchy, such as food, water, and safety, must be satisfied before folks can attend to needs higher up, such as psychological and self-fulfillment needs. You must meet your potential customer where they are: Are they looking at solar to increase self-sufficiency and energy security, or do they view solar as something important (but extra) to do to “save the planet”? A “one size fits all” approach to marketing likely will leave one of these customers out.
6. Solerus Can Help!
Solerus Energy can help you maximize your highest-value lead provider—your customers—with affordable equipment and an array of helpful services for solar contractors. Solerus Energy offers two solar permit services: a full solar design and permit package and solar single line diagram (free of cost with any residential system order, up to 25kW or $50 with one order) for any residential and commercial solar installation in the USA. That includes battery backup and off-grid solar installations! Solerus also offers top-of-the-line equipment at a discount, support services, and stellar customer service before and after installation.
Solerus is a trusted solar energy equipment supplier, empowering contractors to develop agile solutions for commercial and residential clients. We provide a range of best-in-class solar products that are backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty, designed to provide you with unparalleled peace of mind.
To learn more about reducing solar customer acquisition costs and the equipment you’ll need to have happy customers at a price that you’ll love, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable specialists today!