How much of your current business comes from buying solar leads?
Perhaps you get most or even all your customers this way. Maybe you buy a few leads here and there to supplement your marketing channels. Or, it might be something you’ve been considering but haven’t tried yet.
Buying solar leads can be an effective way to engage with new customers, and when it goes well, it can keep your sales team busy and your installation pipeline full.
In other cases, however, it can involve spending a great deal of time and energy chasing uninterested customers, getting into bidding wars with multiple installers, and paying a hefty bill at the end of each month.
So, the question remains: should you buy solar leads?
Let’s explore the pros and cons so you decide whether they’re a good fit for your business.
The Positive Aspects of Buying Solar Leads
They Can Help Boost Your Sales—and Referrals
The central purpose of buying online leads is, of course, to reach new prospects and convert them into sales. Beyond the short-term benefit of more installations, you also have the opportunity to build new customer relationships that generate additional referrals in the future.
If you can secure reliable business through a lead aggregator, each new contact can pay for itself many times over in the long run.
They Can Help You Fine-Tune Your Sales Process
One positive of buying solar leads—especially for newer companies—is that they give you a chance to improve and perfect your sales process. Because the clients are unfamiliar with your company, it’s an excellent opportunity to experiment with different sales techniques, improve lead qualification methods, and stay in tune with consumer behavior.
With an average conversion rate of around 7%, you will have to accept that many leads won’t convert into sales or even firm quotes. But with more opportunities, the chance to refine your sales process can be invaluable to your business overall.
They Can Get You through Slow Periods
For solar contractors of all sizes, the ability to purchase new leads can be especially useful when business is down. Rather than waiting for the phone to ring, you can access new prospects and strengthen your installation pipeline without extra outbound marketing.
Even though buying leads may not be a miracle fix, they can be a welcome boost to your monthly sales figures and keep your business moving in the right direction.
The Downsides of Purchasing Solar Leads
The Quality and Freshness of Leads Can Vary Dramatically
One primary drawback is that you may spend a great deal of time and effort chasing customers who are either uninterested or have no urgency to make a purchase. In addition, some leads will be older than others, resulting in a few customers who have decided against buying solar or have already engaged a different installer.
Depending on the lead generator you’re buying from, you may be able to reject a certain number of leads each month for a refund or credit. Before you engage the services of a supplier, be sure to read and understand all their terms and conditions. This will help you gauge the value of their service and prevent you from wasting time and money on low-quality leads.
The Leads Can Be Expensive
After the excitement of receiving a list of new prospects wears off, you may find that buying leads can be a costly exercise. Beyond the purchase price, you also need to factor in the time required to call and qualify the leads, in addition to the hours your salespeople will spend visiting, quoting, and following up with the clients.
Ultimately, you need to keep reliable data about your lead-to-sale conversion ratio, price, and timeframe. Only with this information can you assess the quality of the contacts and decide whether it’s a profitable method of acquiring new customers.
The Competition Can Be High
If you engage the services of an online lead generator, be sure to ask how many other companies will receive the same prospects. Some will offer exclusivity, others will restrict each customer to a fixed number of installers, and still others will sell the same lead to as many companies as they can.
As you may have guessed, the lead quality is generally reflected in the price. Exclusive leads cost more but offer higher conversion rates—at least, in theory.
Generally, you should only purchase leads that are either exclusive to you or sold to a small, fixed number of installers. Other leads may come at a low price, but as with everything else in life, you get what you pay for.
In Conclusion: Should You Buy Online Solar Leads?
Purchasing solar leads can be valuable to every solar company, provided that you are dealing with a reputable lead generator that supplies qualified prospects.
Just as not all solar panels are created equal, lead suppliers can vary significantly in their price, quality, exclusivity, and levels of customer service.
Ultimately, every installer can benefit from purchasing solar leads, even if it’s merely a way to experiment with a new marketing channel. If you can partner with a reputable supplier and perfect your sales process, it can be a great way to grow your solar business.
If you want more valuable tips about selling and installing solar systems, visit the Solerus Energy blog for helpful articles and industry advice. We also offer premium solar equipment and professional design and permitting services that can help make 2020 your biggest year yet.
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!