The solar industry is changing so fast it’s almost impossible to keep up. If you depended on tax credits for a large part of your solar sales presentation, how can you keep winning projects in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing environment? A personalized approach is best, no matter which size of project or type of customer you’re approaching. We’ve put together some sales tactics that have worked for successful solar contractors who’ve grown their businesses in the current solar sales environment.
1. Show customers you’ll collaborate with them and create a solution that fits their budget and needs.
This approach requires strong listening skills in your solar sales presentation. You may be tempted to compare a prospective customer’s job with another one you’ve completed recently, but listen first before you respond during your solar sales presentation. Have flexible sales information so you can tailor the presentation while you’re meeting with the customer. Don’t come in with a complete presentation that isn’t flexible in terms of scope, price, timeframe, or equipment.
According to Folsom Labs founder Paul Grana, the most effective sales technique for his company has been the ability to respond to their concerns and needs in real-time. If a question comes up that you can’t immediately answer, say so. Tell them you’ll get back to them and follow through: that alone can be the difference between a “yes” and “no” when it comes to getting the job.
When you work with Solerus, you’ll have residential and commercial solar solutions to draw on, resulting in a much more flexible, collaborative solar sales presentation.
2. Present your company’s values and reliability
According to Peak View Solar, a fast-growing family-owned solar company in Colorado Springs, the family’s local roots and dedication to green energy have translated to a rapidly growing solar installation business. In their area, utility companies have been offering rebates, resulting in a lot of out-of-state companies coming into Colorado looking to make quick sales based exclusively on the rebates using a “cookie-cutter” approach.
Peak View showed their potential customers that they installed systems not only in their own homes, but also in the neighborhoods and communities where their employees and families lives. This helped them build a strong local customer base that prefers Peak View’s values and trusts their reliability.
3. Understand the customer’s priorities and respond
Whether the customer is an environmentally-conscious homeowner or a business owner looking to reduce energy costs, knowing the customer’s priorities first will help you to tailor a solid, winning solar sales presentation. Market surveys show that financial savings turn out to be the bottom line for most homeowners installing solar. Long-term reliability and system performance comes a close second. Environmental consciousness is always in the mix, but is seldom the biggest deciding factor. Once you’ve determined your prospective customer’s interests and priorities, have a portfolio of systems and options available.
4. Set your company apart from competitors
You’ve probably heard about “branding.” Branding means developing a consistent way that you present you and your company to the public. We’re not talking about slick logos; we’re referring to sitting down with your team and identifying the factors that make you and your company unique and memorable. Identify four or five key qualities that you know your company has. Build your materials and presentations around these qualities and make them the hallmark of your brand.
These qualities separate you from competitors; not price, not tax credits, and not rebates available to any customer.
As one example, most customers don’t understand the technical specifications of solar systems. If you can make these factors understandable to the average customer, that communication ability is one example of a strong brand identity that would set you apart. Focus on your own strengths and let Solerus provide design services to back you up.
5. Build word of mouth
Solar experts say that no matter how much effort you put into your solar sales presentations, the actual installers will be the ones that your customers remember. Manage your team effectively and make sure they’re using the best, most effective plans and products to fit customer needs. Take time to discuss ways they should communicate with customers while they’re on the job. You know there are a lot of reasons to keep your jobs on-time and within quoted budgets – but on-time, reliable, and within budget are obviously the most important things customers will remember and praise to others if their expectations are met and exceeded.
If not, they’ll talk to their friends and neighbors about negative experiences instead. You can create a smooth installation process and give your team the tools they need to complete the job well.
Focus on your company’s strengths and develop your sales approach using your unique abilities and values. Let Solerus provide the services, system design, and equipment you need at a great price.
Solerus Energy provides solar contractors with helpful information to help them save money on high-quality equipment and services. Ready to save more money with full-service help every step of the way? Contact us to learn more.