As a contractor, you need to inspire potential consumers with your passion for solar panels to make them believe in the technology as much as you do
In our previous post, we focused on gearing up for the solar season. Today we will be looking at tips for increasing solar sales.
A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that 65% of Americans prioritize the development of alternative energy sources, compared with 27% who believe in expanded production of fossil fuels. Although the poll bodes well for solar contractors from an ideological point of view, salespeople trying to convince homeowners about the benefits of installing panels are still met with reluctance. That’s why these nine proven tips on how to overcome such resistance will contribute to you signing more contracts.
1 - Invest in solar software
If there is one industry poised to benefit from new technology it’s solar. Marketing solar systems requires precise coordination between sales reps, engineering teams, and financing departments. Consequently, if you are relying on low tech methods that are outdated and ineffective, you’re wasting time, money and losing out to the competition.
Although there are many types of solar software available that promise to optimize your installation company, there is only one that is capable of streamlining, scaling and integrating all of your marketing and design issues. It’s Solargraf, an end-to-end software solution, built by installers for installers.
2 - Focus on hot neighborhoods
In an interview featured on the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies website, Professor Kenneth Gillingham notes: “We find that if a neighbor close to you installs solar, you’re much more likely to install than if a neighbor four miles away installs.”
So when it comes to where to focus your sales campaign, concentrate on neighborhoods where households have already begun to install the technology.
And if you really want to cut to the chase, you may want to consider Solargraf and its pool of high-quality, call-verified, solar leads broken down by area. It will ensure that your telephone sales campaigns are more profitable and cost-efficient than those of the competition.
3 - Simplify the pitch
Marketing solar can be complicated. Between the proposal, engineering designs, permits, the installation process, and financing, there is a plethora of fine details that can overwhelm the consumer. The longer the script, the more confused your prospect may become. That’s why you need to build momentum slowly, focusing on one or two key points.
4 - Emphasize the financial benefits of going solar
The best way to captivate a consumer is with questions that provide you an opportunity to deliver answers that will inspire the client to want to hear more of your offer. For example:
Are you aware that solar panels can substantially reduce your monthly utility bill and boost the net worth of your property at the same time?
Did you know that there are government tax incentives that can cover up to 30% of the costs of installing solar?
5 - Urgency, urgency, and more urgency
Inspiring a sense of urgency creates new contracts. Many clients will suggest that they will consider your proposal at some future date. But if you do not strike while the iron is hot, the prospect will likely forget all about your offer. That’s why you need to create a sense of urgency. And in 2019 that urgency should be all about tax credits.
Credit.com summarizes how American consumers are entitled to a 30 percent federal tax credit in 2019 for installing a residential solar system. The tax credit drops to 26 percent for 2020 solar projects, and 22 percent for projects that begin in 2021. So when it comes to selling solar, emphasize how quickly tax credits are disappearing.
6 - Turn doubt into an advantage
A source of concern for many homeowners is how the system will affect the appearance of their home. That’s why Solargraf’s software is so valuable. It provides reassuring designs almost instantly. The unique software integrates the highest quality HD imagery through partnerships with Nearmap and Eagleview to generate the exact layout, direction, and measurements of a homeowner’s roof. No design experience is required. Just enter an address to automatically create a precise system for any roof. All this in under 60 seconds.
7 - Make sure your existing customers remain happy
Following up with homeowners that you’ve already installed panels for is an excellent way to drive word-of-mouth business to your company. Satisfied customers will refer their friends and family to you. It also ensures possible repeat business with clients who move to a new home and would like a solar upgrade for their new residence.
When it comes to maintaining a positive relationship with former customers, consider including them in your email list. Periodically offering them helpful advice on how to maximize savings and how to troubleshoot potential problems is a great way to maintain a positive rapport.
8 - Connect with real estate agents
Real estate agents are excellent proxies. They have an inside track on everyone who is buying and selling a property. So it makes sense to network with them. Many people who purchase a home are eager to do renovations and customize their property. So consider providing realtors a commission for any new business they send your way.
9 - Use the web
Creating a website and using social media are powerful avenues for marketing your company. An online presence provides you with an opportunity to show off and differentiate your company from the competition by prominently displaying your logos, certifications, projects and testimonials from satisfied customers. As a consequence, visitors to your website and social media pages will be more inclined to invest in your abilities.
As a solar installer, if you want to stand out from the competition and increase sales, consider employing these nine tips. Invest in cutting edge solar software, focus on selling in neighborhoods where solar systems have started to be installed, keep your pitch simple, emphasize the financial benefits of solar, stress the importance of installing now before tax credits disappear, quiet a homeowner’s fears about the aesthetics of panels by providing them with detailed designs, stay connected with existing customers, network with real estate agents, and maximize your presence on the web.
Up next: deconstructing myths about going solar
Article by: MJ Stone for Solargraf.