Whether you're a new solar installer looking to land your first residential solar project, or a well-oiled commercial install machine with a pipeline of projects to get done, sales will continue to be the lifeblood of your business. If you're not dedicating time and resources to effectively get in front of more potential customers, that pipeline will dry up, quickly.
Below, we've put together 12 actionable, effective tips to bolster your solar sales efforts and get more prospects.
Solar Sales Tip #1 -- Identifying Pain
Tip begins at 7:40
Identifying pain is a crucial first step when looking to grow your solar sales efforts. The key is to generate a discussion with your prospect based on what their needs and pain points are. When installing solar energy on their home or business, pain could be a number of things; environmental concerns, money saving or investment opportunity, or peace of mind and reliability. Make sure your initial discussions are centered around those issues so you understand the best way to present your value proposition to them as a solution for their needs.
Solar Install Sales Tip #2 -- Budget
Installing solar is a big financial decision for many people, and it's not a small amount of money by any means. A good solar salesperson will always make sure they're up front about the costs that a solar installation will bring, even if they're only rough estimates. The budget conversation is crucial to setting expectations before you get a quote in front of them.
Solar Install Sales Tip #3 -- Identifying the Decision Maker
Who are the key stakeholders in the sales process that make the yes or no decision on solar? How do the decisions get made, and who is involved? These are the questions a salesperson needs to ask and have answered to make sure when it comes down to it, they can engage with that person in the right way and get their answer.
Solar Install Sales Tip #4 -- Set Ground Rules & Expectations
Every step of the sales process goes much smoother if you have expectations set and communicated between you, your team, and your prospect. Know what comes next after each big step in the process, and make sure your customers know too. In addition to making the process run seamlessly, it will ensure a positive experience that helps your business's customer satisfaction.
Solar Install Sales Tip #5 -- Avoid Information Dumping
The most common mistake a sales professionals can make is information dumping.
It's important to make sure your potential customer is informed -- but not overwhelmed with information. A good sales professional will make their prospect feel comfortable, informed, and ready to purchase. If you overwhelm them with heavy technical information, they may end up going to your competitor.
Solar Install Sales Tip #6 -- Negotiating
Ideally, there is no negotiation in the solar sales process. Sometimes it's cut and dry -- they are qualified, have the right budget, and the decision making process goes smoothly.
But when you get a prospect who does want to negotiate, set boundaries on how much you're willing to give. Present adjusted prices with conviction, and be strong in your delivery.
Solar Install Sales Tip #7 -- Selling on Value
The sales discussion is not just about price. It's about the cost of doing business together. There is an entire value proposition you provide long term that will drive the tactic of selling on value, not price. This will help the prospect view the cost differently.
Solar Install Sales Tip #8 -- Yes / No
The two best answers a salesperson can hear when asking a customer if they will buy is, "Yes or No".
Too many sales professionals accept things like, "I'll let you know" and other answers that are a waste of time.
Give them permission to tell you no. The worst case scenario, they do, and you can move on to your next prospect. The other option is yes.. which is a win.
Solar Install Sales Tip #9 -- Active Listening
There are 3 P's to master the technique of active listening:
Parroting is repeating what your prospect has said to you.
Paraphrasing is repeating what your prospect has said to you in your own words
(Ph)eedback is when you tell a story of your own to relate to your prospect
Your ability to actively listen will make you a savant at gathering information on your prospect and solving for their needs during the sales process.
Solar Install Sales Tip #10 -- Selling Remotely
It is not up for debate -- we are selling in a unique world now due to COVID 19. The same selling rules apply, but you have to find a reliable video chat software, such as Zoom or Google Hangouts as a remote selling tool for your 'face to face' conversations.
Make sure your internet connection is optimal, set up a proper lighting situation for your on camera appearance, and eliminate any distractions that might take away from the conversation. Don't give your prospect a reason to be 'uncomfortable' in the meeting.
Solar Install Sales Tip #11 -- Referrals
The single fastest way to grow your business is through referrals. It's that simple.
Every prospect who becomes a customer should always be asked one question, "Who else do you know that we should be talking to?"
If you have the rest of the above tips in place, your customer will be more than willing to recommend your products & services to a family member, friend or peer. Referral 'marketing' is the strongest way to build company credibility and pump up your pipeline of leads.
Solar Install Sales Tip #12 -- Walking Away
The last and final tip is knowing when to walk away.
It's not the end of the world if things don't work out with a prospect. It allows you more time and resources to pursue more qualified opportunities.
Be ready to send the "break up" e-mail to end things. Either things are really over, or you find out there's still interest from a prospect that can streamline their decision.
Keeping Your Solar Competitive Advantage
As the solar industry grows, more and more installers are getting their hands in the mix and vying for prospect attention. With these 12 solar install sales tips, you'll be a step ahead of the competition and ready to turn on the heat for your pipeline of qualified leads.
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