Before getting involved in the solar industry I had no idea that the reputation this industry had was so poor. After learning more about how this industry typically and historically operates, I am pleased that we do things differently. Very differently. Solar energy sales need not be performed by pushy, money-hungry salespeople. In fact, my conclusion is that most solar salespeople weren’t that way, to begin with. However, the solar industry has traditionally operated in such a way that it has created a prevailing culture of these types of salespeople, which is why the industry has received this poor reputation.
I recently read an article by the Florida Solar Design Group that pretty much hit the nail on the head with regard to how solar energy sales have traditionally been conducted. Because I am not a 10-year veteran of the industry, and perhaps neither are you, we have to accept their description. However, we do not have to accept this type of solar sales model moving forward. There are companies like ours that are changing the way solar is being sold.
Traditional Solar Sales
Traditionally, solar energy sales have been conducted by door-to-door canvassers that get the initial lead. Then a more experienced solar salesperson schedules the in-home appointment. There is nothing wrong with this approach necessarily except that there is a cost in getting leads and making sales this way that is baked into the price to the homeowner. Another way companies get leads is to buy them from online lead-generation companies. Again, there is nothing wrong with this approach except the cost associated with it and who ends up paying that cost.
The Better Way to Sell Solar
But there is a much better way than either of these approaches. In our company, we do not have canvassers or door knockers. We don’t even do in-home appointments. All of our presentations are done by teleconference, usually by using Zoom. Immediately this lowers the cost of doing business, which allows us to pass the savings along to the homeowner and be more competitive.
So where do we get our homeowner leads? That’s a great question with an even better answer. Virtually all of our prospective customers come by way of referral. There is some level of credibility and comfort that the homeowner already has with us because they were referred to us by someone they know, like, and trust. And here’s something else that’s important to the homeowner as well. These leads are free to us. We do not have the major marketing costs that other solar energy sales companies have.
Our Philosophy on Selling by Referral
Who provides us with these referrals? Our new Solar Advisor Trainees and our solar customers. Here’s our philosophy. First off, there’s no better sales lead than someone who has been referred by a friend, family member, or neighbor. However, please understand that if our new Trainee refers a friend to us, it is not in our best interest to take advantage of that person, price gouge them, or treat them adversely in any way. Our Trainee would not allow it. You see our approach ensures that the prospective buyer will be treated extremely well.
In fact, we take an educational, soft-sell approach with our clients. The value proposition for a homeowner to go solar is so good anyway that we do not need to push anyone into installing solar on their roof. We educate our clients and they make an informed decisions.
But the beat goes on. We don’t do any advertising or marketing, right? So, we need to keep getting referrals. If we treat homeowners the wrong way it will stop our pipeline of referrals. Therefore, we have to treat customers right. We need to give them great pricing on their solar system. We can’t ‘burn 'em and churn 'em as this industry has done for decades.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto at Pexels
We Treat Our Salespeople Better
There are a couple more points to make about our solar energy sales model. We not only treat the homeowner better than other solar companies but we also treat our salespeople better too. We pay our salespeople on a different commission schedule than the traditional redline compensation plan. To learn specifics about the redline model and how we pay, visit Solar Sales Commission. But for our purposes here it means that our salespeople don’t have to raise the price to the homeowner to make a fair commission on a sale.
We Work with Just One Solar Company
The final point is that we sell for one company that installs in 29 states in the U.S. They in turn DO NOT subcontract the installation of the solar system out to other companies. This company is the #3 residential solar provider and has office locations in every state and locality in which we sell solar. We, therefore, deal with just one company and can ensure quality workmanship and a guarantee that is second to none in the industry.
Solar energy sales don’t need to be pushy. Maybe it did 10 or 15 years ago when solar equipment was expensive, and the federal government wasn’t offering a 30% tax incentive. But not today. However, we need to educate a lot more people and are looking for people that want to help us do that on a part-time or full-time basis. If you want to help us change the solar energy sales industry, click the link below.
The link above will take you to a page where you can read all about our sales model and watch a detailed business overview video. Please watch that video. Then schedule either a phone call or teleconference vis Zoom so we can meet each other and get your questions answered.