The solar industry is one of the last that still has people go door-to-door to market and sell their products. Walking the streets and knocking on doors in neighborhoods may lead to solar sales but it’s a job that has a shelf life. If you’re relatively young and healthy, and very hungry to make money, you may consider it and stick with it for a time. But there is a far better way to sell solar that will lead to more sales, less burnout, and a more sustainable, long-term career.
Door-to-door is a dying, in fact nearly dead, marketing method for a reason. Homeowners are resistant to it. Every day that a solar salesperson or appointment setter is door-knocking they are fighting the battle of resistance from the people they are trying to sell to. The conversion rates are low, and it takes a lot of time and money to get to new neighborhoods. If you’re trying to train a team of solar salespeople, door-knocking leads to a high turnover rate.
If you are consistent with hiring and training, you will occasionally find the one special person that will stick it out. They may even enjoy being outdoors and the challenge of getting in the door. But door-knocking for selling solar is a revolving door and makes it necessary to continually hire and train people at a significant cost.
There’s a Better Way to Sell Solar
Technology has changed everything regarding how people are willing and actually want to buy products. That has been proven by Amazon (retail), Instacart (groceries), Carvana (cars), Opendoor (real estate), and more. The majority of people today are comfortable with the concept of using the internet to buy what they need. Further, Covid-19 forced people to become comfortable with teleconferencing to remain connected. This has led to being able to sell solar without ever having to go into someone’s home.
This is the big question, isn’t it? The reason why solar has been sold door-to-door is that that is how the leads are obtained. So, if you don’t door-knock how do you get leads? Well, you can buy leads from a digital marketing company but that’s not what we do.
The answer to how to get solar sales leads starts with the value proposition for a homeowner to go solar. A salesperson must believe that by selling a homeowner a solar system, they are doing them a great service because that homeowner will receive a huge financial benefit. If they do not believe this and are just in the solar game to make money, then perhaps they should just knock on doors. Or better yet, leave the industry.
They will reduce their overall monthly expense for electricity. The loan payment plus the much smaller fee paid to the utility company each month will be less than what they are currently paying. So, the homeowner saves money right away.
The payment for the solar system is fixed for the life of the loan which can be up to 25 years. Compared to the rising cost of electricity purchased from a utility company this is another financial benefit.
They will realize a home value increase. Some estimates are up to, and more than 10%. But even if it is half of that, a home currently valued at $250,000 will increase from $12,500 to $25,000.
The federal government will provide a tax credit of up to 30% of the purchase price of the solar system. If the homeowner has enough tax liability over the 18 months after the system is installed they can take a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on the money they owe for federal taxes up to 30% of the system price.
And perhaps the benefit that gets homeowners’ attention the most is the fact that they can have a solar system installed for no down payment. They go from paying their utility company the higher payment one month to the next month paying their significantly lower payment to the utility company and the payment to the finance company. These 2 payments are lower than what they were paying to the utility company before they had their solar system installed.
The typical financial benefit over a 25-year period is in excess of $100,000. Sometimes it is much higher.
So, How Does This Financial Benefit Help Get Leads?
If a solar salesperson believes that homeowners will receive this benefit of more than $100,000 and therefore that is why they are in the business, then why would they only want to talk to people that they met while knocking on doors or buying leads? Instead, wouldn’t they want to talk to people that they know?
Produce 3 Sales from Homeowners that You Know
Everyone knows people who are homeowners. Roughly a third of Americans own a home. So, when someone starts with our company as a Solar Advisor Trainee, they are tasked with talking to homeowners that they know and sharing with them the benefits of going solar. We have a fantastic short promotional video that they can show the homeowner.
If someone has exhausted their warm market because they are in the solar business already, we’ll teach them how to work with people in real estate and other industries to get referrals.
They will work with their Trainer to produce 3 sales. That’s it. Just 3 sales from the homeowners that they know. Of course, they can sell to as many homeowners as they know if they want. But 3 sales are required. This requirement is waived for solar pros that have at least one year of solar sales experience.
The commission on this sale is split 50% to the Trainee, and 50% to the Trainer. There is also a 10% Enroller Bonus earned by the person who introduced the Trainee to the company.
Becoming a Trainer and Building a Solar Business
Once a Trainee has closed their first 3 sales from their homeowner contacts, they now take additional training and become a Trainer. As a Trainer, they are now able to:
Close their sales and make 100% of the commission.
Their Trainees are required to do the same thing they did and talk to homeowners that they know and work with their Trainer to close their first 3 sales. The Trainer receives 50% of that commission. By bringing in new Trainees, Trainers may never have to go out and find another solar lead again.
If the Trainer recruited the Trainee, they also get another 10% Enroller Bonus on these training sales. They will also receive a 10% Enroller Bonus on every sale the Trainee makes on their own for the rest of their career.
Once a Trainer’s team produces 20 installations in 60 days they are promoted and will now receive an additional override on every sale their team makes for the rest of their career.
What is the Benefit of Working with Warm Market Leads for Selling Solar?
First, if someone has solar sales experience, they may think that selling via Zoom is more difficult than if they were in person in the customer’s home. Our experience and that of solar pros that have come on board are that this isn’t true at all. In fact, because the homeowner has a relationship with the Trainee, it lowers barriers. There is already a trust and credibility factor in place that may never be achieved when selling to strangers.
After the sale, it is a lot easier for the Trainee who now became a Trainer to get leads from their customer that they knew prior to the sale. These new sales help keep the Trainers' team members producing, which keeps them on their team. And the Trainer benefits because those sales help them earn overrides and get promoted.
Where Do You Work From?
We all work from our home offices. All meetings with homeowners are done via Zoom. Our Solar Advisors can sell to homeowners in 29 states around the country. We also have 8 training sessions a week available to our Solar Advisors and it’s all done via Zoom.
Can you still utilize digital marketing, events, and other means to meet homeowners? Sure, you can. But our warm market referral system is the cornerstone of our business model.
Want to Learn More About How to Sell Solar Without Door-Knocking?
Visit Solar Sales from Home and be sure to watch our business overview video at the bottom of the page. You can then set up a Zoom meeting with me to get all your questions answered. I look forward to talking with you.