Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-beige-shirt-in-front-of-silver-imac-computer-4623200/
Solar Sales Training
Solar Sales Training
Hi there! We're so excited that you decided to join us on this solar journey. We feel very strongly that this is the best business opportunity in America and will continue to be so for the next decade and longer.
It's time to start your solar sales training. We'll take first things first to make sure you have a full understanding of the system here at Apricot Solar and how best to learn it and use it to your advantage.
Onboarding & Business Launch Training (BLT)
A requirement for ALL NEW Trainees is to attend our Business Launch Training (BLT)
Our Training is Taught in 2 Phases - Watch the Videos Below
Apricon September 2023
The Apricot Solar National Convention
September 28th - 30th at the Luxor in Las Vegas
If you want to solidify your belief that Apricot Solar is the very best opportunity in solar and that a career with Apricot Solar is the best decision that you can make, you MUST be at the Luxor in Las Vegas in September for Apricon.
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT JOINING US IN SEPTEMBER AT THE LUXOR HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS, WATCH THE RECAP FROM JUNE
Dale and Tony receiving their Junior Partner jackets
The Solar System and Team Dominate showed up and showed out at Apricon in June. Rock Stars, All Stars, and 2 new Junior Partners. If we can do it, SO CAN YOU!
If you are at all serious about building a business and career with Apricot Solar, company events like Apricon must become an inherent part of the process.
There is simply no way possible to bring the information, excitement, and feeling back with us. And make no mistake, the information, excitement, and feeling are a vital part of your success.
Don't cheat your success. Be with us at Apricon in September 2023 at the Luxor Hotel!
The Value Proposition for Homeowners
Being able to quickly talk about why a homeowner should consider going solar is key. This can be part of a conversation with a friend or someone you meet that asks you what you do. This is also important to know when calling homeowners to get utility bills. It needs to become a part of you and something you can do with ease. Memorize this!
Here are the main points making up the Value Proposition for Homeowners and why they should consider going solar:
Homeowners can lower their monthly payment for electricity right away
This new payment is locked in at a fixed rate for the next 25 years instead of being subject to utility rate hikes of 3 to 5% or more per year
Homeowners realize a home value increase of about 10% right away
The federal government provides a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of the solar system
Homeowners get all of this with nothing out of pocket. They go from paying a higher monthly electric bill to their utility company one month, to a lower monthly payment for their new solar system the next.
And the typical long-term financial benefit to a homeowner that goes solar is in excess of $100,000!
Logging Into Your Apricot Back Office for the First Time and Getting Your Affiliate Link
If you're trying to get into your Apricot back office and having some trouble, no worries. This 4-minute video will guide you on how to create a new password and get right in. And, it will show you how to find your Affiliate Link to send out to business partner prospects.
Who is Your Trainer?
If you were originally contacted by Meredith Marder, Shirley Guiducci, or Dale Guiducci, that means that we are your sponsor. The 3 of us formed a partnership and joined Apricot as one entity. It also means that Dale Guiducci will be your Trainer. Although both Meredith and Shirley may be involved in creating proposals for your customers, Dale will vet those proposals and present them to your customers while you observe.
If however, you were sponsored by someone else on our team, your Trainer may a different person. Watching the video above will help you log into your back office and identify your Trainer. If you have any difficulties, simply email or text us. Our contact information is located at the bottom of each page on this site.
Join Our Telegram Group - The JP Factory
To stay in the loop of what's happening with our team and to get updates on Training sessions and more, download the Telegram Phone App. Once you have the app on your phone, click this link to join the JP Factory group. JP stands for Junior Partner!
Apricot Gear & Business Cards
Get your Apricot Solar hats, shirts, jackets,
water bottles, business cards, folders & more! Knock Gear
Where Can We Sell Solar?
Freedom Forever currently installs residential solar panels in 29 states shown as dark green on the map below (as of 11/15/22). However, there are a few states in which we install but not in the entire state. New York is a good example of that. So, the only way for you to know if we install in a certain city in New York is to contact your Trainer with the zip code. She/he can then check in their Freedom Forever portal for that zip code. For an updated map of the states in which we can sell solar visit the Freedom Forever websiteor just click on the map.
If we do not currently install in the state where you live can you still start your solar business? Absolutely! Do not let that stop you. For the time being you'll simply need to contact homeowners that live in states where we do install and/or start building a team of people that live outside your state. Get trained and become experienced. Then when we do open up your state you'll be in a better position to take advantage of it.
Contributed by Certified Trainer, Christa Hess
OK, Let's Get Busy!
As a Trainee, You do 2 Things
Get Utility Bills from Homeowners and Build Your Team
We all start out at Apricot as Trainee. A Trainee's role is to contact homeowners and share the benefits of going solar. The biggest benefit to emphasize, of course, is that they can reduce their monthly utility payment with absolutely nothing out of their pocket. Then ask the homeowner if they would like to see how much they would save on their monthly utility bill and how much their home value would increase while they would need to pay nothing upfront. In most cases, the homeowner is motivated to see how much going solar would save them. You then simply ask them for a copy of their utility bill and forward that to your Trainer.
However, if you are a homeowner, the FIRST STEP is to send a copy of your own utility bill to your Trainer. If you believe that solar can help homeowners reduce their monthly energy bill, save tens of thousands of dollars long term, increase the value of a home, and do it with the government paying up to 30% for the solar system, with no money out of pocket, then why wouldn't you go solar? By being a product of the product it will demonstrate to people your commitment and enthusiasm for solar and they'll be more inclined to do the same.
The SECOND STEP is to make a list of your top 10 homeowners. Think of close friends and family first. Then perhaps neighbors. If you have limited homeowner contacts, call people and ask them who they know (family, friends, neighbors) that are homeowners.
Contacting Homeowners for Utility Bills
There are two approaches below that you can use to contact homeowners. Use the one that you are most comfortable with. If you come up with another approach that works, use it. The goal is to get utility bills from homeowners so we can show them the value of going solar and how much they will save. Here's a major key. When talking to homeowners that you know, DO NOT answer questions about solar. See more about this below.
"Hi Michelle, how are you? I need a small favor. I just started working with a top national solar company and as part of my training, I need to find a few people that are willing to allow my Trainer and me the opportunity to do a Solar Energy Savings Analysis on their home. It's completely free to you and you may find that going solar would save you a lot of money on your electric bill every month. Would you be willing to let me do that analysis?
When Michelle agrees to the analysis you simply ask her for a copy of her utility bill. "Perfect. All we need is a copy of a recent utility bill. Do you have that handy? If you can go get it now and email it to me we can get started on this right away. Also, could you please take a picture of your main electrical panel with the door open and text it to me? See 'Getting a Complete Utility Bill for Your Trainer' below.
Hi Michelle, how are you? Hey, I'm curious. Have you heard about the benefits of putting solar on your home? It can lower your monthly energy payment, save tens of thousands of dollars, and increase the value of your home with absolutely nothing out of your pocket. The federal government is even giving people 30% of the cost of the system as a tax credit. Have you heard anything about that?
Well, someone just told me about it and I investigated it. I got pretty excited about it and started working with them. I'd love to be able to do an analysis of your home to see how much you could save. If you can save a ton of money and it doesn't cost you anything, why not, right?
When Michelle agrees to the analysis you simply ask her for a copy of her utility bill and a picture of her main electrical panel with the door open. See 'Getting a Complete Utility Bill for Your Trainer' below.
When Calling a Homeowner to Get a Utility Bill...
Don't Answer Questions About Solar!
When calling homeowners that you know to interest them in seeing how much money they could save by going solar, the homeowner may ask you questions. Even after you told them that you're new to the business they still may ask you questions. That's actually a good thing because it shows that they have a general interest in solar. But you should not try to answer their questions. Why?
If you try to answer their questions, and even if you know the answer to the first one, they may keep asking you questions. The challenge is that you are new to solar. And eventually, if not right away on the first question, you may not be able to answer. You may lose credibility and lose the opportunity to get their utility bill.
Instead, say something like this. "That’s a great question and I’ll make sure you get that answer. Remember, I’m new with the company so I want to see that you get the best and most complete answer. I am working directly with a Certified Solar Advisor (your Trainer). Her/his name is XXXXX. She/he can answer that for you and any other questions for you.
My job today is to interest you in finding out how much money you can save by going solar. Because of course, if you can’t save money then why go solar? We do that by analyzing your utility bill and designing a solar system specifically for your home and your energy usage. When we present that to you, I’ll make sure XXXXX answers that question and any others that you have.
Most homeowners see a long-term financial benefit of well over $100,000. Would you like to see how much money you’d save by going solar?"
Stay focused on the goal of your call to this homeowner. The goal is to get their utility bill, not to educate them on solar yet. You and your Trainer will do that on the Energy Savings Analysis Zoom.
If you have difficulties with these calls and are not having success with getting utility bills, reach out to your Trainer right away for assistance.
You Don't Know Many Homeowners or We don't Yet Install in Your State
Watch this video by Business Coach
and an Apricot Solar Top Producer, Jimmie Jayse
Getting a Complete Utility Bill
for Your Trainer
This video will help you understand how important it is that you provide your Trainer with a utility bill that provides she/he with enough information to build a solar system design and a complete and accurate proposal. Your Trainer will love you for paying attention to this and when you become a Trainer you'll love it too!
A Picture of the Homeowner's
Main Electrical Panel
When designing the solar system and putting together a proposal, it is helpful to your Trainer to have a picture of the main electrical panel. Some people may call this the "breaker box". This will allow your Trainer to see if there are open slots for connecting the solar system. Ask your homeowner to take a picture of their panel with their phone and text it to you. Then you forward this to your Trainer with the utility bill.
Submitting the Utility Bill & MPU Picture to Your Trainer
Log into your Apricot back office. Click the 'Leads' tab on the left-hand menu. Click '+Lead' at the top right of the page.
Enter the homeowner's information. You must add a time and date for the presentation appointment for the system to accept the lead. If you do not yet have a specific time, create a date and time in the future. You can change that later.
For the Appointment Type always choose Phone/Virtual Consult.
Change the 'Assign to Self' button to 'No'. If you do not, the lead will not go to your Trainer.
Upload the utility bill and a picture of the main electrical panel if you have it. If you do not yet have it, ask your homeowner to send it to you and you can email it to your Trainer separately.
Click 'Create Lead'. Your Trainer will be notified via text to accept the lead.
Scheduling the Energy Savings Analysis
Your Trainer will create a system design and proposal. She/he will email you to alert you that the proposal is ready to be presented and will provide you with a link to their schedule on Calendly.
Call your Homeowner with your Trainer's schedule via Calendly open. Ask them when they will be available and schedule the appointment. Be sure to include the Homeowner's email address and yours when scheduling on Calendly. By doing so, both the Homeowner and you will receive the Zoom link and reminders of the appointment via email. Do not send the Calendly link to your client to avoid calling them. You will not be included in the Calendly invitation and therefore not know the date or time of the appointment.
Now that your homeowner had agreed to an Energy Savings Analysis, and while your Trainer is putting that together, ask them to watch a 15-minute promotional video. This video will help build credibility for Freedom Forever and overcome some misconceptions they may have about solar. This makes your Trainer's job easier during the presentation and increases the chances of making a sale.
Save this link to the 15-minute promotional video on YouTube to your desktop and/or to your phone for easy texting, https://youtu.be/pOv6BOac51w
Assisting Your Trainer by Calling the Utility Company
You will learn that there are many variables involved in designing a solar system for a home. One of those variables is the utility company. In most states, the utility company is allowed to dictate the size of residential solar systems and/or how the homeowner is compensated for excess energy their system produces and is sent back to the grid for use by the utility company.
So for each proposal, it is vital to understand what terms the homeowner's utility company has for residential solar systems. You can begin your solar sales training by learning about this and assisting your Trainer by calling the utility company and asking them to explain those terms. It is also possible to look up the utility company online and learn about some of this via their website. In other cases, there is little to no information on their site.
Note that utility company personnel are usually very friendly and cooperative and are used to getting these types of calls. However, under no circumstances should you not treat them with the utmost respect and kindness.
Find the utility company's phone number and call them.
Introduce yourself like this. "Hi, my name is John Jones. I am with Apricot Solar and I am working with one of your customers to determine their options for going solar. Can I speak with someone who can share some information about system size restrictions and Net Metering policies?"
Once you reach the right person introduce yourself again and ask:
1- Do you restrict the size of a solar system either in kW or in offset?
kW stands for kilowatt. 1 kilowatt equals 1,000 Watts. When you see 'kW' always say 'kilowatt(s)'. Solar system sizes are referred to in kW. For example, we restrict homeowners to a 10 kW system.
Offset is the term used to describe how much of the existing energy usage of a home will be supplied by a new solar system. For example, an 80% offset solar system will supply 80% of the energy the homeowner is currently getting from their utility company. Some utility companies will restrict homeowners from having a solar system larger than a 100% offset.
2- How do you compensate the homeowner for excess energy production that is sent back to the grid?
If they say they doNet Metering, ask if it is a monthly or annual True-Up. True-Up is simply a term that describes how and when credits given to the homeowner are handled.
Also, if the utility company does have Net Metering, ask if it is a 1:1 or 1 to 1. See below for further explanation.
If a utility company offers Net Metering it is very positive for the homeowner and our ability to design a larger system for them. The reason is that they will typically receive a higher price/kWh from the utility company for the excess energy produced by their solar system and sent back to the grid. This excess sent back to the grid can be sold by the utility company to surrounding homes. Net Metering in many cases will result in the homeowner being paid the same price for their excess energy as they pay the utility company. This is referred to as 1:1 or 1 to 1.
They also may use the term, Export Rate. What many don't realize is that sometimes the utility company that supplies the energy to homeowners does not generate the energy. They buy it from another larger company that produces it. They then send it to their customers via the grid. The export rate typically is equal to the average wholesale rate that the utility company that distributes the electricity to homeowners pays the company that generates the power. Therefore the Export Rate is much lower than the retail price/kWh. It can be as low as $.03 to$.04/kWh whereas homeowners may be paying $.10 to $.15/kWh at retail.
It is very important that you relay the information about Net Metering or the Export Rate (i.e. what is the rate they pay homeowners) back to your Trainer.
3- Is there anything else about your post-solar policies that I need or should know?
Be sure to thank them for their time.
Take notes on everything that you hear or that you learned from the utility company website. Then report this information back to your trainer via email or in whatever method they prefer.
For a deeper dive into any of the terms used above click the links to learn more.
Your Role During the Presentation
When the presentation via Zoom starts, welcome your homeowner. Most people are comfortable with Zoom meetings. However, if they are not your greeting will help a lot. If they do not turn on their camera ask them to do so. We want to present to someone that we can see as it makes the process much more interactive.
After you greet your guest you are simply going to introduce your Trainer. An example of that is, "John, I want to introduce you to the gentleman that I am working with and learning the business from. He is a Certified Trainer and a Solar Advisor with Apricot Solar. His name is Dale Guiducci. Dale this is John Jones."
Your Trainer will take over from there. During the presentation do not interrupt or ask questions. If you do, you will hurt the credibility of your Trainer and/or take she/he off track. Let the expert be the expert.
Answers to Over 60 Questions
You'll Want To Know
Building Your Team
It is true that selling solar on your own as a trained Solar Advisor with Apricot can provide you with a strong 6-figure income. However, it is also true that selling solar isn't easy and it can lead to burnout after a few years.
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the way to capitalize on the explosive solar market and make far more than doing sales on your own is to build a team.
Even if you love selling, wouldn't it be great to have others provide you with a stream of qualified homeowners that they have a relationship with? On top of that, you can earn overrides on sales being made by others on your team.
If you don't love sales but want to capitalize on solar by providing homeowner utility bills, how about going out and finding people that love selling and others that want to do the same thing you're doing? And yes, make overrides on their sales.
Your Top Ten List of Future Business Partners
You may have been tasked with contacting people to join a business opportunity before. If so, you probably found that you had to contact dozens or even hundreds of people to get just a few to join. You will find that this is not the case with the solar business. Why? Well, there are several reasons why this business gets the attention of a lot of people that other businesses wouldn't.
First, it's what people consider to be a high-ticket item with large commissions. This is very different than selling an item that pays you $20 or $30. The average commission is $7,000 and at the lowest $3,000. It doesn't take a lot of those sized sales per month to change someone's financial situation.
Solar is also the wave of the future and will change the state of our environment. The federal and some state governments are promoting solar through tax incentives and rebates.
And keep in mind that with our business opportunity we can build a team from people that we know but also homeowners that we sell solar to.
So, the point is that you should not hesitate to talk to everyone that you know because a lot of people are going to be interested. But here is a memory jogger for you so that you can write down the names of people that you are going to contact about this business opportunity.
Who do you know that is/are:
Leaders- management, team builders
Business Owners- home-based or otherwise
Successful- at a job but perhaps dissatisfied
Network Marketers- team builders, motivators
Salespeople- commission earners, closers
Realtors or Mortgage Pros
Great with People
Your Best Friends
Recruiting Close Warm Market,
Other Warm Market, & Through Placing Job Ads
The list you made above of your Top Ten Future Business Partners would be considered Close Warm Market. However, you also have people that would be in the category of Other Warm Market. You can also recruit through pacing job ads. Watch the video to the bottom/right to learn how to do each.
Text to Other Warm Market
Hey there, PERSONS FIRST NAME. It's YOUR FULL NAME. How are you? I hope all is well. It's been a while since we talked, but I started a new business in 2022. I thought you might want to take a few minutes to check out what we're doing. https://goapricot.wistia.com/medias/d3uhlmbvr6
The link in the text above is to the 3-minute video. I recommend that you do a copy/paste technique so that it takes you very little time each day to send out 10 texts. Be sure to change the person's name in each text 🙂
Some people try to outthink the system and decide NOT to recruit and build their team until they become a Certified Solar Advisor. They don’t want to miss out on splitting commissions from their Trainees bringing in utility bills.
This is a mistake because it ultimately extends the time it will take you to get to Junior Partner!!
If you wait until you are a trained Solar Advisor yourself before you start building a team, you've essentially doubled or even tripled the time it will take for you to become a Junior Partner.
Instead, think long-term and BIG PICTURE…
If You Don’t Recruit Neither Will Your Team! Instead, Recruit NOW!!
If You Recruit, Your Team Will Recruit.
Get your team making MONEY! Have your top people become Certified Trainers ASAP. If people on your team start making commissions on split sales, they are locked in!
Chances are you’ll get to Certified Trainer before them. But even if you don’t, you are still earning points toward Junior Partner from all the split sales and full sales that are happening!
If you don’t recruit until you hit Certified Trainer there will be no one helping you with Junior Partner points.
Then when you do start recruiting it’s going to take time for those people to learn the business & build their team because they followed your lead and didn’t recruit until they hit Certified Trainer.
You'll have shot yourself in the foot over a few split sale commissions.
Recruiting Flow Chart
The Onboarding Process
The Onboarding Steps
1- A prospect gets your affiliate link, watches the business overview video, and fills out the form that pops up at the end of the video to register with Apricot. Once they fill out this form you will see them in your back office when you click "Recruits". After they register they will receive 2 emails.
2- They will receive an email from Apricot Solar with a link to schedule an online group orientation with Ed Ayala. Once a link is received, they click to schedule their group orientation at 2 pm Eastern on any day Monday to Friday.
3- Another email they receive is from Panda Docs. This is what we call "new hire paperwork". Please note that this email often goes to spam. If your prospect doesn't see it in their inbox have them check spam. Once they fill this out you will see them in your back office when you click, "Apricot Team".
You will log into your Apricot dashboard and click Enroll New Recruit
Fill out the contact details for your prospect and click Send
Your prospect will receive this email with a link to go to the Business Overview video
When your prospect clicks the link they will be able to watch the video
When the video is over your prospect will be able to register with Apricot
Tips on Sending Your Affiliate Link to Prospects
If your prospect has already seen our business overview video, say on a Thursday night, and they simply want to fill out the form to register with Apricot, do the following.
Send yourself your Affiliate link. Save the link on your computer. Then simply add /novideo to the link when sending it to your prospect. There will be no video. Only the form to register with Apricot.
Once your new prospect has watched the business overview video and filled out the Apricot registration form, they will receive a Calendly link to schedule their orientation. These are held Monday through Friday at 2 pm Eastern. They simply click the link, choose the day they want, and submit. They will then get an email with the Zoom link to the orientation.
As a Trainee with Apricot Solar, your goal is to get to Certified Trainer as soon as possible. As a Certified Trainer, you receive full commissions on your sales. You also work with Trainees on your team and do split-commission sales. When building a team as a Certified Trainer you'll never have to worry about getting leads because your Trainees will bring you their warm market!
Step #1- You must close 1 "Training Sale" with your Trainer. Contact homeowners that you know to interest them in seeing how much money they can save by going solar. Get their utility bill and send it to your Trainer.
Solar Professionals with at least one year of experience in selling solar can skip Step #1.
Step #2- Once you have closed your Training Sale, or if you are a Solar Pro, study the videos on the Certified Trainers Academy page on the Team Fast and Furious website.
Step #3- When you feel confident in all the areas, schedule a Zoom with your Trainer to do a pre-test. Your Trainer will Coach you in the areas that you need to improve or let you know that it's time to take your final test.
Step #4- Once you get approval from your Trainer, you'll schedule your final test with Ed Ayala by clicking this Calendly link.
Step #5- You will get access to an Apricot email account and receive information to take online training with Freedom Forever through EdApp.
Once you have completed these steps, you will have full access to the Freedom Forever software to do proposals and presentations.
Certified Trainer Academy
We have now launched our Certified Trainer Academy where you will learn everything you need to know to pass the Certified Trainer Test. Yes, in order to become a Certified Trainer and be able to train your new Trainees and earn split sale commissions, you will need to get certified by passing a test. But don't worry. Everything you need to learn is located all in one place on the Team Fast & Furious website. Just click the Team Fast & Furious logo to the right and it will take you there. You can start your training to become a Certified Trainer right now!
For Certified Trainers or Trainees that Want to Know More
Once you are a Trainer and even before, you can visit Certified & Trained Solar Advisors for information and training on how to build designs and proposals for homeowners.