Solar panels have become an increasingly popular solution to homeowners increasing energy bills. In 2020 alone, the U.S. installed enough solar panels to power 16.4 million homes. The demand for this renewable energy solution will only continue to grow so now’s the time to learn how to sell solar panels to become incredibly successful in the future of solar sales.
Why sell solar panels?
“About 2.8% of the electricity generated in the U.S. is powered by solar energy. Solar accounted for 13.5% of electricity generated by renewable sources in 2021. Americans installed enough solar panels in 2022 to power 22 million homes.”
5 Steps to selling solar panels:
- Know the stages of the Buyer’s Journey
- Target customers with your information
- Focus on the customers pain points
- Get customer referrals
- Refine your sales process
#1 Know the stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Before we talk about what that looks like, we first need to think more about the way that people buy things. First, a problem arises that starts the stages a modern buyer goes through when considering a purchase:
- Awareness Stage: The awareness stage is where you recognize a problem and assess it. Is the car worth getting repaired or is it time to get it replaced? Is it a priority? What will you miss out on if you don’t act now?
- Consideration Stage: Which model best meets your needs? Is it better to buy new or used? Which is a more reliable product? Is it time to get a hybrid or electric car?
- Decision Stage: You’ve decided on a car, but you want to evaluate your options and make the best purchase possible. In this stage, you’re essentially implementing your decision.
Nowadays there is so much information available to buyers that they feel they can learn everything they need to without having to rely on a rep and without having to experience a lot of pressure. This means it’s going to be difficult to conduct an accelerated buyer’s journey when the modern consumer is used to having time and resources to make a well-researched decision. But there are still ways that your approach can acknowledge that and even use it to your benefit.
#2 Target customers with your information
In order to take advantage of the new buyer’s journey, you’ll need to find a way to tell people about your service and get them interested in your offering early on. Everybody’s heard of solar. The problem is whether or not they’ve actually considered it a viable option for their situation. Some solar companies are getting their name and solution in people’s minds by either creating leads through digital marketing or buying lead lists full of people who have already done their research and expressed interest.
#3 Focus on the customers pain points
Remember, the first step in the buyer’s journey is recognizing a problem. Nobody is immune from the problems that lead most people to investing in solar panels in the first place, whether they’re rising energy costs, environmental concerns, or desires for self-sustainability. You’re selling a product with nearly universal appeal, so focus on those reasons. The more you can help a prospect recognize and resonate with the problems that your product solves, the more effective you’ll be.
It’s also important to address the benefits of investing in solar panels now. Remember, a big part of the awareness stage is deciding whether or not a problem is a priority or not. Solar acts a lot like a compounding investment—the longer you have it, the more power it has to save you money (no pun intended). Even if they don’t see themselves staying in a house long, solar will help them save money on energy bills in the short run and increase the value of the home should they choose to sell.
#4 Get customer referrals
What “referral” means is: when you as a sales rep or rep for your company asks a current customer if they know of any friends, family, or neighbors that would be interested in talking to you or wanting to know more about your service. This lead generation method is overlooked sometimes because reps either don’t think to ask customers for referrals or they’re scared to ask.
Customer referrals are incredibly important because they are warm leads based on customer experience. If you give the customer a great experience and their friend is also looking for solar panels, you’ll be the first person they think of. There are a ton of ways to get started with customer referrals, but if you need a script we’ve got you covered.
#5 Refine your sales process
As you know, the solar sales cycle is a long buyer’s journey. In our example, buying a car can reasonably be accomplished in one afternoon, once the decision has been made. With solar, chances are it’ll take at least a few weeks or months before install.
This leaves a lot of time for losing customers and making mistakes, so here’s what you should focus on doing:
- Demonstrate professionalism throughout the process, but especially in the way you manage the deal. Digital forms and contracts, e-signing, and on-the-spot credit checks are all great ways to do this.
- Eliminate errors as much as possible. Digital forms and contracts are a great way to ensure you’re collecting the right information and prevent any chance of it being lost.
- Be unified in all your interactions with the customer. Nothing is more frustrating than having a rep say something that contradicts something that was said by another employee or project manager. If you’re all taking notes on a client in the same platform, this will eliminate a lot of embarrassment.
- Be quick to resolve concerns and questions that may arise. It would be smart to develop a resource for those who have decided on a plan but are waiting for estimates or installation. This resource should resolve FAQs, build confidence in the company, and increase excitement for the product/service.
Start selling more solar panels now
The main message here is that solar panels are here to stay and will only increase in popularity. If you’re really paying attention, collecting data on customer behavior, and creatively finding ways to get their attention, you’ll manage to stay ahead of the game no matter what changes come along and dominate your corner of the market.
For more info on implementing these strategies and other best practice tips for your company, schedule a demo with us and we can help you out!