Pitching and presentation skills are essential for all sales, but especially in the solar industry. Your comprehensive knowledge of the benefits of solar energy are key, but so is knowing what your customer cares about. Converting a prospective lead into an excited customer requires stellar pitching skills—and it helps to continuously tweak and refine your approach.
Here are some tips for creating and perfecting a solar sales pitch.
1. Understand Your Market
It’s essential to define and understand your target demographic. You’ll want to break your customer profile down into personas so that you can fully know their wants and needs. For example, at Energy Service Partners, the customers we seek are:
- Homeowners. This one’s obvious – they need to own the roof over their head if we’re going to work on it.
- Financially secure. Good credit scores of the mid-600’s and above help you access the widest range of solar financing from our lender partners, and let the customer lock in great rates.
- Ideally situated. The roof should have good sun exposure and be in good condition (remember that we can provide re-roof quotes). The home’s electrical system should be up to code (we can upgrade the main service panel if needed too) and have sufficient room for the solar components.
- Motivated. Many customers have an interest in protecting the environment, but typically all of them are thinking ahead when it comes to savings and cutting out rising utility costs.
Now, it’s up to you to create profiles of your ideal customers and study them. What other behaviors or ways of thinking do your customers share? Think about what questions to ask so that you can understand the challenges they face and what their priorities are so that you can speak to those directly.
2. Ask the Right Questions
Once you’ve done #1, develop a discovery process that lets you engage and focus on what matters to them the most. Every customer will have their own story that led them to seek out a solar solution – if you ask the right questions, they’ll be excited to go solar and get their “happily ever after” moment.
- Why are you looking into solar?
- What are your expectations or understanding of how solar works?
- How much has your power bill increased over the last few years?
- When do you tend to use power the most on a given day? Do you work from home and use power while the sun is up, or do you use more power when you get home in the afternoon or evening?
- Have you experienced power outages? If so, how often for how long? Were they insignificant or did they cause major inconvenience?
These are important questions to know the answer to, in order to build the right solar configuration. The major California utilities operate on time-of-use charges so helping your customer grasp how their own habits impact their power bill and solar function is crucial.
3. Be Professional and Prepared
Strive for the utmost professionalism while working with prospects. Solar panels are a serious investment that your customer will live with for a very long time – don’t shoot from the hip. When pitching customers, be friendly and accessible, but remember the Three C’s: Confidence, Competence, and Concern. Show confidence that you’re giving them the best recommendations. Take the time to emphasize the competence and dependability of the installation. And lastly, the customer’s concerns are your concerns – their needs and overall experience are your focal point. Combine these with your natural rapport-building abilities and you’ll thrive in the solar sales domain.
4. Engage the Customer
Use the questions you ask customers to make them feel heard—and be an engaged listener. This will help you know what they care about most so that you can focus on that. Use easy-to-understand language, and meet them where they are. Stats and visuals help some people, while stories and analogies will be more impactful to others; figuring out which matters more to your current prospect will help them understand the benefits.
5. Create Urgency
The more urgency you can create, the more successful you will be in solar sales. The good news is, there are always external factors creating that “now is the time” feeling that you can tap into when it comes to solar energy. Here are some examples of factors that create urgency:
- The cost of utilities continues to rise, predictably upwards but sometimes in big surprise jumps.
- Incentives are on a “glide path”, meaning that the longer someone waits to get solar, the lower their payback rate is for exported energy.
- The price of solar panels and installation is better than ever, but might not have much further to drop in the near future, especially given recent supply chain issues.
- The technology is exceptional right now, and anyone waiting for “the future” is throwing thousands of dollars away on their power bill every year.
The number one benefit of solar is how it will protect homeowners from utility costs that are always on the rise, but you can discuss all the other benefits that matter to them. Explain that the time is now to install solar panels because incentives are constantly changing, and benefits here today could be reduced in the future. Share the company’s values and commitment to quality, reliability, and providing an exceptional customer experience when asked what sets us apart. Identify what you think are the company’s greatest strengths and use those in your pitch.
Follow these tips to help improve your solar sales pitch and become a driving force in the industry. As one of the top solar companies in California, Energy Service Partners is ready to get to work with you.