Solar energy is continuing to grow in popularity, but despite the many incentives, your sales team may find that potential buyers need a little extra persuasion. Even though solar power offers amazing benefits and is great for the environment, people can be set in their ways and feel resistant to change. This is why we’re sharing a list of tried-and-true techniques that can help solar salespeople close more deals effectively across a wide range of situations. ESP is one of the best solar installers in California, but we’ve also picked up a thing or two about selling it along the way – read on to boost your sales vernacular and improve your closing techniques and strategies.
It’s important for everyone involved in a negotiation—both clients and salespeople—to feel like they’re in agreement. Use words that convey partnership, such as “agreement,” instead of those that instill the feeling of pressure, like “contract.” Let clients know that you’re there to “support” their decision, not just sell them the product.
Focus on Value & Fairness
The solar industry is competitive, which has caused prices to decline in some regions. While you may be tempted to focus on providing the best price possible, you don’t want to escalate the competition—this could cause prices to drop even further. A race to the bottom is a no-win scenario. Plus, the majority of customers don’t necessarily want or need the lowest price option—they’re more likely to choose value. Focus on the value that both you and the service will provide, rather than presenting as the least expensive option. All clients also want to be treated fairly, and they want to get the best bang for their buck, so use words like “value” and “fair” when pitching and closing. They’re both powerful words that can help get the deal done.
Say “You” and “I”
While saying “we” is great for establishing a connection, it’s not ideal for talking numbers. Be direct: say “I’M pleased to offer YOU this package price.”
Imagination is Everything
When issues or objections arise, don’t just push a solution forward. Instead, ask prospective clients if you can “run something by” or “bounce an idea off” them. This language will promote openness rather than build resistance. Your clients will want to hear what you have to say, and be inspired to imagine the solution rather than focus on the issue.
Turn problems into opportunities. Never dodge a client’s concern. Instead, re-frame any concern as a challenge or opportunity to overcome. Use positive, confidence-boosting language to show that you’re flexible and adaptable. Here’s an example – when someone says “I’m concerned about how it looks on my house. I don’t want it to hurt my curb appeal.” You can respond with a double-whammy – not only will we work with the homeowner on panel placement and aesthetics (though overall production is paramount), you can let them know that ESP is an Elite Pearl Certified Solar Contractor. That means they’ll get documentation they can share with a realtor or appraiser showing the true value of the energy-efficiency upgrade they’re about to roll out.
Asking clients “how” gives them control. When they want extras, you can ask them “how” to help them see your point-of-view. For example, you can ask “How can I give you this X% discount while still giving you all X of these add-ons you requested at no charge?” This puts the client in charge and helps them understand your position. Simply asking “how” can help move you towards the most mutually beneficial arrangement.
Use “because” when you’re giving them an opportunity to act. People are more willing to move on something when there’s a good supporting reason. “Because spots are filling up, I can only schedule you for install this month if you sign today—we’re ready, are you?”
ABC: Always Be Communicating
ABC is an acronym for “Always Be Closing” that you may remember from the iconic “coffee” scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. While it may sound like an old dusty cliche, it has stood the test of time and is a tenet of highly-successful salespeople. However, here at ESP, we believe that communicating effectively is the best technique you can have in your arsenal. Practice the ABCs by listening and building rapport while helping customers focus on value as you lead them to the finish line. You can set up a much better experience for your customers through open, humanizing communication rather than pushing for a signature. We’ll be communicating with them regularly throughout the solar installation process, so it’s a great way to set the tone!