When it comes to selling solar, there are too many approaches to list. To stand-out from the crowd, a consistently winning formula seeks to provide the most value for your prospective customer. Doing so separates you from your local competitors, increases your close rate, and provides a great customer experience - all important elements in building your local referral network.
Selling Solar as a Commodity
With the falling prices of solar, it’s become common for solar companies to sell their panels as a commodity - selling high volumes of inexpensive panels for a low price. This drives the conversation about solar in the familiar “dollar per watt” direction. As a result, many solar installers compete by offering the lowest price per watt installed for their customers. The focus of the conversation with the customer is on price from day one, not the value of the system over its lifetime.
The problem with this approach is that the needs and values of the customer are often left completely out of the equation. Instead, the assumption is that the lowest cost equals the best solution. For the Installer, this may drive short-term revenue, but as time goes on, customers may not be pleased with what could be a low-quality solution that did not take into account what they needed, wanted, and valued. This is why we recommend that you find ways to create lasting value for your customers that goes above and beyond providing the lowest price.
Why it’s Better to Sell Based on a Value Conversation
As a solar installer, you need to engage with your prospective customer and find out what is most important to them. Once you understand their needs and wants, you can craft the best solution and in turn, create the most value for them.
Uncovering your prospective customers values can take time - it’s easy to try and skip over this as you seek efficiency. Resist that temptation! Take the time as part of your discovery process to ask, “why do you want to go solar?” Simply asking and then pausing to listen will provide valuable insight into the right solution to propose. Write down the answers so you can come back to them later as needed.
Other questions to ask are;
“Do you plan on getting an electric vehicle or heat pump?” So you can be sure to size the system correctly.
“Do you know that solar does not only have to go on the roof?”
If there is limited space or an installation capacity cap, “Have you ever thought about a solar tracker to get more energy?”
Other ways that you can add value to a proposal include:
Providing a unique solution that your competitors do not have.
Returning for a follow up visit if needed to be sure the seeds you planted have taken hold.
Offering an inspection/service agreement that reminds the customer you are not going to forget about them after the sale
Offer additional services such as energy efficiency audits
By taking the time to offer the best solution to each customer, you’ll build a trusting and long-term relationship with them, leading to happy customer referrals and the possibility of more happy customers in the future. The key takeaway is an understanding that people make purchases based on their perception of value, not solely on price. Providing greater value to your customer makes the price you’re proposing worth every penny.
If you are not providing value to your customer based on their unique needs, especially compared to your competition, then all that is left for them to do is chip away at your price and profit margin.