The most difficult part of the "solar sell" can be the final stage where leads at the bottom of the solar sales funnel make their final decision to purchase a product or service. This phase can be fraught with risks. They can reconsider a competitor's offer. They can get confused by the complexities of solar power and say they "need to think about it more." Or they can simply get cold feet and walk away.
These risks underscore the importance of putting together a solid solar close-out binder: important solar collateral to facilitate the conversion. With that in mind, we'd like to present some pieces of solar collateral that should be included in your close-out binder:
Fact sheets. Given the confusion that can surround solar electric and photovoltaic systems, sales teams need to explain the basics of the service agreement in simple and colloquial language. Solar collateral — we're thinking of fact sheets with bullet points — must succinctly answer questions like:
- What are the benefits of going solar?
- What are the estimated cost savings of going solar?
- What are the upfront and ongoing costs?
- What does the financing plan look like?
- What do I need to know about permits or insurance?
It's worth noting that if the lead is at the bottom of the solar sales funnel, your team has already effectively communicated the value of going solar. Nonetheless, it's worth repeating this information to further edify the value and to give the lead the opportunity to share the information with other decision-makers like spouses or business partners.
Referral cards. Probably the most important piece of solar collateral, referral cards show leads that your brand can be trusted. Furthermore, make sure the cards are attuned to needs and demographics of the leads. In other words, if you're selling to a small, 4-person business in Davis, don't provide referral cards of a residential homeowner in Mill Valley. Instead, provide referral cards of similar-looking businesses.
Review cards. This material will be for the salesperson's eyes only as they'll directly address any obstacles to conversion. Brainstorm the reasons why a lead may pass in this final phase and come up with talking points so sales reps can intelligently counter these objections. As always, there will likely be two main obstacles to conversion: a perceived lack of value and price point. For the former, point to referral cards, examples of customer cost savings, friendly financing options, and ease of installation. To the latter, think about how "low" your rep will be allowed to go to close the sale while also reminding the lead when it comes to residential solar power, "cheaper" isn't always "better."
Next steps. What happens if the lead converts? When will the residential system be fully operational? When will the customer start seeing cost savings? When should you send the lead a list of next steps along with related target dates. For example, "Within one week, technicians will begin the installation process."
Now it's your turn. What's the "go-to" piece of solar collateral in your close-out binder? What, from your experience, has been the most common obstacle to conversion? How do you address these concerns?