Solar sales guys come to me all the time seeking advice about increasing their solar sales.
“What,” they ask, “am I doing wrong? I’m an authorized rep for one of the largest solar companies in the US, and there’s not even that much competition in my area. But still I feel like I’m marching uphill to make solar sales.”
Putting aside other issues like state policy or the economy or election year tensions, I can usually diagnose the problem in seconds by looking at any solar sales rep’s website — his own solar sales marketing.
The issue in my view is almost always that he’s not making himself enough of a part of the solar sales pitch. Instead, he’s hawking whatever brand he reps as if the average American consumer knows the difference between this PV panel and that one, or between two big brands like SolarCity and SunPower (Hint: usually, they don’t!).
Or worse, the sales rep tries to bedazzle his web audience with inverter manufacturer logos, lots of lingo about kilowatts and all kinds of hype-y language about being “NUMBER 1 in solar sales nationwide!!!”
Who, Who Are You?
The problem is, before a solar buyer will even listen to a pitch, that buyer wants the answer to a simple question: To know who the heck this solar sales guy or the solar firm itself actually is.
- Does he/it seem honest?
- Does he/it seem accessible?
- Is he/it from our area? A local?
- What’s the difference between them and that other solar sales company?
- Does he/it share my values — whether that’s about saving money, going green, or just about the value of high quality work?
These things matter. It’s all about perception, and all about trust. And that’s all about storytelling!
Solar Sales for the Ages
On one hand, “storytelling” might seem like can odd phrase. You might think, “What, you want me to tell some story that makes it sound convincing?”
But on another hand, storytelling is far less odd and far more inviting than that. And storytelling is at the heart of Internet marketing today, including for solar sales.
So if storytelling isn’t so arcane, What is it?
The whole thing is quite simple. It’s just telling YOUR story so that you can connect with your digital audience in a real and meaningful way.
Now, of course, if all you did was get into solar thinking that you’d make a fast million in a boom industry, think again.
First off, that’s not a great story — it sounds selfish and opportunistic. Second, if you’re just in solar to make a quick buck, you probably won’t do well anyway. There’s a lot of competition for the good markets. And while solar is sure to grow in the long run, in the short run that growth is slowing, at least in residential solar. Not every solar company will make it when the boom goes bust, as it inevitably will.
But for anyone with a long term strategy, and a real desire to spread the solar gospel, it’s easy to come up with a good story.
If you ask yourself these three questions, you’ll be able to write a great case for solar sales on your About Us page in no time at all:
- Why am I/this company passionate about solar?
- What are my/our unique qualifications for solar sales — in other words, how do I/we approach serving the customer differently from the next firm?
- What is my/our vision for my customers? How can they become the heroes of their own solar story?
How to Spin Your Yarn
And trust me, none of this needs to be PhD level writing, and it doesn’t have to be long. The simpler the language, the better (don’t think you need a lot of ten-dollar words). Here’s a sample:
I’ve loved solar since I was a kid. It just made sense to me to capture the sun, turn it into energy, and power the world at less cost and in a healthier way. Now that I have kids, I’m even more passionate about seeing solar grow so that I can help contribute to a better world.
That’s why, in addition to studying the technical aspects of how solar works and how to do a great solar installation — I’m a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional — I also passed a certification on the best financial incentives for making it easier for my customers to get solar, including with no money down options when possible.
I want anyone who wants solar to be able to get it. And I’ll do everything in my power to help make it happen for you!
It’s All about Your Solar Sales
The above sample is the YOU piece. You’ll still want to say a few words about whose products you rep, which institutions you work with, and any other qualifications — again, keeping it brief.
But without the YOU part, then it’s ALL technical, and hence kinda boring, uninspiring, and certainly impersonal. People like to deal with people, not with faceless companies or gigantic corporations. Your best asset in solar sales is YOU! Bring it to the forefront, and watch your potential grow!
— Lindsay Curren, Creative Director, Curren Media Group
*For more ways to tell the solar story on your blog, read my Solar Storytelling Series here on Curren Media Group.