There is a general agreement in the door-to-door sales industry that solar is the hardest to sell.
Aside from being the most financially rewarding, selling solar requires significant technical understanding and even more financial commitment from the homeowner.
The latter especially equips the homeowner with a gazillion objections to signing the contract.
For some reps, 20 solar sales in a year is an outstanding feat. And yes, such reps are well within their rights to celebrate such numbers.
But what if we told you someone sold 22 solar deals in one day?
As impossible as this may sound, this was the remarkable feat Ashton Buswell pulled off.
With a door-to-door sales career tracing far back as 2005, Ashton rightly qualifies as one of the real “OGs” of our industry.
Ashton went further to hit a historic 149 deals in one quarter.
Now VP of Sales Acceleration at LGCY Power, Ashton manages a sales team that closes over 2500 deals per month.
By now, you are drooling to know how he managed these wonders. These are some of the critical insights he shares with us on this podcast.
Let us dive in.
Dishing the famed work-life balance for work-life harmony
The mainstream media and contemporary society are awash with myths of work-life balance. For an ambitious super-performer like Ashton, you shouldn’t necessarily strive for work-life balance but instead, go for work-life harmony.
Ashton strongly believes exceptional performance in direct sales can cohabit with a sound personal life without sacrificing one for another.
This, however, needs minimal balancing act but more harmony and discipline.
Ashton advocates that sustainable success in sales is a cumulative effect of harmony in various aspects of your personal life like marriage, fitness, spirituality…
Therefore, Ashton recommends consciously aligning every aspect of your lifestyle to be in harmony with your ultimate objectives.
How long should you dedicate to knocking on doors each day?
Door-to-door sales is emotionally intensive. More than the physicality of grinding daily, success in this industry requires substantial emotional capital.
This is particularly given the volume of rejections the typical rep is immersed in daily. Regardless, Ashton attributes a large part of his success to resilience and longevity.
During the days of active door-to-door knocking, Ashton knocked an average of 7 hours daily. While this is the gold standard, this long-haul grind may not fit everyone.
However, Ashton advises that you should dedicate at least four hours daily exclusively to knocking. To prevent burnout, you can split this interval into two sessions where you can respectively be at your peak.
To maximize momentum, Ashton leverages a specialized formula where full days are dedicated solely to knocking and others to closing.
Therefore, instead of scattering your energies across knocking and closing each day, you have specific days reserved for just closing and other days devoted to knocking.
Effectively, aside from Sundays, Ashton thinks you should have at least four days in the week where all you do is just knock and set appointments.
How to create urgency to make the homeowner sign the deal NOW
“I will think about it” is probably the most notorious objection homeowners use to delay signing the deal. This can be frustrating after a long sales pitch where you feel you have gotten them to sign the contract.
But you can strategically amplify the need to act now and get the homeowner thinking they have so much to lose by procrastinating their decision.
Without appearing desperate, Ashton transmits credibility and urgency by educating the homeowner on how traditional utility is costing them a fortune now and in the future.
Also, by informing homeowners of the soon-to-be-withdrawn solar tax incentives, the homeowner knows the clock is ticking against them. Hence they needed to act now.
But here is another question: why should the homeowner get it done now with you and not your competitors?
This can be assuaged by pointing out what stands you out from them. Ashton deliberately steers clear from selling himself as the cheapest.
Instead, he tries to transmit his authenticity by digging into positive reviews (from real homeowners) he has gathered from that neighborhood. If new in that neighborhood, use reviews that the homeowner can at least relate with.
How to commit your customers to reduce cancels
We have all been there in door-to-door sales. You think you have closed a customer only for that customer to cancel some days later.
How can you reduce such cancelations?
Ashton explains that many reps leave without consolidating the homeowner’s decision on signing the contract.
This means you leave celebrating a deal when the homeowner is yet literally sitting on the fence: UNDECIDED.
Ashton advises getting your customers to commit before leaving. A simple hack here is asking for referrals after supposedly closing them.
This shows you they are already a leg in. Alternatively, you can promptly carry out some upgrades on their properties after signing the deal.
This gives them the impression that the project is already in progress and reduces their propensity to dump the whole deal.
How to lead new reps and get them slinging deals
Onboarding new reps in door-to-door sales, especially in solar, takes a lot of effort. You don’t want to dump on the doors and expect them to miraculously close deals.
You don’t want to shadow them excessively either, so they can take some beating and accelerate their mental adaptation.
Ashton’s formula involves leading out from the front. On the first day, he takes his reps along to the field so they can see him knocking in real-time.
He teaches them actionable sales frameworks and implements these systems right on the doors. After a while (preferably still on the first day), Ashton takes a backstage role, watching the reps implement the education he gives them.
From there, he can identify potholes in their communication that he can immediately correct. The next day, he lets them knock wholly on their own and master their own demons.
On the third day, he comes back to knock with them to tackle some of the problems they faced on their own knocking on the second day.
This way, the rep has valuable on-field guidance, accelerating their integration into direct sales.
This is just an appetizer. Listen to the podcast above to get a full serving of the insights Ashton Buswell shares in this episode.