Solar power is revolutionizing energy as we know it. But it does come at a premium, doesn’t it?
An average solar system costs a homeowner anywhere from $9k to $50k. Solar panels alone can cost as much as $28k, especially if looking at panel capacities like 8kW.
This even excludes other significant costs like labor, solar mounts, procuring solar inverters, and other regulatory protocols like inspection and local permits.
Door-to-door solar sales is a bit daunting because not every homeowner has the tens of thousands (needed for the solar project) idly sitting in the bank.
For the most part, they would need financing. And that is where it gets even harder.
The average homeowner is inherently unwilling to get indebted for solar energy, especially when his extant electricity supplier is not doing too badly.
How can you sell this homeowner solar financing too?
On this podcast, Emily Wilson, an account executive At BrightOak Energy, gives us a thorough education on how to masterfully sell solar financing to your prospects.
Emily has an insider understanding of the travails of door-to-door solar sales reps when trying to get the homeowner to take a loan to finance a solar home improvement project.
She has been in solar sales since 2010. So let us get right into the insights she shares.
Overcoming homeowner’s unwillingness to enter debts for solar home improvement
It is rare to find a homeowner who outrightly wants to get a loan for solar. There is commonly that reluctance to accept financing.
Now a large slice of such reluctance can be attributed to unawareness of what is in for them to gain.
As Emily points out, many homeowners have been culturally programmed from their upbringing to think that it does not get better than what their current electricity provider gives them.
Others think they really don’t have an option and are constitutionally obliged to pay such premium utility costs.
Your job is to empathetically educate such homeowners on why getting the loan is a super deal.
No one likes to be indebted, so the rep must make the loan facility appear as minimally intimidating as possible so as not to scare the homeowner off.
The typical ways to emphasize the attractiveness of the loan facility is hitting on the tax rebates (like ITC), the flexibility of payment, and refinancing possibilities to accommodate developments later in the homeowner’s life.
Also, when selling financing for door-to-door solar sales, enlighten the homeowner that you are not just selling them traditional electricity.
Sufficiently expose the homeowner to the financial value of the system in that they can yet sell their power.
How many financing options should you pitch to a homeowner?
There is no universally absolute number of loan products to introduce to the homeowner.
Fundamentally, you want to offer the homeowner more than one to give them more flexibility when choosing. But then, you don’t want to overwhelm the homeowner with too many financing options.
Door-to-door solar sales is itself highly technical. Therefore, you don’t want to get bogged down giving the homeowner a comprehensive Harvard-grade education on solar energy.
More importantly, an oversupply of information to the homeowner could trigger even more questions and accompanying new objections for you to overcome.
According to Emily Wilson, it is best to keep your proposition to two or three solar financing products at most.
Emily advises that you streamline your proposition to the unique circumstances of the homeowner. Such events involve their current financial health, pain points, and preferred means for paying off the loan.
Naturally, as you engage in a conversation with the homeowner, he should intermittently spill these pieces of information. You should catch this information and optimize your solar financing pitch around them if you are attentive.
You can also intelligently ask the homeowner for such information in the least invasive manner possible.
Understanding the relationship between credit score and solar loans interest rates
In door-to-door solar sales financing, the interest rates are some of the biggest turn-offs for homeowners.
Generally, homeowners who otherwise have robust credit scores can have high interest rates.
It is essential to inform the homeowner that the interest rates often don’t directly reflect their credit score.
The interest rate is a combination of several factors like pay time, means of payment, savings options, local regulatory policies…most of which the homeowner can control.
This explains why a homeowner with an otherwise healthy credit score of 800 can have alarming interest rates on their solar financing.
Often the more financially comfortable the loan facility, the higher the rates.
How to manage financing declines for homeowners with poor credit
Everyone in solar sales can understand the frustration that comes with the homeowner having his application for financing declined.
The weight of disappointment is even heavier on the sales reps, who must have painstakingly climbed a mountain of objections in getting the homeowner to sign in the first place.
But as Emily Wilson recommends, door-to-door solar sales reps need to stop seeing a decline as the end of the road for that specific homeowner.
Poor credit ratings are not a terminal illness; they are curable. Typically, within 90 days (depending on the credit score), the homeowner’s creditworthiness would have recovered enough to get financing.
You can also leverage credit repair facilities for such homeowners.
This is why it is crucial to keep such prospects in the pipeline and consistently follow up on them.
Yes, we can’t deny that reps are already too overburdened with chasing new leads to follow up on declined homeowners for months. But with technology, you can automate your follow-up process.
Software solutions like Vanilla Message bring remarkable seamlessness to pipeline management.
This lets you automate follow-up texts (drip campaigns) for months, keeping a prospect in the loop.
Out of sight is out of mind, isn’t it? The more you stay in touch, the higher the possibility of you being the prospect’s first point of call when he is ready to get solar.
Yes, so there are some of the valuable nuggets shared in this podcast. Give the podcast episode above a listen to get a complete vibe of how to sell a homeowner solar financing when next you knock on a door.