In residential solar sales, it doesn’t take long to learn that homeowners are always prepared with a few objections that can prevent a deal from closing on the spot.
Perhaps the most common objection solar salespeople hear? “We need to get another quote.”
This objection is so common that we featured it in both of our Solar Sales Objections Throwdowns at Empower. In this blog, we combined the responses from each session to give a full view of how solar sales pros handle this ubiquitous objection.
As a quick reminder, our sales pros for Empower 2023 were:
- Kenny Parry, Founder and CEO of Parry Capital
- Jader Leao, General Manager of Vivint Solar
- “Solar” Joe Mousakheel, Owner of The Solar Academy
- Ashleigh Tatarcyk, Owner of Urban Sol Energy
You’ll notice the advice of a couple other solar pros from previous panels, as well. Now, without further ado, let’s look at a few ways that solar sales professionals can turn that “We need another quote” objection around.
The objection: We need another quote
“This all sounds great, but I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t get another quote, so I think we’ll hold off for now.”
As perhaps the most common (and a completely valid) objection, solar sales reps can essentially choose one of two ways to respond when a customer expresses the need to gather more information before signing a contract.
Here, a salesperson can either:
- Accept that the customer is not interested in signing a contract during the present meeting
- Continue the conversation to better facilitate a sale
According to our solar sales experts, here are the most important things to consider when a customer wants to seek additional information before purchasing a solar energy system.
Respond with empathy
As many sales reps can surely relate, our panelists from the Solar Objections Throwdown events frequently mention the value of empathy in working with a customer to find the best possible solution
By putting yourself in the shoes of the homeowner, it’s easier to understand how they may feel when speaking with a salesperson. With honest, empathetic communication, company reps can more easily address customer objections, build trust, and earn more sales and referrals.
As James Ramos, Founder of Solar YOUniversity explained, he leads with empathy as the first step in handling any solar objection:
“How I handle all of my objections is always going to be the three F’s — feel, felt, and found: empathy first.”
Knowing that many customers will request additional quotes, the three F’s can be deployed to:
- Empathize with how the customer feels
- Inform them that past customers have felt the same way
- Explain that others have found that their company was the best choice
James then moves the conversation forward by identifying the next steps in the sales process:
“What I always ask the homeowner is basically, how much time do you need? They’re going to say, ‘give me like seven days,’ and I’m like, ‘How about if I give you four weeks?’
Lily Valdez, Co-Founder of Women United by Solar would also introduce a timeline to relieve the pressure a solar customer may feel in a sales scenario:
“What we can do is get you qualified now, this isn’t going to get on your roof right away, as I told you before; it’s going to be a 6-to-8-week process. And in that time I encourage you to do all of the research and come up with all of your questions so that you’re 100% sure that solar is the best investment for you and your family.”
Ashleigh Tatarcyk, Owner of Urban Sol Energy explained the role of empathy while using a question-based sales method:
“I would empathize a little bit. Most homeowners want to know that you understand why they want to get a quote. So I would start off asking questions like, ‘What’s really most important to you when looking at a quote? Is it warranties, is it types of panels, is it funding?”
While asking questions and empathizing with responses can help facilitate sales, Ashleigh was also quick to address the fact that some customers are simply always going to need multiple quotes from different solar companies:
“If people do need another quote, I respect and understand that. But then I would say something like, ‘Hey, I’m going to offer you my consulting services free of charge. After you’ve got all three of your quotes, we’re going to set up another time where I’ll actually go over all of your proposals for you, walk you through each one and see which one might be the best. And I’ll be upfront with you and tell you if someone else’s proposal is better.’”
Click through this quick demo to see how Sales Mode can help you with any objection.
Consider pivoting to a two-touch close
As Ashleigh alluded to above, any given sales call does not necessarily have to be the final meeting between you and a potential customer. After a homeowner explains that they need another quote, you need to make a decision on how to move forward.
When handling this objection, Lily explained that actively encouraging homeowners to look for new quotes may actually be helpful in landing a sale at a later date:
“I’ll say, ‘You know what? I’m glad you’re taking this very seriously and you’re going to get three bids. That’s very smart of you. You know, a lot of my customers have done that and what they’ve found is that they still come back to me, but I can definitely review all of that information with you.”
“Solar Joe” Mousakheel, CRO of The Solar Academy, admitted that he used to always aim for a one-call-close, but that is no longer his main strategy. Since adjusting to a two-touch close, homeowners shopping around for other quotes is no longer a big deal:
“What I’ve noticed is that this objection has stopped almost completely for me now that I go with a two-touch close. This two-touch close will almost eliminate this objection because there is no pressure and no games. You’re just being an advisor helping the homeowner, letting them know all of the options out there, and letting them decide what’s best for them.”
Jake Hess, Founder of The Solar Academy, explained that pivoting to a two-touch closing strategy can help relieve sales pressure, and that empathy is a driving factor of this methodology:
“I’m with Joe on the two-touch close, I love it, take the pressure off. I only have a certain amount of energy in a day to fight certain things with homeowners. This is not something I’d like to fight, so like James, Ashleigh, and Lilly said: Empathy is going to go forever on this objection.”
Book the last appointment
When using a two-touch strategy, the timing of your follow-up appointment is critical to closing the sale. Solar Joe believes there is an advantage in putting yourself last on your customer’s buying timeline, and was able to succinctly express this idea with a fun, rhyming slogan:
“If you wanna win, be the last one in.”
Although an appointment scheduled far into the future may create a greater risk of your lead going with another company prior to your meeting, having the final say also presents an opportunity to beat all existing offers. In your initial meeting, addressing the competition to get in front of this objection will help set you up for success if you establish:
- How many solar companies the lead has talked to so far
- How many other reps they still plan to speak with
- What sort of offers they may be receiving
After gathering this information and confirming that you’ve earned the customer’s trust, Kenny Parry with Virtual Solar Pros would address the competition and ask a simple favor to ensure he has the last appointment on his lead’s solar journey:
“All I would ask is that I can have the last chance to be the last bid at this point. So after you take a look at this, we would just ask for the last shot. Would you make me a promise to get the last bid for you and compare everything at the end?”
Remember that every company is “the best”
Finally, many solar experts agree that one key thing can help differentiate your quote from the rest of the pack: Knowing that almost every solar company is going to say that they are “the best” choice for the customer.
Circling back to the importance of empathy, James explained that a clear and honest conversation about the customer’s options is going to be much better than simply talking about the quality of your products and services:
“If we see this through the customer’s eyes, we have to understand that every single company they meet with is already telling them, ‘We’re the best company. We have the best service. You’re gonna love us the most. We’ll answer your call and will still be in business, etc.’ …
“Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at everything you’re getting — your warranties, how this is going to affect you in a negative way, all of these things. But, for me to truly do that, I need to know what these other quotes are. You get those quotes, then let me show you the things to look for, let me show you the things to ask, and then I’m going to come back at a later date when you have all of the quotes and I’ll go through those with you as well.”
Ashleigh would use a very similar approach, and would even take the initiative to create a resource for the lead that compares every aspect of each solar proposal in a single, accurate, and unbiased document:
“I’m going to do what’s called a ‘bid assessment’ for you. I’m gonna compare all of your options on a spreadsheet for you and compare the difference in panels, the difference in price, the difference in warranties, and really point out what all of those differences are.”
The tools you need
Whether you’re trying the one-call close, or pivoting to a two-touch approach, when a customer is interested in getting multiple quotes, you’d better be 100% sure your proposal stands out.
Competitors are saying their company is the best? Highlight your company’s successful projects and customer reviews — show them that your hard-earned reputation is for real.
Competitors are emphasizing their savings? Show the customer your multiple financing options, and emphasize the environmental impact, as well.
Knowing you have a proposal solution that can adapt, and lets you customize each proposal to the individual customer, enables every rep to sell — and close — with confidence.
Although most experienced solar reps can speak confidently about the quality of their products and services ad nauseam, customer empathy is the key to success in any sales scenario.
If a homeowner says that they will need another quote, you must empathize with their urge to find more information, and also realize that every company in the area is going to claim to be the “best” option.
By moving the sales process forward and respecting a customer’s decision to shop around, pivoting to a two-touch close may be the right choice for selling your solar products and services with the customer’s best interest in mind. And don’t forget, it can also help to be the last rep on your customer’s calendar and compare the quotes they receive head-to-head, apples-to-apples.
This is the fourth of our five-part Sales Objections Throwdown series. Check back each week for another objection, and how to turn it into an opportunity.
Here are the rest of the objections (we’ll link them here as they’re posted):
- “Solar just doesn’t work for us”
- “Financing rates are too high”
- “I’ve heard that solar won’t save me money in California with NEM 3”
- “I need to get another quote” — this blog
- Frequently heard solar objections, solved!
Have more questions? Want to learn more about the updates to Sales Mode? Check out our Sales Mode webinar on demand!