While solar has some great tailwinds at its back, the rest of the economy is in a much less confident place.
This means that customers are extra cautious, especially when it comes to the strength of your company — and your suppliers. They don’t want to make a long-term commitment to solar, only to have the company go out of business.
How can you reassure customers that your company is strong and you’re in it for the long haul? That’s the question our panel of experts discussed in the third installment of the Solar Objections Throwdown.
This year’s Solar Objections Throwdown panel featured:
- James Ramos, Founder – Solar YOUniveristy
- Ashleigh Tatarcyk, Owner – Urban Sol Energy
- Richard McCoy, Solar Energy Consultant – Rivus Energy
- Joe Mouhaskheel, Owner – Solar Academy & SolarCo
Solar Objection #3: What if you or the manufacturer go out of business?
“Your warranty is nice, but what if you go out of business? What if the panel is no longer made or serviceable 20 years from now.”
It’s one thing to debate the economics of going solar (as the experts did in the first and second objections). But PV contractors — companies in all industries, for that matter — do go out of business from time to time. And there’s no guarantee that a panel or inverter manufacturer will be around to honor warranties far into the future.
So how do you handle this?
Rivus Energy’s Richard McCoy starts off the discussion by acknowledging the prospect’s concerns. Even if this type of honesty is scary, his attitude is that there’s no point in sugarcoating what everyone already knows. Doing so only erodes trust.
“You’re absolutely right. And that does indeed happen. Throughout my own time in the industry, I have seen that happen — customers paying for installs and ultimately having no one to turn to. And it stinks.”
Once he establishes that trust, Richard gets to the specifics of how his company will protect the consumer even if they do go out of business.
“Because we’ve seen that, my company has built world-class processes to ensure that if this were to happen to either us or our installers, we partner with other extended warranty options like SolarInsure to make sure you’re protected no matter what. So on top of our warranties, extended warranties, and production guarantees, we’re gonna make sure that if something happens to us, you’ll be able to go to other installers for any servicing in the future.”
Joe Mouhaskheel of Solar Academy & SolarCon diffuses the objection with some trademark humor.
“All solar installers work for the same company — the Sun. And that company will never go out of business.”
Then he gets serious about how he chooses what companies to work with.
“When I work with homeowners, I don’t just choose any installer and supplier to work with. I do a lot of research. I wanna see which company will be around in the future…. I look for lots of installs. Great reviews. Growing fast. And on top of that, there’s the manufacturer’s warranty. And on top of that, an extended warranty to cover any gaps over the next 25 years.”
Solar YOUniveristy’s James Ramos also opens his pitch with bare-knuckled honesty.
“I totally understand. No one can ever guarantee they’ll be around forever. No one has a crystal ball. And if they ever guarantee they’ll be here for the long-haul (over the next 25 years), that’s someone you gotta kick out of your house.”
Then he pivots to specifics about his company.
“But we have amazing reviews. And we’re using Tier 1 solar panels, so there’s at least a 25-year manufacturer warranty…. You should still do plenty of vetting. But we partner with many installers around the country to ensure we always find the right one for you…. No one can guarantee they’ll be around for 25 years. But we can guarantee we’ll be back to fix any problems you might have in a timely manner.”
Urban Sol Energy’s Ashleigh Tatarcyk also points out some of the issues that might go wrong with a customer’s solar installation over the next 25 years.
“Not all warranties are created equal, and it’s really smart of you to be looking so in depth and asking questions like this…. We partner with a third-party insurance company that is also backed by a third-party insurance company that has been in business for over 100 years. When you include the manufacturer warranties, you’ll always know you’ll have someone to help you out.”
Then Ashleigh delves even deeper by imagining that the prospect’s worst fears actually materialize — despite all the warranties and guarantees,
“But let’s say in the worst-case scenario, all of these companies go out of business. There will still be installers who know how to handle SolarEdge or Enphase. It’s similar to how Toyota or Ford dealers can still get your car fixed — even if you didn’t originally buy it from them. There will always be someone there.”
Ashleigh ends by highlighting one of the biggest advantages solar has over cars (or most big-ticket purchases): PV panels are super low maintenance and don’t generally need a lot of servicing over the years.
The solar sales tools to help
With Sales Mode you can customize your proposals in a number of ways — simply and easily — so you can highlight exactly what sets your company apart.
To learn the simple steps for making it happen, check out our 2-minute YouTube video.
If you haven’t already heard this common objection, you almost certainly will in the future. But now you know how to address customer concerns about the longevity of your own operations — or those of the manufacturers you work with.
Whose pitch resonated best with you? What strategies do you use in this situation? Head to our Solar Sales Throwdown LinkedIn post to weigh in.
Want to learn more? To hear the complete, unedited responses watch the entire Solar Objections Throwdown on-demand, or listen on the way to your next customer.
You can also get the highlights by visiting the other posts in this 5-part series:
- Solar seems too expensive in these uncertain times
- With interest rates so high, I won’t be saving much
- What if you (or the manufacturer) go out of business (coming soon)
- With the Solar ITC extended, what’s the urgency? (coming soon)
- Our neighbor had a bad experience with solar (coming soon)
Hungry for more? Download the Solar Sales Objections Handbook to get actionable strategies for 5 more of the most common solar sales objections.