No two customers are exactly the same. Whether you’re selling pizza or houses, what appeals to one person (Hawaiian pizza? Yum!) can be a real turn-off to another (Hot fruit on pizza? Disgusting!).
This is especially true for solar. What interests to one person doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone. Cost savings, sticking it to the utility companies, looking for energy independence — these are all reasons that customers may want to go solar.
To learn more about what makes solar customers tick, Aurora conducted on-on-one interviews with solar purchasers across the US. We found that while no two people or houses are the same, there are some common concerns and needs that potential customers have.
We were able to group these customers into 5 categories based on how they view solar and why they purchased it:
- The Lifelong Learner
- The Cost Saver
- The Cool Kid on the Block
- The Green Crusader
- The Independence Seeker
Now, the names alone likely give you a hint of what each group is looking for, but it’s important to craft a pitch that will resonate with each.
Here are five strategies — one for each group — for making your pitch hit home with your buyer. To get more information, and learn more specifics, click here to visit our 5 Solar Buyers page.
Lifelong Learners are genuinely curious about how things work. They want to look under the hood and understand the how and why behind their installation.
Pro Tip: Let them in
Don’t just give them a complete, “perfect” design and expect them to sign. Instead, show them the performance simulations, shade reports, and irradiance modeling you’re running. Take them behind the curtain and let them see how you came to that design. Ask them questions, let them ask you questions.
They’ll appreciate the transparency and will feel more like a teammate and co-designer than simply a customer you’re looking to sell to and move on.
Well, this one is pretty straightforward… The cost saver is into solar to save money above all else. Sure, the environmental benefits are nice, but you’re going to have to prove real ROI to get these consumers on board.
Pro Tip: Show them the monthly
The total costs of a solar installation can seem a bit daunting. We know it all works out in the end, but seeing a $10,000 bill all at once can scare a Cost Saver away. It can be helpful, then, to focus on “cost per month” instead of lifetime costs.
With monthly subscriptions for everything from streaming services to meal boxes, customers are used to looking at finances on a monthly basis. Showing them how much a solar system can knock off their monthly electric bill — or even zero it out in some months — shows immediate value and helps avoid the dreaded “sticker shock”. (The screenshot below is from Sales Mode‘s monthly bill estimate functionality.)
The Cool Kid on the Block
Cool Kids on the Block want their house to exude style. These homeowners are concerned about the overall aesthetics of their home, and solar needs to fit that aesthetic.
Pro Tip: Looks are everything
To the Cool Kid, the specifics matter. Where will the panels be placed on their roof? Are the panels black or blueish?
For example, one person in our research said, “The expectation I had was the panels were going to have that rainbow reflective sheen, but they did a good job installing the panels so that you can’t see them from the ground at all.”
Let the Cool Kid work with you to determine where panels will look best, and consider focusing on higher end solar panels that have a modern feel. Tools like Sales Mode — which lets you do things like add and remove panels right in front of the customer— enable you to work together with the customer, in real-time, to determine what looks best to them.
Green Crusaders have the environment in their mind with most decisions they make. They care about improving the planet and making a difference more than other factors.
Pro Tip: Don’t focus on price
You read that right, don’t focus on price. Of course, cost is always a consideration, but with the Green Crusader, solar is about more than cost and payback.
So, focus less on payback periods and financial modeling, and more on the environmental benefits and energy offset. They’ll want the receipts, too. So, quantify their impact by showing them exactly how much they’ll be helping the planet by going solar by using Sales Mode’s environmental calculations page.
What about people that aren’t necessarily driven by the environment or cost savings? Introducing: Independence Seekers. These customers are looking for energy independence and security over other factors.
Pro Tip: Speak their language
A main driver for Independence Seekers considering solar, and likely storage, is to help them on their path towards energy independence. They’re interested in how solar can help them reach their independence goals, and are willing to spend the money if it means peace of mind.
To help them on this path, and increase your chances of closing the deal, keep their independence in mind — using terms like, “Days you can go without power” and “the amount of hours you’ll be okay in the event of a power outage.” Independence also means storage, and accurate modeling of how it works. To avoid the potential sticker shock, be sure to frame the added cost in monthly terms.
These pro tips are a great start towards tailoring your pitch to what individual customers are looking for.
To learn more, be sure to visit the full 5 Solar Buyers experience. Beyond these strategies, it provides visual mapping of each customer’s motivations, more pro tips and sales tactics, plus a complete guide to each buyer and their needs.
Pizza photo by Fernando Andrade.