To close more solar sales, don’t just build relationships with customers – challenge them!

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Today, one of the most important things in a consumer’s buying experience is personalization. This is true whether you’re selling cakes or solar panels.

A big reason personalization is so important is that most prospects do their research before talking to a sales representative. One of the downsides of solar customers doing their own research, however, is that there is a lot of misinformation about solar out there. 

So, it’s crucial for you as a sales rep to take control of the conversation and guide the customer with information that’s tailored to their specific needs.

But how, exactly, can you do that?

This was the topic of our recent webinar Solar Sales Masters: How to Overcome Objections with Real-time Personalization. In the webinar, sales experts showed how you can determine what each potential customer is interested in and how to tailor your presentation to them. The experts also use the Challenger Model for sales, which was introduced in 2011 by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson in their book The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation.

In this blog, we’ll investigate some of the examples from the webinar, and show how to use personalization, along with the Challenger Model, to increase your close rate when selling residential solar.

Challenge objections with real-time personalization

Aurora recently conducted research to identify the five most common solar buyer types. After analyzing many hours of 1:1 interviews, we identified five buyer personas: The Cost Saver, the Lifelong Learner, The Cool Kid on the Block, the Green Crusader, and the Independence Seeker. 

Each persona has their own motivations and reasons for wanting to go solar, and their own potential reservations. The key is to understand which buyer type you’re dealing with, use that knowledge to tailor your sales pitch, and put some gentle pressure on them. 

Let’s take a look at two of the most common buyer types, Cost Saver and Green Crusader, to see how you can use the Challenger Model and real-time personalization to close them more consistently.

The Cost Saver 

The Cost Saver will likely be gathering proposals from several solar companies, and if your proposal isn’t the cheapest — or at least extremely cost competitive — they may be inclined to go with the competition. 

A great way to use the Challenger Model in this case is to work the three T’s from Dixon and Adamson’s book: Teach, Tailor, and Take Control.

Let’s look at what you can do if a competitor’s proposal is significantly cheaper than yours. In this case, asking questions to help the customer realize what’s in both proposals, and what they value most could help: 

  • What is the system’s production in kW? (Smaller installations will cost less, but also produce less power over the life of the system.)
  • What financing assumptions are involved? (Is it a lease, what are the loan terms, etc.) 
  • What is most important, up-front cost or quality? (There are always ways to cut corners on quality to get a lower cost.)

Then Teach, Tailor, and Take Control. Focus on the numbers right away. Talk about national and local incentives, and show them financial projections and payback estimates. Even if your estimate is more expensive upfront, you may be able to show a better payout over time. (Click here to see how Sales Mode can help with this type of personalization.)

Highlighting potential savings over time is a great way to pitch to the Cost Saver.

The Green Crusader 

The main concern this persona has is their responsibility to the environment and their community. A common objection you might get from them is that they don’t want solar unless they can offset 100% of their electricity use. 

In this case, you can attempt to reframe their expectations. The first step is informing them that most homeowners do not offset 100%. Ask questions like: 

  • If you could go solar today and come out even instead of saving money, would that still make sense to you? 
  • What about adding solar and making other improvements to decrease your electricity use? (A home energy audit can be very helpful here.)

Then, tailor your pitch and take control of the conversation. Highlight what else they can do to benefit the environment and show them a personalized system design with their energy and savings estimates.

The Green Crusader wants to make a difference.

Learn more

These are just two examples of how personalizing your solar sales pitch in real-time, and challenging your potential customers, can help you close more deals. To see strategies for the other personas, watch the entire webinar. If you’d like to learn more about real-time personalization and how you can use it to your advantage, here are a few more resources: