In this digital era, even marketing lead generation happens virtually.
When most brands, including solar companies, are busy building up their virtual marketing team equipped with lead generation tools, is there any place for good old door-to-door sales?
The answer is “yes,” even in this age of sleek and sophisticated digital marketing, door-to-door selling is still alive and kicking.
If you are a solar salesperson or a solar entrepreneur who recruits sales executives, what will you say after knocking on the doors of homeowners to generate their interest?
You need a short and compelling sales pitch to establish your credibility as a reliable source that will eventually help close the deal.
In this post, we will share some practical and professional solar sales pitch tips, along with examples.
Let’s Start with 6 Tips from a Pro:
The following are the excerpts of the tips given by James Swiderski, Entrepreneur, and a leading solar consultant.
Here are his tips and experience that he learned along as a solar sales representative.
1. Solar is not an Education Sale
According to James, many solar companies talk about “educating” customers during a sales pitch. However, the fact is prospective customers these days know a thing or two about solar, if not everything.
As a sales rep., your job is to help homeowners make their buying decision by asking relevant questions to figure out what they know or do not know about solar energy to understand their pain areas or interests. Understanding what a customer wants is the first step, and you have to do it fast.
Related article: How to Profile Your Ideal PV Customers?
2. Live by the 90/10 Rule
As a door-to-door salesperson, you need to spend 90% of your time in preparing and setting up the sale and use the remaining 10% to close the deal.
Besides the training provided by the solar company, sales reps. also need to read quality books on direct selling, watch training videos, and prepare their own sales pitch. They should also take notes about which of their approach works the best.
3. Develop the “Empire” Mindset
Develop the “empire” mindset is about having high aspirations and nurturing yourself on a day-to-day basis to move towards that goal.
Solar sales is a highly competitive market, and sales representatives need to stay ahead of the competition, which may include assigning some responsibilities to others so that you can focus on the core selling process.
4. You do not make money by “selling solar”
Imagine how many sales reps. may have already approached a prospect to “sell solar” and failed. Any “pushy” sales approach makes customers retreat and say “no” even before you start.
You can make money as a door-to-door salesperson when you help customers make a decision with the right information, which could be cost, long-term savings, clean energy, and so on.
5. Use your ego to progress, but keep it in check as well
Even the best salespersons crash down to earth if they are driven by ego. James shared his experience, how, after becoming a superstar sales rep. and racking up millions of dollars in sales, his ego pulled him down. He had to start all over again to build his business, but this time as a keen learner, and without the ego.
6. Understand the power of personal branding over prospecting
When you are a salesperson, you are representing a company or a business as a brand personality.
Be thorough with your homework about what customers are likely to ask and be ready with answers. This way, you can position yourself as an authority figure in your domain.
Related article: How to Run a Successful Solar Panel Installation Company?
4 More Door-to-Door Solar Sales Tips by Timo Rein
Timo Rein was a former door-to-door sales rep. And currently the co-founder and president of ‘Pipedrive,’ a cloud-based sales software firm. We have picked four of his tips.
1. Anticipate Rejection and Get to Know it Fast
In door-to-door sales, rejections will be inevitable. Even the top salespeople do not have a 100% close ratio.
Also, many times, sales executives even face awkward situations such as customers abusing verbally, calling the police, unleashing dogs, or coming to the door with a gun. Still, the show must go on.
Many people are too polite to tell that they are not interested in buying at all, and let you finish your sales pitch.
To avoid pitching people who have no interest and wasting your time, get to know fast if their answer is “no” by asking relevant questions. For the whole thing, you should not spend more than 20 minutes.
Even before your sales pitch, for example, you can say, “I think I understand what your problem, and how solar can help. I’ll tell you a little about it, and you just let me know if it will be useful for you or not.” This way, you can encourage the prospect to say “no,” so that you can move on.
2. Read the Signs
Check out for subtle cues that a prospect gives, to sense if he/she is serious about buying or not.
If you are anxious about your pitch, you may miss out on noticing those cues. Just let go of that anxiety, and notice the prospect’s body language.
While giving your sales pitch, keep observing the prospect. Notice their facial expressions, if the person is making eye contact with you, or appearing uncomfortable.
By reading these signs, you can figure out if the prospect is looking for a chance to shut the door on you. If that is the case, wrap up first, and knock the next door.
3. Trying to Convince Does not Work
If you approach prospects with a plan to convince, it will not work. You may have already noticed that no matter how hard you try to convince prospects that the solar brand you are selling is out of the world, they do not care.
People do not get convinced because they have no trust in you or what you are saying. We can’t blame them as they got many knocking their doors all the time with similar offers.
Instead of trying to convince prospects, get to know people what they are looking for or what is their current situation. Your solar product comes second.
Once you know their story, you can connect with them and show them how the product you are selling is going to make their lives easier.
4. Move on to the last step but gracefully
If a prospect is serious about buying, the sales executive needs to walk the person through the process with finesse. The prospect may have to discuss the matter with his/her family or boss to make a decision and might say, “Let me discuss this with [someone] and then get back to you.”
In this situation, pro advice is to ask new questions without being pushy, by saying something like, “Sure. If you don’t mind, may I ask what you want to think about most?” The prospect will most likely tell you that. Then you can quickly follow up later for a demo session.
The Major Elements of a Sales Pitch
- The Opener: Connecting with the prospect at the door
- The Presentation: Developing trust
- Building credibility
- The Closing: Recommending your product
To establish a connection with a prospect starts with an introductory dialogue to create a positive vibe first, just like warming up. It is all about being genuine, friendly, and nice so that the person who is at the door responds positively, and engage faster.
As the cliche goes, “The first impression matters,” and you only have 7 seconds to make that first impression. In nearly 93% of the cases, prospects will judge you based on your non-verbal communication.
The success of as much as 55% of a sales pitch depends on body language. The rest is attributed to the tone of the presenter’s voice.
An Opening Pitch Example
“Good morning. I’m John from XYZ Service. I was just passing by, and noticed that the front of your house and roof are south-facing. Does the house heat up a lot during the summer (Pause, let the prospect answer.)? Have you ever done an energy audit to see how much energy your house is absorbing, and if it’s affecting your electricity bill? If you want, I can fix an audit sometime this week, and it will be free.
In the above opening pitch example, the sales rep. did not mention anything about selling solar. Instead, he observed and identified a future opportunity. A house that gets direct sunlight, usually heats up faster, which results in higher consumption of energy inside due to air conditioning.
On the other hand, there lies a future opportunity because installing rooftop solar panels in a south-facing house will receive maximum sunlight and produce more electricity. His approach to have a free energy audit instantly builds credibility and trust to the person at the door.
The Presentation – Develop Trust and Build Credibility
Once you have won the trust of the person at the door, you need to carry on doing the same with your pitch through storytelling.
Storytelling is a non-invasive approach that helps door-to-door salespeople relate to a prospect by sharing a real-life example about the product that solved a customers’ biggest need.
Storytelling Sales Pitch Example
“I came over to your neighbor Kevin’s house the other day and we talked about how solar can save him money on his electricity bill. He agreed and told me that a relative of his had XYZ Solar panels installed on his home a year back and ended up saving $xx! He used that money to take his family to a vacation. I was really glad to hear that XYZ Solar is helping people save money and achieve their dreams.”
The above is an example of a nice sales pitch with storytelling and a true one. The story did not push to sell the product to the prospect. Instead, it builds connection via the TOE method:
- Telling a real-life situation
- Offering the product as the solution
- Positioning the sales guy as an expert by naming the company.
Involve the Prospects in Conversation – Find Out Their Pain
Involving prospects in your conversation is the fastest way to connect and make them start thinking about your statements.
Ask questions to find out what kind of issues they are going through, how your solution can help them.
Ask some good questions to get started on having a nice conversation your potential customer to build a rapport as well as identify their problems:
“Isn’t it a little hot here in this part of the city? How have you been managing to keep your house cool?”
“Do you think that your current electricity bill is higher than it should be?
“Have you done anything to try and solve that situation?”
“How has that worked for you as of now?”
The above are the questions, from where the sales executive will transition to a recommendation, which should be clear, natural, and smooth.
Closing Sales Pitch Example
“Customers have relied on us for 15 years to save energy and money using the XYZ Solar Panels. Based on the position and size of your home and roof, I recommend the ‘[xx] Energy Plan.’ I will tell you all the financing options so that you can choose the one that suits you the best, and don’t have to shell out a lot as upfront cost. We have a promotion running this month with free installation. It means you can save the entire cost of installation. So, what day and time works best for us to come do the install this week?”
This closing pitch stays customer-focused by recommending the solution the suits the prospect the best. It presents the solution, mentions about easy financing, and free installation to save customer’s money as a way of persuasion to make the prospect say “yes.”
Pitch Example of a Door-to-Door Rooftop Solar Sales Rep
Matt Fox sells “power purchase agreements” for a residential rooftop solar brand. His sales pitch goes like this:
“I just met with your neighbor, ABC, down the street. You might have seen our vans there, working on the power project. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of solar panels going up. With this system, you don’t pay for the equipment. Just let us set it up, and you get cleaner, cheaper electricity. You’ve got the real estate, and we’ve got the equipment. Let’s pool our resources and split the money.”
Again, as a salesperson, you need to build a connection with prospects. You may not sell your solar brand right away, but maybe in the near future. Talk to the prospects a few times before signing the deal without pestering them.
A Solar Canvassing Lead Script Example
“Hi, (first name) My name is________ with [company name]
We are reaching out to homeowners with information about a new statewide program that is available to lower your electric bill and lock-in the low rate.
With this new solar energy program, you could see immediate savings of 30-50% off your monthly electric bill right away and for the ZERO out-of-pocket program.
Not everyone qualifies for our zero out-of-pocket program.
But… you qualify for this program, and can have the entire solar panel system installed and set up for no down payment, and bring down your monthly bills right away. You can also lock-in this rate so that you don’t have to worry about rate increases again.”
Another Door-to-Door Sales Pitch Example (in reference to energy.gov)
“Hi. My name is _____ and this is _______. We’re from the [xx Energy Program]
known as [xx] being run by the city of __________ this summer.
Have you heard about the program?
I’d love to tell you more if you have a moment.
[Company Name] helps you make your home more comfortable and affordable through energy
[Company Name] makes the process affordable by offering rebates that can pay up
to 60% of the work. People who participate in the program find their house becomes
If you like I can briefly explain how the program works, so you can decide if you want to
First of all, you sign up. This gives you access to our expert energy coach, Sarah Jones, who can help you as little or as much as you’d like. Sarah will work with you.
She helps to make the whole thing easy and make sure you are comfortable at every
Next, you have an energy evaluation performed on your home. Normally this would cost
$400 or more, but through this program, you only pay $100, and we take care of the rest. A
trained professional will test your house from top to bottom. After, you’ll receive a report that will show you ways you can save energy and money in your home and how much you can expect to
save if you make improvements.
Finally, you are under no obligation to make improvements, but if you wish to, the
Energy Coach can help you find a trusted contractor from an approved list. She will also
help you do the legwork in getting all the rebates. The rebates range from $400-$4,300
dollars, and on average, they cover 60% of the cost of improvements.
Do you have any questions?
Great, are you interested in signing up today?
I can leave a participation form. Would you like Sarah to be in touch? Please give
me a phone number or email address.
Take a look at these materials we’re leaving with you, and please feel free to contact us
via email or phone if you are interested or have any questions.
Door-to-door sales is an art that takes preparation, good presentation, and presence of mind. To master the art, salespeople need to focus on their training and stick to the 90/10 rule. It is because their 90% preparation will yield results during the 10% sales closure, and their readiness will make or break the sales.
We hope that the examples in this post will help your solar business and your salespeople to convert the leads into sales.
In the fight against the climate crisis, Willie Jiang believes that content marketing can push the energy revolution along at a faster pace. Having helped countless brands grow their organic traffic by 10X and became the CMO of SolarFeeds.com, he is sharing his insights with the solar energy industry. Read his story here