How to boost your solar sales by understanding consumer behavior?
Although industrial and commercial establishments are increasingly adopting solar power to meet their energy needs, solar adoption in the residential market in India presents a different story altogether.
As per a recent report from a renewable energy consulting firm, Bridge to India, only 9% of the total rooftop solar capacity is tapped by households.
For a solar installation/ EPC company, this is both an opportunity and a challenge.
The challenge arises from the fact that household residents are resistant to solar energy adoption because of certain notions and apprehensions they carry about it.
As a salesperson, working hard on closing leads for residential solar installations, understanding and addressing such a consumer mindset becomes paramount.
With this article, we want to highlight key reasons homeowners do not readily embrace rooftop solar power despite its varied benefits. We’ll also address how a solar company’s sales team can address these challenges strategically in order to achieve much greater business success.
Show them the money
Consumers feel that it is just too expensive to get a rooftop solar installation. This is one of the biggest roadblocks discouraging a residential customer from running a solar-powered home.
While it is true that the upfront cost of a solar panel setup can be high (as per MNRE, it costs Rs 75 with a rooftop solar system to generate 1 Watt of electricity), cost savings, in the long run, make the initial investment worthwhile.
It would be detrimental to assume that homeowners are convinced think of solar is a great deal. As a salesperson, you will need to prioritize communicating ROI to prospects.
It is recommended that you offer prospects an easy to understand ROI projection.
With an ROI projection, you can provide a clear comparison of the cost incurred by consuming electricity from a traditional power company vs the cost of going solar over a period of time.
Closing a deal with a proper ROI narrative instills confidence that they will be saving substantial consumption costs in the long run.
In order to promote renewable energy adoption, both central and state governments offer subsidy programs for homeowners to install solar panels. As per MNRE, the central government offers a minimum of 30% subsidy on rooftop PV systems.
However, many consumers are not aware of it. The subsidy programs are not very transparent and their application process is complex to understand.
Educate your prospects about these subsidies and provide assistance in the process. Consider accounting for these in the ROI projections as well.
Interestingly, solar-powered homeowners can even sell the extra power being generated to state-owned power distribution companies to make some money.
By making using of the above tactics, you can easily clear the perception that solar installation is expensive and close more deals for your company.
Encourage them to Go Green
While this may not be the most convincing pitch to get more people to buy solar panels, it can be effective if coupled with other major arguments.
It is a fact that solar is a renewable form of energy and offers several environmental benefits. By going solar, households can generate their own energy in a sustainable manner and use it for other applications like water heating. This helps them contribute to creating minimal impact on the climate and the resulting positive outcomes will most likely encourage them to be more vocal about the choices they’ve made.
Educate them about the technology
You have a better chance of getting people to spend money on technology they understand. For example, more and more people are investing in smart home tech as the companies working on them are doing a great job of explaining its working and value.
Similarly, consider investing focused efforts to help people understand solar technology better. Start by covering the basics of how solar energy and solar panels work and how they are used to generate electricity. Offer an engaging video tutorial to facilitate a better understanding of the fundamentals. Then, provide ample information on the installation and maintenance process.
Please ensure that you do not overwhelm them with too much information. Work on a proper demo experience with your teammates.
Prospects will not only appreciate the effort you’ve put towards educating them but they’ll also be better positioned to make a decision about installing solar in their household.
Address the technology hold back
We all want the latest and greatest. Your prospects are no different. You may come across a situation where a potential client mentions that he/ she has heard about an upcoming technology that is better than the existing one and would want to wait for it.
For example, with the emergence of self-driving technology, car buyers may wait for a new model with auto-pilot capabilities.
This is genuine consumer behavior and can be addressed with the right argument. In your case, it can be just highlighting the opportunity cost of delaying their solar installation for a new technology whose timeline and cost are both not clear. Make it clear that the core functioning will be the same and saving money now is always better than saving later.
As mentioned above, solar companies have a significant opportunity to tap into the huge household rooftop solar installation market, provided they understand and address the consumer’s mindset smartly.
We hope that the above mentioned key challenges and their solutions will empower sales agents to close more deals and also highlight the importance of well-rounded preparation to properly navigate customer concerns.