Monday, June 13, 2011

Seducing your solar customer

Great link for more tips from Don Draper on how to woo women, I mean solar customers
As I prepare to head up to Custer, WI this weekend for the MREA Energy Fair, I started thinking of a different approaches to solar sales and marketing.  Many of the people involved with solar energy are so enthusiastic about it that it lead me to the conclusion that green energy fairs are a lot like a singles bar for environmentalists. It's the place renewable energy enthusiasts go to be seen and meet new sustainable products.  So continuing down this line of thought, I realized that the art of meeting members of the opposite sex is merely a very personal sales process.  Just as there are no "10 easy steps" to meeting someone interesting, there is no checklist that will guarantee that you to close more solar business.  That being said, there are some effective strategies to consider, re-consider, apply, and refine in both venues before you set off to woo.  Take some time to think about your "game" and put some of these strategies into action. 

Pay attention.  Focus all your attention on your customer to learn their true solar motivations.  Look at them in the eyes.  Smile at them.  Be enthusiastic about their enthusiasm.

Warm them up.  Be friendly and make it fun for your customer to work with you.  Suggest things to them--don't tell or push them.

Let them talk.  Dominating the conversation is a big turnoff for almost everyone.  Probing questions that give them room to talk are key.  Talk too much and you'll come off as a pushy salesperson.

Take a little care of yourself.  You need to take a shower but the point here is to have a consistent message and corporate appearance that reflects your commitment to providing a professional product.  Bad business cards, logos, company names, and inconsistent solar messaging are the equivalent of long nose hairs or bad breath to a solar business.  Don't Jersey Shore your corporate image though as the sustainable energy community is about doing more with less.  Simple yet consistent is the way to go.
VELUX solar systems only need a 3-person crew to install although it might take all 7 of the Jersey Shore.

Be persistent.  Don't let a rejection get you down.  No matter how good your game might be, not all people are going to click with each other.  The key is to stay in the fight and keep working the crowd.  Have the confidence that renewable energy is the key to a stable future and that there are other like-minded people who you will click with just around the corner.

Don't be too serious.  Despite the many negatives surrounding our current energy situation, don't dwell on the gloom & doom.  Seduction is about making people feel better about themselves.  Turn negatives into positives and draw solar customers to you.  Lighten things up with a natural humor.

Play hard to get.  Solar isn't for everyone.  A subtle cockiness about the exclusivity of joining the solar club will pique interest.  Even though solar is expensive for many, it's not for all.  Those are the people we want to find and they typically don't make buying decisions solely on price.

Time to perform once the deal is closed.  Meeting new people is hard but once they say yes, you aren't home free yet.  You have to remember that the way your installation goes will be a huge factor in repeat business to that customer's peer group.  Neighbors will ask about your customer's system and will be curious about the installation company.  You'd be surprised how many new solar people drag their friends and family to their basements to show off their solar heat or electricity so dress up the balance of system components to impress.  Satisfied customers are your biggest marketing ally.

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