How to Create Effective Solar Marketing to Homeowners

As the solar industry continues to grow and saturate, companies try to outshine their competition by providing intricate details about technology and multiple financing options—but I invite everyone to stop for a moment and take a step back.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

In the midst of all of this, your customer is out there. The homeowner (not the” residential customer”) wants to understand not how solar works, but how it can work for them. Instead, customers are often spoken to as someone who has extensive industry knowledge.

I reside in Northern California and am inundated by solar marketing. Companies tout being local, international, on Wall Street, not on Wall Street, in-person site visits, no home visit needed, free quotes, increased efficiency, lower bills, $XXX off and $0 down—from canvassers knocking on the door pitching PPAs to TV commercials. While these details do differentiate companies from each other, it does not educate the customer about solar in general or why they should go solar to begin with.

So why do customers go solar?

While that answer varies based on region and customer, one selling point remains the same: people want to save money on electricity. Your job is to explain how solar can help them do that.

How?

Do your homework. Before you talk to future customers, speak with past customers. Ask them why they decided to go solar and why they chose your company.  This conversation will also make them feel valued and important to the company they chose. Listen to their answers and look for trends.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

After educating yourself about past customers, use their stories to explain the value of solar your company can offer to new customers. Continue your education with new leads and customers. Part of the sales conversation should include what questions they have, how they heard about you and what the most appealing aspect about going solar is to them. Listen to what is important to them versus telling them what you think they should care about. This will help guide your conversation and help you understand whether or not they are concerned about financing, energy independence or something entirely unexpected.

After these conversations, take the themes that come up most often and rise often and have your top-notch sales team share their answers to these questions. Create tools and messages to answer these questions for future customers.

Then what?

The tips above can help guide the conversation with your customer once it starts. How to get that conversation started depends on your company and its goals. Companies often say they focus on sales and not marketing. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  Marketing is a tool to help you meet your sales goals. Engage your marketing team or the help of a marketing firm to identify the opportunities—whether helping your company rise to the top in web searches, making your website more user friendly, creating advertising campaigns, referral programs that build business or other opportunities unique to your organization.

Just remember, your potential customer is constantly barraged with messages. You can stand out just by listening to their questions and remembering that they don’t spend every day with your product.

Written by

Amanda brings over ten years’ experience in building sustainable and renewable energy brands. Amanda has a M.B.A. from Portland State University, a B.A. from University of Oregon and honed her green business skills with a post-graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Amanda is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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