Seven Strategies for Solar Sales and Marketing
How to boost solar power sales through better communication and marketing
Aug 3, 2011 11:12 AM ET
From Glenn Croston's blog at Cleantechies
Solar power has many unique advantages that help with solar sales and marketing. All it takes is a sunny day and a rooftop for solar panels to produce clean green electricity. They have no moving parts, make no noise, and can produce clean energy for decades right on your roof. For those who love everything green simply because it’s green, solar power has always seemed like an obvious choice, but selling solar power takes strategy with most clients, just like selling anything else. Here are seven strategies to kick start your solar sales, marketing, and communications for solar success.
1. Make Solar Affordable
The biggest concern most people have about solar power is that it will cost a lot of money. To address this, your solar sales and marketing need to make the financial advantages of solar clear. Providing help with financing, solar leases, or power purchase agreements will reduce financial concerns, as well as providing information and assistance with rebates and tax credits. The solar broker business model for solar sales, getting competitive bids from multiple installers, ensures that clients are getting the best price possible. Talking about how going solar pays off financially is an approach that a large number of clients relate to.
2. Make Solar Optimistic
Solar power is inherently optimistic, a part of a better future that we can all help to build. Your marketing can show how buying solar is a way we can all make a difference in the world, choosing clean electricity by making our own. Talking about solar as a hope for the future also connects with parents think about the positive step it means for their kids, a powerful motivation.
3. Make Solar Patriotic
Patriotism can be a strong motivator for many, and buying solar is a positive step for our country, moving us toward a clean and strong economy of the future, and away from polluting and costly fossil fuels. Solar protects our country as well as protecting our environment. Showing the patriotic side of solar patriotic in marketing can move thinking beyond blue states and red states to make solar sell in every state regardless of its politics.
4. Make solar sexy
Sex sells they say, and it’s a time honored strategy for selling just about anything because it often works. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more solar marketers try this – if bikinis, fun, and sun can’t sell solar, then I don’t know what can. Except maybe the other six items on the list.
5. Make solar ordinary
A common preconception about solar is that it is strange and exotic. There will be a day when solar is on every house but for now solar panels are still an unusual feature in many neighborhoods and not everyone wants to be the first house on the block with solar panels. If your marketing features pictures of every house having solar on it as the wave of the future will help more people get over the idea that it is weird, and start to see how solar will become the norm, opening the door for more people to buy solar.
6. Make solar simple
There’s a lot involved in buying solar. There are a large variety of installers, panels, inverters, monitoring, financing, and maintenance that clients need to sort through, all of which can keep some potential customers away from it, intimidated. The winning companies know how to make it all simple for the client. The simpler it is, the less anxiety it will generate, and the broader the market will be.
7. Make solar fun
Doom and gloom scenarios of a grim future are not the best way to convince most people to go green. Quite the opposite – many people are driven away by talking about the scary future we could face. Making solar fun and attractive in marketing for your solar company will attract customers to have photovoltaic fun in the sun.
Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses” and “Starting Green”, and the founder of Starting Up Green, helping solar companies and other sustainability businesses with low cost communications and marketing.