Highlights from Inside the mind of solar customers

Updated sales strategies to meet the expectations (and misconceptions) of the new solar customer
Author : 
May 15, 2024

With every residential solar installer focused on sales right now, they’re all asking the same question posed by one of our audience members:  In an increasingly commoditized market, how do we differentiate ourselves to customers?

It’s a tricky question to answer, but by teaming up with Solar Insure, we were able to get some practical, tactical answers for our attendees.  With Scott Nguyen, CEO of Bodhi, as the moderator, he was joined by panelists:

Below, you’ll find one key takeaway from each panelist, as well as the full recording of the event: 

Bryan Bollinger, NYU — When it comes to what motivates people to buy solar, visibility plays a big role.  In fact, you can actually create an equation for it.  When a solar system isn’t visible to neighbors, the word-of-mouth effect stops at about 100 meters.  But when a solar system can easily be seen from the road, that word-of-mouth effect bumps up to at least one kilometer.  So that’s a factor of 10! 

Dean Chiaravallotti, Solar Insure — There’s a lot of consumer confusion around workmanship warranties.  These warranties really just means the homeowner is covered if the installer made a mistake.  For example, they didn't install a firmware update, or they put too big of a string on an inverter. But the customer thinks that if their panel is broken in any way, their installer is going to come and fix it for free as long as that 25-year warranty is in place.  

Tim Polujancewicz, Infinity Solar — When NEM 3.0 first rolled out, there was this misconception that it’s no longer good to go solar at all.  But I tell our customers that without solar, you’re always going to be buying power, and the price of that power is always going to go up.  The difference with NEM 3.0 is that you have to have a battery to make going solar worth it financially.  And a battery can be between $5K-$20K, so that changes the sale.  For example, the area we work in has 2,000 sq ft homes, which means each of those houses are recommended to have at least 15-20kw of storage to float you not just 4-9pm, but so it can carry over.  That way, you don’t have to sell any of your power when they’re offering $.08, but you can sell when they’re offering a higher buyback.

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