I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
- setting up typeform questionare
- connecting typeform question to SMS email and mailchimp
Lead Management: A race to the "sweet zone"
Be fast. Faster than your competitor.
When a homeowner signs up for a solar quote online they become a lead 3+ times within seconds. Their information is then sent to multiple solar companies. You are now in a race with your competition to see who can be the quickest to contact the lead.
It's a dog eat dog world out there...
Some companies filter their leads into call centers. Call center agents are eagerly awaiting new incoming leads and have nothing better to do than beat you to the punch when trying to reach a lead first.
Now think about it. When that homeowner hits submit on a web submission form, They are typically doing that from their phone. Their phone that they will most likely be still holding if you call within 5 minutes of receiving the information.
The odds of contacting a lead decrease by over 5 times in the 1st hour.
After 20 hours every additional dial your sales staff make actually hurts your ability to make contact to qualify a lead. During these first few days multiple companies are calling your same lead multiple times.
Here's the "cheat code" to reaching a lead FIRST
Let them know you've received their message and will be calling in a few minutes. This will increase your chances of answering a call.
Hi ________ it's Billy Murphy. Did I catch you at a bad time?
Sum up today's contacts and inform them you'll be doing the same regiment for the next few days. This will typically push them to "give in" and communicate with you.
I call this, the 3-3-3 method. Three contacts each day for the first three days.
"Sell" The Estimate
DO NOT SELL SOLAR ON THE PHONE. Only sell a Free Estimate. If you can't sell a free estimate, you need to check yo'-self!
NEVER OPEN A CONVERSATION WITH "Hi, my name is Blank from xyz company." You're done right there. Instead, just be a human being and try this...
Caller: "Hello, this Blank calling, did I catch you at a bad time? This this Mr. Smith? Great, I received your request for a solar estimate and I have a few questions for you, is now a good time?"
"Why are you looking into solar?"
"How much have you learned so far?"
"Have you heard of the Tax Credit for solar? Do you know how that works?"
"What day would work best for an onsite estimation?"
Do not get sucked into a sales conversation with someone on the phone before we’ve been able to perform our sales process. Have you ever gotten the dreaded “can you email that to me?” question? It’s the kiss of death. Try doing these instead…
• An insight
• A question or two
• Appointment confirmation
• A Promise
Make a promise and follow through with it. This can be powerful. By promising someone something, and actually delivering on that promise immediately sets you apart from 99% of society. They’ll be putty in your hands. The promise doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as easy as promising to email them a really cool video showing the durability of a solar panel and then actually doing it will get the job done nicely. Another great approach is to remember something unique from your conversation and promise to send them something relevant on the subject
Time to Set the Appointment
•Invite them to a calendar event
•Set notifications as reminders (1 day before, 2 hours before, etc)
•Call and confirm the night before.
The "Knock and Walk"
Chill out man!
Don't talk about solar just yet! That's exactly what the homeowner is expecting. Let's throw them off a little, shall we?
Knock & Walk
Let's get the blood flowing by asking the homeowner to step outside and show us were the electric meter is located.
Most people are afraid the be the "first" to do something like going solar. Why? The reason is psychology 101. We inherently remember our bad decisions and we forget our good ones. Weird right?We actually create a false sense of fear in order to avoid making another bad decision.
So with that said, when we show them how their meter is ALREADY measuring for solar power they just haven't gotten any panels yet, it provides a sense of "safety" in numbers.
From there, we are asking GOOD questions. Don't talk about the weather...
Find out what their plans are for the future of the home
Find out how many kids they have
How old are they?
What year is the sports car?
How often do you play golf?
Once you're confident you've made a new friend, ask if there's a place you could set up your computer.
Now you start the sales process... Up Next: Set The Agenda
Set The Agenda
You must make homeowners comfortable BEFORE they'll buy from you...
The way we do that? We set the agenda at the beginning.
People like to know what they're in for before it happens. Homeowners will feel a lot more comfortable when there's a clear agenda established at the beginning.
Plus, when you set a clear agenda at the beginning, it shows the homeowner that you are a professional. You got this!
And setting the agenda goes a little something like this...
I'd like to tell you a little about our process...
First, I want to makes sure I understand why you're interested in solar power and any concerns you may have...
From there, I'll make my recommendations for your home...
Finally, we'll take a look at some numbers...
This should take about an hour...
Boom. You're now a PRO
Ask Good Open Ended Questions
– (who, what, where, when, why, how)
– Shut up and Listen (can you?)
– Dig deeper for motivations and knowledge
– (tell me more about …)
– Discuss their finance needs
– Sum it all up
– (so it sounds like…)
• What do you know about solar?
• How familiar are you with how solar actually works on the roof and with your utility?
• Who do you know that has gone solar?
• What have they told you?
• How long have you been thinking about it?
• What caused you to reach out to us now?
• What have you learned online?
• Who else have you talked to about solar?
Once you feel like you've peeled back their layers as much as possible, begin to transition into the Bill Review using these questions...
“Tell me what you know about the upcoming solar policy timelines for incentives….”
“How familiar are you with the incentives that are available for solar today?”
“If we could…. How soon, ideally would you want your solar system installed?”
“So if I am hearing you right … you want …. Is there anything I have missed?
Your Company's "X" Factor
No one likes a bragger, but we do have to position our company as the ONLY logical choice for the customer.
There's no magic bullet here, all companies are different and I suggest we brainstorm on how you can present your own company value proposition
• Tell them who you are
• Tell them what you do
• Tell them why you do it
• Tell them what is unique
Most important, tell them what your company can do for them
Talk them through the pain...
• “Can I take a look at a recent utility bill?”
• “This is why I am here…”
• “Looks like on an annual basis you are paying your utility about …” (say annual dollar number)
“Over the years… have you noticed this increasing….?”
“I did a little research for you … and in this area your rates have been averaging about a xyz percent annual increase”
“Which means for you… the xyz annual dollar amount you are currently giving your utility…
“In ten years at that rate of increase
“Will change from the $$ per month and $$ per year you are paying them now, to over $$$ per month and over $$$$ per year”
“And I assume that is not ideal for you correct?”
“Are you familiar with how your billing will change once you switch to solar?”
“Basically, once you switch over, you will go from one of these (pre solar bill) to one of these (post solar monthly statement)
“Is all this clear?”
“What sort of questions do you have about solar billing?’
“The bottom line is things will be so different and when you switch to solar… instead of paying them…you will just be paying down principle and building equity”
“Doesn’t that sound better to you?”
The Solution Value Proposition
Before the presenting the proposal, you need to define and rehearse the narrative around the materials you're using:
WHY you chose the solar panels you use
WHY are they the right choice for the homeowner
WHY you use the inverter you use
WHY is that inverter the right choice for the homeowner
WHY you use the racking system you use
WHY that racking is the right choice for the homeowner
Up Next: Time to make your recommendations
There's a secret sauce to closing a deal in the home, and if you've done your job right, "closing" should feel like the logical next step in the conversation. However, homeowners must have all their boxes checked before they'll go solar with you.
I've identified six key areas in which a homeowner has to feel comfortable before you can complete a sale.
3. Your Company
4. Your Recommendation
5. The Proposal
6. Why today
Why Financing Matters at the Close
When presenting the financing, use the following word tracks to keep it simple and build value.
• ‘Different way’, with ‘so many benefits’ you don’t get if you stay with the utility
• “Instead of …
• “You get to …
• “Plus you have the added benefit of …”
Don’t focus on the net difference between utility and and monthly finance payment
Focus on long term savings, extra benefits, all the money they won’t give the utility
• Pay yourself, not them
• Build equity
• Get out of utility bill debt
• Pay it off … you can’t do that with your utility bill
• Get that tax credit!
• Stop the rollercoaster utility bill. Stabilize it!
• Build equity in the home
• Make it easier to sell the home
Ask For the Sale
• Shall we go ahead?
• Are you ready to go solar?
• Shall we check our schedule?
• Are we good to go?
• I think you should do it. Shall we?
• Ready to sign up?
• Shall we go solar?
• Can you think of a reason not to go ahead?
• Shall we give the utility the good news?
• Shall we take the next step?
• So let’s do this!
• Are we good?
• Ready to start saving ---money—the planet--- your peace of mind?
• It’s a pretty easy choice with numbers this good… shall we get this going?
The Follow Up System
Day 1: Not Just Any Email
You just proposed the prospect. You had a good conversation and you need to follow up. Now is the time to stand out among other sales reps. Send them an email. Not just any email, an email with something you or they mentioned in the meeting that you thought they would like. This shows them I care about them and that I have expert information for them. I make them want this during the meeting, so they’ll look forward to getting the email from me with the information.
Day 2: Their Level Follow Up
I call them up and double check to make sure they got my email yesterday. I also tell them I enjoyed meeting them yesterday. I never thank them for their time. My time is just as valuable as theirs in my mind. If I thank them, that means they did me a favor. By telling them I enjoyed meeting them it puts me on their level subconsciously.
I also give them the heads up I have some more cool stuff they will like, so I warn them to be on the lookout for my emails. I want them hanging and expecting my contacts, so that when they happen it’s anticipated. It’s almost like setting another meeting with them.
Day 3: Stack the Good Email
I send another email with more cool information to either reinforce or add to the info I sent them on day one. “Oh, hey by the way, I found this video that’s perfect for you.” I’m following up, but with more stuff they want. I haven’t asked for the sale again yet. I’m simply doing what I call “stacking the good.” This means I’m giving them a ton of value and demonstrating my use and expertise at the same time.
The law of reciprocity is a real thing. If I do enough cool stuff for a prospect that brings value to their life, they will want to restore order and give value to my life. Most times this is in the form of a sale. They buy from me because they feel like they owe it to me. Here are some great articles you can send:
Day 4: Social Proof
If you haven’t already, send a direct link to your google reviews. Humans want safety in numbers and showing prospective clients our happy client experiences online is a powerful tool. At this point, they have a really good idea if I’m their guy or not. The decision has to be made. They have to reach out with an answer of either “Yes” or “No.”
Day 5: Important Call
I follow up and make sure they got the google review link from yesterday. If I have to leave a voicemail, I do so as well and send the same message via text. I’m not asking for business on this call. If I do get them on the phone instead of going to voicemail, I hit them with a call to action. Not begging for the sale, but insisting they need to make a decision of “Yes” or “No.”
They get another email from me. This email explains I’ve been trying to catch them so we can close our business and get started moving forward. I highlight what was in the previous emails, how it benefits them and how what I sell can solve their problems. I also point out that a week has already passed. And in doing so, make them feel six days behind.
This email is full of benefits just waiting for them, which will be theirs as soon as they take action.
This is also the first time I’ve aggressively asked for the business. This email needs to lay it all out to them. Be firm, but empathetic.
Days 7 – 10:
I make them miss me. They’ve gotten value, follow up and an aggressive sales pitch via email from me, so I’ll give them a break. Take the scarcity to a new level. Act as if I don’t need them. They’ll think I’ve moved on, but again, I’m operating with intent. They have no clue.
I call them and make sure they are all good. Most times it’s a voicemail and text they get. Any time I call the phone and leave a VM, I send the same message via text. This is why it’s important to always get the mobile number, not the office number. I let them know I’m here for them and ready to make it happen when they are. Keep it short and simple.
This call is simply a checkup. The purpose of this voicemail and text is to simply set up the video tomorrow.
This will be the last “real” follow up they get from me. I’ll send them the video I mentioned in yesterday’s text and voicemail. This video simply states that it’s been two weeks since we first got into contact. When I show them the results of other clients with KW, I make them feel the pain of what they are missing out on, using social proof all the way.
I also let them know I’m gonna let them off the hook. I’ll get off their a$$ for now. I reassure the excuses they are thinking, such as being busy, not ready, etc., I’m empathetic but at the same time I show them what it’s costing not to get this done. The cost of not going solar.
After the 12 days, I start following up via email once a week and phone call/text every two weeks. Any time I have something of value for them, I send it at those times and follow up. I keep them in long-term, weekly follow up mode until they decide to reach back out to me. I don’t put much more time or focus on them.
The time has come to present your recommendations!
Your proposal should take no more than 5-7 minutes to go over.
I know, it doesn't seem like a lot of time and contrary to popular belief, less is more here.
Stay focused on them.
Say things like,
"what this means for you is..."
"instead of paying them, pay yourself back"
• Think like them, not like you
• Don’t say big numbers… instead…
• Point to prices
• Always Say the savings out loud
• Get technical
• Focus on technology
• Sound like others
• Forget about them
• Talk about efficiencies
• Have a monologue
• Just feature sell without interaction
• Use jargon
• Keep it simple
• Focus on them
• Make it about them
• Talk about it
• Have a dialogue
• Get agreements if possible
• Get to the finish line
Have an honest conversation and then CLOSE...
Expect the Noise
When you ask for the sale…
You have to be ready…
For stalls and obstacles…
If they don’t say yes …
And they don’t say no …
They will most likely either be an...
“I need to think about this…” or any indecision
• I understand
• How did you like our proposal?
• Anything specific holding you back….
• If they repeat… As you think about this… I want you to remember (get back in the game…busy time of year, 2017 tax credit, incentives expire soon.)
• (Watch for a sign to close again) if they give you one, ie more dialog, close again with “It seems like you guys are close, Shall we give the Utility Company the good news?” or any of your favorite closes.
or an Obstacle
I need to check with my… any obstacle
“I understand, I think I'd probably do the same if I were in your shoes.”
• We want you to check with your…
• But if you do and everything looks good, would you want to go ahead with this proposal? (verify this is the only thing holding them up.
• Here’s an idea…(tentative agreement)
Tentative Agreement with Contingencies
You must use “fear free” words when recommending this type of agreement. Focus on what they get (holds spot in queue, rebate reservation, lock their panel prices in before increases in tariffs, cancel no penalty)
• What we would do…
• What this would do for you…
• Save your spot in line
• So if… If not ….
• It’s a ‘Win-Win’
(How does that sound?)
The better you know how your customer will make a decision, the better you'll be able to sell them the way they want to buy. Here are the 5 most common shopping personalities:
“Control Enthusiast” -- The most extreme members of in this group might completely disregard what we’re saying and quickly fire questions at us to see if we’re listening. They do this because they want to know if we respect them. Happily, “Control Enthusiasts” tend to make quick decisions if and when we recognize them and act appropriately! Beware though, If we ignore what they’re saying, and stay on our path, instead of letting them guide the discussion, they will tune us out and never move forward with us.
Key points to remember --
“Control Enthusiasts” usually choose roles and relationships in which they are in a position to make decisions. This could be running the household, or being a manager, or holding another type of leadership position at work, or even at play. It could also be a volunteer role that gives them authority. Just don’t assume if you don’t see it at first, or they are an especially polite version, that we don’t need to treat them with the deep respect and deference they feel they deserve.
The good news – These folks move swiftly, often telling us exactly what they’re looking for, especially if we ask, and then actively listen and present the right solution. They usually influence a good number of people, and will refer them to us if and when we’ve done our job well, giving them what they want, when they wanted it!
The challenge -- If we ramble, lack confidence, or fail to gain their trust, we’re doomed.
How do we win with a “Control Enthusiast”? We give him/her control. We “dance their dance”. We let them know we will never waste their time because they value their time more highly than any other type. We let them do the talking. When we limit what we say to what they want to know, we give ourselves the best possible chance of leaving with a contract, or a clear path forward. When in doubt, if we simply assume someone wants control, we can avoid losing from the start.
The “Research Hound” – they can be easily identified by their need for information. These folks tend to see things in black and white terms. When we start speaking, they often start taking notes. They may have a pile of quotes, data sheets, and miscellaneous information next to them when you sit down. They’re most comfortable making educated decisions, not quick decisions.
Key points --
“Research Hounds are often accountants, analysts, bankers, researchers, scientists, or other positions that are data or research driven.
Pros - friends and family know how much research these folks do prior to purchasing, and they trust their opinion. “Research Hounds” are typically your best referral sources.
Cons - This sale will take time. Don't expect them to buy on the first visit.
If we want to move a “Research Hound” forward, we should be sure to show them that we respect their need for information. We need to avoid the following words, “like”, “kind of”, “maybe”, “could”, “might”, etc. They really want facts and figures to make their decision. We will lose their attention if we start to show them pictures. The extreme versions of this shopping style will never be tempted by discounts that are “today only” or other techniques designed to get them to buy on the spot. They will actually be offended by them. We need to take our time with
“Research Hounds”. If we adequately respect their need for information, they will buy from us, and provide years of strong referrals.
The “Visual” -- These folks can be pretty easily identified if we’re paying close attention. But if we are not visual ourselves, it can be much harder to spot these folks. It can be harder still to appreciate what matters to them, and keep them comfortable enough to move forward. So if you think fashion is silly, don’t care what color the living room is painted, think clutter is cozy, or dismiss what solar looks like, you might want to put some work into appreciating how “Visuals” see the world.
When we pull up a home, is the yard beautiful? Is the car clearly just washed? Is anything out of place, like toys, tools or bicycles? In the home, does everything have a place? Is the homeowner’s outfit color coordinated? Does he or she use visual language, words like “messy” or “attractive”, “looks like”, “picture it”, or “need to see”.
Important to remember:
“Visuals” can enjoy, or find outlet for, their love of how things look in many jobs and hobbies. Some obvious ones are graphic design, art, architecture, marketing, fashion, landscaping, gardening, anything with a visual aspect.
Pros – If properly identified, and accommodated, the path can be a smooth one. We don't need to say a lot to move things forward. Typically, it’s not about the price with this customer either. “Visuals” often pay significant premiums for the look they want. We need to be sure to offer the services our companies provide
to make the installation look how they need it to look. We have to show them high quality images of installs employing the extra services this will take.
Cons - If our company will only provide a 'basic' or ‘standard’ installation, this will be a harder sell. This customer wants the conduit to be hidden, or at least painted the right color(s). They want the inverter board painted, and somewhere people can’t see it, or where it will be inconspicuous. The racking and rails should not be visible, and the panels should be all black, and/or perhaps frameless. We should be well groomed and well dressed, never shaggy, stained or wrinkled. If not, we will have a harder time gaining their trust.
To win over the “Visual”, we must have lots of good visual aids. They can’t be old, faded photos in a 3-ring binder. This will turn them off, and/or frustrate them. We need professional, high definition images they can scroll through on our clean tablets or pristine laptops. The “Visual” wants to zoom in on the finer details (even if they can't be seen from the ground). We should really avoid any thought that "it's on the back of their house, why do they care?”. This shopping profile can care about the look of things we believe will be barely visible.
We have all heard "a picture is worth a thousand words". When helping aesthetic homeowners, a picture can be the difference between a sale and a homeowner choosing to remain with the utility. These folks make decisions with their eyes. The more we talk, instead of “show”, the less likely the majority of this group is to buy. Ignoring or diminishing the importance of how the array will look might result in a competitor getting the business instead, or worse, the “Visual” seeing the status quo as the more attractive option!
The “Social” -- This might be the easiest shopping style to identify. As they open the door, we’re greeted with big smiles, hands extending, and a quick offer of a beverage. If we start to see and hear signs that they are “thinking with their hearts”, we’ve just met someone who is more likely to buy from us because they like us, than because of the technology, facts, or figures we could show them.
Key identifiers --
“Socials” can hold almost any job, but typically don't choose to work by themselves. The more a job requires a lot of interaction with people, the more likely it is that this trait will play a bigger role in how they make decisions. Happy sales people are classic examples of “Social” buyers. We will also find our new friends in the entertainment field, restaurant industry, and the customer facing roles in any field.
Pros - If we can really connect with this customer, he or she will be willing to buy from us. They will also tell all of their friends, family and coworkers to buy from us. The “Social” is less likely to buy from someone else because they had a lower price than we did.
Cons – We cannot use our expertise to move these folks forward. This customer rarely wants to know everything, so we have to be sure we don’t bore them with facts, figures and technology.
If we want to win over the “Social”, we need to be prepared to hang out. When they offer us a cup of coffee, we need to enthusiastically accept it (keeping in mind we can always ask for water if they offer us a beer). This sales visit can be on the longer side but the “Social” can make a decision on the first visit. We want to remember, though, that when they buy from us, there is still a major mistake we can make. We must not forget about them. These customers will view us as their support until they are installed, and will want us to stay in touch throughout the entire process. If we disappear from the process, they can feel betrayed, and we can lose their referrals. We should always calendar a call to see how it went. Ideally, we calendar check-ins, anywhere from monthly to annually depending on how social they are and how much time we have to be sure we don’t neglect them.
I will share one last thought that took me years to learn and appreciate the importance of. “Socials” can, and often are, other buying styles in addition to being outgoing and friendly. I’ve learned the hard way that it may only be part of the story. If they are “Visual” as well, we need to identify this and show them beautiful photos as we chat over tea. If they are also a “Control Enthusiast”, they still probably want a quicker process that they drive! After we check the box for “Social”, let’s be sure to look for what other factors drive this potential buyer.
The “Emotional” – this can be a homeowner’s dominant style. But it’s very often an additional layer to their buying profile that we need to identify during the discovery phase of the sales process. These homeowners needs to feel good about their decisions. And we need to be sure we create the “space” in our process for them to fully express their feelings.
Whenever we ask a homeowner why he or she is looking into going solar, we want to be sure to ask that critical “anything else?” question after
each response (until he or she says “no, that’s it”). But for “Emotionals” it’s extra important. In addition to uncovering the reason(s) they called us, we have to find out how passionate they are about their reasons (by asking “how important is that to you?”). They’re often going solar because of something we typically think of as a “cause”. Be careful though, the cause needn’t be the environment. It could just as easily be another motive, like patriotism or anger towards the utility.
Key points to remember --
These buyers can work in any field or position because they often work on what matters to them through volunteering. Many do gravitate to service positions and the “helping professions” (teachers, firefighters, social workers, police officers, etc.) and other “mission based” work (lots of non-profits, governmental and nongovernmental agencies).
Pros - If we can identify with these caring people and their causes, they will listen to us. When we respect their purpose, and can show how our products and services meet their needs, they can move forward.
Cons – If we pressure these “Emotional” customers, or make them feel “pushed”, more often than not they become too uncomfortable, and tend to “shut down”.
The “Emotional” buyers provide us with wonderful opportunities to learn more about the varied, and sometimes truly interesting reasons homeowners consider going solar. We will hear about a deep desire for greater energy independence, or that they were influenced by a child, or an intense dislike for the utility, or might even discover some folks are imagining what they want to leave behind, and for whom. When we identify their causes, convey our appreciation of their motives, and ensure prospective clients feel like they are being provided a path to realize their goals, these passionate people will delight in going solar with us!