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4 ways to cultivate strong relationships with your solar leads

Posted by Conlan O'Leary on Nov 6, 2018 10:11:12 AM
Conlan O'Leary

In the previous post in our solar sales series, we discussed how to use the techniques of storytelling and social proof to improve your solar pitch.

By leveraging the way your customers relate to other people - and by using your solar proposal to layer in case studies and different examples of social proof - you can help prospects make buying decisions with confidence.

In this post, we’ll keep the tips coming but with a focus on how to cultivate strong customer relationships. Specifically, we’ll discuss four ways to create stronger connections with your solar leads, especially how you can build likability and trust.

Trust-Climb-Silhouette

1) Be easy to like

Going solar may offer a compelling value proposition for your prospect, but in today’s competitive solar sales landscape you increasingly need to do more stand out from the crowd. A growing body of research confirms what is obvious to most sales professionals: your prospect is much more likely to do business with you if they like you and genuinely connect with you.

Likability can seem hard to define, and many people view it as something you either intrinsically have to don’t have. But there a few clear rules that, according to science, reliably make a sales person likable.

People like people that they feel like them. So, start by asking questions that show a genuine interest in your prospect and their specific situation.

In addition to asking good questions, try complimenting specific things about your prospect. This could be about things like their home, family, or pet. It will show attention to detail and make them feel good about themselves - which will make them feel good about you.

Science also tells us that feelings are infectious. Leverage this by always displaying enthusiasm and maintaining high energy during your pitch. Smile and laugh! If a prospect can sense your positivity and feels that you’re genuinely happy to be talking to them, they’ll return the favor with positive feelings that make them more likely to work with you.

Awesome-Customer-Compliment

2) Mirror the customer

One specific technique that scientifically drives likability, but may feel less natural at first, is mirroring. Mirroring is more or less copying what someone says or does. It can include mimicking body language as well as repeating phrases used by your prospect.

 mirroring-body-language

Over the course of a pitch, almost every potential customer will have questions or raise concerns. You’ve heard many of these questions more times than you can count.

Here are some common concerns you might hear from potential customers:

  • “My roof is 30 years old, is it safe to put solar panels on it?”
  • “I love that maple tree out front, will I have to cut it down?”
  • “I hear solar keeps getting cheaper - should I wait a few years?”

While you may have heard it all before, you don’t want your prospect to feel like you’re brushing off what they’re voicing as a genuine concern. Instead, you need to make them feel heard and show that you truly understand where they’re coming from.

That’s where mirroring comes in. By simply repeating your customer’s own words back to them when you address their concerns, they’ll instinctively feel like you’re listening - because you are.

Here is how you could begin your response to those same concerns using mirroring:

  • “When your roof is 30 years old, it’s natural to wonder if it’s safe to put solar on it.”
  • “You love that maple tree . You don’t want to cut it down and you don’t have to.”
  • “Solar does keep getting cheaper, but you’ll actually save less if you wait a few years.”

If it sounds obvious - well, it is! But it’s surprisingly effective, and it’s a good habit that will help you quickly establish good relationships with your customers.

3) Build trust into your solar pitch

Of course, likability only goes so far when selling solar. You also need to establish trust. When discussing social proof, we talked about how going solar still seems like a risky proposition for many prospects.

That’s why you need to build trust into every solar sales pitch, and establish credibility as a core part of the brand that you present to your customers.

Science tells us that when prospects perceive that their salesperson is a subject matter expert, they are much more likely to make a purchasing decision. Your own professionalism and confidence in yourself, your company, and and your offering will go a long way in this regard.

But a big part of that trust is also established by your sales materials and the solar proposal you present. That’s where a solar software platform like Sighten can help!

4) Let solar software make your life easier

We’ve designed our solar software suite to bring you all kinds of trust-building, confidence-enhancing features.

From initial project design to the creation of a proposal, Sighten combines accuracy with automation, giving you more time to focus on the customer and their needs.

Here are a few ways Sighten brings reliability and scalability into each solar sale:

  • Accurate numbers: Sighten’s solar software ensures that you’ll have accurate, reliable estimates on hand throughout your entire sales process - from utility rates to system design to solar financing comparisons.
  • Professional proposals: MyProposal generates best-in-class solar proposals with an attractive, clear presentation that instantly conveys professionalism. It’s also easy to customize your proposal with brand-building materials specific to your company like reviews and testimonials.
  • Automated shading: Sighten’s automated shading tool uses Google’s Project Sunroof data to deliver highly accurate shading estimates specific to your customer and their home. Presenting detailed solar production estimates based on the details of your prospect’s roof conveys that you understand their specific situation, and goes a long way in building trust in the numbers that underpin your solar pitch.

At the end of the day, building trust isn’t just about what you say or how you say it - it’s both. Here at Sighten, we provide solar software that makes it easier to build a trusted brand by embedding accuracy, clarity, and credibility in every step of the solar sale.

Taking your solar pitch to the next level

When developing new features at Sighten, we listen to our customers - hundreds of solar installers across the US - to ensure we build powerful and relevant solar software.

By cultivating likability, using mirroring, and building trust throughout your solar sales process, you’ll be able to take your your solar pitches to the next level.

Want to dive deeper into the topics we’ve covered in this blog series or ask questions about how Sighten can help you integrate these insights into your sales process? Join our webinar on solar sales tips on Wednesday, November 14th - register here now! Or reach out to the Sighten team at info@sighten.io.

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Topics: Solar Software, Solar Proposal, Tips