Commercial solar sales: the story

Monday, October 11, 2021
Training
by
Veli Markovic

Sales Presentation: Create a story

We emotionally engage with stories and this allows us to create a narrative theme that runs through the pitch. 

Stories are in our DNA!

What does a story mean: retell ability

A story framework solves a much bigger problem.

You usually don’t speak to the ultimate decision maker straight away and someone in the company is repeating your pitch, hopefully well so ​the sale depends on how well the presentation is repeated.

If it's just a bunch of numbers the representative will have trouble remembering and worse, the boss is struggling to hear these facts.

Framing the solar presentation solves this problem and If presented as a story, the representative retells that story to the boss and it is easier for the boss to understand the nuanced benefits.

Slow sales cycle

We are fighting a slow sales cycle and people tend to drag their feet with solar, they really don’t understand it. 

Not the technology but the financial side so they drag their feet.

This lack of urgency drags out the sales cycle and this means the status quo is not a problem.

As a sales person you need to change this!


What not to do!

Most presentations start with “you spend $xxx on electricity”

Over 20 years this is $xxx ( there is a time and place for the finance talk).

Solar is your solution. You can save $YYY.

Focus on the problem

Basically a lot of presentations dedicated only 1 slide, a couple of facts to discussing the actual problem!

Spend a lot of time on how much money is wasted on electricity bills and always repeat their answers.

This makes sure they fully comprehend how much money they are wasting and don’t ever assume they even see it as a problem!

Not a necessary evil

Most people look at utility bills as a necessary evil, like taxes but as a sales person you know differently!

Business has a $50,000 bill/year so who is the team that manages this cost?

Intellectual v emotional

“Can save $50,000/year”. The customer intellectually understands this but there is no emotional connection.

$50,000 is an abstract number

You have to convert into something they want, eg, new hire, upgraded software, new machinery. 

The sales presentation now offers a tangible benefit with emotional connection and concrete gain.

Value of savings

Emphasise the reinvestment value of savings

If we increased the marketing budget by $4000/month how much does that generate in extra revenue?

When talking with CEO’s, GM’s, you could say for example “If you enhance profitability by $36,000 this year, how does that affect your bonus’’?

Hype the technology

People afraid to hype the technology for two reasons Don’t want to push Panel A because later they may have to swap to Panel B

They think solar panels are a commodity, that they are not cool.Wrong! Solar is still “cool”.


Don’t skip the “solar is cool” part of your presentation.

Don’t need to focus on Panel A versus Panel B but instead focus on solar power v grid power and show them the panels and inverter.

Get the customer excited about solar and explain all the cool things it can do!

Emotional engagement works when driving to the close

Conclusion

With commercial solar sales telling a story is of the utmost importance. Storytelling is in our DNA. The story must have retell ability so the information is passed on accurately. Spend more time on discussing their problem and then present solutions on how to fix it.

If you’d like to see what Greenwood Solutions get up to in the real world of renewable energy, solar, battery storage and grid protection check out our industry and commercial pages:

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/industry 

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/commercial

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/news

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/commercial/customer-stories


About the author

Veli Markovic

CEC Designer
Veli has nearly two decades of experience in the renewable industry. He is passionate about providing people with valuable education and is highly regarded throughout the industry as an educator and operator.
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