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Good Resources on Renewable Energy in Maine
September 15th, 2010
Renewable energy needs sales. Sales, sales, sales, sales, and more sales. Sure, we could use some better technology. But lets have the researchers do their job, and have the rest of us focus on increasing the adoption of our current technologies.
As far I see it, the more panels on roofs and turbines in the ground the better and it’s our job to get it done. I want to share with you a couple pitches I’ve found that have been very successful at getting property owners and contractors interested in investing in renewable energy.
A little background, so you don’t think I’m a crazy person that just tries to sell renewable energy. When I graduated college, I liked the idea of entrepreneurship but never thought I’d like sales. My last boss Brian Hayden taught me one very important thing. In a venture that’s not based on developing a new technology or intellectual property, SALES IS KING. Like entrepreneurship, sales is about trial and error, always testing different strategies to find the perfect mix, with the goal being to drive the growth and direction of the company. Right now, the renewable energy company that can sell the best, will be the best.
Importance of Pitching in Renewable Energy Sales
The number one thing I’ve learned about sales is how important ‘pitching’ is. We currently live in a bite sized world. Thus, we need to be able to communicate what we’re doing (whatever that is) in a sentence or less to get peoples’ attention. A pitch is just that, a pitch. In sales, marketing, and entrepreneurs a pitch is not meant to close the deal and convince the customer or investor to sign the paper work. It just needs to be enough to get them interested in learning more. The great thing about renewables is that there are so many benefits, you can sell them to anyone. I enjoy pitching renewables to everyone I meet, constantly trying to see what there objections are and how to overcome them.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re talking with property owners is that you also need to be able to efficient gather the information about their homes to quote and design the system. Performing high quality and efficient site visits is absolutely critical to the success of profitable solar projects, especially residential projects! You need to be able to capture all of the information you need to 1) quote the system correctly 2) design the project and 3) inform the installation crew what to expect. An efficient site visit process will lead to smooth operations and profitable jobs while complex process can lead to unprofitable jobs and a lot of confusion.
- Sunify will eliminate paper notes so you no longer have to copy and paste notes into emails and waste time.
- Sunify will ensure that you, or the sales people that you manage, capture the information that they need to on the first visit.
- You’ll collect better quality information because you can collect video and audio notes in addition to photos and text answers. This will give lead to more accurate quotes, design, and an easier time for the installation team.
- It’s all the tools you need in one place, so you’ll never loose your notes again.
Seven Awesome Renewable Energy Pitches
Here are a couple of one liners that I’ve found work tremendously in getting customers interested in getting more information, depending, of course on who they are.
More of a Liberal: Save the earth. Rebel against the ‘evil’ corporations. Don’t have any cash? A power purchase agreement is perfect for you.
More of a Business Person: Renewables are a better investment than the stock market, last time I checked we still use electricity during recessions. I’ve used this one at least 20 times, and it works everytime.
More of a Conservative: Aren’t you all about independence? That’ll usually get ‘em.
A Small Cash Strapped Small Business: Reducing your energy overheard by 10% is like increasing your sales by 25% (exact numbers may be different) and there’s a lot of government support available for the upfront payment.
A Large Corporation That is Constrained by Public Markets: If you have excess cash, its a zero risk investment that will yeild a return of %10+, you won’t be able to find that anywhere else.
A Contractor (Small or Large) Doing New Construction (Residential or Commercial): You can sell buildings with lower energy costs for more. The building value will increase more than the needed cost to install the renewable systems.
A Property Owner Renovating: You can go many ways with this one. 1) The utility savings per month is greater than the addition costs of capital for the renewable systems 2) The decrease in operating cost = increase profitability of building 3) Lower operating cost = greater real estate value 4) Utilities becomes more fixed and less variable, especially when looking at heating costs.
Have I missed anything? What other angles do you think will be useful in pitching investing in clean energy to property owners and contractors?
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