Skip to content

Great Solar Marketing Can’t Overcome a Mediocre Sales Process

Confused man looking at paper

My family and I are moving across the country and building a new home in New Orleans. We’re apprehensive about a few things but thrilled at returning to a strong social network.

We’re also pumped about finally going solar for our own home. We care deeply about the environment. I help solar clients. The sun shines brightly in NOLA. Lots of reasons to be excited. It should be an easy sale.

Unfortunately, the process has not been as smooth as I’d hoped.

We contacted three companies for quotes. So far I’ve met with one and have another meeting scheduled for this week. The third said they couldn’t help me until our construction was completed.

The company I met with shared four proposals with the following context:

A couple of notes on the quotes given: All of the financed quotes are given as 100% financed with no down payment.  You’re certainly welcome to apply a down payment if you wish and that will affect those numbers in your favor considerably but these are all completely financed.  The financed options are also given from two separate lenders, one being Credit Human and the other Mosaic.  They operate a bit differently.

Credit Human has some lower interest rate options as well but this 20 yr. @ 6.99%, while not the greatest interest rate by a long shot, has no lending fees with the loan.  They also do not require any payments for the first six months of the loan and while their monthly payment is higher, this is due to how they calculate their monthly payments.  The do not assume any of your tax credit being applied to the loan, so your payment is as high as it will ever be.  You can apply some or all of your tax credit or any other large balloon payment and reamortize the loan as many times/as often as you’d like to lower your monthly payments. 

Mosaic is the company that offers the 25 year options quoted.  Their monthly payments are calculated with an expected delayed payment of your tax credit by month 18 of the loan.  You do not have to and are not required to in any way.  It is 100% your money to do with as you please but the monthly payments will increase by month 18 if you do not apply your tax credit to the loan.  Something to mention about both companies is that neither have any early pay off penalties for their loans. 

The loans quoted are just a few of the lending options that we have available and am happy to show what some others may look like but these are some of our more popular options and a starting point if nothing else. 

Ok, well that’s a mouthful but I’m sure the proposals make it easier to understand…

solar proposal page 1
My rooftop solar installation proposal, page 1
solar proposal page 2
My rooftop solar installation proposal, page 2

Yeesh. That is a tough way for a hurried homeowner to absorb information about a large investment they may already be dubious of. Forcing the prospect to do way too much research and analysis.

The other proposals were the same with different cost tables

This table was from the helpfully-titled proposal “[COMPANYNAME] Proposal 3 Column_CJustin18pv_20_5.99.”
From the equally helpful “[COMPANYNAME] Proposal 3 Column_CJustin18pv_25_4.99”
You guessed it, from “[COMPANYNAME] Proposal 3 Column_CJustin18pv_20_6.99”

Without tooting my own horn too much, I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent guy. I also know more about solar than the average Joe. But when I saw these proposals come into my inbox, my first thought was “WTF?”

In no particular order, I thought

  • wow, this is way more expensive than I expected! I was thinking it’d be closer to $3/W
  • why is there such a huge difference in “installed solar installation” and “battery backup” costs? (oh, they must be building in financing – that’s not a very good way of displaying that)
  • how much would I be saving per month?
  • I was told if I purchased Powerwall+, I wouldn’t need microinverters – why isn’t the installed solar installation cost changing?
  • why would you email me these proposals without walking through it on the phone?

Yes, a customer can untangle all of this. As a solar installer, it’s probably obvious to you. But these proposals are not intuitive, creating massive friction in the sales process.

The best solar marketing in the world can be canceled out by a mediocre sales process.

Are you doing all you can to streamline your solar sales?

Leave a Reply