Today we are going to talk about working & generating leads for solar contractors.
A lot of solar installation companies buy leads from many lead gen sources.
Most of these leads are of pretty poor quality.
None of those leads know, like, or trust your company because none of them have ever heard of you.
A different company generated those leads and then sold them to you and probably many other contractors at the same time.
We’re going to take a look at two things in the episode.
#1 is how to get the most sales out of those leads as possible.
#2 is to examine where those lead generation companies are getting their leads and how you can learn to do it yourself to bypass the lead gen company and have a better-qualified lead that is exclusive and who already know, like, and trust your company.
So let’s dive into topic #1 – and look at 5 tips to get the most out of the leads you buy from other companies
- Be the fastest gun in the west!
Speed to lead is the name of the game when buying leads from lead gen companies.
You need an automated system that takes the lead in and instantly generates an email, text, and or phone message to that lead, letting them know someone from your team will be reaching out shortly.
This is usually in the form of your CRM working in concert with email and texting platforms or internally within the CRM itself.
Tools like the Hatch App speed to lead system can help you execute this rapidly.
Be sure you diversify your communication channels. Send texts, emails, and phone calls.
Ask prospects what their preferred contact method is.
- Be ready with the information you can provide to leads in various buying stages.
Most people are not looking to buy right away and don’t want a salesperson to call.
They’re on a journey to learn more about solar energy systems before they’re ready to start choosing a company to do business with.
So you should be ready with information to send them or point them to on your blog that discusses PPAs, leases, purchases, and solar financing options and the pros and cons of each.
You should be ready with case study info on real-life clients that you can provide.
You should be ready with your unique selling proposition and why they should consider your company over all other possible companies to choose from.
Nurture leads with information. He who provides the best content and help along their journey will usually win the business in the end.
- Follow up!
Many studies show buyers generally need to be contacted several times before they’re ready to grant an appointment or pull the trigger.
Yet the stats also show that salespeople give up very quickly after a rejection or two and rarely continue their follow-up.
Well, those two things don’t line up, do they?
If people need a half-dozen or more contacts before they’ll grant an appointment or pull the trigger and buy your sales team yet give up after just a couple of rejections.
Well, guess what? You’re wasting a ton of money on leads and leaving a ton of sales on the table because your sales team is afraid of rejection.
What kind of follow-up system do you have in place that creates multiple touchpoints and contacts for your prospects?
Do you provide information in more than one media format?
Some people like to read, others are more visual, while others prefer listening to audio files.
Does your company offer info about going solar in all formats?
Are you appealing to each type of buyer?
Think about creating an evergreen webinar through your website that people can watch or listen to.
How about providing a 24/7 prerecorded message that gives the pros and cons of all types of solar financing available?
They can listen to it on their time, where and when they want.
Meet them where they are.
Continue to send them information until they’re either ready to talk with a salesperson and schedule a site eval and quote, or they’ve asked to be removed from your contact list.
You should have a multi-part email, text, and phone follow-up series ready to inform them through their journey.
Email autoresponders and CRM communication automation should be ready to go the second a lead comes in.
Have info drip out immediately and then spaced out over a few days, then weekly afterward.
Send them to a buyer’s guide to solar and maybe a guide on choosing a solar contractor.
Send them info on the various solar panels and differences in quality.
Cover all the bases.
What are the top 10 FAQs prospects ask? Put that in a blog post or PDF and include it in the info you send along.
Include calls to action at the end of each communication. What’s the natural next step after each piece? Make that a call to action and include a bypass option to schedule a solar analysis at any point along the way.
- Don’t be a pushy asshole, instead be a caring and helpful educator.
As we said earlier, he who provides the best and most helpful info along the buyer’s journey will get the most sales.
If you’re trying to close every prospect one-call, you will lose out on a ton of sales and establish a reputation for being a pushy sales team and a company that only cares about sales and not customers.
A solar energy system costs tens of thousands of dollars for most homeowners. It’s not a one-call close type of product and if you try to make it one, your company will lag and suffer.
- Uncover their needs and desires and find the proper solution for them.
Don’t try and push a PPA, lease, or purchase on everyone because one of those is your best deal or highest margin sale.
If you’re not in it to provide the best solution for each customer, then get the hell out of business.
You’re going to be going out of business eventually once your reputation is crap for caring more about your profits than the customer’s needs, so just get it over with now and get out of the game. Save everyone a lot of hassle, including yourself.
Listen to the prospects’ needs and desires and fit a solution to them that’s best for them.
Okay, now let’s move onto point #2 and where the lead gen companies are getting their leads and how to do the same thing to eliminate them and get an exclusive and better-qualified lead that already knows, likes, likes, and trusts your company.
So, where do lead gen companies get their leads?
In general, they get them from two marketing efforts: SEO and paid ads.
SEO is search engine optimization. That’s all about optimizing your website, blog, and Google My Business listing to rank well in Google and other search engines for solar-related search topics.
So here, it’s about the same thing, providing helpful information to prospects interested in learning more about solar energy systems and if they’re right for their family’s needs and home.
Now it’s about creating that content on your blog and optimizing it for Google and others.
That requires topical and keyword research and writing the content for both people and search engines.
This can either be outsourced to an SEO company specializing in solar contractors or done in-house with qualified SEO training.
We have a local SEO guide in the learning center on our website to help you along this path if you’d like to do it in-house.
There’s also plenty of helpful information on YouTube, blogs, and training courses on crafting good SEO content.
Make sure your optimized website content is also optimized for converting visitors into leads. Offer free guides in exchange for their email and send out an email drip.
Be sure you have calls to action on every page.
Be sure the pages are informative, have an appealing design, and are easily scanned by the human eye.
Use good headings and sub-headings and break up walls of text with images.
Lead gen companies also get their leads from paid ads, usually through Facebook.
You can target your ideal homeowner in your exact service areas.
You can upload your customer list to Facebook and have them create a “look-alike” list of people with similar likes, interests, and demographics.
You can run short video ads about
You can scale successful campaigns that work and increase lead exponentially.
Don’t run branding ads. That’s for Fortune 500 companies, not for home service companies.
You can run lead-form ads, but nobody is going to Facebook to buy something, especially a $20-30k solar system.
Run ads that inform.
Run ads that take them to a landing page for more info.
Run ads that offer a buyer’s guide to solar or a toll-free 24/7 prerecorded message they can call to learn all about solar.
A 3rd lead gen option is direct mail.
You can retarget people who visited your website with a postcard. We use a company called Modern Postcard to do just that for our solar clients.
You can mail postcards to the immediate area where you’ve just completed an installation.
Include a photo of the actual home and a testimonial from that homeowner on the postcard, with their written permission, of course.
Have the postcard take them to a page on your website with a case study of a nearby client one year after they went solar. Include all the details, especially how much they saved. Have a video testimonial from that homeowner on that case study page.
In summary, you can and should optimize your lead follow-up system to make sure you’re getting every sale possible from the prospects you’re getting.
You should train your sales team never to stop following up (without being a pest) and listen, learn, educate, and ultimately find the right solution for each prospect.
Plus, you can and should invest in generating your own leads with SEO, paid ads, and direct mail, to name just three methods and OWN your lead generating systems.
It is much better to OWN your lead generation systems than rely on others and put the fate of your company’s future in the control of others.
Creating your own lead gen systems takes time, effort, and money. But owning your systems and being in control of your future is worth the investment.
Alright, I hope that helped some of you. Thanks for sharing your time and attention with us today.
Good luck out there and create a great day!