It is a great time to be an installer in the solar industry. Driven by falling costs and the ever-increasing public desire to go green, the residential solar industry market has seen solid growth since 2000, with a record year in 2019.
Although the pandemic did slow some of the growth, 2020 was incredibly still able to match the best year the industry has seen yet.
When business is this good, it can be easy to fall into the trap of viewing the landscape through rose-colored glasses. Experienced owners and business people know all too well that people will always go to where the getting’s good.
It has become common knowledge that the solar industry is forecast to trend upward for the foreseeable future, and with that knowledge comes the big problem for solar panel installers: market saturation.
The stats tell the tale. There are 6592American solar companies working in the industry, and that number is only set to rise. While California has traditionally dominated the solar market, demand is rising in all 50 states.
This high demand means that solar installers have a solid future ahead of them, if they can figure out how to reap the rewards of such a hot market. Unfortunately, trade skills and lead generation are two completely different skillsets, and some solar installers have faced the problem of trying to learn how to advertise on their own services, without the best results.
Luckily for solar installers, they don’t necessarily have to face this problem alone. Companies exist whose sole objective and specialty is to help these kinds of companies achieve growth, despite the saturation.The expertise of companies offering pre-set appointments is a huge opportunity for installers to incorporate a customer acquisition strategy with high returns.
Lead generation services are currently securing the future for residential solar installers. Company owners and solar installers that are interested in longevity, will want to read below on the three main benefits of using pre-set appointments to close more deals and grow their company.
1) You don’t have to learn a whole new field
There is a common misconception among those who have never actually tried it, that advertising is easy, that all you need to do is put up that sandwich board sign and sit back.
The truth is, and many installers who have had to drum up their own business will already know, that marketing is hard. The strategy behind effective marketing and advertising is held close to the chest by the industry, and to their ends, for good reason.
It takes years of training and more years of experience to become well-versed in the art of marketing. Even with all of that training and expertise, marketers must keep updating their methods and strategies as societal trends and behaviors evolve.
For smaller solar panel installation companies who are busy trying to manage installations, accounting and administration, this presents an obvious problem.
As a result, residential solar installers are often left trying to fill in the blanks when it comes to generating leads. Either hiring expensive salespeople, trying to take the job on themselves, or investing in ineffective advertising channels like billboards and radio ads.
This mismanagement results in few leads and is extremely time-consuming, and above all else, incredibly expensive. Trying to take on your own advertising is a fool’s errand if you aren’t somebody with a background in the field.
As contractors attempt to do it themselves, they find the list of new things to learn and buy only gets longer and longer, and more and more expensive. This is where delegation becomes a solar installer’s best friend. By signing up with a company like Sunlynk and receiving lists of professionally qualified leads, contractors can reap the rewards of professional marketing, without having to learn an entirely different field of expertise.
These services specialize in generating hot leads, it’s all they do. Cold calling, appointment setting, e-mailing, and utilizing lead magnets is how these experts spend their whole day. This means that residential solar installers can be confident that their lead lists will generate sales.
2) Spend more time closing deals and delivering your service
Choosing to hold fast to the idea of generating your own leads sounds very entrepreneurial, even economical at a glance. As we touched on earlier, marketing is a difficult, ever-changing and time-consuming endeavor. It might be a tired old cliché, but time truly is money.
All that time that is wasted attempting to find your own lead generation solutions can indeed be measured in currency as well. Not just any currency either – it’s your currency.
Hiring sales-teams, investing money in cold leads, chasing down false leads only to have them cancel when it is time for the consultation – it all costs money, and that investment often fails to return on itself for many reasons.
Maybe the sales team specializes in closing, not qualifying, or perhaps your marketing materials are dated. Maybe you’re advertising on the wrong side of the mountain or your prospects are busy doing other things when your ads come on – it could literally be anything. The common factor these situations all share is that they are all costing you time and ultimately money.
There is another possibility to consider. Outsourcing your lead generation. Using a service to qualify leads and only marketing to hot lead lists has many positive ramifications for your company. Spending less time and energy in the front end of the sales department allows residential solar installers to spend more time delivering their service.
When one of the toughest and most crucial aspects of the system is outsourced to a specialist, the whole machine runs more effectively. More time for quality assurance means you can deliver better services for your clients – and faster too.
The benefits of using pre-set appointment sources are felt by your customers, and when their neighbors begin to think about getting off of the grid too, your company becomes the subject of the most powerful marketing tool that exists: word of mouth.
The benefits aren’t only felt by your customers.
When your sales team is making sale after sale, and the work is rolling in, the energy around your company becomes magnetic. The salespeople want to work because they aren’t hearing “no” all day long, and your crews are happy because work is steady. These scenarios can lead to great company culture, adding to a positive brand image and ultimately making your company more competitive in every way.
3) Position your company to be a leader in a growing industry
As stated at the beginning of this article, it is a great time to be a residential solar installer.
The solar industry is not projected to slow down any time soon. The solar industry in the US has been forecasted to grow by 43% this year, and with that growth comes the unwanted attention of the competition. Just because things are great now, does not mean they will stay as such.
Optimists are often late, as they say, and accordingly, installers and solar company owners need to be smart if they want to enjoy the benefits of this growth industry. Coasting along on inbound sales and the bit of word of mouth generated by a solar installer’s work is not a sustainable business model, and will become less so as time goes on.
By investing in pre-set appointments and reaping the rewards that come with the growth associated, companies will be able to leverage their early starts. Pre-set appointments and lead generation are easily the most reliable way for smaller, early-to-market solar installers to stay ahead of the competition, and position themselves as industry leaders.
This is the only way that they can stay out in front of the mega-conglomerates that are surely coming for this industry soon.
Choosing to work with lead generators like Ll.media, or Homelynk, who offer pre-set appointments will prove to be the best decision an installer ever made years down the road. There is generally no cost to sign up, and these companies aim to prove their worth to residential installers, so that they, like the contractors, may position themselves for growth in their industry, for years to come. The future of energy is solar, and the future of solar is pre-set appointments.
As installers and owners know all too well, in the world of business, and trades like residential solar installation, success is about finding the right people for the right job. When it comes to lead generation, that theory doesn’t change one iota.
Hiring a consistent specialist to find you pre-set appointments has proven to be the most effective way for solar installers to secure their footing in an increasingly saturated and competitive marketplace, for years and generations to come. After all, that is one of the main benefits of the solar energy industry, isn’t it?
Securing a safe world for our children and their grandchildren to come.