Wondering how you can start a business from home, make great money, and help the planet at the same time? Then remote solar sales are for you!
The demand for solar is ever-growing. In fact, 39% of homeowners in the US said they were strongly considering installing solar panels as of January 2022. Starting a remote solar business is a fantastic way to share in the profit of the solar industry boom, and with the right advice, you can make your business a success.
- Why Sell Solar Panels Online?
- How to Sell Solar Panels Online
- How to Become an Authorized Solar Panel Seller
Why Sell Solar Panels Online?
With more and more focus on how green energy can help with the effects of climate change, solar is becoming the new normal for powering homes and offices everywhere.
This means supply must meet the ever-increasing demand, and in order to do this, the industry needs more salespeople. Thankfully, being a salesperson is more convenient than ever: you can do business right from the comfort of your home office.
This is a good thing: it means that people (like you) can profit from remote solar sales in a way that may not have been possible before the recent uptick in popularity, so it’s a great time to get onboard.
Plus, not only is this a smart business decision for you, but it is an opportunity for you to help people while contributing to the well-being of the planet (if that’s something you’re interested in).
Traveling salespeople were once the predominant way manufacturers could get products into the hands and homes of customers. However, it’s come to the attention of these companies that this might not be the most cost-effective way to do business. With so many workers doing their jobs from home nowadays, it only makes sense that remote solar sales would be a success as well.
This decision benefits you in several ways: you’ll save time and money on commuting, you’ll have the ability to reach more potential customers more efficiently, and you’ll save energy that could be better focused elsewhere, to name a few.
Ultimately, remote solar sales are a smart way to get solar panels in the hands (or on the roofs) of the people who want them. In addition, you’ll get to share in the profits from the comfort of your own home.
How to Sell Solar Panels Online
If you’ve decided that remote solar sales are the next best move for you, let’s discuss how to begin. Here are a few steps to take that will help you become a successful solar salesperson:
Draw Attention to Your Product
There’s no way to sell a product that’s invisible to potential customers, so this part is where you get your foot in the door. You need leads to make sales, so get your product out where people can see it.
This could be done through a social media ad campaign or a business website. Better still, you can put email subscription to work for you — with over 4 billion worldwide users, email is still the king of digital communication. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
The more leads you generate, the more success you’ll have with remote solar sales, so do as much as you can to maximize your product’s visibility.
While not all leads are guaranteed to evolve into customers, your chances of growing your customer base will increase with the number of leads you generate. When your audience begins responding to your marketing efforts, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Be Available, Knowledgeable, and Trustworthy
Customers of all industries know when they’re being sold on something. Salespeople don’t always have the best reputation among consumers, so it’s your job to be different from what they’re used to. Being available to answer their questions, address their concerns, and make them feel valued (as opposed to just another sale you’re making).
It’s also imperative for a salesperson to be as knowledgeable about their product as possible, and remote solar sales are no different.
These potential customers may know nothing about solar or what their individual needs are, and they’re counting on you to help them figure it out.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of helpful tools for solar sales like screen sharing.
Many people are visual learners, so give your customers something they can understand and interact with. This will enable you to connect with your customers in a way that is both engaging and personable.
Harry Campbell, founder of TheRideShareGuy, sells advertising online and says, “Easy-to-use screen sharing software like CrankWheel can make the difference. Seeing is believing and walking through a slide deck or options with a prospect is often more effective than just talking.”
Building a relationship based on trust is a huge factor when trying to make a sale, so be the reliable person your customers need. The goal is to make them feel at ease and confident they are making the right decision when they choose to buy from you.
Close the Sale
Once your customer is happy with their chosen solar package, it’s time to close the sale. This is the part you’ve been working towards, as well as the most exciting step! However, this is also where you need to put in the utmost effort.
Be as open as you can about all the fine details (pricing, equipment, installation, etc.), allow them to voice their concerns or make customizations, and present your proposal with an open mind — the finished product may very well look different than what they had originally envisioned.
Ultimately, you will be successful in closing the sale if you make your customer a deal that fits their unique needs, that they’ll benefit from, and that they can walk away feeling good about.
Keep in mind that the timeline of this process can vary greatly as all customers have different preferences. However, once this is accomplished and you have them sign the necessary documents, then you’ll be ready to prepare their new solar install!
How to Become an Authorized Solar Panel Seller
Unless you’re planning on manufacturing or warehousing your own solar panels, you’ll probably want to become an authorized solar panel seller.
This essentially makes you the middleman (or woman) between the supplier and the purchaser. Here are a few tips to guide you in establishing your new partnership:
Do Your Research
You’ll need to partner with a solar panel supplier to fulfill orders. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right company to go into business with. Each supplier has its own features, some of which may or may not be a good fit for you.
Researching various suppliers and asking questions will help you to find the right supplier for your remote solar sales business.
Knowing how you want to run your remote solar sales business will be helpful here, as you’ll know what questions to ask when meeting with potential suppliers.
Questions you’ll want to ask will be similar to:
- Do you want to service residential customers, commercial, or both?
- Will you need to apply for financing to fulfill your orders?
- Does the supplier also connect you with installation professionals?
- What is the expected timeframe between placing an order and delivery to the customer’s home or business?
Figuring out the answer to these questions early on will not only save you time but ensures you end up working with the right supplier — which can help your business to run smoothly from the start.
Iron Out the Details
You’ll need to meet a few minimum requirements before beginning your solar sales journey. There are safety concerns that come with solar panel installation, so understandably you’ll have to prove that you can handle these issues as they arise.
A license to sell solar panels is one of these requirements and the first thing you’ll need to get your application approved. The requirements for a license to sell solar vary by state, so be sure to find out what those are for yours.
However, to get licensed in any state, you’ll need to pass an exam. This is to make sure that you’ll follow safety protocols once your orders are dispatched and that the installation process will be followed correctly.
After you’re cleared, it’s important to purchase business insurance. This will ensure you’re covered for any damages, accidents, or missteps on behalf of the contractors you partner with or any issues that may arise that require compensation for whatever reason.
Once licensed and insured, you can sign a contract agreement with the supplier you’ve chosen to partner with. This solidifies your partnership and ensures any crucial details are in a legally binding agreement, protecting both sides from any discrepancies.
Get Down to Business
After you’ve completed your research and the proper documents are obtained, you’ll be ready to begin reaching out to new customers.
You should be excited! While you still have a lot of work ahead of you, this is the fun part where you get to implement the next phase of your business plan and show off your sales skills!
Now is the time to market yourself and your products. It’s easy to fall into the idea that customers will come knocking on your door (or filling your inbox), but don’t slack on your marketing efforts! It pays to be persistent in this stage.
Sales usually start slow, so try not to be discouraged. Your hard work might not pay off immediately, but with consistent effort, you’ll start to see responses — and responses will lead to sales.
Create an Online Presence
A professional website is the backbone of any online business, and remote solar sales are no different. Taking time to create your site in the early stages of your business (or even before to start customer outreach) will be helpful in the long run.
Your website is a place for potential clients to contact you, research your business, read testimonials from other satisfied customers, and ultimately it gives them the chance to decide if your business is a good fit for their needs.
In addition to your website, you can implement ad campaigns on Google and social media, where you can also interact with leads when they express interest in your business.
Being responsive, open, and understanding of their needs when interacting (whether through your website or social media) will show people that your business is where they want to go for their solar installations.
Having an online presence not only helps you get the word out about your business but it enables you to learn more about your audience.
An awesome feature of the digital world is that everything can be tracked. You can see which of your ads gets the most clicks, the time of day those ads get responses and valuable demographic information about your customer base.
By becoming more familiar with the people interested in your business, you are better prepared to connect with them on deeper levels. This is how you begin to grow that trusting relationship mentioned above. This is how you sell online.
Tips for Selling Solar Panels Online
The solar industry is booming, which means you’re probably not the only person who wants in on the action. Here are a few tips to help you get ahead of the crowd and stand out to customers:
Make a Plan
Every business needs a plan, and the same goes for remote solar sales. Being well-prepared can mean the difference between failure and success, so don’t skimp on this step.
There are many elements that go into making a business run smoothly. Paying attention to those details is what will set you up for success.
To ensure your strategy is effective, you’ll want to consider things like which suppliers to approach, how you’ll market your business, and what type of software you’ll be using for connecting and sharing information with your customers.
There are also the issues of choosing installation technicians, discovering any weaknesses in the market, and figuring out how you can have an edge over your competitors.
At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure these variables are accounted for when creating your business plan.
Find Your Market
Don’t procrastinate on discovering who your target market is. Having something concrete to start with will take the guesswork out of the equation and allow you to focus on which area to market your services.
Remember, you can make adjustments later on if you find that your chosen market isn’t a good fit, so don’t stress too much about making a perfect choice — though this should be given serious consideration.
Focusing your efforts on a target market will save you time and money. Solar customers are going to be either residential or commercial — so decide whether you want to provide remote solar sales for homes, businesses, or both.
Residential customers will need fewer solar panels, which might be easier for you in the beginning, depending on how much volume you can deliver on. Either way, identifying your target audience will be helpful in knowing where to spend your efforts.
Don’t Forget About Finances
Unless you have a background in managing finances or are confident when tax season comes around, then you’ll want to consider hiring an accountant. They’ll know all the tax details and budget information you need to keep things running smoothly.
Another important element to your business finances is setting up a business bank account. This takes away the risk of any muddling between your business and personal accounts and makes things much easier when expenses need to be handled.
It also prevents any confusion come tax time, allowing you to file your taxes in a much more streamlined way.
With so many elements that go into starting a new business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about certain things. Finances, however, should not be one of these! Start out on the right foot with your finances, and you’ll save yourself headaches down the road.
Remote solar sales give you the opportunity to work from the comfort of your home, capitalize on a rapidly growing industry, and promote better environmental practices.
To begin selling rooftop solar panels online, you’ll need to become an authorized solar panel seller, make a sales strategy, identify your target market, and manage finances wisely.
If you were on the fence about starting a remote solar sales business before, don’t worry! This article has given you the knowledge and tips to start successfully.
About the author
Scott Lieberman is an online business expert. He teaches entrepreneurs how to make money online. Scott reviews business tools from the best web hosting services to email marketing software. Scott has worked with multi-billion dollar corporations, as well as with small businesses to double their profits to millions of dollars.