The Beginner’s Guide to Selling Solar Panels for a Profit

House and a garage with solar panels on the roof

Climate change has become a major concern among many individuals and countries alike. To that end, clean alternative energy like solar is becoming more common.

Solar installation is set to continue rising, but can you make a living in the industry? In this post, we look at all you need to know about selling solar panels, including how to sell solar door to door and how solar software can help you sell.

How to Sell Solar Door to Door

Over the past decade, cost has been the biggest setback for solar panels, but that has gradually been changing. Solar installation costs have significantly dropped, allowing the industry to grow and reach new markets, including residential clients.

Selling solar panels door to door is a great way to enter the market. It’s also highly effective because you can assess the potential client’s roof and answer any questions in real time. Here are some tips to help you sell solar panels door to door.

Plan

For any business to be successful, you need to have a solid plan. Planning is about studying the demand-supply market, potential clients, competitors, and more. The first step is finding and understanding your target market. Most potential solar panel customers already have a battery backup or are looking for ways to lower high electricity bills. Once you know and understand what your target customers need, you can move to the next step.

Approach

Since you mainly have two types of potential clients, it’s important to have a strategy for reaching out to them. If the customer already has a battery backup, you could check if the area has electricity present for a few hours, typically five to six hours, and areas with low voltage (below 190V).

If you are targeting clients with high electricity bills, you should focus on customers who extensively rely on air conditioning systems, such as hospitals, homes, offices, and schools. Consider scheduling a visit after potential clients receive their electricity bills to get the most out of your visits. Usually, it’s around the 7th and 14th day of each month.

Identify Products

If you are looking to cater to clients with a battery backup, you should consider selling solar panels that are three times more powerful than the capacity of the client’s backup battery.

For example, if the client has a 200A battery, you can recommend at least a 500W solar panel to ensure the battery charges throughout the day. If the client gets an electricity bill above $500 each month, you can recommend installing an AC module and expanding the system if needed.

Gain Trust

Selling solar panels is a huge investment for both the installer and the client, which is why customers tend to work with a reliable and reputable provider. When visiting potential clients, we recommend bringing your company’s product catalog, visiting card, and ID card.

Having a permanent shop also plays a huge role in building trust among clients. Consider having proof of installation like videos and images so the client can physically look at your work.

You can also build trust by becoming an authorized solar panel seller/distributor. To become authorized, you must partner with a solar panel dealer. You must also pass the manufacturer’s safety exam and purchase insurance coverage to get authorization.

Regular Follow-Up

After installing solar panels, you should follow up with the client regularly, especially after they receive their monthly electric bills. You can also keep your customer updated through various communication channels such as email. Updating your blog with installation and how-to content if you have a website is another great idea.

A robust solar sales software can also help you follow up with your customers. From scheduling to maintenance, solar software is a tool that any potential solar panel seller should have in their arsenal. The software gives you visibility into your entire solar business from sales and marketing to billing.

Can You Make Good Money Selling Solar Panels?

There is room for solar panel contractors to make some profit. As the world moves to green energy, you can set up your company to capitalize on the future by dominating the market early on.

Solar panel sellers are usually paid by commission, meaning you will not have a fixed salary range. Manufacturers offer varying commission rates, but the amount is generally based on a 5% base commission, a 2% time-based volume bonus, and 2% for self-generated leads. 

Commission percentage rates vary depending on net revenue, which is the contract price minus the dealer financing fee charged by a lender.

In 2022, the average yearly pay for solar panel sellers is $81,635. Less experienced or entry-level solar panel sales representatives can expect to make between $39,960 to $55,630 each year (or $19 to $27 per hour). 

With an average net pay of $65,000, solar panel salespeople have limited opportunities for advancing based on skill, but you can earn more depending on location and experience.

You can also make good money by working for an established local solar contractor compared to big solar companies like Vivint and Tesla/SolarCity. Big companies will pay less because they believe their reputation and size make sales much easier for you.

Sell More Solar Panels

With the right plan, approach, and follow-up, you’ll knock your solar sales out of the park. Don’t forget that solar software can help you keep track of your leads and sales, so you can win more bids!

What other tips do you have for solar salespeople? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

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