We all make mistakes! Who doesn’t? But the good stuff comes out when we learn from them. However, committing some of these is not just a charge-to-experience thing, it may cost more than that – our money, time and effort, things we value as a business. So the cheaper and wiser way to learn is to learn from others.
As a solar business, every business decision and move corresponds to a result whether good or bad. While some decisions are obviously bad business moves, sometimes, we are not fully aware that we are doing things that are no longer favourable to the business. So here are some things to avoid and help you reevaluate your business.
Focusing Too Much on Products
The common mistake of retailers is pushing their products too hard on their customers. “The best solar product in town” or “The cheapest solar panel that you can buy” – these generic marketing messages alone oftentimes don’t cut through the competition. With thousands of solar businesses which offer the same solar brand, you need to think outside the box. What do we mean by this? Your products are just half of the story. Your service and your relationship with the customer play a bigger role in the customer’s buying decision.
If Company A offers the same price as your products, what else can you offer? These little things sometimes make a big difference in the solar industry. Find ways to add more value to your business and customers. Always available sales assistants? Fast delivery? Value for money? That you are to decide.
Not Spending Time Understanding Customer Needs
Since you are now refocusing your attention to other important aspects of your business, you can now listen more to your customers. Don’t find customers for your products, look for products for your customers. What are their solar needs? What does their home require? What are they expecting once a solar PV system is installed?
These questions will help you understand what they really want to achieve and greatly manage their expectations as your customer. You have to explain even the tiniest piece of information that will help them understand what they are buying from you.
Incomplete Range of Solar Products
While we say that, don’t focus too much on your products. We don’t mean to compromise your product portfolio. Remember that your product is the first thing they want from you, so improving your product offering is a must. Don’t be that solar business which only offers single-phase inverters or don’t have a battery storage to offer or only have premium solar panels that will surely break the bank.
You have to build a strong product portfolio that no one can resist and help customers buy all the things he needs from a solar retailer, removing the hassle of checking out other businesses for the products that you don’t have.
Too Many Product Options
Ooops! We don’t want to confuse you. While we suggest having a complete set of solar products, we are definitely not a fan of laying down too many options for your customers. The technique is to listen first to your customers. Find what they actually need and suggest one product at a time. Don’t lay all your cards down as you might confuse them in their buying decision process.
If your customer is new to solar, having a lot of options is overwhelming and intimidating. Hence, require more direction. On the other hand, experienced customers might ask for a list of your solar products, only then you can shoot your shot.
Sales Lead Mistakes
Strike while the iron is hot! Whether you get your leads through cold calls or website enquiries, you should be responsive as you can when dealing with them. Remember you are not the only one they have inquired to and probably not the first, so grab the opportunity before it passes. After doing so, be patient. Different strokes for different folks. Customers have different buying decisions. Do some follow-ups but don’t overdo it. If no response? Move on but you should have a good record of all of your sales leads. This will help you with your major business decisions in the long run.
While no one is perfect in running a solar business, you have the power to minimize committing solar business mistakes. Again, remember that you don’t need to make a mistake before you learn from it. Be wiser for you and your customers.