This is the third video in a five part series that HeatSpring created with BrightGrid Renewable Energy Finance to help residential solar contractors learn more about solar financing and leases. The goal is simple, we want to help installers to determine if their business will be helped with a solar lease and if it will be, the basics that they need to understand to offer a lease profitably.

In the third part in the series I spoke with Jeanne Rice, Marketing Director at BrightGrid, to learn the most common objections their installation partners are seeing in the field and the tips they use to get around those objections.

You can watch the two previous articles here:

Here are the two highlights that stuck out most to me. 

  • If a customer wants to purchase cash, do not stop them. Selling a lease is all about qualifying and profiling the right customers. You need to be VERY SPECIFIC about who your lease customers are. By qualifying correctly, you will avoid most objections.
  • Keep the conversion super simple! Do not bring up extremely complicated technical or financial jargon. Lease customers tend to be mainstream customers. This can be hard for many installers because THEY LOVE the technology and want to speak about it. Just remember, talk about what your CUSTOMERS CARE ABOUT, not what you, the installer, cares about.

Here is what we spoke about.

  • Question: What are the top 3 objections that are hard for installers to overcome?
  • Answer #1. The most common questions installers get is “Does it cost me more to lease or buy the system?”. Here’s the best answer and way of thinking about the question. If the customer has the cash they should go ahead and buy it because the returns will be better. HOWEVER, if they don’t have the  cash, or don’t want to tap lines of credit, or don’t want the hassles of ownership, the best option is the lease. Also remember this. If a customer DOES have the cash, it’s still worth the installers time to mention to a customer that with a lease they will not have the hassle’s of ownership.
  • Answer # 2. The second most common question a homeowner will say is “Why are my savings lower with a zero upfront solution?” This happens with our leases because when a proposal is sent out it has three options; no money down, some money down, a prepaid lease. The more your invest the lower your payments, it simple math. The critical thing to remember is whatever option a homeowner chooses, their electric costs will be reduce.
  • Answer #3. The third most common question our installer partners get from homeowners is “What happens to warranties and guarantees of the equipment if the manufacturers go out of business?” The answer is that regardless of the manufacturers or installers business the homeowner is covered because the system is owned by the leasing company. It’s the leasing companies responsibility.
  • Question: You have a few tips around sales training I thought were really useful to solar companies that might be starting to offering the lease. What are those tips?
  • Answer: The first tip is to keep the conversation as simple as possible, DO NOT over-complicate the sale. As we move into the mass market installers need to remember to stay out of the technical discussions of how the systems and financing works. This can be hard because installers tend to love the technology. 
  • Question: What are the most common way installers are making the conversation to technical? Is it financial, technological, paperwork, incentives?
  • Question: What is the type of tough questions you’re noticing from mass market clients and most importantly, what is your advice for installers that are used to sell cash systems to early adopters that are not selling leases to mass market customers?
  • Question: For the past few years, installers have been focusing on building their technical skills with both design and installation, and are now tending to optimize their market and sales activities. Are you noticing any best practices for profiling and qualifying the best solar lease customers?
  • What pre-qualification do you do over the phone to determine if someone is a cash versus lease customer? If they’re a lease customers, how do determine if their a ‘great’ lease customer, or ‘good’ lease customers?

If you are a solar installer and you have questions or would like to work with BrightGrid, you can get more information about their residential financing product here.

To watch the whole 5 part series right now, sign up for the free course “How to Use Solar Leases to Grow your Solar Business”