How Do you Handle Your Customers’ Tough Questions About Solar Leases?

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:

Part 1: What Residential Solar Companies Need to Do to Successfully Offer a Solar Lease
Part 2: How Does a Solar Lease Work and How do You Sell its Value
Watch all 5 videos now in the free course”How to Use Solar Leases to Grow your Solar Business”

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.

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What Residential Solar Companies Need to do to Successfully Offer a Solar Lease

According to the State of California Energy Commission, in Q3 of 2011, the majority of residential systems were financed. What does this mean for solar installers? Simple. The solar lease is becoming the industry norm and you need to be offering it if you plan to remain competitive in the solar market place.

We reached out to BrightGrid Renewable Energy Finance, experts in residential solar leases, to answer some of the most common questions we get from solar installers about offering a solar lease. We created a 5 part mini series that answered the most common questions solar integrators have about offering a solar lease. To view all the videos, sign up for HeatSpring’s Free Course: How to Use Solar Leases to grow your Solar business. Here is the outline:

Part 1. Should your Business off a Solar Lease?
Part 2. How does a Solar Lease Work and How do you Sell It’s Value
Part 3. How do you Handle Customers Tough Questions About Solar Leases?
Part 4. What should you business consider when Selecting a Solar Manufacturing Partners?
Part 5. Who is a lease customer and how do you sell the leases value?

In Part 1, I spoke with Roger Franco VP of Sales and Marketing at BrightGrid and we discuss when solar businesses should offer a solar lease. Here’s what we talked about:

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How to Create a Solar PPA

Today the US solar market is booming–67% growth in 2010, according to SEIAs 2010 Solar Market Trends Report–easily the fastest growing industry in the US. In the US Solar photovoltaic market, there are largely two main obstacles to growth. The first is stable long-term policy and the second is financing.

More and more HeatSpring alumni, students and prospective students have begun to ask more about financing, and while we understand financing from a very broad level, we wanted solar financing experts to discuss many aspects related to financing. If you’re interested in writing an article for our series on solar financing, please email me at [email protected] We are confident that an installer’s ability to understand the various ownership structures and tax equity options, as well as structure PPAs and SRECs, will make them better able to develop projects.

If you’re very interested in learning more about financing commercial solar projects, I have three resources for you

Learn how to Finance Commercial Solar PPAs from A to Z Sign up for our Solar Executive MBA
Take a free course from our expert solar finance instructors Mastering Commercial Solar Finance
Access 60 minutes of videos answering 8 questions about best practices for financing commercial solar power purchase agreements.

The purpose of the series is to help small and medium size solar installers who are in a specific situation. Each article is written to help a small installer who has only been doing cash projects but suddenly have a large commercial installation that could be completed if only they could help the client with financing.

Our first article is about the development of solar PPAs from Heather South, who works with One Globe Renewables in Colorado.

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