How many times have you heard these responses?
- “I’ll get back to you at a better time.”
- “I’ll have to talk to my wife/husband/partner.”
- “We’ll have to think about it.”
- “…It’s just not a good time right now.”
“It’s just not a good time right now.” This all-too-common sales objection conjures up images of front doors slamming shut, phones clicking off, and chat windows closing out. Objections about timing certainly aren’t new, but if you’re working in sales today you may be hearing them now more than ever. As a sales person, you likely have your own specialized set of skills for responding to this objection, but you may not know how to respond during these uncertain times.
As a result of COVID-19, customers today are worried about their health, jobs and the economy. But there’s good news too. As homeowners spend more and more time at home, they may be paying greater attention to their growing utility bills, and be more open to a conversation about how solar could help control household expenses or support utility resilience. And, in many cases, both decision makers are at home now which could lead to a quicker sale.
The case for solar is as strong as ever, but to close a deal in the era of COVID-19, it’s critical to instill customer confidence. Here’s how:
STEP 1: Get Ahead of the Objections
Try putting yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers and carefully consider why they might think that now is not a good time to install solar. Are there any external factors that might be weighing on your prospects (i.e. major layoffs in your area, school closures, etc.)?
Another way to prepare for potential objections is to consult your family and friends and ask why they would or wouldn’t go solar at this time. Below are some common objections to solar that you may hear in the era of social distancing:
- “I am concerned about the state of the economy.”
- “I am worried about me or my significant other losing employment.”
- “I am concerned I won’t get a quality remote site assessment or solar installation in this current climate.”
- “If I have to move, I do not know what I would do with my solar installation.”
- “Too much change is happening right now, and I am weary of making any big decisions or purchases.”
If you are using a CRM like Salesforce or Zoho, you could also review data on your recent lost opportunities and ask yourself: why didn’t these deals close? Now that you have some data, you can probably see some patterns and can prepare appropriate responses to the most common objections.
Aurora Solar’s Mid-Market Executive, Elliot Goldstein, who has over 6 years of remote selling experience, also recommends leaning into objections immediately–never wait until the end of your conversation. Objection handling continues the conversation and more importantly keeps your customer talking. Here are a few questions you can use to get ahead of potential objections:
- “How would you finance your solar system?”
- “Would you take your solar installation with you if you moved?”
- “Are you concerned about job security in the future?”
STEP 2: Validate Uncertainty
When interacting with customers it’s important to acknowledge and validate their uncertainties. Rather than trying to create a rebuttal to their concerns, let them know that the feeling of uncertainty is perfectly normal. Here’s an example objection and response:
Objection: “Thanks for calling, but we’re not going to make any further investments to our home right now. We’ve got two kids at home from school, I’m swamped with work and given the state of the economy we are in savings mode. Solar is just a really big financial decision. The last thing I need is another thing to worry about.”
Response: “I totally hear you, I can relate to that myself. We’ve got kids at home from school and my wife and I are both working from our home office. We’re all in the same boat. I get that- solar is a big decision. So tell me–what about right now makes solar seem like an unlikely decision?”
Try to relate to your own experience or perhaps even share what you are hearing from other customers or prospects. Validating uncertainty shows empathy and gets your prospect talking.
STEP 3: Follow Up Often
Providing educational content to customers who can’t make a decision right now is a great way to move the sales process forward in a non-pushy way, and set yourself up as a trusted ally. The market is changing, and that means the sales pitch has to change too. Make sure to update your sales messaging to reflect the impact of COVID-19 and the future of the solar market. You can look through Aurora’s remote sales resource center for some ideas on how to make changes to your own materials.
By providing helpful resources, you’ll establish trust and credibility, and be the first on their list when they are finally ready to go solar.
Even if sales are slowing down right now, it’s a perfect time to plant some seeds now that will ensure a healthy sales season in the future.