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Sales experience, sort of,

Hi everyone,
I am trying to get some feedback from some pro's, I am an electrician and have owned my own business for the last 5 years that mostly consist of residential and commercial service, most of my new customers are getting several bids so I consider myself a decent salesman for an electrician. I have my own sales philosophy that seems to work. Due to arthritis the physical part of my job is coming to an end soon and I was thinking and have thought in the past of getting into solar sales. Will the sales experience and the work experience be much help finding a job in solar sales or will I just be a guy with no real sales experience or training? I am planning on taking a crash course offered by Rich Hessler. Any thoughts and advice is much appreciated.
Thanks
BK - by bkessler
I'm not sure how lucrative solar sales is. Why not sale your electricity type work and let someone else do the work? - by cs80918
Electrical service is a very competitive market, in the last couple years the advantage has shifted from seller to buyer. It seems to me that solar is just getting going, I am in CA which is a very progressive state that offers plenty of rebates. Customers are getting great solar systems installed with no money down and payments with thier new bill less than the original bill. Also I feel like I need to get out, so that I don't keep getting pulled back in. - by bkessler
I'm just guessing but I don't believe it will be hard to find a job selling solar equipment. Especially if you find a company that pays straight commission.

As far as learning to sell I would imagine the solar company that you get contracted to sell for would have some training. If not just read some books.

Also, you could always try and find a job in any field that trains people how to sell. Automotive, celluar or whatever.

If you do well in solar sales let me know how it works. - by cs80918
Hi everyone,
I am trying to get some feedback from some pro's, I am an electrician and have owned my own business for the last 5 years that mostly consist of residential and commercial service, most of my new customers are getting several bids so I consider myself a decent salesman for an electrician. I have my own sales philosophy that seems to work. Due to arthritis the physical part of my job is coming to an end soon and I was thinking and have thought in the past of getting into solar sales. Will the sales experience and the work experience be much help finding a job in solar sales or will I just be a guy with no real sales experience or training? I am planning on taking a crash course offered by Rich Hessler. Any thoughts and advice is much appreciated.
Thanks
BK
My suggestion--save your money!

1970
With the Energy Crisis ! (OPEC oil embargo), suddenly it became important to find an alternative form of energy as we realized just how reliant we really are on non-renewable, finite resources like coal, oil and gas for our existence. Nixon as president in the early 1970's advocated and promoted solar energy

1980 - 1991
A Los Angeles based company called Luz Co. produced 95% of the world's solar-based electricity. They were forced to shut their doors after investors withdrew from the project as the price of non-renewable fossil fuels declined and the future of state and federal incentives were not likely.


The chairman of the board said it best: "The failure of the world's largest solar electric company was not due to technological or business judgment failures but rather to failures of government regulatory bodies to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of solar thermal generating plants."

That is, the government has known for decades that alternate fuels are utterly inadequate to serve our needs and have consistently failed to offer adequate incentives.

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Today, solar power represents 0.1% of the total energy used. The total percentage of all renewable energy sources including: wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and waste is a mere 12%. The solar industry hopes to capture 10%-15% by 2030 and that is across the country. That is a stretch.

__________________________________________________ ____

Aside from the government's position above, there is a believability problem with the public at large. Far too many do not believe in the efficacy of solar energy and/or do not have the sufficient discretionary funds in the current depressed economy to make such purchases. Together, government and public mistrust, explains the poor growth.

So, after 40 years of promoting a product and having only 0.1% of the market share across the country, should give anyone pause in considering investing time and money in the hopes of earning a decent living as their sales rep.

I agree with cs80918 suggestion posted here, you sell and have others do the work and don't through away your hard earned knowledge and expertise in a highly technical field. - by John Voris
Solar is a good investment with a proven non volital ROI, it may be subsidized but you can't tell me that oil is not, coal is not? If there wasn't oil in the middle east we would not be there. Solar does not make sense for some people but for others it does, especially for utility company's that have different tier rates. I think solar main proponent is just plain fear of change. Solar is a good investment for taxable savings. - by bkessler
Hi Bk

Funny that you are thinking about solar at this time, we just hooked up with a solar company to do their installs. They have offered our sales techs a really nice incentive to sell their units. I do agree with John. There may be growth for a year or two. Traditionally by the time a home owner finally realizes a positive cash flow it is time to upgrade and spend major dollars and go backwards once again. The last time the government jumped on the bandwagon they jumped off and the solar benefits from the government were lost. When you sell a unit you can make a nice buck. I wish I could give you the true information about the closing rate compared to the call rate. This information is not available. The company we hooked up with said they contact 100 people 1 may meet with them and then 1 out of 5 will buy. That translates to 1 in 500 and they are doing straight cold calling at this stage of the game.

I agree with some suggestions to sell electric products and have a person follow you up with the installs. With all due respect to being a business owner throw away your sales system and invest in a professional contracting sales trainer. Joe Crisara or Charlie Greer and learn a wonderful system that will allow you to be more than holding your own. The new objective is to sell panel boxes, upgrade the wiring of the home and other items that you as a business owner did not do. The time involved with closing the sale will drastically increase as you will have to be more patient than you were as an owner.

If you are involved with flat rate, upfront pricing or straight forward pricing now you do have a leg up on some others who try to sell. The most difficult thing for a tradesperson to do when selling flat rate type sales is forgetting their trade knowledge. It no longer will matter what you know until the client understands and knows that you care about him or her. There will be time for your knowledge and that arrives after the information gathering, rapport, and relationship building time. Your advantage prior to this new job was the ability to say I am the owner and many would purchase because you were the owner. How can the owner be wrong and out of line?

Without sales training you might be alright, you will be in a position that you are required to do more than alright. The sales must be able to support you, the installer, company, and non productive personnel. I am in the same position you find yourself and I sell plumbing not electric. I do not want this to sound out of line however 3-5 hundred dollar jobs will not pay for you let alone an installer. You will need to sell at least 1000 dollar jobs or more and do three of these a day. It is not easy and you must do this ethically while having integrity and honesty. It can take 1-3 hours to make this sale and you will be required to put this time in to be successful. Most tradesmen get frustrated easily and will give up if the client cannot make a decision within 30 minutes to use him or her. It is a different ballgame and it is highly rewarding.
I could go on and on as this is my industry but will give you a break. Ask more and get more information. - by rich34232
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