Smart Commercial Solar's Huon Hoogesteger just weighed in on the importance of integrity in our industry and why selling solar requires understanding a customer's energy story. Here's an excerpt with link below:
The commercial solar boom has begun and it’s up to design and install companies to do the right thing, writes Huon Hoogesteger.
Even in a boom – and we are definitely in a boom as was apparent at All-Energy in October – commercial solar is ultimately about telling a story, and telling that story begins with listening to someone else’s. You need to understand a customer’s energy story before you can suggest an alternative.
Why do they have a power spike in the afternoon? Could their operations start at 8am instead of 6am (when the sun isn’t up)? What have they been trying to achieve with energy? Quite often, people don’t even know their own story.
Only once you dig into a client’s data and bills can you can tell them with a true understanding about the best way to improve their energy future with solar.
One part of the commercial solar story is quality, but the industry has long been plagued by operators who sacrifice quality for cost. Quality in solar generation is critical and comes at a cost. It’s vital that clients understand that. In terms of conveying this value, we usually use something everyone can relate to: a car. Are you going to buy a rugged all-rounder or are you going to by the cheapest run-around available? Depends on what you need. Australia is a harsh environment, with a range of temperatures and conditions. Solar needs to be tough and built to last. It needs to be designed to deliver long-term benefit. In short, you need a rugged all-rounder.
If you’re not willing to negotiate on quality, the conversation and the outcome changes in a good way. Your customer only negotiates on quality if you do and they are misled into thinking it’s an option.
Let me give you an example from real life...