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Heather Griffin

Crafting Solar Cold Calling Scripts that Convert

Solar Cold Call Scripts that Work

By | Compliance, Solar, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

Crafting Solar Cold Calling Scripts that Convert

by Heather Griffin, solar lead generation and call center expert

 

From a fiercely competitive customer base to fast-changing regulations, the solar market presents a series of particular obstacles to outbound call center teams.

As I explained in my previous post about confronting solar sales challenges, your dialing strategies and solar dialer need to incorporate an omnichannel approach that’s supported by the right contact center technology.

What I didn’t describe in depth, however, was just how essential the right cold calling script is for pitching solar panels or qualifying prospective solar buyers. To truly deliver on your lead generation strategy, from the moment your potential leads pick up the phone—and even before then—your agents need to be equipped with a script that makes it easier for them to do what they do best. 

To help you build those ideal scripts, refer to this guide. We’ll cover:

  • How to deal with scarce solar data

  • Helping your agents handle different rules and regulations

  • Adjusting your scripts based on customer intent

  • Why you should seal an appointment before you filter or qualify

  • How dynamic scripting can help

Heather Griffin, Solar Call Center Ops Expert

 

Guest author Heather Griffin has extensive experience managing medium and large-sized solar call center operations, including multi-state call centers, virtual call centers, and offshore call centers. She has helped many transition to remote operations and works as a consultant to numerous call centers. She is an expert in optimizing the efficiency and productivity of leads, managers, and solar sales and lead generation agents.

 

Before You Call a Solar Lead, Know Who You’re Calling

To be competitive in the solar sales, you need to contact more leads and convert them quickly. However, in the solar industry, data is scarce. There’s simply more demand for leads than there is supply. 

In a market with a limited availability of data, you need to build a solar dialing strategy capable of making the most of each and every call. This means your scripts are an indispensable part of that strategy.

The very best solar cold calling scripts don’t just guide efficient conversations for your agents. They first take into account the available and actionable information that you have on the people you’re dialing.

 

Adjust Your Scripts to the Local Market

Anyone who has worked in solar lead generation knows just how many regulatory hurdles there are to account for while dialing. To make things more complicated, these different rules change regularly and vary from state to state. From “no-rebuttal” states to so-called “purchase-only” states, there’s simply more information out there than you can expect any agent to remember in order to remain compliant. That’s why these compliance differences need to be built into your cold calling scripts from the get-go. 

Solar call center agent on sales and lead gen team

So, consider the states that you’ll be dialing as you’re crafting individually tailored cold calling scripts. If, for example, a state requires–as many do–that your agent gives their name, your company’s name, and their employee number, make sure that your script reflects that. Or, if a state mandates two-party consent for recordings, make sure your scripts include a notice within the first ten seconds that the call is being recorded.

It used to be that I was always trying desperately to get my reps to realize that there were these different scripts for different states. Now, though, things have evolved: You can use dynamic scripting to make sure that your agents automatically get the right script in front of them. 

Say one of your agents has been making calls to New Jersey, and suddenly they get one that’s in Texas. With dynamic scripting, we can have a script that, first and foremost, pops up in a bright, flashy red that grabs your rep’s attention. Plus, it will tell them right away, up top, that Texas is a purchase-only state.

And from there, the whole script is different: the hook, the pitch, the questions.

The rest of the script has to be different because compliance regulations aren’t the only things that separate states from each other. You’ve got to adjust your scripts for not just the states but the people in them, too. 

 

From new STIR/SHAKEN protocols to TCPA Compliance, check out these compliance resources.

 

Greet Your Customers Accordingly

Every cold caller knows the importance of an opening hook. However, your chance to positively influence your customer—or lose them—actually begins sooner, from the moment the call starts, with the way that you greet your customer. When building effective scripts, you should use historical knowledge about a location’s customers to influence how your scripts begin. For example, you might not greet somebody from New Jersey in the same way you would someone from Texas. 

More generally, if you lead your conversation with an impersonal, open-ended question like “Hi, can I speak with Mr. or Mrs. Smith?” you will likely instantly set off alarm bells and kill the lead. They might immediately think “Telemarketer!” and quickly disconnect.

Instead, if you connect with them using their name—recognizing them by saying, for example, “Jonathan?” when they answer—you’ll increase your chances of getting their attention, establishing a personal connection, and continuing the call successfully.

 

Understand the Intent of Your Leads

From this point on, your cold call script should be tailored to the intent of your data source. Understanding where your potential lead was sourced is key to creating a successful script. 

Calling High-Intent Data

When dialing high-intent data, you will want to remind them of their interest. For instance, if they signed up for more information online, tell them that you are following up with more information. Confirm that you have them on the line at a time that’s good for them, then head into your time-tested pitch, informing them of all of the benefits you’re offering.

With high-intent data, your call script should reflect what your call is really about: It’s an opportunity for brand-building. The person you have on the line has already said, in effect, “Yes, I want solar,” and opted-in to your funnel. The call, then, is your opportunity to tell them why, out of any company, they should choose your brand. 

Calling Low-Intent Data

If you have a low-intent lead on the call, you will need to take a different approach. Instead of reminding them of their interest, you need to efficiently gauge their understanding of solar as well as their interest in proceeding. Ask them if they have seen the solar panels going up in their neighborhood. Better yet, ask them what they have heard or know about solar. 

Though these types of questions are open-ended and might require some flexibility on the part of your agent and your script, there are so many answers that can lead to an opening. By getting someone to volunteer their own knowledge about solar, you open the door to a positive follow-up: Your agent having the opportunity to say, “So, it sounds like you’re interested.”

 

How Convoso improves results for solar call centers

 

How to Convert a Solar Lead Once You Get Them on the Phone

1. Seal the Appointment First, Ask Questions Later

Whether you’re qualifying high-intent or low-intent leads, this sort of positive development in a call leads you closer to the primary conversion goal in solar: scheduling an in-person evaluation. Because of this evaluation’s importance, structure your script around getting them to say yes to an appointment before you ask filtering questions about their eligibility. To do so, follow these tips:

  • Move quickly: Time is of the essence. Don’t dwell on unnecessary details and get to the point. Once you’ve gauged a low-intent user’s interest or presented your pitch to a high-intent lead, quickly move to schedule an appointment.
  • Make it easy: Your audience needs to know how simple it is to see if their home is right for solar. Tell them that you have a solar specialist in their area—whether it’s on their street, in their neighborhood, or in their city—and ask if they would like to schedule an appointment imminently that can save them money.
  • Give them options: As in all sales, it’s important to give your customers options. Although, you can inject some urgency by offering options in time slots that are very near. When you tell them that you can have a specialist drop by, say, tomorrow, give them a few times to choose from. Try: “I can have my specialist drop by tomorrow at 3:00 or 6:00. Which of these is best for you?”
  • Be prepared to explain: Many callers will want to know exactly how much they can save with solar. Of course, your agent won’t be able to give them much more than general information on this front. To account for potential pushback against an appointment, incorporate a polite rebuttal into your script that enables your agent to explain how an in-person appointment is necessary because every home and solar installation is unique.

2. After a “Yes” to a Solar Appointment, Qualify Them

Once you’ve sealed that coveted appointment, then it’s time to confirm their eligibility. Tell your customer that, in order to avoid wasting any of their time, you just have a few final questions for them. Incorporate a set series of important screening questions like these into your solar cold calling scripts:

  • Is your credit score still over ___?
  • Is your utility provider still ___?
  • Will your spouse be home, or are you the only person on the title?
  • Looking at your roof, would you say that it has a lot of shade, a little shade, or no shade?

 

Do It All with Dynamic Scripting for Solar Cold Calls

Trying to account for all that the solar market has to throw at you, my solar sales and lead generation teams found that dynamic scripting truly changed our world. 

From following rules in different states to adapting to customers of varying intent, introducing dynamic scripting into our solar call centers helped maintain compliance and maximize our sales. It’s simple: the system knows where the call is going and to whom, and then tells the rep what to say.

It’s been tremendous in helping us sell the right product in the right way. And in solar, sometimes you need all the help you can get.

 


Setting up your solar sales and lead generation team for success starts with setting them up with the right solar dialing software. Find out how Convoso can help your solar call center increase contact rates and lead conversions. Schedule a demo today.

Confronting Solar Sales Challenges to Convert More Leads

By | Best Practices, Solar | No Comments

Your mission is to generate solar leads with different marketing initiatives.  Or, maybe you’re trying to reach purchased leads to qualify them for solar panels and set up appointments for your solar sales team. Or, perhaps your solar call center is doing both. In any case, we don’t have to tell you – you know it ain’t easy.

Spikes in clean-energy demand, increased incentives for buyers, and a steady drop in hardware costs are all driving rapid growth in the solar industry. But for all of its growth potential, this flourishing market presents unique obstacles for outbound solar sales and lead generation teams.

Heather Griffin, Solar Call Center Ops ExpertSolar call center expert Heather Griffin has guest authored this article to give you a clearer understanding of the challenges and complexities facing solar marketers generating and qualifying solar leads.  These challenges include:

  • Challenge #1:  Fierce competition over a narrow pool of eligible customers
  • Challenge #2:  A national marketplace with diverse and fast-changing regulations
  • Challenge #3:  The need to coordinate dialing strategies with on-the-ground sales teams’ schedules

Heather sheds light on how smart strategies with the right technology and tools will help you navigate these challenges and convert more solar sales to thrive in this booming but highly competitive sector.

Heather Griffin has extensive experience managing medium and large-sized solar call center operations, including multi-state call centers, virtual call centers, and offshore call centers. She has helped many transition to remote operations and works as a consultant to numerous call centers. She is an expert in optimizing the efficiency and productivity of leads, managers, and solar sales and lead generation agents.

 


 

Confronting Solar Sales Challenges to Convert More Leads

by  Heather Griffin

 

Solar Sales Challenge #1: Limited Eligibility

Starting at the highest level, one of the reasons solar marketing and sales can be especially challenging is because the number of eligible leads and customers is fixed. It’s a relatively small circle, and it doesn’t get any bigger. 

The reasoning behind this is easy enough to grasp. To be a solar customer, you have to thread the needle on several criteria: you need to be a homeowner, have good credit, and your home can’t have shade on your roof. Even your roof has to conform to certain standards—it can’t be flat, it can’t have dormers, and it has to be made of the right material, and so on.

So, to start with, solar sales and lead generation companies wind up with a particularly narrow pool of Americans who are even going to be eligible to purchase solar panels. But the special challenge of the solar market doesn’t end there. Once you get through the eligibility criteria, you’ll find a prospective audience that isn’t just small, but hotly contested. This means that much of this sought-after audience has been the target of call after call, knock after knock. As a result, many eligible prospects are often burned out on cold calls and traditional high-volume marketing tactics. 

When these exhausted leads pick up the phone, if you so much as say the word “solar,” you’ll be met with a dial tone. Take it from me, a lifelong Southern California resident. I’ve received thousands of solar calls over the years, and if I hear the word “solar,” even I’m automatically turned off. 

Still, breaking through with that small base is just the first of the challenges you need to solve.

 

Solar Sales Challenge #2: A Diverse, Widespread Market

It’s not just the size of the niche market that presents challenges for solar sales; it’s also the variations that you will encounter within your audience. As you try to sell to this small audience state by state, you’ll encounter different dialects, personality types, and beliefs. For instance, If you’re making a call to New Jersey, you might not get away with a soft opening of “How’s your day going? How’s the weekend?” Instead, you might need to take a more blunt approach.

But you’ll need your outbound sales team to account for more differences than dialect and decorum. When you’re trying to sell solar across various market areas, your team also needs to care for ever-evolving circumstances on the ground as well as ever-changing rules and regulations on the books.

In solar sales, it seems like there are different rules and different products for each day of the week. On top of that, there’s different financing information to consider, plus a different set of rules for each utility provider. Add to that the diverse, complex regulations in play—you have “no-rebuttal” states, “purchase-only” states, “two-party consent” states, and more—and you wind up with more than you can reasonably expect your contact center agents to remember to remain in compliance and make meaningful connections with your leads.

Real potential costs in regulation litigation

All these rules don’t just add up to a challenge—they come with a real cost. And there are people out there trying to catch you and your reps if you step out of line.

Take this example from just this past year: We were making calls in a state that requires you to give your full physical address, which is quite a lot to say at the beginning of a call when you’re trying to keep somebody on the line. Meanwhile, we got a tip from our lawyer. He told us there were literally ambulance chasers opting into forms, making sure callers said all of the right things, and ready to wage a lawsuit.

And that’s just one rule, in one state. Your team needs to account for all of them, across the solar market.

 

Solar Sales Challenge #3: Geography, Proximity, and Load Balancing

Beyond connecting with these potentially overburdened leads in a way that’s localized, compliant, and effective, you also have to avoid overburdening your salesforce. That’s because, given the reality of selling solar panels, you can’t simply convert over the phone. There’s no way around it: you have to physically drive to that person’s house if you’re going to address that home’s specific needs and close a sale.

This importance of geography and in-person evaluations to the solar buyer’s journey leads to the challenge of load balancing your scheduling queue. That is, you only have so many salespeople who can drive to prospect’s homes. So, your data and calling strategy have to match to be balanced against that reality and your own company’s particular sales resources and locations.

 

How Convoso improves results for solar call centers

 

Strategy and Technology to Navigate Challenges of Solar Lead Generation and Sales (and Convert More!)

 

All told, you can expect to encounter these interrelated challenges in the solar industry:

  • A small yet diverse audience who are fiercely competed over.  You need to be able to kindly and respectfully reach prospects in a way that suits them.
  • A diverse, widespread market with many different rules and regulations.  Your agents need the capability of easily adapting to a varied audience.
  • A critical need for in-person evaluations to close sales.   Your sales force’s schedules need to be load balanced against your leads.

You’ll find the answer to each of these challenges is the right strategies and technology. To overcome the unique obstacles of the solar lead gen market – to identify and connect with that limited pool of eligible prospects – you ultimately need a software system that’s capable of doing a lot of legwork for you and your team.

 

Find more tips on how to win in solar lead generation

 

Reach your leads with omnichannel solar sales

To connect meaningfully with eligible customers, you need technology that supports an omnichannel approach. As opposed to the old way we used to dial the market, beating them up with call after call after call, solar sales requires that you maintain multiple meaningful touchpoints with your potential customers—and have a way to keep track of it all. 

Say that one of your potential clients opts in through an online form. With the right technology and algorithm, you should be able to set up a system to call them, send them a follow-up email that day, and then finally text them to see if they actually prefer texting. This way, we don’t just call them, but we try to reach them in the way that they’re comfortable being spoken to.

 

Take the guesswork out of lead conversion with workflow automation

 

Support your agents with Dynamic Scripting

As I’ve said, there’s too much variance in rules, regulations, and customer needs across the entire solar market to expect your agents to keep track of it all. That means your cold call scripts need to provide them with the right support.

Here, dynamic scripting capabilities have simply changed the world. With dynamic scripting, your agent can automatically be given a script that is different for each state: The questions are different, the pitch is different, and the hook is different. Plus, each script can equip your agents to navigate the minutiae associated with varying compliance rules.

 

Adapt to each customer with dynamic scripting

 

Scheduling your sales team for success with strategic filter technology 

So, you’ve reached your leads with an omnichannel approach, you’ve hooked them with the right script and a great pitch, but now you’ve got a problem: You’re way over-booked in one area and way under-booked in another. Turns out, once again, the solution is technology.

Long gone are the days of uploading a list of 100,000 leads and dialing straight through the list. With the right technology, you can set the filters you need—whether it’s zip code, state, or territory filters—to make sure that your agents are dialing the data that matches the availability of your sales personnel.

I still buy all the data, but I watch my load balance schedule. I know that filtering will help me sort out and match my dialing strategy to my scheduling on the fly. Using the right tech, you can keep your schedules booked evenly thanks to filtering.

So, if I’m dialing in Texas and see that Dallas is getting way overbooked while Houston is underbooked, all I have to do is turn on all of my data sources, put a Houston filter on, and now the hopper will only load with leads in that area. I call for 30 or 40 minutes, get the leads filled up in that area, then remove the filter and start dialing everyone again.

The best part of all this? These filtering capabilities help you make the most of the scarce pool of solar customers.

 

Focus on the right leads with robust lead management

 

Efficiently managing solar leads with your dialer’s filtering capabilities

In solar, everyone wants the same leads—we’re all fighting over that limited supply, and we want to buy every single lead we can get. So I’d say, still buy all the leads, but filter accordingly.

There’s all these different ways in which I can manipulate my data within the dialer’s system by using filters. With solar you HAVE to get really niche and really granular because you’re back to that small amount of people who are going to be eligible for your product.

So, if I only want to call one city, then I filter by the city name. If I only want to call people whose credit scores are over 680, I’d put that in. Anything that’s a dynamic field, I can filter my data and just dial that for a while to get the end result that I want.

 

Crafting Solar Cold Calling Scripts that Convert

How do you write the best cold calling script for solar sales and lead gen teams? Catch my next post with tips and strategies on crafting the right script for the right prospect to generate more solar leads and ultimately, to sell more solar panels. Read post on solar panel call scripts.

 


 

Setting up your solar sales and lead generation team for success starts with setting them up with the right solar dialing software. Find out how Convoso can help your solar call center increase contact rates and lead conversions. Schedule a demo today.