The first rule in marketing and sales: Get to know your customers.
What goals do they have? What challenges do they face? If you don’t speak to the things that matter most, your marketing will get lost in the noise. Your sales pitch will fall flat.
I always appreciate good market research, and Aurora delivers with their guide for residential solar installers: The 5 Solar Buyers. The types of buyers at a glance:
- The Lifelong Learner
- The Cost Saver
- The Cool Kid on the Block
- The Green Crusader
- The Independence Seeker
Of course each customer has lots of motivations, but it’s helpful to use personas – or generalized representations – to give you a framework for your messaging.
In my experience, The Cost Saver accounts for the largest group of residential customers, both for solar and energy efficiency projects. It’s important to note that this group shouldn’t be considered cheap. They’re intentional about where they spend money and want maximum value for their investment.
Residential energy efficiency contractors should also pay attention to a persona that I call “The Comfort Seeker.” More than anything, these homeowners want to stay warm in the winter and cool through the summer. Sussman and Chikumbo offer some sound advice for talking about comfort issues: How to Talk about Home Energy Upgrades, p. 8).
In a nutshell, the umbrella term “comfort” doesn’t really resonate. Get specific with your messaging: Talk about cold drafts, temperature differences between rooms, unwanted heat from the windows, and the like.
The bottom line – Stay open and keep learning about your customers. It’s hard to beat one-on-one conversations, but market research will get you going in the right direction.