Volta Strategies

Be Worth the Wait

Grow Profitably

No-nonsense growth strategies for solar + energy efficiency contractors. Delivered once a week.

Let me guess – You’re booked out months. The phone rings steadily, and you’re turning people away because you can’t come out until the spring or summer.

One of my clients turned away more than 100 potential customers last month. These are not normal times.

You can’t wave a wand to complete projects faster, so what do you do? How do you keep from missing this swell in demand? How do you stay connected to customers queuing up for months?



First, you’re probably communicating openly and transparently about your timelines for both appointments and projects. If not, start here.

Second, there’s a good chance you recently started charging or charging more for appointments. That’s the age-old strategy to manage demand and keep customers from cancelling after waiting for months.

Here are three other marketing and communications strategies to consider.



When a potential customer calls, ask for their contact information before getting into timelines, pricing, and all the rest.

If they seem like a good fit – except for the timelines – add them to your newsletter list. You’ll get a chance to stay in touch and build trust over time. Read more about how to send a killer newsletter.

The majority of people spend a year or more considering solar before making a decision. That’s why a long-term nurturing campaign (i.e. an effective email newsletter) could position you to get the sale when they’re finally ready.



What about people who schedule appointment months out? If you wait until the week of their appointment to circle back, I’ll bet you see a pretty high cancellation rate. Life get busy, and a certain number of your customers will forget that they scheduled.

To stay in touch with customers waiting for appointments, set up a simple email sequence in your CRM to check in at regular intervals (more on this in the next section). As an alternative, you could add waiting customers to your newsletter list so that they remember you and learn what you’re all about.

Set Up Email Sequences

Here are step-by-step instructions to set up automated email sequences based on your customers’ appointment dates in Salesforce, Hubspot, and Acuity.

The scheduling interval and email content will vary depending on the details of your company and market. As an example, I’m including a scheduling email sequence for a residential solar installer booking sales appointments between two and three months out. The emails at a glance:

Confirmation Email

Notes: Keep it simple. Confirm the appointment time, and if possible, include a link for your customer to cancel or reschedule.

Subject: {Name}: {Appointment Type} on {Appointment Date}

Hi {Name},

Thank you for reaching out. I’m writing to confirm your {appointment type} at {appointment time} on {appointment date}. 

If you need to reschedule or cancel, please use the buttons below, or feel free to give us a call at {your phone number}.

We look forward to seeing you soon!
{Your Name}

Check-In Email

Notes: Remind the client about their appointment. If there’s anything the customer can do to get the most value from their appointment, call it out.

Subject: Checking In

Hi {Name},

We still have you booked for an {appointment type} on {appointment date}. 

Before your appointment, please make sure you have access to recent electricity bills for your home. The bills will help us estimate your average energy savings and payback period.

Please don’t hesitate to follow up with any questions. If you need to reschedule or cancel, you can use the buttons below, or give us a call at {your phone number}.

Look forward to working with you,
{Your Name}

Reminder Email

Notes: Another reminder. Set expectations for the appointment.

Subject: Your Appointment on {Appointment Date}

Hi {Name},

Your {appointment type} is coming up on {appointment date} at {appointment time}.

During your appointment, we’ll estimate your solar potential and talk through your best installation options as well as financing and incentives.

Most appointments take about {appointment duration}. To make sure you get the most from our time together, please don’t schedule other meetings or errands at the same time.

Looking forward to it,
{Your Name}

Meet Your Consultant

Notes: One last reminder. Introduce the person who will visit their home.

Subject: Meet Your Consultant

Hi {Name},

I’m writing to introduce you to your consultant, {Consultant Name}. They’ll plan on arriving at {appointment time} on {appointment date}.  

You can learn more about {Consultant Name} on our website, and we hope you feel free to contact them directly with any updates or questions:

•	{consultant phone}
•	{consultant email}

See you soon,
[Your Name}




This is the time to lean into trust symbols. Prioritize reviews, certifications, awards – things that tell customers you’re worth the wait.


Selling solar is hard. One of the biggest barriers to solar is what’s known as “trialability.” Your customers face an all-or-nothing decision. Either you bolt the solar array to their house, or you don’t. There’s no way for them to try before they buy.

Because homeowners can’t try before they buy, they place a heavy emphasis on the experiences of others to help them make a decision. That’s why reviews, testimonials, and referrals are worth their weight in gold.

I recommend including at least one testimonial on each of the sales pages on your website. You can use what’s called a “carousel” to rotate through reviews so you don’t have to give up too much real estate. Like this:



Some solar and energy efficiency contractors group their testimonials together on a separate page. That’s OK, as long as you include a strong testimonial or carousel of testimonials on your sales page.

The goal is to inspire confidence and conversions on your sales page. If you make people go to a separate page to read testimonials, you risk missing out on the conversions that matter most.

Nonprofits and Utilities

In addition to testimonials, you can leverage endorsements from local nonprofit partners or utilities. In Oregon, the nonprofit Energy Trust of Oregon distributes cash incentives to homeowners, who work with contractors in their trade ally network.

The Energy Trust benefits from a huge amount of consumer confidence. I strongly encourage Oregon-based solar and energy efficiency contractors to feature their partnership with the Energy Trust. For example:


“Over the last decade, we’ve helped homeowners save more than $100,000 with cash incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon. We’re proud to have the Energy Trust’s highest rating – 5 out of 5 stars – as a trade ally contractor.”

National Awards

Look for national awards from organizations that have authority with your audience. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency jointly run the ENERGY STAR® program. Every year, companies have a chance to win ENERGY STAR Awards. 

The ENERGY STAR brand communicates authority and trust to most homeowners who care about saving energy. Home performance contractors should consider the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year Award.


Certifications can also add credibility. The key is to hone in on one or two certifications with broad recognition.

Each person who visits your website will typically give you only a few seconds before they decide whether or not they trust you enough to get in touch. A certification from an independent, authoritative organization will help.

I’ve seen compelling results from certification as a B Corporation or B Corp. You can learn more about earning B Corp certification from the nonprofit B Lab.

B Corp certification has a couple things going for it. In addition to broad recognition among consumers, the certification allows you to back up the claim that you’re in business for the right reasons.


“As a certified B Corp, we meet the highest standards of social and environmental accountability.”

There are lots of reasons to go for industry specific certifications, but from a marketing standpoint, I don’t see as much value as B Corp. Industry specific certifications don’t do as much work to inspire confidence because they don’t have the same recognition among most members of your audience.

That said, residential solar installers should strongly consider NABCEP certification, and home performance contractors would likely benefit from a certification by the Building Performance Institute.




You’re not the cheapest, and you won’t be the first one out there. Ideally, you want your customers to look forward to their appointment because you’re worth waiting for. 

Bill Hoelzer

Bill is the Principal at Volta Strategies. He’s spent almost a decade marketing solar and energy efficiency companies, driving sustained, double-digit growth and millions of dollars in new revenue for his clients.

Grow Profitably

No-nonsense growth strategies for solar + energy efficiency contractors. Delivered once a week.


→  Strategy

→  Referrals

→  Email

→  SEO


→  Advertising

→  Automation

→  Sales