For a home or business owners, solar is a different type of purchase than other property improvements like HVAC or electrical upgrades. When the solar first gets installed, your solar customers are excited by a mix of electrical cost-savings and emissions reduction, experiencing a halo effect where they want to tell the world to ‘go solar’ with them. These customers are your best advocates and you should reward them with a referral fee for new customers they refer!
No one likes a hard sell from a solar salesman at the dining room table or boardroom, but new potential solar customers are receptive to hearing their friend's positive solar experience. In a business context where customer acquisition cost is still nearly $.50/w, referral incentive programs are the way to hand your customers ‘the megaphone’ and grow your solar business for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
James, Founder and CEO of from high noon solar mentioned ‘keeping-up-with-the-jones’ effect where homeowners want to have what their peers have. Below are some tactics to harness and generate referrals.
A common tactic is to hang door hangers on all the front doors in the neighborhood where a solar installation is taking place. This can often read “your neighbor is going solar, are you?”
A local Dallas installer throws customer appreciation parties where former solar clients can invite their friends and celebrate solar. Since that is the solar common factor of the gathering, those friends and acquaintances can literally see a room of happy solar owners. At the completion of a residential install, A1A Solar hosts a dinner party for residential customers and their neighbors and friends in the community. They do so with the stipulation that in the beginning they can give their pitch and then they leave and dinner party continues.
Monitoring is the lynchpin of solar education. When a residential customer shares their solar monitoring around the water cooler or on social media, new residential leads are soon to follow. Challenge former solar customer to post their monitoring production on your social media page for a prize.
Create a landing page your site and post on social media about your referral program. Adding cash in the mix, incentivizes former clients to share what the have already been sharing.
Business guru Simon Scheck explains“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Who better to share why they buy solar, than your happy residential solar customers themselves?