Why Do People Look at Me Sideways When I Tell Them I Work in the Solar Industry?
Let me paint an all too common scenario for you when I meet people:
Pleasantries are exchanged. New acquaintance asks: “So what do you do?” Me: “I work in the solar industry”. Reaction: Arms crossover their chest, a slow step backwards, then: “oh…..that’s cool, well, it was nice to meet you but I need to run.”
Need to run indeed.
For a while, I would ask myself: “what did I say?” or covertly give myself a smell test, but I soon realized it was the word solar that was chasing people away. I had my thoughts on why this was, but I set out to ask people what their experience has been that may be causing this reaction. Here are some responses:
“I can’t go into Lowes without getting the sales pitch on solar. Really annoying.”
“Solar companies are knocking on my door at least 3 times a week. When they aren’t knocking they are calling me.”
“I had a solar sales person come give me a proposal. During his pitch, it seemed like he didn’t really know what he was talking about and then he pressured me multiple times to sign a contract right then and there.”
“I want solar, but I don’t know much about it. I had a company give me quote, and afterwards I felt more confused about solar than I did before.”
“Yeah I talked to a solar guy about solar at my house. I felt like I was buying a used car. No thanks.”
Yes, this little research experiment confirmed my suspicions. People are having bad experiences with solar companies and losing trust in the whole industry. High pressure sales tactics, poor technical training for sales representatives, sometimes less than honest financial forecasts; no wonder why some people want to run away from me.
On behalf of the solar community: We’re sorry this is happening to you. A lot of us don’t operate like that. A lot of us work in the communities we live in. A lot of us are excited about the prospects of a new clean energy future for our community, country and world. A lot of us are honest folks that believe in the benefits of solar energy for our customers. Apparently not all of us though 🙁
So, I ask of you, dear reader, don’t give up on your dreams of powering your own home or business with electricity from the sun, or your dreams of stopping your endless payments to the utility providers. You can still do it. Here’s one tip for you (many more to follow): Take your time when deciding to go solar. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision right away. When a solar rep is asking for your sale, you are in control; just say I won’t sign anything today, I want time to think about it.