The Solar Sales Scam: Why You Shouldn't Get Into Solar Sales

solar sale

TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

Solar Is Super Appealing, But That’s About It

The solar industry looks incredibly appealing at first glance.

With promises of high earnings and a chance to contribute to a sustainable future, it’s easy to see why many young people are drawn to it.

Most guys get drawn in with an attractive visualization of crazy high sales commissions.

A job on Indeed might list the salary as something ridiculous like $200,000/year.

When in reality, none of that is guaranteed to you.

And even if you were to get that $200k in commissions, it’s going to take some back breaking grinding and a thick skin.

Here’s the down and dirty truth about the solar industry and why you should stay away from it.

Why So Many Guys Fall For The Solar Scam

The solar industry is undeniably attractive, especially for young guys looking to make fast money.

Many companies advertise the possibility of making six figures, with top salespeople raking in even more.

However, the solar market is extremely competitive, with numerous companies fighting for the same customers.

This intense competition makes it difficult to stand out and secure a stable position for anyone. And the pressure to constantly hustle and outperform competitors can lead to burnout and job instability.

So your boss will tell you something like, “it’s the easiest sell in the world. There are government tax incentives, it’ll save them money, it helps the environment…and if you sell a $20,000 system you’ll make $2,000 just like that!”

Then you get all hyped up, you go door to door, and you end up getting it slammed in your face about 99% of the time.

In fact, According to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, the median wage for solar sales representatives is around $58,000 per year, significantly lower than the six-figure salaries often advertised.

Only the top performers achieve those high incomes, and reaching that level requires exceptional skill, persistence, and a bit of luck.

The Harsh Reality of Competition

The solar market is saturated, making it incredibly difficult for newcomers to establish themselves.

According to a 2020 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the solar workforce grew by 167% over the past decade.

This rapid expansion has led to a crowded market where standing out is a daunting task.

Many new entrants struggle to differentiate their offerings, resulting in high turnover rates and significant job insecurity.

In this fiercely competitive environment, companies are often forced to adopt cutthroat tactics.

Sales teams are under immense pressure to meet targets, leading to a high-stakes atmosphere where only the most persistent and aggressive individuals thrive.

The constant hustle can be exhausting, leading to burnout and high employee turnover.

If you’re not prepared to endure relentless pressure and fight tooth and nail for every sale, the solar industry can quickly become disheartening.

The Downside of Door-to-Door Sales

A significant part of the solar industry relies on door-to-door sales, which has become a common strategy for reaching potential customers.

Door-to-door sales can be incredibly taxing and demoralizing.

Imagine spending hours each day knocking on doors, often facing immediate rejection.

It's a grind that requires immense resilience and persistence.

For many young salespeople, this constant stream of rejection can quickly lead to burnout and frustration.

The emotional toll of door-to-door sales is significant, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to leave the industry after just a few months of this relentless grind.

Furthermore, the aggressive tactics used by some door-to-door sales teams have given the solar industry a bad name.

People are increasingly tired of the persistent knocks and pitches, leading to a negative perception of solar salespeople.

Stories of pushy, unrelenting sales tactics are widespread, and this can turn potential customers away from the entire concept of solar energy.

In an industry that relies heavily on trust and positive public perception, these aggressive tactics can be extremely damaging.

The Chaotic World of Solar Leads

Beyond door-to-door sales, the solar industry has another significant challenge: the chaotic market for solar leads.

Solar leads are essentially potential customer contacts that are bought and sold between companies and agencies.

Maybe you answered a vague question about solar 10 years ago on a random survey or clicked an ad about solar. Now you’re a solar lead being bought and sold.

The solar leads business is a tangled web of brokers and agencies, each trying to sell the same leads to different companies. 

This saturation creates an environment where lead quality is always questionable.

It’s not uncommon for multiple companies to contact the same lead, leading to customer frustration and a poor impression of the solar industry as a whole.

Imagine being a homeowner bombarded by calls from different solar companies, all offering similar pitches.

This over-saturation not only annoys potential customers but also diminishes the chances of making a sale.

Another issue is the reliability of the leads themselves. Many solar companies invest heavily in purchasing leads, only to find that a significant number are outdated, uninterested, or simply not viable.

According to EnergySage, a leading online comparison-shopping marketplace for solar, the average cost of acquiring a decent solar customer is between $2,500 and $4,000.

When the leads are subpar, this cost can skyrocket, making it difficult for companies to achieve a reasonable return on investment.

The financial risks associated with buying and selling leads are also considerable.

Solar companies often pay large sums upfront for leads, without any guarantee of conversion.

These can be numbers as high as $8,000+ per month only to get crappy leads that lead nowhere.

This speculative investment can strain budgets and lead to financial instability, especially for smaller companies or new entrants in the market.

Additionally, the pressure to convert these leads into sales can lead to aggressive tactics, further damaging the industry's reputation.

The BMM Takeaway

In summary, while the solar industry offers significant opportunities, the challenges posed by the competitive environment, aggressive sales tactics, and the unreliable solar leads market make it a tough field to thrive in.

Prospective entrants need to be fully aware of these issues and prepared to navigate a complex and often cutthroat industry.

Sure, there are opportunities to make large commissions, since solar systems for residential homes start at around $20k and commercial systems for large buildings can be up to $300,000, giving a salesperson a $30k payday.

However, you’ll need to grind and hustle day in and day out until sales like that happen.

So if you think you can handle it, give it a shot. Otherwise, stay far away from the solar industry if you want to maintain your sanity.