It Doesn’t Pay to Wait

Technology is constantly improving, and when you’re trying to sell efficiency, you'll inevitably encounter prospects who want to wait for “the next big thing” to hit the market or for production costs to decrease before they’re willing to buy. So how do you overcome this objection? Show your prospect the cost of delay. In many cases, you can pay for the current generation of technology through savings long before the new one becomes available.

A couple years ago, I met a utility-scale solar installation developer who we’ll call Tom. He told me that he was tired of hearing his prospects say, “I'm going to wait on these panels because the cost of silicon is going down and the panels will likely be 50% cheaper in five years.” What did he do about this situation? He said, “I finally decided to put an Excel spreadsheet together to prove that the cost of the panels is only 20% of the job. Copper, framework, labor, and all that other stuff is the other 80% of the cost. And all those things are going up in price rather than down.”

So even if the protesting prospect was accurate and the cost of the panels was going to be 50% less in five years, the price of 80% of the job was going up by 3% a year, compounded annually. On top of that, if the prospect decided to wait five years, he would lose five years’ worth of potential PV production.

Tom said that as soon as he started showing people the spreadsheet, his prospects had little difficulty understanding that waiting for the price of silicon to go down was foolhardy.

I think the moral of the story is clear: don’t let prospects wait to buy.  Make the effort to quantify the cost of delay and share it with them.  Let the figures do the selling for you.

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By (Efficiency Sales Professional Institute-) | |
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