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Written By
Susan Anderson
Business Development / January 11, 2024

Why Solar Leads Are About to Get Very, Very Pricey

Written By
Susan Anderson
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Why Solar Leads Are About to Get Very, Very Pricey

Why Solar Leads Are About to Get Very, Very Pricey (and What to Do about It)

Once upon a time, if you needed solar leads, you could just go buy them, call them, and close them. Or, you could outsource parts of that strategy to a call center and sales team. It’s the same simple strategy businesses in many industries have used profitably for years. 

But all of that is about to change. 

If you’ve been buying solar leads, NOW is the time to understand what’s coming and how you can adjust your marketing strategy to protect your solar business. Read on to find out what’s happening and what you can do right now to keep the sun shining on your business.

Solar Leads and the FCC

What Happened?

The FCC, in an effort to strengthen the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), recently adopted a new rule regarding consent. In essence the new rule requires “lead generators to obtain consumer consent to receive robocalls and robo texts from one seller at a time, rather than having a single consent apply to multiple sellers at once.”

What does that really mean?

First, you need to understand that there’s a lot that happens before a single digit is dialed. You’ve got to have good leads to call. Generating leads is costly.

So costly that lead generators would be out of business fast if they could only sell that data one time. So costly that lead buyers (and their accountants) would faint if they had to foot the bill for these leads alone.

Until now, lead generators had a lucrative workaround. 

They’d sell that data multiple times. 

  • They’ll immediately sell leads in real time to four solar lead buyers.
  • Then they’ll re-market to that data.
  • Then after a few days, they’ll sell the same aged leads to anyone who wants to buy them.

Lots of opportunities to turn a profit on their initial lead generation investment. That’s what made the arithmetic of buying leads and calls work… the costs were eventually spread over many, many buyers.

Solar Leads - Brace yourself

The New FCC Rule Threw a Wrench into the Solar Lead Machine

Going forward - and this will take several months to take effect - that plan goes out the window.

Going forward, lead generators can only sell that data ONCE.

That means if you’re buying leads, you will have to pay for the data by yourself. The cost can’t be divided among multiple buyers.

Lead generators will have to raise their prices exponentially in order to do business. Lead buyers will be left footing the bill - and many will be priced out of this strategy.

Check this out:

Call centers run on the law of big numbers. It takes buying and sifting through thousands of potential leads to produce a solid lead to call. Let’s say a call center was paying 15-25 cents per lead, then selling the top-quality leads to clients in the form of calls. At that cost, the call center could buy in massive volume. The numbers worked, and lead and call buyers with the right offer and an effective process for closing sales had a strategy in which the numbers work.

Now, that same call center’s cost for buying those very same leads is likely to skyrocket up to $20-$30… each.

A hundred-fold increase.

Imagine what happens when it comes time to sell to these leads. When your sales team has a steady stream of great leads that only cost cents, there’s pressure to close sales. But if the salesperson has a call or two that don’t convert, there’s always the sense that the next call will result in a sale.

When leads become super expensive, call volume goes down and the pressure goes up. Each call becomes increasingly crucial to close. Your sales team will feel that pressure. It’ll impact their performance. Not in a good way.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s what’s coming. 

Solar Leads - pivot

But You Have (a Little) Time to Pivot and Come Out Better in the End

Because you’re reading this today, you also have a huge advantage over your competitors who don’t even know “Lead-maggedon” is coming.

Of course, this pivot will only work if you’re willing and ready to make a shift in how you get your solar leads. 

For solar companies that are prepared to pivot, the sun will just keep shining. In fact, you’re likely to come out of this FCC lead generation debacle stronger than ever. You’ll have: 

  • A lead generation system that is extremely affordable
  • A steady stream of inquiries from local customers who are ready to buy
  • An online presence that, frankly, smokes your competitors

Solar Leads - comparison

OK, What’s the Plan?

First, let’s do a little thought experiment.

Let’s say you’re buying 100 solar calls per month (some buy that many per day).

And let’s say you’re paying $150 per call.

That’s $15,000 per month to buy calls. 

Maybe you convert 20 of those calls.

But then, when next month rolls around, you need more leads. So you pay $15,000 for 100 more calls. Do it one more time, and you’re at $45,000 for the quarter for a total of 300 calls.

Now…

What if, instead of spending $45,000 to have 300 sales conversations in the next three months, you only paid $350 per month, $1,050 total to have those same 300 sales conversations?

Let’s show you how to make that happen.

It All Starts with the Map

The Google Map. The 3-pack, specifically.

Here’s what you’ll see if you Google solar companies San Luis Obispo. (Well, followed by a long, long list of companies that are statistically unlikely to get a call.)

That’s how prospects start searching.

They might click “More places” to see the rest of the list. But they probably won’t.

BusinessDIT shared some eye-opening statistics that figure in here:

Businesses in the Google 3-pack receive 126% more traffic than businesses ranked 4-10.

Meaning, you want to be in that 3-pack!

And this one:

80% of local searches lead to a conversion within a day.

Meaning, the odds of making a sale when your phone rings because someone found you in the Google 3-pack are pretty darned good.

Now for the plan.

Get on the Map

Now, you need to see this.

If you click “More places” to expand the 3-pack, you’ll see this:

Solar leads - 4-20

We’re not fortune tellers, but we can tell you this:

The owners of #2 and #3 above might want to pay attention, because Sunrun Solar (currently in the #4 spot) is coming for their spots in the 3-pack.

And if you happen to be in spot #5-20 here, you can start making headway and get into the 3-pack… if you get busy.

Now, HOW do you get into the 3-pack?

Short answer: You do exactly what Google wants you to do on your Google Business Profile.

For the 12-minute answer, check out our ultimate guide to local search engine optimization for solar companies.

What happens when you get into the 3-pack?

Your phone rings. A lot.

These are calls you don’t have to buy. 

That’s where this plan starts to get really good.

Solar Leads from Bizi

Here’s the Plan

Your whole goal now is to get your solar business into the Google Maps 3-pack. That’s where the solar leads flow like a river of milk and honey. Leads who’ve already researched you, read your reviews, and pretty much decided to hire you, calling you every single day.

The plan:

Step 1: Keep buying solar leads and calls… for now.
Except, reallocate just 2.4% of that budget toward getting your Google Business Profile squared away. 

100 solar leads per month = $15,000

Drop that down to 97 calls = $14,550

Keep buying them for the next three months as you tackle Step 2.

Step 2: Invest in your Google Business Profile

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

Yes, you’ll probably need to pay someone to help you with your Google Business Profile. It won’t fix itself. It’s probably not something you want to spend thousands of dollars to learn. And you probably don’t have the time to be messing around with it, anyway.

The bad news… 

“Marketing agency costs can range anywhere from $900 to $20,000 per month on average. Whether you are a small to medium-sized business (SMB) or a large enterprise, your marketing budget is a crucial part of earning revenue.” WebFX

The very good news… we’ve got a much more powerful solution that’ll do that same work for your Google Business Profile and help you get into the 3-pack (often within three months or less). And it starts at just $350 per month.

Some Fun Math

First, let’s say we bring you onboard our BizBooster AI platform on the basic plan, $350 per month. 

We get you into the 3-pack and that results in 100 more calls per month from hot prospects. Absolutely likely.

Ask any business owner in the 3-pack about the quality of calls they get from their Google Business Profile and they’ll tell you these are the best calls they get all week. (You can set up call tracking with a unique phone number so you can really dig into the data.)

You could go from:

$15,000 / 100 calls = $150 cost per acquisition

To

$350 / 100 calls = $3.50 cost per acquisition

For a 92% cost reduction

  • No increase in business expenses
  • No additional employees needed

You’d probably take that deal all day long. 

You’d have a steady, scalable flow of inbound leads.

You might even decide you don’t need to keep paying for solar leads and calls, since you’d be generating your own leads on autopilot.

Ready to turn this challenge into your biggest opportunity? 

It’s possible that in this new ruling, the FCC just handed you a wonderful gift. Sometimes we need a little nudge to make a much-needed change… even if its results are just what we want. 

The solar leads industry is about to be rocked to its core, and the fallout will put some businesses out of business. But you have the advantage of having a little lead time so you can pivot, profitably.

Let's talk about how you can harness the power of local search and transform your approach to solar lead generation.

Contact us now to explore how BizBooster AI can streamline your transition to a more efficient, cost-effective lead generation strategy. Say goodbye to the uncertainties of buying leads and hello to a future where your business shines brighter than ever.

 

Click here to scan your business for free. Take the first step towards a brighter, more sustainable lead generation strategy with BizBooster AI.




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