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Compare NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification to Rich Hessler NLP Solar Sales Certification
 

NLP Solar Sales Training for Salespeople

 

Our customers are beginners, contractors, business owners and NABCEP Certified PV Installers that want to feel comfortable sharing their enthusiasm for solar while speaking to property owners in a language they understand.

If you get stuck when someone says "the payback on solar is too long." You need us!

You may be aware a solar salesperson’s role is to get a commitment from the buyer before work is done on a solar project, go to the next deal, and stay behind the yellow line “for insurance reasons” so the team can do their job.

Rich Hessler NLP Solar Sales Training REVIEWS

Rich Hessler is the Principal of Rich Hessler Solar Business Development offering solar sales training, solar sales systems and business coaching. He is certainly not an expert in PV Engineering and relies upon a great support team to deliver on his marketing & sales promises to buyers. Rich Hessler is a retired CPA, MBA, Financial Advisor with 25 years of Sales experience. Rich's ability to simplify complex solutions served him well when presenting project justifications to Fortune 500 companies. In January 2009, Rich Hessler completed training and earned the NABCEP Solar PV Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge, retired.

Rich has managed up to seven-figure marketing budgets and holds a Coaching Certificate from The Coaches Training Institute to enhance business development coaching services. Rich has helped grow hundreds of successful brands using processes and metrics to improve results.

Rich is also co-author of the book, Better Than Retirement: Redefine Your Relationship with Work, free recording at www.BetterThanRetirement.com.

Rich Hessler's NLP Solar Sales Training webinar is available nationally for 'live in-person' licensing for well-qualified NLP Sales Trainers, with a financial background, and affiliated with a training school.

We love our work and marketing for others in the exploding solar industry. We can help you too!

Psst..Sales isn't taught at Harvard.

NLP Solar Sales Training Content Outline

  1. Discover the 18 questions you must ask before presenting solar
  2. Quickly create solar estimates
  3. Confidently explain the math behind the financial benefits of solar
  4. Give a killer solar sales presentation
  5. Uncover the top 5 reasons homeowners buy solar
  6. Samurai objection handling techniques
  7. 21 solar technical terms to learn
  8. Solar sales kit check list
  9. Calculations provided in Excel
  10. Customizable PowerPoint presentation
Content
NLP Solar Sales Training for Residential Grid-Tied Systems
Typical NABCEP PV Technical Sales Program
Training Logistics
Target Market
Business Owners & Salespeople
Training Schools
Money-back guarantee after 4 hours of training
No
Appropriateness
Business Owners, Contractors, Salespeople that want to jump start revenue

Contractors see NABCEP Installer Certification Everyone Else see NABCEP Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge

Training Philosophy
K.I.S.S.
Format
Live: Webinar
Live: Hotel, Trans, Meals
Travel expense
No
Yes
NABCEP Annual fee
No
$300
Proctoring fee
No
$145
Certificate
Yes
Yes
Required legally to sell solar systems
No
No
Training includes role-playing the entire solar sales meeting process
Yes
No
Customizable Excel Solar Calculator for field estimates
Yes
No
Customizable Solar PowerPoint Presentation for demos
Yes
No
Ongoing coaching
Optional
No
Add-On Services    
Solar Business Development Coaching
Yes
No
Solar Business Management Metric Reporting Tools
Yes
No
Websites with Integrated Sales Systems
Yes
No
Source for NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task List    
A: Qualify the Customer
1. Analyze electric bill
• Gather bills
Yes
Yes
• Look for season patterns
Yes
Yes
• Look at different fuel sources being used
Utility Bill
Yes
• Review utility rate
Yes
Yes
• Explain why solar may not be appropriate
Yes
Yes
2. Perform remote site assessment
• Determine house orientation
Yes
Yes
• Determine roof tilt/angle, available area
Yes
Yes
• Determine shading
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate obstructions
Yes
Yes
• Inquire about type and condition of roof
Yes
Yes
• Determine ownership status
Yes
Yes
• Determine type of property (residential, commercial)
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• How site conditions impact feasibility of solar system
Yes
Yes
• Internet tools
Yes
Yes
• The limitations of remote tools
Contractor Role
Yes
• Magnetic declination
Yes
Yes
3. Identify customer needs
• Ask about reasons for going solar
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate future energy usage
Yes
Yes
• Determine desired time frame
Yes
Yes
• Determine whether customer needs financial assistance
Yes
Yes
• Determine electric usage pattern, time of day
Yes
Yes
• Discuss pros/cons of battery backup vs. generator
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Basic sales skill
Yes
Yes
• Use of electric rates function
Yes
Yes
• Batteries
No
Yes
• Electrical terminology
Yes
Yes
• Correlating usage to specific appliances
See Monitoring
Yes
4. Perform ball park estimate
• Estimate array size based on kWh consumption and available array area
Yes
Yes
• Price array size based on average $/watt
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate potential price adders
Yes
Yes
• Factor in incentives
Yes
Yes
• Develop price range
Yes
Yes
• Develop savings estimate
Yes
Yes
• Develop preliminary economic analysis
Yes
Yes
• Present initial ballpark proposal and benefits
Yes
Yes
• Discuss customer budget limits
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Price adders
Yes
Yes
• Roof type
Yes
Yes
• Licensing requirements
Contractor Role
Yes
• How the height of building impacts installation costs
Yes
Yes
• Impact of long runs of conduit, wiring on costs
Yes
yes
• Steepness
Yes
Yes
• Distance from load center
Yes
Yes
5. Identify jurisdictional issues
• Determine zoning
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine fire marshal awareness
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine reservation issues
Contractor Role
Yes
• Check city county and utility requirements
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify utility
Yes
Yes
• Identify homeowner association
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Zoning issues for your area
Contractor Role
Yes
• Codes for your area
Contractor Role
Yes
• Utilities process, interconnection procedures, rules
Contractor Role
Yes
• Laws relating to homeowner's associations
Yes
Yes
• Insurance limitations
Yes
Yes
6. Manage customer expectations
• Advise customer that system doesn't provide backup power; when grid is down, it won't work
Yes
Yes
• Explain differences between battery and non-battery systems
Yes
Yes
• Explain that PV does not heat water, space, or pools
Yes
Yes
• Explain that PV generates electricity, does not offset gas loads
Yes
Yes
• Explain seasonal variations in output
Yes
Yes
• Explain required level of routine maintenance
Yes
Yes
• Explain system equipment manufacturer warranties
Yes
Yes
• Review life expectancy of equipment
Yes
Yes
• Discuss aesthetics
Yes
Yes
• Discuss ROI
Yes
Yes
• Explain emerging vs. existing technologies
Product Neutral
Yes
• Explain expected output vs. system capacity
Yes
Yes
• Explain instantaneous power vs. annual energy production
Yes
Yes
• Explain installation warranties
Yes
Yes
• Explain manufacturer warranties
Yes
Yes
• Explain insurance issues, worker's comp, liability
Yes
Yes
• Explain effects on homeowner's insurance
Yes
Yes
• Explain potential impact on roof warranty
Yes
Yes
• Explain performance validation methods
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Basic solar system knowledge
Yes
Yes
• Basic financial understanding
Yes
Yes
• Advanced financial understanding
Yes
No
• Product knowledge
Yes
Yes
• Knowledge of return on investment
Yes
Yes
• Product limitations
Yes
Yes
B: Site Analysis
1. Inspect electrical service
• Determine service rating current and voltage
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify buss bar and main breaker
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify line tap vs. panel upgrade
Yes
Yes
• Determine available breaker space
Yes
Yes
• Determine grounding
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify manufacturer of panel
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine method of interconnection
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine limits (max back fed breaker) based on local electrical code
Contractor Role
Yes
• Inform customer of potential additional costs related to utility hardware, transformers
Yes
Yes
• Discuss findings with customer
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Electrical safety
Contractor Role
Yes
• OSHA
Contractor Role
Yes
• Electrical principles
Contractor Role
Yes
• Electrical codes
Contractor Role
Yes
2. Identify locations for system components
• Identify inverter location
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify array location options
Yes
Yes
• Identify AC DC disconnects
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify junction box
Contractor Role
Yes
• Locate conduit runs
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify utility disconnect if applicable
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine lengths of conduit runs
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• NEC and manufacturer clearance requirements
Contractor Role
Yes
• Solar exposure
Yes
Yes
• Hazards (e.g., power lines, gas lines, meters)
Contractor Role
Yes
• The difference between AC & DC disconnects
Contractor Role
Yes
• Voltage ratings on fuses, AC & DC switches
Contractor Role
Yes
• Utility differences on requirements for disconnects
Contractor Role
Yes
• Tape measure
Yes
Yes
• Laser level
Contractor Role
Yes
3. Assess mounting location
• Identify roofing material
Yes
Yes
• Identify framing
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify spacing and spans
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine if there is an attic space vs. flat roof
Yes
Yes
• Assess structural integrity of roof (look at underside)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Document condition of roof (photos, notes, etc.)
Yes
Yes
• Determine soil composition for ground/pole mounts
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify underground obstructions (septic, gas lines)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine solar exposure
Yes
Yes
• Measure roof area or ground area
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Roofing materials
Contractor Role
Yes
• Basic framing
Contractor Role
Yes
• Standard building practices (spacing)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Roofing terminology
Contractor Role
Yes
• Risks of falling
Avoid Ladders
Yes
• Walking on roofs without causing damage
No
Yes
• Reading blueprints
Contractor Role
Yes
• Angle gauge
Yes
Yes
• Safety harness
Contractors /Installers
Yes
4. Perform shade analysis
• Identify existing shading obstructions
Yes
Yes
• Consider future shading obstructions
Yes
Yes
• Perform inter-row shading analysis
Contractor Role
Yes
• Complete shade study
Contractor Role
Yes
• Analyze annual loss from shading
Contractor Role
Yes
• Analyze seasonal/daily variations in shade
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine whether rooftop analysis is necessary
Yes
Yes
• If safe, proceed with rooftop analysis
Contractor Role
Yes
• If necessary, bring in crew for rooftop analysis
Contractor Role
Yes
• If rooftop analysis is not feasible, incorporate buffer
Yes
Yes
• Calculate within acceptable limits of third-party audit, 3-5%
Contractor Role
Yes
• Prepare the report
Contractor Role
Yes
Knowledge of:
• The impact of shade on solar systems
Yes
Yes
• The proper use of the available tools
Overview
Yes
C: Conceptual Design
1. Select appropriate equipment
• Explain module aesthetic options to customer
Yes
Yes
• Explain efficiency, cost, aesthetic differences
Yes
Yes
• Consider geographic location, climate
Yes
Yes
• Select the module(s)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Match inverter to array
Contractor Role
Yes
• Match inverter to service voltage
Contractor Role
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Product
Yes
Yes
• Voltage windows
Yes
Yes
• Websites that provide insolation data
Yes
Yes
2. Determine equipment location
• Avoid locations that will expose modules to salt water
Yes
Yes
• Comply with manufacturer specifications for inverter location
Contractor Role
Yes
• Discuss potential sites for inverter with customer
Yes
Yes
• Ask customer about long term plans for renovations, etc.
Yes
Yes
• Consider type of monitoring system, broadband vs. wired
Yes
Yes
• Discuss conduit runs
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Noise level generated by equipment
Yes
Yes
• Risks of damage to equipment
Yes
Yes
• NEC requirements and local codes (AHJ)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Cooling requirements
Contractor Role
Yes
• Manufacturer's clearances
Contractor Role
Yes
• Fire department requirements
Contractor Role
Yes
3. Plan system layout
• Determine module layout
Yes
Yes
• Determine electrical layout
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine which faces of roof to use
Yes
Yes
• Sketch system layout
Contractor Role
Yes
Knowledge of:
• String layout
Contractor Role
Yes
• Roof set backs
Contractor Role
Yes
• Geometry
Contractor Role
Yes
• Computer skills
Yes
Yes
• Spacing between modules
Contractor Role
Yes
4. Perform string sizing
• Select string sizing method
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider min, max temperatures, site
Yes
Yes
• Stand off distance (re: airflow)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Match array voltage to inverter voltage with applicable temperature conditions
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider module voltage degradation over time
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Applying temperature coefficients
Yes
Yes
• Correlation between temperature and voltage
Yes
Yes
5. Determine breaker size or supply side connection
• Determine max inverter output given buss bar
Contractor Role
Yes
• Evaluate whether there is room for a breaker
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate the service amperage
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine whether new electrical service is needed
Yes
Yes
• Determine whether line side tap can be used
Contractor Role
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Spacing between modules
Contractor Role
Yes
• Electrical service sizes
Contractor Role
Yes
• Current ratings
Contractor Role
Yes
• Line side tap
Contractor Role
Yes
6. Determine mounting method and tilt angle
• Evaluate roof type and material
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate roof pitch
Yes
Yes
• Evaluate structural members (wood, steel, trusses, rafters)
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine space required under modules
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider impact on roofing warranties
Contractor Role
Yes
• Select racking
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine number and type of roof penetrations, flashing
Contractor Role
Yes
• Evaluate performance and aesthetic impact of various tilt angles
Contractor Role
Yes
• Identify trenching considerations
Contractor Role
Yes
• Determine local height restrictions
Contractor Role
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Roofing
Yes
Yes
• Product
Yes
Yes
• Mounting systems
Yes
Yes
D. Financial Costs, Incentives, and Savings
1. Explain types of incentives and net cost
• Explain local net metering policies
Yes
Yes
• Explain feed-in tariffs
Yes
Yes
• Identify utility financial models
Yes
Yes
• Explain state, city and federal tax credits, treasury grants, depreciation, property tax exemptions, RECs, PBIs, rebates, tax deductions, transfer credits, sales tax exemptions
Yes
Yes
• Calculate net cost after incentives
Yes
Yes
• Excel field estimate calculator
Yes
No
• PowerPoint presentation for buyer
Yes
No
2. Explain types of utility rates and net electric bill savings
• Explain time of use
Yes
Yes
• Explain tiered rate structures
Yes
Yes
• Explain what energy and demand charges are
Yes
Yes
• Explain how solar impacts demand charges
Yes
Yes
• Explain how solar impacts energy charges
Yes
Yes
• Discuss possibility of switching from one rate structure to another
Yes
Yes
• Explain potential future rate escalations, decreases
Yes
Yes
• Calculate electric bill savings
Yes
Yes
E. Financial Benefit Analysis and Financing
1. Calculate financial analysis
• Calculate cash flow analysis
Yes
Yes
• Calculate bill savings
Yes
Yes
• Calculate maintenance expenses
Yes
Yes
• Calculate replacement/repair costs for inverter
Yes
Yes
• Develop multi-year timeline detailing costs/benefits
Yes
Yes
• Calculate internal rate of return (exclude financing costs)
Yes
Yes
• Calculate simple return on investment
Yes
Yes
• Calculate years to payback
Yes
Yes
• Explain pre-tax and after-tax benefits
Yes
Yes
• Calculate theoretical resale value increase on property
Yes
Yes
• Explain to customer potential property equity impact
Yes
Yes
• Explain degradation rate
Yes
Yes
• Calculate net savings
Yes
Yes
• Inform customer that projections are not legally binding, disclaimer
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Financials
Yes
Yes
• Compound interest calculations
Yes
Yes
2. Evaluate appropriate financing options
• Cash up front
Yes
Yes
• Home equity loan
Yes
Yes
• Leasing
Yes
Yes
• Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
Yes
Yes
• Consumer loans
Yes
Yes
• Community based financing, PACE
Yes
Yes
• Utility loans
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Financing options
Financing Role
Yes
F. Non-Financial Benefit Analysis
1. Calculate/quantify environmental benefits proportional to estimated production
• Calculate Co2 avoidance
Yes
Yes
• Calculate tons of coal saved
Yes
Yes
• Calculate water saved
No
Yes
• Calculate miles not driven in car
Yes
Yes
• Calculate acres of trees saved
Yes
Yes
• Calculate barrels of oil saved
Yes
Yes
2. Describe non-financial non-environmental benefits
• Articulate/calculate energy independence
Yes
Yes
• Articulate social benefits
Yes
Yes
• Articulate other non-environmental benefits
Yes
Yes
G. Performance Analysis
1. Calculate production
• Consider insolation data
Yes
Yes
• Review temperature data for the area
Yes
Yes
• Consider microclimate data if available
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider impact of dust and dirt
Yes
Yes
• Module name plate rating
Yes
Yes
• Consider time of use
Yes
Yes
• Consider shading
Yes
Yes
• Consider wire losses
Yes
Yes
• Consider module operating temperature, regional ambient temperatures and air flow
Yes
Yes
• Consider component efficiencies (e.g., inverter, DC modules)
Yes
Yes
• Consider tilt
Yes
Yes
• Consider azimuth
Yes
Yes
• Consider diodes and connections
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider module mismatch
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider system availability
Yes
Yes
• Consider tracking, dual or single axis
Contractor Role
Yes
• Consider system age or degradation
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Sites that can provide data
Yes
Yes
• PVWATTS or SAM
Yes
Yes
• RETScreen
No
Yes
• How various factors impact production
Yes
Yes
2. Identify factors that degrade system performance over time
• Module degradation over time
Yes
Yes
• Landscaping issues, tree growth
Yes
Yes
• New construction
Yes
Yes
H. Prepare Proposals
1. Create minimum acceptable proposal
• Include production estimate
Yes
Yes
• Include STC DC system power rating (and CEC AC or other rating as applicable)
Yes
Yes
• Include average monthly electric bill savings estimate
Yes
Yes
• Include total cost, rebates, tax incentives, and net cost
Yes
Yes
• Identify and estimate permit fees, interconnection fees, taxes and other foreseeable costs
Yes
Yes
• Identify variable or unknown costs and provide estimated range of cost
Yes
Yes
• Include payment schedule
Yes
Yes
• Identify incentives paid over time (PBI, FIT, SRECs)
Yes
Yes
• Include construction timeline and milestone dates
Yes
Yes
• Include major equipment list, power ratings, and part count
Contractor Role
Yes
• List assumptions, special factors, and locations for equipment installation
Yes
Yes
Knowledge of:
• Reading manufacturer data sheets
Yes
Yes
• Rating specs
Yes
Yes
• Documents required for completing the sale
Yes
Yes
2. Include additional elements as applicable and/or appropriate
• Include financial benefit and/or financing discussion as applicable
Yes
Yes
• Include non-financial benefit discussion as applicable
Yes
Yes
• Include energy efficiency and conservation discussion as applicable
Yes
Yes

NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysis

NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Rich Hessler Solar Sales Training now has a blog. It contains course updates, policy changes, and current solar events.
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