The Dirty Little Secrets of In-Home Sales

home solar panel energy system

With the New Year upon us, we have fresh ideas of what we want to do to our homes. From a kitchen remodel, new windows, swimming pool, to a home solar power energy system, there are always projects we’d like to enhance our homes and lives. The necessary evil of home improvements is having a salesperson come to our home to do his or her evaluation, provide us the price, and extract a signature on the contract. As most of us have experienced, this process can be an entirely pleasant and professional experience or a downright miserable one, resulting in the salesperson refusing to leave without a signed contract. These encounters feel more like a time-share presentation – including the part where you are locked in your home until the presentation is over - than a process of helping you improve your life and providing an overall positive experience. Often people do sign the contract just to get this person out of their house!

While there are “bad apples” that give home improvement sales a negative reputation, some companies operate in a completely ethical and upstanding manner. How can you tell? There are many ways, and it begins prior to anyone arriving at your home.

  1. Your first encounter can be telling:  Were they professional and interested in your particular goals and concerns?
  2. Pay particular attention to the manner in which your appointment is set up. If the company refuses to meet unless both spouses are present, it’s an indication they will be a hard-closing company. They know they will only be able to get a signed contract on the first meeting if all decision makers are present.
  3. When you do meet, if the deal they offer is only good for today (no matter how they justify it), you should not buy from them. Any company that doesn’t give you time to think is not one worth doing business with.
  4. ALWAYS get a minimum of 2 quotes to ensure you are getting the best value from the best company.
  5.  NEVER electronically sign a contract that was emailed to you by someone you have not met in person.

These guidelines might sound obvious, but there are hundreds of people each week who sign a contract without understanding who they are working with, if the pricing is competitive, or if the sales company actually performs the installations.  There are several home improvement sales companies working in San Diego County that subcontract out all their business to the lowest bidding contractor.

Solar electric panel systems are one of the most popular home improvements right now, and for good reason. Solar provides considerable savings that increase as electricity rates rise.  There are various financing options  to fit your personal circumstances and goals.  Solar adds value to your home and provides peace of mind that you are in control of your electricity costs, all while benefiting the environment.  The variety of benefits to each solar homeowner is unparalleled . Because of this, scores of companies have entered the space, making it extremely competitive. The hard sales tactics surface, from companies merely trying to capitalize on the buzz, many of whom are barely hanging on. Baker Electric Solar, a company with a 75 year history, actually prefers not to sign contracts on the first visit. We welcome competitive situations that give you the opportunity to realize our value and expertise are unmatched in the industry. If you are thinking about a solar energy system, which you should be, let Baker be one of your partners in this process.

My name is Andrew Berlin.  I share all of this with you based on my personal experience as a hands-on solar sales manager at Baker Electric Solar.  I work with customers daily, as well as manage Baker’s team of sales professionals.  I hope this article helps you in all your home improvement dealings – not just solar.  And I also hope that, if you are considering solar, you will include Baker in the process of determining if solar makes sense for you.  I can make you one promise:  None of the Baker solar professionals will push you in a direction you don’t want to go in your timeframe, and if you decide solar isn’t right for you, we’ll be fine with that.