On August 4th–7th, we had our 2009 Solar Sales World Series in San Diego. Over 100 UMA Solar distributors and their sales staff attended the three-day seminar, and it was a huge success!
Day One – We all participated in a great workshop featuring group discussion and guidance from a legendary sales training organization, Sandler Sales Institute. Lead by the Sandler instructor, Greg Brewer, we went through a lively and intense discussion about "Why Sales People Fail and How to Fix It." Topics included "The Buyer/Seller Dance," "Neurolinguistic Programming," and "Up Front Contracts." Overall, it was incredibly informative and we have already had success stories of salespeople using the new lessons in the field with great success.
Day Two – This morning, there was a presentation by the Marketing Department of UMA Solar. Our Director of Marketing, Tod Ellington, spoke of the website and software initiatives we are undertaking to provide more tools for our distributors. Pictometry was introduced as a powerful tool our dealers can utilize. Utilizing a combination of web based software, high resolution cameras, and the best in diginat measurement and mapping tools, our dealers can now accurately measure slope, pitch, height, distance, and area of a roof for residential and commercial installations without actually going on the roof. Think about how easy it would be to walk into a home with a hi-res photo with all the dimensions of their roof, ready to make a recommendation without keeping the homeowner waiting.
Tod also rolled out our new literature and merchandise store, uSELF. It is located on the home page of http://umasolar.com. This state of the art shopping site features all of our literature and merchandise for our distributors, but also updated and improved products that can be customized with our dealers’ brand identity including logos, taglines, company stories, and more. It features all of the UMA Solar brand family, and is a very easy way for our dealers to consistently brand themselves and the products they sell. In addition, by utilizing the economies of scale of UMA Solar and as a national wholesaler and distributor, we pass these savings on to our Exclusive Distributors. Future updates to uSELF will include Customizable Online and Offline Marketing campaigns, unique to each distributor, and 100’s of products being added. This is a huge asset we are providing to our distributors, freeing them of the time and cost of creating these type of marketing tools.
The second half of day two was conducted by David Devir of SunCentric, a photovoltaic consulting company. Their presentation was focused on Selling Solar Electric, specifically MyGen by Kyocera. The training included step by step analysis of the sales process from pre-Sales qualifying to installation. David taught the group about tools one can use to qualifying the property, determine the sizing of the system, managing customer expectations, and creating a professional sales proposal. We also discussed the effectiveness of MyGen. This is an incredible solar electric solution because of its simplicity and adaptability. Kyocera is the industry leader in solar electric technology, and is one of the few manufacturers in existence that is older that the length of time of its warranty. Bottom line, they can offer great warranty terms, because they will be around long after the warranty expires, unlike most of our competitors.
Day Three – This was the icing on the cake! We took a tour of the Kyocera Solar manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico. It was an amazing experience for our distributors and employees. Seeing the level of sophistication and technology involved in the creation of the solar modules, and intensive testing and testing and testing, and retesting and retesting and retesting, shows why Kyocera is the industry leader. The quality of their modules is second to none and I am sure that is the reason why Toyota chose Kyocera as the supplier of the new solar roof on the 3rd generation Prius. One industry leading quality company doing business with another.
Overall, this sales conference was a huge success. The distributors and sales staff left San Diego recharged and inspired, and as a result we have already seen an increase in sales. I continue to hear success stories from salespeople around the country implementing their newfound knowledge into their everyday sales process. When we created the sales conference, it was with the idea in mind if each attendee took with them a small nugget of information they could use to help increase their productivity, then it was a successful event.
We are already in the planning stages of more these events, with a target of having an East Coast meeting before the end of 2009.
Thank you again to all who participated. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along to our team at UMA Solar.