Solar Salesman

When you’ve been a travelling green crusader as long as I have, you get pretty good at the tricks. I try to get up at 6 am, take some time to eat a good breakfast and exercise. I’m out the door by 7:30. I manage to catch a few people before they rush off to work.

It’s important to get your foot in the door, whether people are interested in your cause or not. You’ve got to be observant. When I knock on a door three times or ring the doorbell, I always begin with the truth. “I’m spreading awareness about commercial solar systems in the Melbourne area, do you know if your place of work has solar panels?” If it looks like they’re about to slam the door in my face, it’s time to act fast. “Is that a figurine from the movie Space Battles?” I might ask, even though I don’t care for those films. “I love those films,” I will add. It opens people up a bit. More often than not, they open the door a little wider. I do not return to my message of solar power for some time.

Sometimes I will spin a tale of tragedy. About walking long kilometres in the cold Melbourne morning. I might get offered a coffee, which I will gladly accept. Even if it tastes like liquid garbage, I will compliment the coffee maker, thanking them kindly. Then, after making more small talk about the items in their home, I will ask, “Are you familiar with the latest 100kw solar system design?” Of course, I then have to read the person quite closely. Is it clear that they do not want to talk about the topic? Do they seem like somebody who would truly be interested in the best type of energy? If not, I move on, not so much as waiting for an answer. And after much more small talk, I will ask the hard questions. “Do you really not care for the state of our planet? Converting to solar energy is the least you can do.”

And 50% of the time, it works every time.