Breaking into the Solar Industry

Hello Everyone, My name is Cooper Miller and I am currently a senior here at Temple.

Hello, everyone, my name is Cooper Miller and I’m currently a senior here at Temple. I’m in the account management track and I’ll be graduating this December! For the past seven months, I’ve worked in the residential solar energy space and been a full-time account manager for a solar provider in NJ. I came across this position on a LinkedIn posting and thought to myself that this would be a great opportunity to showcase and expand upon my skills as a salesman. I applied for the position last May and was taken in for an interview the next week, the interview process was smooth and they appreciated my military service and believed that the intangible skills I learned in the military would help me in this career field.

The first two weeks of the job were for training purposes, I shadowed account managers in the field. We went door to door trying to get new business and through the ins and outs of the solar industry and learning how to properly consult a client. At first, it was a lot of information at once but, as the first two weeks came to a close, I believed I had all the information and training to do the job on my own. After these two weeks were up, I was completely on my own and now considered a 1099 worker.

The first week of being on my own was pretty difficult. Luckily, I had a great sales director who was always a phone call away if I ever needed to have a question answered. My sales director was Ryan Sejda, Ryan has been working in the solar industry for almost 10 years now and has been one of the main proponents of my success. Ryan immediately took me under his wing and helped show me the ins and outs of the industry and how to be a successful consultant. I accompanied Ryan on a few in home presentations and there were times that it seemed like the sale was imminent, but unfortunately the buyer had a change of heart at the last second. It was very inspiring to see how Ryan handled the situation, he understood that typically 75% of the people you present in front of are ultimately going to say no. He taught me an important lesson that day, to always look forward to the future and to have a short memory when it comes to your past failures. Being able to see how stoic he was in these situations has given me the ability to constantly stay gritty and continue to push forward.

My biggest piece of advice that I can give to anyone starting their internship is to stay curious. You must always want to learn more and continue to ask questions. With emerging technologies, there is always going to be something new you can learn to use for your advantage. I learned early on that leveraging technology to stay organized was the most important aspect to my success, the night before work you should have your day scheduled out so that you can be the most successful the following morning and be the most efficient with your time. Organizational skills in a high pace sales environment is what separates the best from the worst.

One comment

  1. Excellent Job Cooper! Thats great you got hands on account manager experience. I’m an account management track student as well. It’s also great that you are able to become fluid in different valuable business skills like sales. I’ve also recently been applying to different positions available on LinkedIn.

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