From knocking doors to Sales Director.

About a year ago I decided to get into the solar business.

I called a bunch of installers and none of them would talk to me, I was getting blown off. But I didn’t give up.

I bought a $3 clipboard at Walgreens and printed up a “solar info” form.

Without anyone to represent I went out and knocked doors.

I kept calling installers, I kept getting dismissed, and I kept knocking doors.

I finally got Steve Rutherford on the phone, the owner of Tampa Bay Solar. I told him that I had a clipboard full of leads “I want to meet you Steve, where are you right now?”

Steve was installing an impressive commercial array on 1810 West Kennedy. When I got there I showed him my clipboard full of leads. He probably thought I was a little nuts, but he gave me a shot.

In the next few months I doubled the sales volume at Tampa Bay Solar. Steve no longer had to run around selling all over Tampa Bay, now he could focus on the operational side of the business. He bought 2 new work trucks to handle the increased volume.

Today I’m the Sales Director for the company, training the team, designing our sales training system and teaching my team how to earn a six figure income.

I’ve personally closed over $1.4 million in deals… and I was turned away by at least 20 other solar installers.

By not taking my call those other companies made a very expensive mistake.

You can’t wait for it to come to you, sometimes you have to just get out there and make it happen. I was rejected by installers, rejected at the door, but I didn’t let that curb my determination.

The key here is that I’m still out there knocking doors, still out there making it happen.

I’ll knock 500 doors today, to fill up my Friday / Saturday schedule.

Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team!

Ben Alexander

November 2017

Wanna Buy a nationwide Balloon Company?

 

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PLEASE SHARE on Social Media, Thanks!

When I started Balloon Distractions back in the Fall of 2003 I only had one goal: earn $1,000 per week, pay my bills, support my wife and 2 daughters.

Balloon twisting was never really my PASSION, but it was pretty easy to sell restaurants on the idea and build a team here in Tampa. From 2003 to 2011 I traveled all over the country building teams in Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and all the major cities in Florida.

When I was home I could chill out, read (and write) books, and as you already know there was that Shark Tank thing…

Early in 2017 I was really bored with balloons so I teamed up with Steve Rutherford at Tampa Bay Solar and began selling solar all over this area. Steve promoted me to Sales Director, so know I have a team and we’re really putting up strong numbers.

I love solar, I love what we are doing for the environment, and I love working with Steve and his amazing install team. The money is secondary for me, and I’m now earning enough to live on about ONE THIRD of what I earn each month.

For this reason I want to clear the runways and sell Balloon Distractions out right. I would entertain any sane offer.

Balloon Distractions still does a healthy monthly volume, with long term teams in Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Houston, LA and Seattle.

I will teach you how to run the business, and stay on as an unpaid advisor during the transition.

We have existing training systems for selling restaurants, building regions, training artists and running the day to day schedule and billing. It takes about 4 days to learn these systems, a few weeks to master them.

I’ve been spending about 3 hours per week running BD, since March of 2017!

I could just maintain what we have now, but as my sales team grows at Tampa Bay Solar I don’t want any “distractions” from my success in that arena.

If I focus 100% on solar I have no doubt the return will be really high.

Also, I want to master commercial solar sales…. and the commissions on that are off the chain, for sure.

If you have a real interest email me:   BenToddAlexander@MSN.com

Thanks,

Ben Alexander

October 2017

 

 

 

Bolting around…

About a week ago I got a text from Tim at Wesley Chapel Chevy: “Ben, I got a new Bolt in stock, come over and check it out.”

I bought a used 2013 Chevy Volt from Tim in January of 2017, and I had asked him to let me know when the all electric Bolt arrived on the lot. My 2013 Volt is a plug-in electric car with a gas generator, 35 miles of electric range, about 285 miles on gas alone.

As you can see from the picture above the Bolt has 238 miles of range, NO gas engine at all. Like the Tesla or the Nissan Leaf this is the real deal.

My 2013 Volt is fast, but the new Bolt is REALLY fast. It jumps off the line like a jack rabbit, feels solid on the road, and I was very impressed. MUCH faster than any four cylinder gas powered vehicle, and probably even faster than most cars with a V-6!

The only electric car faster than the Bolt, that I’ve driven, is the Tesla Model S. I’ve test driven the Cadillac ELS, the Leaf, the Prius (ugh) and even the Fiskar Karma…. the Bolt beats them all, hands down.

The Bolt sells in the $30,000 range, which means used versions of this car will be on the market in the next 2 years for under $20,000.  

This means that the new Bolt can be a car for the masses, in some households a gently used Bolt will replace that old 4 cylinder Camry or Accord. If a Prius driver takes a look at the Bolt they will be blown away by the amazing acceleration.

The new Chevy Bolt is a game changer, most middle class people will never pony up $70,000 for a Tesla, but the Bolt puts a great electric car in the range of anyone who makes an average middle class income. If there are 2 cars in your household the Bolt can be used for commuting to work, while you can use your gas powered Ford Explorer to visit Grandma in Atlanta next weekend.

If you look at most married couples earning 2 incomes there is always one partner with a shorter commute, maybe 40 miles each way to work. With 238 miles of range the Bolt can cover that round trip easily, with another 140 miles of range for errands. If you charge your Bolt every night you will wake up every morning with another 238 miles of range.

I sell solar here in Tampa Bay for a living, so cars like the Bolt give solar buyers yet another reason to get solar on their roof.

Your new Bolt can run 100% on sunshine….

The future is here folks, brought to you by Chevy, who woulda thunk?

-Ben Alexander

TampaBaySolar.com

October 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma, Solar, etc.

This was my first hybrid car, a 2009 Prius that I bought used back in 2011…

May 2011 , car, Pigfest 060

I’m writing this on Friday September 8th as CAT 5 hurricane Irma bears down on Florida. Today I’ll be out and about putting up plywood on my buddy Craig’s house, as well as my home and my parent’s place over in Wesley Chapel. I won’t use a drop of gasoline today, even though my 2013 Chevy Volt will probably travel 20 to 25 miles.

Is Irma (and hurricane Harvey) the result of global warming? At 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere the answer is probably YES. Irma is setting records… strongest hurricane EVER RECORDED in the Atlantic? Is that a random accident?

I’ve been selling solar and driving a plug-in Chevy Volt since the beginning of 2017, so I’m talking about, writing about and making a living off of green tech every single day. I was recently promoted to Director of Sales for Tampa Bay Solar, so now I’m building a sales team that will help even more Floridians add solar to their home.

There have been gas shortages across Tampa Bay since Tuesday, and some people are freaking out a bit. I put 9 gallons in my Volt on Monday… but I charge my car every night, so there are 38 (full electric) miles available every morning… I don’t NEED gas to get around.

I’ve had knuckleheads on Facebook make fun of my 38 miles of range, but 38 miles in a car beats ZERO miles of range in your gas powered vehicle if there is a long term gasoline shortage.

I can charge my Volt off solar every single day. My solar panels are RIGHT HERE, getting powered by the sun even on cloudy days (I get about half the output vs. a sunny day). I won’t be stuck, even if the local utility loses power for a MONTH.

Do I make a commission if you buy solar? Only if you do it through my company. And I don’t earn a DIME if you buy an electric vehicle… but combining rooftop solar with at least one (plug-in) electric or hybrid car gives you more pragmatic options than depending upon gasoline supplies and the local electric utility.

I hope everyone stays safe out there!

Ben Alexander

Friday, September 8th 2017

 

 

Bring the PASSION!

You can have an average job and stay in an average relationship. This is what people without passion do, and then they wonder why they aren’t happy.

Life is too short to be average. Channel your passion and do something different!

When I was 21 years old I went to Taiwan to meet pretty girls and learn how to speak Mandarin. I did not know anyone in Taiwan when I arrived there (on a one way ticket) in May of 1995. When I came back to the United States nine months later I had thousands of dollars in my pocket, and had learned how to survive and thrive in a totally different culture.

I started my first business when I was 29, and then traveled all over the country to make it work. I had no safety net, no reliable paycheck from a boss. That business got me on national television (Shark Tank) and still provides a nice background income to this day.

Earlier this year I decided to get into the solar biz, even before any company would hire me I went out there and gathered leads. I had no idea what I was doing, but I felt passionate about using technology to make the world a better place.

Since March I’ve sold over $400,000 in new business. By the end of this year I’m going to crack $1 million. Right now I’m building a team of people who want to sell solar and make a six figure income.

I’m looking for people who are passionate about green tech.

But passion and energy should not just be present in your work, it should also exist in your relationships, even in your bedroom.

Staying in a ho-hum relationship that lacks passion is selling yourself short.

-Ben Alexander

August 2017

 

 

 

 

Mary Barra, a CEO for the future.

Take a moment to check out this interview of Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors:

The Chevy BOLT (full electric) car is now being sold all over the United States. It has a 230 mile range per electric charge, and it costs about $30,000 after the federal tax incentive.

Mary Barra has driven the growth of  electric drive technology at General Motors, thus changing a hide-bound culture that resisted change for many years.

Perhaps it took the leadership of a female CEO to make this happen!

Either way I’m glad that GM has shifted in this direction, I drive a gas / electric 2013 Chevy Volt, my next car will most likely be the full electric Bolt.

1 Chevy Bolt + 8kW solar array on the roof = ZERO $$ spent on gas at the pump!

Ben Alexander

July . 2017

UK bans gas powered cars by 2040.

Recent fog / smog in London:

This week in the United Kingdom the government announced a ban on the sale of new fossil fueled vehicles by the year 2040. There are 31 million registered vehicles in the UK right now, and the ban does not take place for another 23 years, but it signals to car manufacturers globally that they have to develop more alternative / electric powertrain technology if they want to keep selling vehicles in the UK.

The government in India has enacted a similar ban by the year 2030. There are over 60 million cars and trucks in India today, with robust growth in car ownership expected over the next 13 years.

As a country India is rapidly expanding their solar infrastructure as well, there are currently more than 300 million people in India who lack access to the power grid. The uptake of solar will improve countless lives, and this power source goes hand in hand with 100 million electric vehicles on Indian roads.

In 2016 over 350,00 new electric vehicles were registered in China, compared to about 150,000 new electric vehicles here in the United States. In 2016 across China 36 gigawatts of solar capacity was installed, compared to 14 gigawatts of new solar here in the United States.

Here is the current mix:

China has the most solar, followed by Japan, Germany and the USA.

The growth of solar installations and electric cars in England, India and China is not only driven by the federal government, but also by air pollution concerns in the major cities of these three countries. This is a good day / bad day in Beijing:

We don’t have as many air quality concerns here in the United States, with 320 million people in this country we are not as densely populated (per square kilometer) as China with 1.3 billion and India with over 1 billion people.

The city of Wuhan has a larger population that New York and Chicago combined!

The rest of the world seems to be ahead of the United States in regards to the uptake of green technology. China has to adopt electric vehicles because of the poor air quality in their cities.

Florida is still pretty slow in terms of adopting solar, but I’m going out there every day and spreading the word. Yesterday I sold 2 residential solar installs right here in Tampa Bay. Green tech has to make economic sense for the consumer, both of my sales yesterday were to conservative police officers!

100 million homes in the USA, only about 1% have solar today. BIG opportunity there.

Ben Alexander

July . 2017