David Gomez is the CEO of Clean Energy Solutions. David Gomez is a thought leader, influencer, and risk taker, and David has provided the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of Clean Energy Solutions. David Gomez joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series.Clean Energy Solutions designs, installs, and finances solar energy systems. Clean Energy Solutions is known for customizing solutions for their clients with the most competitive rates and financing options. Clean Energy Solutions is one of the fastest growing solar providers and was recently recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the US. With a three-year growth rate of 4,300%, they were listed at number 70 on the prestigious Inc 500 list.
David’s company makes clean energy available to homeowners, businesses, schools, non-profits, and government organizations at a lower cost than they pay for energy generated by fossil fuels. They make the process simple and easy for their customers by doing the whole sign up process by phone.
David, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions for our CEO Leadership Roundtable Series. Your company, Clean Energy Solutions, is known for revolutionizing the way clean energy gets delivered.
1. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what do you think the biggest challenges are for building a business today?
I think the biggest challenge is to just stay focused and put in the work. Nothing can replace hard work. In the beginning you are going to be working 7 days a week, but if you truly love it, then it won’t feel like work. Social media like Instagram has been great for entrepreneurs, but I also think it’s created a false sense of the amount of hard work that it takes to succeed.
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEO’s just starting out regarding keeping a company moving forward, and please tell us the three keys to success that placed you in the position to grow Clean Energy Solutions in such an amazing way?
Someone who is just starting out can save a lot frustration by focusing on putting the right process in place and hiring the right people. A tight process along with strong execution is crucial in keeping a company moving forward.
For us that means having a fast installation process that works a lot like an assembly line, with every person doing their job at the right time. It enables us to average 2 ½ weeks from the time a client signs up to installation This makes for happy clients and happy sales partners.
Three keys for Clean Energy Solution’s growth would be 1) Our team that executes 2) Our process for both operations and sales 3) Hard work.
3. In your experience, how important is the commitment to client satisfaction for Clean Energy Solutions, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
It’s extremely important for us to take care of our clients. A lot of times it’s as simple as doing what we say we’re going to do. Following through earns credibility with clients.
4. What is the one thing that you can recommend to companies wishing to improve their communication with their customers?
We do a welcome call for every new client. As soon as a new client signs up for a solar system, we then call them within 24 hours to introduce ourselves and touch base. It immediately gives the client a point of contact in case they have any questions or concerns, and it makes the client feel like the process is moving quickly and efficiently.
5. Many startups have to go through some pivots along the way, and make changes from their original business plan. Can you tell us about an idea that you had for Clean Energy Solutions that has morphed into something else that ended up even better than the original idea?
There have been a lot of pivots along the way. Marketing wise we started off using direct mail to reach clients. We would set an appointment and then send a solar consultant to the client’s home to explain the program benefits. While this was successful, we quickly realized that trying to scale it would become a logistical nightmare. So direct mail eventually evolved into us doing the whole sales process by phone. This allowed us to service an almost unlimited area and eliminated the need for home appointments. Doing the whole sales process by phone was almost disruptive compared to the traditional way of doing home appointments.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, what do you do to keep up with the changes in the clean energy space?
I think business in general is all about being able to adapt and the minute you stop adapting you run the risk of becoming a dinosaur. In the solar industry I stay on top of any possible changing regulations or changes within the different utility programs that can affect rates or prices. I also follow new equipment releases and developing areas like battery storage. Sales and marketing is an always evolving area to monitor as well.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Clean Energy Solutions?
I’ve always been very driven and ambitious and I believe building businesses and ventures is my creative outlet. Having a young family has only increased my motivation and inspiration to keep pushing no matter what the obstacle.
As far as peak performance, I workout 5 days a week, running and hitting the weights. Eating healthy is way of life as is getting a good night’s sleep There was a time when it was all about working hard and playing hard, but I’m glad those days are long gone!
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
I’m an avid reader so there has been a lot of books. Recently I read “The Power of Habit” which is a great book about changing bad habits, while also creating new positive habits.
I’m constantly looking to improve myself so I do this by reading books and listening to positive podcasts. Two podcasts that really inspire me on a weekly basis is Short Story Long with Chris “Drama” Phaff and Project Mindset with Keven Stirdivant.
9. David, when communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Clean Energy Solutions?
I’m big on taking notes whenever I do a meeting or during our daily pipeline reviews, because it holds everyone accountable for their tasks or responsibilities. That way when I do a follow up meeting, I know exactly where we left off and what each person was responsible for.
10. How important are phone skills in your sales cycle? Many people have said that phone sales skills are a lost art. Do you agree with that? What is the most important characteristic for a sales person that works at Clean Energy Solutions?
I’m not sure if it’s a lost art but phone skills are an extremely important part of what we do. I come from a sales and marketing background so it it’s all about selling benefit. We don’t sell solar, we sell the benefit of solar. When you have a strong benefit it’s all about telling the product story in a simple and precise way that highlights its benefits. It is what has allowed us to sell solar by phone, while most of the industry only does home appointments.
David, we would like to have some fun and do a “First Reaction” round with you!
We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only. Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Listening, learning, adapting
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say after delivery?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Family, friends, entrepreneurship
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Determination, discipline and adaptability.
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Clean Energy Solutions?
Focused, determined, exciting
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you.
Grateful, humble, appreciative.
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?
Thank you David for taking the time out of your busy day to join our Entrepreneur roundtable. We are sure our readers will value your answer, and aspiring entrepreneurs will definitely have something to aspire to from your story!