Calling All Roofing Contractors: 3 Questions to Ask to Uncover Roofing Customer Wants

Terry Anderson on Jul 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

We covered some ways to overcome roofing sales challenges in a prior blog post, and we touched a bit on “wants.” This is a critical part of any sales process, and it’s vital to uncover those customer wants. Here’s how.

Listen Carefully 

Before you try to make the sale, listen closely to your customer. Even ask if you can take notes (ask permission to make them comfortable) to capture important details. The right questions, balanced by listening more than talking, will help you uncover unmet needs and ultimately help you sell more and create a better customer experience.

What to Ask 

Certain types of questions can determine exactly what your customer wants when it comes to roofing. Our goal is to understand what the customer is seeking when it comes to roofing, and how they will make their decision. Try to avoid diving in with business questions, because those don’t generate the emotion of buying. On the other hand, if we ask personal questions, we may not have earned the right to do so. That’s why it is very important to start this probe phase with what I call business-personal questions.

Some of my favorite business-personal questions are:

  • What is your greatest challenge when it comes to roofing? This is business related but it is personal, because you’re asking about their personal experiences and feelings. Once you have this answer, you want to ask at least two more questions to dive deeper into their challenges. This is known as “three deep” questioning.

  • What is the most important aspect of this project to you? Once again, it’s business but personal, because it’s about what’s most important to them. Wouldn’t it be great to learn what the most important thing is to the customer so it can become our most important thing?

  • How do you manage roofing decisions in your organization? This is a non-threatening question that helps us understand how to proceed with a proposal later in the sales process. Many times, roofing decisions are made at the corporate level and we need a way to access the right people.

Each of these can lead to many other questions. Take your time and talk less—listening is the key to the process of uncovering wants. Repeat back to the customer the main needs and wants that they communicated so you both know that there’s a clear path forward.

Starting with questions like these is how we separate wants from needs, making roofing more than just a commodity or an expense. We’ll cover the next steps on that path in our next installment, when we explain how to present products, services and price.

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