Overcoming the Challenges of Roofing Sales

Terry Anderson on Oct 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Green Roofing SystemsWhen it comes to roofing sales, there are many challenges one must overcome to be successful. Generally, people do not trust roofers and they unfortunately trust salespeople even less. This means that you as a roofing contractor already have two strikes against you when approaching a prospect. The third strike typically follows soon after as people tend to sell by showing customers exactly what they have and then hoping something will stick.

It is your job not to sell to potential customers, but rather uncover what the prospect wants and then be specific regarding how your product matches that want. Everyone’s wants differ very much from their needs; your potential customer needs a roof, but what the customer wants is much more complex.

A customer’s wants can vary from person to person as much as the personalities of the individuals you call on. As a result, what you know about roofing isn’t the key to securing a sale. Knowing what the customer wants and then applying what you as a roofer knows, is key. I’ve seen many salesmen make the mistake of bringing their bag of tricks and laying its contents before a customer, hoping that something creates interest. Ultimately, selling is all about our focus.

What is focus?

In today’s fast paced world roofers actually get very little time in front of customers. Roofers should all work harder toward gaining more time in front of customers. However, when you are in front of your customers, even when you are pressed for time,  you better be good. Winging it will put us in positions of price pressure and poor percentages of close.

The better you are at focusing on what the customer wants, the higher your closing average will be. In a survey, that was conducted on salespeople who average $125,000 per year or more, the top 5% of salespeople in that category focus on what the customer wants. The best way to accomplish this is to hold back all of your product and service knowledge until you understand the customer want.

What are wants?

If you have a hobby you are passionate about, such as golf, most of us will never achieve professional status as a golfer. However, you will go to great lengths, if you have true passion for the sport, to buy the best equipment to make us feel better. I don’t consider myself a great golfer, but I have a putter that costs $300. If you wanted me to buy a putter at a second-hand sports store for $50, I would consider that an insult. Why? Because I see professional golfers playing with my current putter and it makes me feel better about my game.

People that are buying roofs are no different. They are passionate about their buildings and want the best. If you are giving them what they need and they can get that from anyone, you are providing them with a commodity solution. What is a commodity? When a product has no differentiation from one to another. Frank Bettger says, “show people what they want most and they will move heaven and earth to get it.”

By focusing on a customers want rather than need, you will be able to increase close percentages. We will be discussing in greater detail how to uncover what a customer wants. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series to learn more!

Do you have any tips regarding selling techniques for roofing membranes? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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