By: John Devlin
These roofing sales presentation tips are my personal opinions of how you excel at closing roofing jobs and increasing your salesmanship.
Although I am now an online marketing guy, in the middle of my career, I had an excellent five-year spell of selling home improvement services face to face to the general public.
I did pretty well too, with over 2 million in sales on the board I was able to train at least four successful salespeople to follow on from me.
Allowing me to get back to my main job of marketing and being a business owner.
Around the same time, I was lucky enough to be privy to a major roofing sales team in action.
The roofing business owned by a friend grew to be the largest independently owned roofing company in the North of England.
With six or more full-time salespeople and a yearly turnover of more than £5,000,000. As I was in charge of their SEO and digital marketing, we worked closely with the sales department.
All of the above gave me unique insights into sales presentations for roofing contractors and how to sell your product to customers with a high success rate.
These roofing sales tips are to help conversion and ultimately make more sales. There are tonnes of sales tools you can use to help sell roofing, but in the end, it will come down to the few key points listed below:
If your a rep working for a company then you can’t influence this part, so skip it and move to the next section. But if you are a business owner or the sales manager for roofing business, then you need to understand the sale cycle starts way before you ever visit the property.
The customer will highly likely have been on your website, Facebook page and any review site you’re listed on and they would have started to form an opinion of your firm. Potential customers are now the number one researchers online and don’t like to be told anything.
They will research it themselves. A customer who has done their homework and then calls you is one of the best clients you can get. You want more roofing leads like this and fewer tyre kickers from your roofer marketing.
Like you may invest already in great branding, SEO, PPC and other avenues. Make sure all your digital assets are working and looking great. A poor performing website or a DIY looking Facebook does untold damage to local businesses that they are not even aware of.
One simple trick I introduced to my company was to follow up confirming the appointment via email. It’s nice and shows you appreciate that the customer has chosen you as a potential roofing company for their project. But the main reason we did this was to get our reviews and work in front of them before we arrive.
This trust-building technique allows the customer to read all of your positive reviews online and check your recent projects on your website.
If you don’t have reviews listed on a third party website for your company then you should, so start now. The same for recent projects, your website shouldn’t be a sales site; it should be an online brochure to everything good about your business.
Feel free to use the quick demo template I put together in this mockup email. It works, and more importantly, other roofing companies won’t be doing it. This little message will make the sales pitch that little bit easier.
Simple but vitally important. Many sales reps never fully understand that customers are judging you and everything about the company. From the website to the reviews to your appearance.
Being late is a terrible start and will convey to the customer that you’re unprofessional. That’s not how to start a sales pitch. Instead, arrive at your presentation 10 minutes early. Customers will like that.
Your appearance will be a huge indicator to the customer as to whether they create time for you, let alone possibly let you do the presentation.
Turn up scruffy, straight from a roof, and you’re not getting in the door, let alone sat down.
Turn up in a suit with a briefcase like an accountant, and the customers will smell ” roof salesmen” a mile off.
The successful roofing firm I worked with had their sales reps in clean footwear, work trousers and a polo shirt with the company logo and their name on. Nothing flash, clean smart and professional.
Following on from the don’t look like a salesperson above, don’t sound like a salesperson either. Never use the words sales rep to a customer; you can be a surveyor, an estimator or an actual roofer. But not a sales representative. In the retail world, sales reps are excellent, people don’t mind them. But in the home improvement industry, sales reps have a poor reputation, and you don’t want this lousy rep hampering your chance of a sale.
Best advice you’ll ever get as a salesperson.
When I transitioned from a successful sales guy to training new salespeople, this was the hardest point to get across. When you say listen, most recruits nod their head and say yeah, of course, I know how to listen.
But they don’t.
Listening in a sales presentation is the best thing you can do, never try to talk more than customers that want to speak. Give them the stage, let them speak. Listening achieves three things,
It makes them feel comfortable, there not listening to you talk about your business or your day. They’re talking about their problems, their roof and what they want.
It will strengthen your relationship with the prospective client, as most people that come to quote will fail to listen and talk too much.
The customer will give away loads of valuable information while they are talking, for example:
You see, learning to listen is the art of a quality sales pitch, you wouldn’t find half of the above sitting talking about lead flashing or leaning options!
You will get your chance to go through the roofing process you propose, your pricing and hopefully close a deal, but if the customer wants to talk and talk, let them. Every minute that passes and your there listening makes it more likely they will buy from you, rather than the guy who was in and out in ten minutes and is posting a quote.
There’s nothing worse than a sales rep in a hurry, blurting out a load of product options, and continually letting the customer know they are running late, or they need to be going. If a customer is considering buying a new roof, then rest assured this will be one of the most significant purchases of their lives.
They will have questions, they will want to build a level of trust with your company, and they do that by connecting with you, the company representative.
Never forget no matter how many sales tools appear on the market people buy off people, and human interaction, eye contact, and general friendliness are significant parts of sales presentations no matter what product you’re selling.
Another thing poor salespeople do it criticise the competition, sometimes they don’t mean too, but they do it anyway.
A little story
I was once with a trainee rep, and the client mentioned they had a quote from such and such firm, down the road.
The trainee and I had been talking a few days before.
The said company had been mentioned in a local newspaper article and were forced to give a refund by the local authorities for shoddy quality.
When the client mentioned the company, the trainee leapt at the chance to discredit the rival firm. In his mind, it removes them from the picture and put him one step closer.
He would be wrong. It makes both companies look unprofessional—them for being in the paper under such circumstances and us for using such tactics.
Focus on your company all of the time, if the client mentions another roofing contractor, be polite, acknowledge them and get back to selling the benefits of using your roofing business. Nobody likes a telltale.
“MAN” stands for money, authority and need and is an old but useful sales acronym.
Let’s take a closer look,
Money – The people you are talking to have the money to pay for this roof replacement or repair.
Authority – They have the authority to make the final decision on which roofing contractor will get this project.
Need – They need this work done, and it’s not a project that they are just looking at for the future, or maybe never.
If the prospect ticks all three of these boxes then you have MAN and no reseason not to try and close this lead. As a sales rep, it’s always important to be asking yourself, do I have a sellable situation here?
If you do and you choose to walk away and send a written quote, then your job is an estimator, not a sale person.
Not having a reason to buy is the second biggest mistake I’ve seen in sales presentations, and it happens over and over again. This most significant mistake in roofing sales is coming up!
The roofing contractor gets the scope of the job, measures up, gives a price or worse says I will post it out in a few days.
The prospect has the price/quotation and its sits in the draw for a few months until someone at work recommends another roofing firm.
That’s they win the job, and our guy is history.
This happens every day, in every city in the world.
Human beings are naturally programmed to sit and dwell on things, think things over. We take an age to make decisions when presented with multiple choices, especially if it involves our finances.
This story sounds familiar; a man wants a set of golf clubs, they are £2000. He’s wanted them for a year. He’s always talking about them.
The golf clubs go in the sale with 30% off; the man buys them the same day.
The sale was this man’s encouragement. The sale was this mans reason to buy.
Next time you are doing a presentation, try this. If you’ve been listening, you will know when the homeowner would like this work done; you have a rough time scale.
Open a diary and say:
Now you’ve given them a reason to buy, all will not say yes, but some will.
Zero would have said go ahead, if you had of, said I’ll post the quote.
The worst response you will get from this is I have more quotes to get, can you hold that offer open for a few days, in which you say not a problem, I’ll call you on it at the start of next week. Now you’ve created a solid follow up in the worst-case scenario.
Not asking for the job is the number one mistake reps make in sales presentations, it’s nearly always the business owners doing it the most.
It’s 100% understandable too.
A roofing contractor who goes on to own their roofing firm is not a roof salesperson they are a roofer.
So going to a presentation, taking the homeowner through the roofing process and product options and then working on a quote is how they know how to do a sales pitch.
But imagine a sales pitch or sales presentation at a garage for new Mercedes-Benz or getting a sales pitch from an agent selling you a cruise around the Caribbean.
It would be different because they have been trained in sales.
They distinctly understand that while they have the clients attention, they have EVERY chance of closing this sale.
Selling a new roof, or an extensive roofing repair is no different, you should at the end of the sales pitch at the very least be saying:
Can we do that for you?
You’d be amazed at how many people are happy to go ahead with a home improvement purchase but are waiting to be guided by the rep.
Take the bull by the horns, structure all your roofing sales techniques around ending with a reason to buy, and ask for the job.
These two things, combined with all of the sale presentation tips above, will see your conversion rate soar and your roofing company thrive.