Residential roofing sales are not what they used to be. Tape measures have been replaced by apps, the analog by the digital, and drones have become fully implemented in the process. A compelling sales presentation must encompass more than just product and price. It must also include tried and true sales techniques that rely on human interaction, effective communication, and trusting relationships. The road to roofing sales mastery accommodates both.
Granted, there is not one single way to do this. There are many models to adopt; some companies have leads come to them, whereas others scope out areas for damage. Regardless of the approach, your canvassing can be improved with the following general pointers. Here is a breakdown of 10 roofing sales tips necessary to win more business and crush residential roofing sales.
1. Present yourself professionally
First impressions are everything, especially in an industry where image and reputation play such huge roles in growth and success. From the moment you pull up to the property, you should be “dressing to impress.” The clothes you wear, the way you style your hair, the music you are listening to, and the behavior you exhibit cultivate a reputation for you and your business. Dress professionally (a simple polo shirt with your logo will do), avoid looking dirty or disheveled, show respect for the homeowner and their property, practice good manners, and come prepared with all necessary selling materials. Maybe even consider a custom-made skin or sticker for your vehicle. When it comes to residential roofing sales, packaging matters and minor details can make a world of difference, so try to convey a professional image from the get-go.
2. Refine your sales pitch
As residential roofing sales tips go, refining your pitch carries some weight. Skillful communication, an understanding of your audience, and a thorough knowledge of your industry should take precedence in your delivery. The crux of your pitch should be based in value and relationship. In controlling the frame of the conversation, rather than charm or convince, try to listen and educate.
Regardless of how many times you’ve previously dealt with the same questions, concerns, or issues, be patient. Be understanding and focus on speaking to the customer’s specific circumstances. Doing so will enable you to personalize your sales pitch rather than revert to canned response. This will build the client’s trust in you and what you offer. Listening is a fundamental of communication, and communication—not just capability—affects credibility. Before becoming the trusted expert and providing solutions to their problems, you must first show the customer that you hear them, and that you care.
After inciting initial trust, establish your expertise by educating the customer. Explain what work is needed, why, and what it entails. Explain what tools you will use to ensure a job well done. Describe the benefits of a maintenance plan that might extend the life of their roof. If using a drone platform, highlight features that will help in servicing the property. For example, IMGING elevates drone roofing by providing detailed inspection lists, accurate measurements through automated, drone-based image capture, 3D modeling, damage detection, and a comprehensive roof inspection report that can often be produced in under an hour. If selling to a couple, include both people in the conversation.
If “always be closing” is your sole purpose, you may not always leave with a signed contract in hand. In fact, 92% of respondents in the Roofing Contractor’s Homeowner Survey said the contractor they hired discussed the importance of high-quality workmanship and their plans to execute it. By educating the customer, you empower them to make an informed decision that best suits their needs, thereby cementing their trust and closing more business.
3. Use drones as canvassing tools
Accompanied by a drone platform, drones not only have the power to get the work done faster and better than human labor could, but they carry far less risk and are intriguing to prospects. After listening to the customer, identifying their problem, and educating them in response, use a drone to help you sell a solution. Put the drone into action by offering a free inspection (more on that later) and get the results in less than an hour. The software will speak for itself, and the efficiency and productivity of drone roofing will be evident. A drone can cover a lot more ground in a lot less time, optimizing your day of knocking doors. Drones can also spark the interest of neighbors and open the door for more business. If your company is not yet using drones, it might be time to re-evaluate.
4. Sell solutions to problems
This one goes hand in hand with listening and educating. Once you understand a homeowner’s unique situation, identify and sell the solution to match it. Contractors sometimes make the mistake of telling a homeowner the problem with their roof without documentation or explanation, and without a solution tailored to the problem. Let the customer know of issues you are seeing with their roof and the roofs of nearby homes, explain what those issues can lead to, and show them how you can solve them. Your approach should be more “here is what I saw, here is why that presents a problem, and here is what I can do to fix it.” This is yet another great way to build trust and drive referrals.
5. Sell on value
Along with selling solutions to problems comes selling on value. Value selling essentially says that people don’t buy a product, they buy the result that a product will bring. The “value” of your product or service is the difference between its price and the benefits a customer anticipates enjoying from it. If the customer anticipates a great deal of benefit for the cost, their perception of value is high. Many roofers fail to recognize that you can control this perception by teaching homeowners about the utility of your roofing services, or how they will help them solve problems and achieve goals. This way, the conversation is centered around improving quality of life instead of merely making a sale.
Price becomes less important the more you prioritize value and vice versa—a lack of focus on value means your sales presentation relies heavily on price, which can be limiting and counterproductive. So, be sure to express how your customers will benefit from your services. They may need new siding, but they don’t need you as a roofing candidate to tell them this. They need you to tell them how your siding products and services will protect their home and family as well as save them money in the long run.
6. Know your prospects to build relationships with them
Another essential roofing sales tip that coincides with listening, is to get to know your prospect and build a relationship from there. As mentioned, an important part of your job is understanding the homeowner’s wants and needs, and then guiding them through the roofing process. Instead of depending on the outcome, go into each sale seeking to know your audience and build a solid relationship with them. Recognize boundaries, but ask questions, make connections, and try to get a good feel for what they need. The more familiar you are with your prospects, the more opportunity you have to sell to them. In turn, the more trust they have in you, the more willing they will be to invest time and money in your business.
7. Offer something free
A swift and simple way to get your foot in the door with potential customers is to offer them something for free. Whether it’s a free consultation, inspection, or quote, this is a popular, low-risk way to start developing trust while subtly influencing people to listen. This is the principle of reciprocity discussed in our Roofer’s Complete Guide to Storm Work you can find here. Utilizing a drone and sophisticated drone platform such as IMGING make it easy to conduct inspections and create quick bids, which means a free inspection won’t waste your time and money, or your customer’s.
8. Give them options
From financing and warranties to shingles and add-ons, present the customer with options, and be well-informed on all of them. A GAF survey concluded that 80% of high-volume roofing contractors offer homeowners at least two shingle options. If explaining upgrade options with premium or designer shingles, point out why these products are worth the extra expense (more durable, retains color longer, etc.)
Roof replacements and repairs can be a steep investment for customers, depending on whether or not insurance is involved. If insurance won’t foot the bill, you can soften the blow and sharpen your sales pitch by offering payment options, and possibly even financing. Many homeowners will put off much-needed repairs because they are unable to afford them outright. It is important that they know you can help them make it work for their budget or help them file a damage claim where relevant.
Offer and explain the benefit of warranties, as they can provide peace of mind for customers that their investment is protected. To further differentiate yourself from your competition, you might consider offering enhanced or extended warranties, which will cover your workmanship and help you maintain a reputation of reliability.
9. Use references and referrals
Any roofer knows that word of mouth can make or break their business. While canvassing neighborhoods, you can use references and referrals to accomplish the former, as nothing speaks louder to potential customers. Many people will rely heavily on the experience of others in their roofing contractor vetting process, so take the time during your sales presentation to show them peer reviews and recommendations from happy homeowners. Ask current customers to refer you to anyone they know that needs roofing work done. Utilizing positive feedback, references, and referrals as canvassing tools is a great way to reinforce your credibility, sell your services, and grow your business.
10. Leverage digital sales tools
There is an app for just about everything these days, and roofing sales are no different. With apps such as IMGING, just a drone and your mobile device become an advanced inspection toolkit. They arm drone roofing salespeople with the ability to capture high-res images, acquire on-site measurements, build polished reports, adjust waste percentage, and create accurate estimates, all on-site. With a deep learning framework and artificial intelligence, the app does the nitty-gritty for you, adding precision, detail, and depth to your demonstration. Take advantage of digital sales tools that keep you off the roof and impressing potential customers with sleeker, more streamlined processes.
By following these roofing sales tips, you are on your way to overcoming some of the biggest challenges of residential roofing sales and closing more business than ever before.
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