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3 Skills To Master To Sell More Roofs

The 3 Most Important Skills To Master For Roofing Sales Success


Roofing sales success has A LOT of different factors. Here are just a few off the top of my head:


  • Urgency/awareness of the homeowner
  • Recency of the storm
  • Time of day
  • Chance (if the homeowner is in a bad mood, busy, etc.)
  • Commitment (we’ll cover that later)

But most of those factors are wild cards. What I want to talk about are the 3 most important skills you can CONTROL that will make you a more successful salesperson. Because if you really want to be successful in roofing sales, you have to focus on what you can control. 



The 3 most critical skills for roofing sales success


1. Confidence



Okay, I know I sound like a broken record here, but it has to be covered, confidence is critical to roofing sales success. Why? Because people (especially skeptical homeowners whose days you just interrupted) are constantly evaluating whether what they are doing and who they are talking to is worth their time or not.

If you come up to my door with your shoulders hunched forward and stumble over your pitch, I’m not going to take you seriously or think you have anything valuable to offer me. Which will make me think you are going to be a giant waste of my time. 


Door. Slammed.


So stand up straight with your shoulders back and act like you’re worth it!



With that said, here are a few tips to stay confident on the doors:



Let yourself suck for at least the first 5 doors you knock every day


Almost nobody comes out swinging and hits a home run on their first try every time. While it is nice to book an appointment on your very first door of the day, don’t make that your expectation. Give yourself a few doors to knock off the rust and get a fluid rhythm going.





Some people hate role playing sales situations, but the fact is, it’s an absolute must if you want to become great at roofing sales or any other kind of sales. Grab a partner and practice your pitch at least 5 times each. Do this 3-5 times a week and role play different scenarios every time.



Remember that you’re HELPING them by knocking on their door!


Most homeowners DON’T KNOW what’s up on their roof. Whether it’s hail damage, wind damage, or torn fasteners the naked eye would never detect– they need to know what’s up there! And you’re simply there to help them, as a certified roofing professional. Take pride in that. And like I said earlier, try to stand up straighter. It makes a huge difference and you’ll notice it immediately.


Just like your confidence is important, it’s also important that the customer has confidence in YOU.


2. Building Trust



You’ve heard it before– people buy from people they trust. This is 100% true. When you knock on someone’s door and pitch them on getting a “free roof inspection”, they need to know you’re legit. Here are a few ways you can build more trust:



Dress like a roofing professional


Don’t wear gym shorts and a t-shirt. At least wear some khaki cargo shorts. I wear the Wrangler shorts from Walmart and they are awesome! I also usually always walk up to the door with my chalk pouch on my hip. I feel like my chalk pouch is my secret weapon. It makes you look more like a construction worker and tells them you’re there for business!



Drive a company vehicle


Okay, this one isn’t always a must, but it does help. I sold hundreds of roofs in 2015-2016 driving around in a 2013 Dodge Avenger, so i’m not saying it can’t be done. But credibility is extremely important in 2020. The more you have, the better off you’ll be. 


Tip: convince your boss to get you a company truck by agreeing to a certain amount of deals you’ll close to warrant his expense!



Use Visuals


Human beings are visual animals. We need to have a vision in order to make a decision. Show them pictures of the damage in the area to earn their trust. This also sparks curiosity about their own roof and the damage they may have. Another way to use pictures is to show them pictures of your projects.


Nothing will give homeowners reassurance more than seeing beautiful pictures of projects you’ve recently completed. Show them their neighbors’ home and nice-looking new roof! The last thing you’ll want to do is show people samples of the roofing products you use.


Show them shingle samples and underlayment samples! Reassure them that they are getting the best quality and warranties. A trick I have always used is showing them a strip of synthetic underlayment and asking them to try to rip it. It’s a great way to build trust in the quality of the materials you use.


Lastly, if you can leave a brochure or a manilla folder behind, DO IT! Make sure within those documents you have the claims and roofing process outlined very simply. It will give them reassurance that you’re credible and they can always go back to that if they have questions about the process. It also keeps you top of mind so they don’t think about finding another roofer!



Be A Decent Person


Honestly, this one goes without saying. Just don’t be a jerk. Be friendly, courteous, and kind. You are there to HELP them. Close with kindness, not manipulation or coercion.


Now, let’s talk more in-depth about the actual selling part.


3. Cast A Vision & Chart The Course


This is the only way I know how to sell roofs. We MUST cast a vision for people of what the future will look like, no matter what they choose to do. And then we need to paint a very vivid picture of what will happen along the way. The homeowner needs to know the impact of their decision and the next steps they need to take to ensure a good outcome.


Here are some questions to ponder and think about. Imagine a homeowner you recently spoke to is asking you these questions. How would you respond?


  • What will happen next if I sign your contract?
  • What if the insurance company turns me down?
  • How will I know you’re offering me a fair price to get my roof done?
  • How will I know you’re not ripping off my insurance company?
  • What if I have any leaks after your crew is done?
  • Will your company leave a bunch of trash and nails in my lawn?
  • What if the insurance company doesn’t give me enough money to get the whole roof done?
  • What if I can’t pay my deductible?
  • How do I know you’re going to do a good job?
  • Why can’t I just get 3 or 4 competitive bids?

You can probably think of more questions than that, but that’s a good list to start with. Use these questions in your role plays and practice answering them!


Personally, I like to answer most of these questions before they are even asked, and then confirm that the homeowner understood what I was saying. Making sure your customer has full assurance that is a winning choice is not an option. Don’t leave the table with any skepticism in their minds!



*Bonus Tip


Here’s a bonus tip that will take you further than anything….



Call it commitment, dedication, fortitude, resilience, or whatever else you would like to. The simple fact is– the key to success in anything is HARD WORK.


Put in the effort on and off the field. Don’t just read sales books, go test those skills out in the field. Don’t just knock thousands of doors, evaluate people’s responses and be very observant of things you can change and improve to be more successful.


Essentially, don’t just work smarter or harder. Do both. Work smarter AND harder than anyone else and I promise you’ll crush it this year in roofing sales.




I hope you found these tips helpful. Remember, there is no secret to roofing sales success. There is just you, a ton of awesome information to learn from, and LOTS of doors to knock.



Happy selling!



Ammon McKinlay

Owner, Zeal Communications


Ammon McKinlay

Ammon McKinlay

Ammon McKinlay is the founder and owner of Zeal Communications. He started his career in sales as a canvasser for a roofing company in Utah in 2015. He quickly moved into sales and sold roofs all over Utah and Arizona for 3 years. After an injury forced him off of the roofs and into a desk job, he found a passion for digital marketing that he is now sharing with the roofing community. He is also currently a marketing & sales leader at a startup roofing, solar, and insulation company in Gilbert, Arizona.

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