Sales play a crucial role in every roofing business. And if you want your company to move on to the next level, you have to be concerned about it. But what does it mean to have an effective roofing sales process? And why do you need one?
If you run your roofing business all by yourself, you probably have a very specific way of selling your services. But as you hire more and more people to help in sales, it’s usually not so simple anymore. Some new employees might come from different sales backgrounds—car dealers, real estate guys, or mortgage people.
So, chances are, that they’ll not just have issues in blending in immediately, but your company could also face more sales-related challenges. You might even be experiencing this right now and wondering what’s going wrong.
So, what’s the solution? Well, it’s as simple as getting a sales process that works for your business and teaching it to everyone on the sales team.
Without a defined sales process that gets everyone on the same page, there’s no way you’d get a good sales pitch from people with different sales backgrounds and experiences. This process should be what you follow while meeting with homeowners and moving them towards a closed deal.
The Baseball Diamond Sales Model
Let’s look at the baseball diamond model for baseline selling. This model consists of three stages:
- The first base—the suspect stage,
- the second base—the prospect stage,
- and the third base— the qualified stage.
Let’s get a closer glimpse of each one.
First Base: Suspects
The first base is straightforward. It’s where the customer calls in for any reason after seeing your ads somewhere on the internet or through SEO. Usually, both you AND the homeowner are uncertain at this point about if you should work with one another, and that’s why it’s called the suspect stage.
They aren’t sure if you’ll be the right man for the job. And on the other hand, you’re also not confident they’re the customer you need. And who’s your ideal customer? A person who requires your services and is willing to pay for them.
So what steps should you take in this stage?
- ☎️ STEP 1: Schedule a brief discovery call to learn more about them, and give them the opportunity to tell you more about yourself. Take 10 to 15 minutes to ask some thought-out questions about their project while clarifying the services your company offers. 💡 Basically, what you are trying to do here is to disqualify just as much as you’re trying to qualify. 💡 And you do that by asking questions on the front end. For instance, “You mentioned that you were interested in blah blah blah, however, our company is focused on this and this.”
- 📈 STEP 2: Pretend that your services are in high demand because when you’re scarce, customers will tend to feel that your services are valuable. Some roofers complain about not having enough leads to be comfortable with being selective. But the problem is not that the leads are insufficient, but it’s mostly about how you handle them.
You might have heard it said, “It’s the things you don’t do in business that make you money.” So don’t go on a wild goose chase by trying to work with a client that is clearly wrong for your company; it would just be a waste of your and their time.
Once you’re certain of your deal with a potential client, you can then ask them to book an appointment which takes you to the next stage, the prospect stage.
Second Base: Prospects
In this stage, you’re trying to get the customer from the ‘suspect’ stage to the prospect. So you’re going to have to keep asking questions to decide if the customer is an actual prospect. And if they happen to qualify as a good prospect, you’ll also need to qualify the problem that they are dealing with.
Some customers dial your number to get a quote for a service they might not necessarily need right at that time. Also, you likely cannot help them if their roof is brand new and there’s no leak or anything.
Keep in mind that the chances are they won’t pay you an extra $5000 just because you’re the best roofer in town if they don’t actually need you or your services.
Here are a few key things to remember throughout the prospect stage:
- Confirm that your client needs your services by asking more specific questions about their project: It would be best if you had a compelling reason to want to do business with them, so you can keep moving through the process.
- Don’t just jump straight to the price: Most salespeople get to the appointment and go straight to the estimate. If you do this, you’ll miss out on a whole lot of things.
- Qualify the problem: What’s the cost of not doing this project right away? Inflation? Further damage? For instance, if there’s a leak on the roof, let them know that if they don’t repair it right away, it will damage the ceiling boards and the floor. Or that the price of ceiling boards could increase by the following month due to inflation. Help them see the pain involved in NOT working with you, because people are usually motivated to make decisions based on emotions. People buy on emotions. Then deliver your service as the solution.
- Deliver the best customer service: Subtly try to find out what’s important to them by asking about their experience with any recent dealers. A customer mentioned how two or three companies she called didn’t get back to her. That’s an issue with customer service. So what do you do? Deliver the best customer service possible because although you can’t quote it into your fees, they’ll feel the quality of your empathy and concern.
Usually, the first to second base takes the most time. That’s where the bulk of the work is. So, if you can gain their confidence and trust well enough, the rest should be relatively easy.
Third Base: Qualified
A qualified prospect is one with enough reason to purchase your company’s service. Now that you have settled that they need a roofer, you also need to find out if they’d pay a little bit more to do business with you, especially because you might not be the cheapest roofer in town.
Here’s how you go about doing that:
- 🤔 Find out if they’ll be willing to pay more for your services: Train your salespeople to say something like, “If you were sure that we could solve your problem and you knew that we’re the best company in the market to do that, would you be willing to pay a little bit more to have the best product, the best quality, and the best service?”
- 🔍 Carry out the Inspection: If you’ve done your job well up to this point throughout the suspect and prospect stages, you should get a yes to the above question. That’s the right time to do the inspection!
- 🏠 Ask if anyone else cares about their decision?: Their spouse, children, or household neighbors? Because the chances are that person might end up calling the shots. If you haven’t met that person yet, try to meet your client with them by the next appointment.
- 🗓 Set the next appointment date: Once you’ve carried out the inspection, and gotten all your needed information, take good pictures and make a date for the next meeting. Never leave an appointment without setting another appointment. Also, if someone else is involved in their decision-making, make sure to factor in both of them in the next meeting. If that requires you to go the extra mile, that’s okay. For instance, in a case when you’d have to show up as late as 7 pm on a Saturday evening – would you be willing to do that in order to close a deal?
- ✅ Offer solutions: In the next sets of appointments, talk about the solution to their problem and the various options available. Such as repairing the leak or changing the roof, the estimate, payment options, etc.
While doing that, also try to have an idea about the timeline of their decision process and how they will make the decision. All these would also require a great deal of follow-up.
Hint: Don’t give them an idea of your price at the initial appointment.
Suppose you need to ask more questions, don’t hesitate to do so. It’s okay for this stage to create some hope and excitement, but even with this, don’t celebrate yet. It’s only over when they turn in the check.
Other Sales Tips to Help You Close More Deals
There are also a couple more tips that can help in your sales process.
- Don’t talk too much: Let your customers do more of the talking, not you. Make them talk twice as much as you because of all of the questions you’ll be asking.
- Show empathy: Empathy cannot be over-emphasized. View things from the customer’s side. Let it be evident that you care for them and have a connection to their project beyond the paycheck you are going to receive.
- Be smart about price: Discussing prices can be dicey, but the trick is to keep it simple. Handle their questions and negotiations tactfully and give as many as three options if possible.
- Re-establish trust: Gently reassure them that quality is always worth it. After all, if anyone was asked to pick a car of their choice for free, they definitely won’t pick the cheapest car in the car lot.
- Pick a date for the next meeting: Always leave them with an expectation for the next appointment.
Selling is not just about the roof. It’s in how you can package your company as the best solution. So let them see their roof from your company’s lens.
Beyond the sales pitch, the proper sales process would help you get it right from the start. Even when you’re not in direct contact with a client, you’re sure your employees are on the same page as you.
Finally, know that even if you don’t to use any of these processes, it’s so important to make sure that you are working with one. Feel free to pick the one that works for you, keep it simple, and watch your sales flood in massively.