The roofing industry is full of promises and promise-makers. Everyone is assured of the same grand vision — six figures, no experience needed, flexible schedules, being your own boss, etc. However, while most companies don’t provide the needed training to achieve these nice things, others wing it, train their salespeople with no proven system and send them out on the field just like that.
You can guess the outcome of that — hard work with little to no results. Why? Because it’s about working smarter and not necessarily harder. Adam Bensman shared some crucial tips that many beginner sales reps tend to overlook while trying to “do their best.” Keep reading to make sure that you don’t make these beginner roofing sales rep mistakes.
Two Camps of Beginner Sales Reps
Most beginner sales reps fall into one of these two categories:
- The first is the hungry, relentless, and ambitious salespeople: For these, their attitude to work is the equivalent of doing eight hours of bicep curls to achieve a six-pack. They look diligent and serious about making progress but might be doing the wrong thing to achieve their desired results.
- The second group is those confused and discouraged about making that first sale. To them, everything looks so tasking and daunting.
Mistake 1: No Daily Plan
On waking up, every salesperson should know their daily plan, how many doors to knock on, what cold calls they’re going to make, and what their target is for that day to set appointments.
Whether for inspection on storm damage or on the retail side, getting those appointments set to prepare an estimate is crucial. One effective way to do it is by breaking down each sales rep’s personal goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s $90,000 or $390,000—the point is you need to know every step of the way to get there. But most people say, “I’m just going to work hard.” 💪
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Zig Ziglar also says, “You can’t hit a target you can’t see.” As good as a structured long-term plan is, nothing beats waking up daily with a plan you made the day before. That clarity is vital!
Don’t Jump Out of The Neighbourhood
Stick to the same neighborhood, follow the plan, and work with multi-touch marketing to make your doorknocking easier.
Knock on their doors, leave them letters, send them emails, and have the correct pitch. The most basic thing is planning your day out and figuring out how to squeeze out maximum sales with the best strategy, making the most of your time.
Mistake 2: Allowing Product Knowledge to Hold You Back
New salespeople say, “I can’t sell the product until I know the product.” So they become book nerds trying to learn everything about the product. Well, here’re two easy ways out of that trap:
- Jump on Youtube, search for any shingle manufacturer you like, and type in “Roof Installation,” You’ll find a million and one things to learn.
- Go to your supplier and get the installation manual. Yeah, it’s boring as hell; read it. You’re going to know exactly how a roof is installed.
Customers Want Process
Product knowledge shouldn’t hold you back because customers care more about process knowledge instead. “How will this go for me? Will I be guided through the insurance claims process? How do I get through the retail replacement process?”
People want to know more about the experience they’ll get than the product used. So it’s really in your best interest to understand what the customer goes through so you can guide them through that.
Don’t be discouraged if you do get into the weeds on the product side. Instead, step out there and remember that competence breeds confidence. And the only way to get competent is with repetition. So you can learn on the job repeatedly as you work on your pitch more and more.
Mistake 3: Giving Up Too Soon (The Most Common)
About 80% of new salespeople give up before they see success. But you have to remember that roofing sales is almost like pushing a concrete ball up a mountain. You’ll expend a massive amount of energy trying to keep it moving up the hill, but once you break that peak, that momentum begins to carry you into a cascade, and you can’t keep up.
Most new people are skeptical of their ability to make sales or not. On the other hand, seasoned salespeople are thinking about how they’ll keep up. You hear comments like, “I’m getting so many referrals and crushing the neighborhood! I’m referring projects to others; I didn’t believe this would be possible.”
Take home lesson? Do not give up too soon. If you need to find a way to make ends meet, by all means, do what it takes to protect yourself and your family. Although straightforward, it’s far from easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
On his YouTube channel, Adam Bensman gives tips to help encourage people when things seem unpleasant. You have to “earn the fruit of your labor,” but most people call it quits too early.
Every salesperson is an entrepreneur — you write your checks, drive sales, charge your income, and deal with your cash flow — you’re a small business owner. Although being an entrepreneur is nerve-wracking at times, with so much potential in you, this industry can transform your life if you line up with a great company and don’t give up too soon.
Mistake 4: Comparison
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is a thief of joy.” You have absolutely no reason to slip into self-judgment by comparing yourself with other salespeople. It doesn’t matter if they sold more roofs. What matters is if you did better than YOU did yesterday or over the last year.
How Many Doors Should New Reps Knock Daily?
Your sales guys might ask for a number to hit daily, but there are no fixed numbers. You need to find out how many doors YOU need to hit to get to YOUR target amount. It’s also heavily based on your market and demand.
Ultimately, it all boils down to this: Go knock on as many doors as possible when you’re brand new; for now, your only job is to make sales. So,
- Knock doors
- Leave letters at their doors, not door hangers (Adam teaches how to write them on his YouTube channel).
- Send direct mail letters and show back up to work that multi-touch approach. That is needed to be the neighborhood roofer and to create familiarity with homeowners.
Once get that first sale, you can leverage that neighborhood and convert them into more sales opportunities. When done appropriately, you can get up to 25 sales opportunities from one customer and one neighborhood.
When you try a new neighborhood and see some momentum gathering, YOU STAY PUT. Leave others for now and stay with that one. It’s going to be easier to get the second sale, which makes it much easier to get the third, and so on. The momentum carries you on tremendously.
What’s the Duration Between Not Giving Up Too Soon and “I Actually Suck At This?”
The roofing industry isn’t for everyone. But how do you know if it’s time to stop and get a different job? Here’s a roofing sales success formula; it has three elements — The “be,” “do,” and “say.”
- The “Be” is the person and who that person can become. Anyone who gets into roofing sales must have the right mindset and attitude.
- The “Do” means that they must be willing to:
- Be obsessed with personal development challenges.
- Be brave against rejection, conflict, and discomfort.
- Challenge themselves out of their comfort zone daily
- Work more to earn more.
- Invest in themselves and their education.
- The “Say”: The roofing industry is one of the few industries where what we say is how we write our sales checks. So when you learn to communicate more clearly, follow up better, and close deals, you can maximize your earnings.
The journey ahead may look daunting for new sales reps, but it’s not as scary as it seems. All you need is to step out of the wish zone with an organized plan, avoid the thief called comparison, and have a brave attitude that never says “never.” You’ll be unstoppable in your sales efforts. Which of these tips are you going to implement today?