Why They Buy & How To Sell A New Roof

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 10/21/23 •  5 min read

Going Shopping

The front pockets of my jeans were bulging with hundred dollar bills.

I walked into the furniture store with my wife. We were anxious to buy a new bed, dresser, and night stand for my son’s room.

He was getting way too big to sleep in his crib; we had to get a “big boy” bed as soon as possible. Even though this happened several years ago, I clearly remember what happened next.

Quick Summary

  1. Personal Anecdote as a Foundation: The author begins with a personal story about shopping for furniture, setting the stage to discuss the broader theme of customer service and sales tactics.
  2. Emotional Connection to Money: The story emphasizes the emotional aspect of spending hard-earned money, highlighting the psychological factors at play for customers making significant purchases.
  3. Salesperson’s Approach Critiqued: The author critiques the salesperson’s attitude, who assumed the sale was guaranteed and showed a lack of engagement and empathy towards the customers’ situation.
  4. Importance of Salesperson-Customer Interaction: The narrative underscores the crucial role of the salesperson’s behavior and approach in influencing the customers’ buying decision, regardless of the necessity of the purchase.
  5. Reaction Led by Emotion: The decision to leave and not purchase from the initial store was driven by emotion, a spontaneous reaction to feeling undervalued and misunderstood.
  6. Positive Alternative Experience: The contrast between the two shopping experiences, culminating in a purchase at a different store, illustrates the impact of positive customer service and the feeling of being understood and respected.
  7. Central Lesson: The moral of the story, as stated by the author, is that people make purchases based on feeling understood. This emotional connection is pivotal in the sales process.
  8. Application to Roofing Sales: The author extends the lesson to roofing sales, especially after events necessitating roof replacement. The need to purchase is clear; what determines the choice of provider is the customer’s sense of being understood by the salesperson.
  9. Understanding Over Assumption: The key takeaway is that successful sales transactions are less about the necessity of the item or service and more about the salesperson’s ability to understand and connect with the customer’s situation and emotions.
  10. Postscript (P.S.) Note: The author concludes with a nod to the anxieties surrounding investment in sales improvement, recognizing the emotional stakes for business owners. This acknowledgment serves to further emphasize the article’s overarching theme of empathy and understanding in business interactions.

Counting My Money

My wife quickly picked out the furniture she liked — while I mentally deducted every dollar + 8.25% tax from the stash of cash in my pockets. My money was almost gone by the time the salesperson “found” us.

While standing behind my wife, I gave him the stink eye as he approached — probably because I’d worked so hard to make my stash of cash and I knew it was all about to go bye, bye in a few seconds.

It wasn’t that we didn’t need the furniture…because we certainly did.

It wasn’t that I didn’t already know we were coming in to spend all my money…because I already knew that, too.

Here’s what I think happened…

The dude walked up like the deal was already done.

He knew it was a done deal.

Hey, I knew it was done, but when he barely made eye contact again, after looking us up and down once, something in me screamed, “This joker’s got no idea how hard it was to make this wad of cash. I’m not about to spend my money with him. He’s not going to treat us like we’re easy. He’s certainly not going to take us for granted when I had to work for my money.”

Let’s Get Out of Here

I quickly caught my wife’s elbow and whispered in her ear, “Let’s go!”

She didn’t hesitate. I guess she was feeling the same thing. We both immediately turned around and walked straight out the front door without saying another word.

Even though it was more than an hour away, we drove directly to Weir’s Furniture on 3219 Knox St. in Dallas, TX and spent all of our money with an extremely kind, courteous, and understanding salesperson there.

MORAL OF THE STORY: “People buy from you because they feel like you understand them.”

They Have To Buy

Yes, our prospects probably do have to buy a new roof after a major hail storm, a major hurricane, or when it just wears out and can’t pass a home inspection.

You know they have to buy a new roof.

After the first hundred roofers have knocked on their door, they certainly haven’t missed the point: they know they need a new roof, too.

You know it. They know. Nobody is missing the point. They’re going to buy a new roof. That’s no longer the question.

What they really want to know is, “Do you understand me?”


P.S. Investing your hard-earned money on private coaching to learn a new sales system designed to improve your door knocking — everybody’s favorite thing to do — makes you more than a little nervous. On one hand, you know you want to take your sales team to the next level. On the other hand, you’re investing real money here. If you’re the type to invest in your company, I want to hear from you.

Mike Coday

Mike started selling roofs in '95 while working as a youth pastor at a small church in North Texas. A decade later he transitioned to speaking at industry conferences and training outside sales teams. Today, he works exclusively as the premier consultant to roofing company owners who are driven for growth.