Can I Make a Living Selling Roofs?

Sunset at Universal Studios

You’re thinking about selling roofs for a living, but you’re scared… scared to quit your crappy current job, scared of working on commission and scared of knocking on doors. Am I right?

Don’t do it! You’re too scared.

Why? Well, you’re really going to stink in this business if you’re scared. Prospects can smell the fear as soon as they open their door. Sometimes they won’t even open the door after they look through their peep-hole and see your frightened face on the other side.

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You’ll go broke. At least you have a steady paycheck right now. It may not be much, but you make enough to pay the bills… barely. You’ve heard the stories about big commission checks, but you’re still scared. Frankly, the thought of working on commission makes you nauseous.

Here’s a better question… WHY are you so scared?

Here’s my Top 7 list of why people are afraid of roofing sales:

#1 You don’t trust the roofing company recruiting you.

#2 You can’t imagine knocking on doors for a living.

#3 You’ve worked on commission before and failed.

#4 You don’t have any sales training.

#5 Your friends tell you you’re crazy.

#6 You can’t afford the gas to drive around.

#7 You don’t have a vehicle.

Let’s take this list one-by-one.

Some of my answers to these most common fears may surprise you.

#1 You don’t trust the roofing company recruiting you.

This is absolutely the #1 reason why people refuse to get into the business of selling roofs for a living.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Roofing companies will make all kinds of claims about how much money you can make when they’re trying to get you in the door.

While it is true that some salespeople make $50k, $75k up to $100k and even more working just 6-7 months out of the year, there’s so many more who quit after two or three weeks of big talk and no results.

With most roofing companies, you might get a couple days of inside training, watch a video or two and then go out knocking with a more experienced salesperson before they cut the strings and see what you’ve got. Some make it just fine, most don’t.

I’m not saying you should give up on the idea of selling roofs for a living if you get that impression with the roofing company recruiting you, I’m just saying that maybe you should look for a different roofing company.

Some companies are a lot better at training and preparing you for success than others. Make a wise choice.

#2 You can’t imagine knocking on doors for a living.

I talk a lot about the rejection you’re bound to face when knocking doors.

There’s a whole category on this website dedicated to it. I suggest you read this article about knocking doors (and this one too) if you think you’re scared of door knocking.

#3 You’ve worked on commission before and failed.

No doubt, straight commission is a tough gig. In some roofing companies, you don’t make a dime until you collect a check.

One reason people fail so often with straight commission jobs is because the commission checks are so small.

Commission checks in roofing sales are large in comparison to most commission sales jobs. Some of the more established roofing companies will give you a draw against your future commissions when you turn in a contract along with the paperwork from the insurance company.

For instance, at some companies, they’ll often allow a draw on the total contract. 4% is the usual draw amount. For instance, if the average contract is $10,000.00, that’s a $400 draw when you bring in a signed contract with the insurance papers. $400 is just the front-end money on a contract.

You should make more when the job is paid in full and all the bills are paid. An average job with average profit will pay about 8%-12% of the total contract. Assuming you make 10% total, you could make another $600 ($400 Draw + $600 Back-End = $1k).

With a $400 draw and another $600 on the back-end, that’s more money than most of you reading this website are currently making in 1 week… and that’s with only selling 1 average job a week with average profit.

These numbers are an illustration only. For exact commission numbers, you should talk to the roofing company and ask them EXACTLY how they’ll pay you… and when they’ll pay you.

#4 You don’t have any sales training.

Unless you’re one of those rare people with a natural sales ability, you’ll want to think long and hard before getting into this business. Roofing sales is about prospecting and selling… not roofing.

Sure, you need to know about roofing and it would certainly help if you had real-life roofing experience, but the primary skill you need is sales skill.

#5, #6 and #7 are covered in Part 2 of “Can I make a living selling roofs?”

Peace,
Mike

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