Selling or Getting Slaughtered: Cops or Pigs Part II

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Before we dive into “Authority”, let’s quickly recap the 3 reasons from Part 1 of Cops or Pigs as to why being considered a “Commodity” is bad when you’re in the roofing business…

Diamonds are expensive for a reason!

Diamonds are expensive for a reason!

#1 The price goes down.

Whenever a good or service becomes plentiful, the price goes down.

Diamonds are expensive because they are hard to find.

Roofing gets cheaper as it becomes more freely available to the general public.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

#2 The buyer takes control.

Again, whenever a product or service is plentiful, the buyer controls the market. They get to set the terms of doing business with you. The negotiating power is in their hands. If they don’t like your offer, there’s 10 more roofing companies lined up right behind you.

The consumer will take their pick and won’t blink twice about changing when a better offer comes along… even if you’ve already done a lot of “work” for free… by the way, shame on you for doing free work.

When you get dropped by a prospect after putting in a bunch of free work (e.g. patching their roof, giving a detailed estimate, walking their dog, etc.), you’ll be quoting what Jerry Maguire said to his top prospects Daddy after getting double-crossed, “I’m still sort of moved by your ‘My word is stronger than oak'”.

Promises don’t pay the rent… money does.

#3 You go back to whatever you were doing before roofing.

Obviously, if you can’t make a living selling roofs, you’ll have to find another job. A lot of the people I talk to end up going back to the old job… stuck in their 8 to 5 and HATING life.

You don’t want to go back, do you?

What About “Authority”?

Authority is about influence and command.

Let’s dive in by looking at WikiPedia’s definition of an “Authority”:

“The word Authority is derived from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command.”

Regardless of how you personally feel about them, Police Officers have the power and authority to influence and command you.

There’s something very reassuring about having an Officer show up on the scene of a crime or after an accident.

They help restore the peace and bring calm to often chaotic situations.

Police Officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve the public. Because of that, we trust them. Their influence is immense.

The Secret Power of Authority

Police Officers wield power and authority at all times, but given the right circumstances they become exponentially powerful.

When do you think that is?

Is it when you see them down at the donut shop sipping coffee?

No, probably not.

A Police Officer with chocolate sprinkles stuck to his uniform doesn’t do much to reinforce an image of power, influence and command.

Authority is most powerful in the midst of chaos.

Nobody cares if a Cop carries a night stick, gun, taser and handcuffs into a donut shop. Doesn’t matter. He doesn’t need it. He’s there for the same thing you are.

His authority hasn’t disappeared. It’s still there, but he’s not likely to use it… unless somebody tries to steal an apple fritter.

However, if there’s a car accident outside the donut shop and people are in the street bleeding, the chaos is going to be very high and the Officer’s authority now becomes extremely powerful.

In the midst of chaos, people will look to the Cop to tell them what to do because he is the source of authority.

The greater the chaos, the greater the influence and command of authority.

The Roofing Authority Rule

After a hurricane or hail storm, there’s going to be an elevated level of chaos and confusion. People do not know how much damage they have, how they’ll pay for the repairs or how to work with their insurance company.

People are afraid… afraid their rates will go up, afraid they’ll get ripped off, and just generally afraid of the unknown.

In fact, a lot of people would rather stick their head in the sand then deal with the chaos and confusion. Those are the people who’ll tell you they don’t have any damage when their shingles are blown off, gutters are all banged up or the hood of their Suburban looks like cottage cheese.

The level of Chaos and Confusion is very high after a storm.

The Roofing Authority Rule:

“The greater the chaos, the greater the influence and command of authority.”

How To Use The Roofing Authority Rule

#1 What are you driving?

Your vehicle can either work for you or against you.

If a yellow Yugo pulls up beside you and tells you to pull over, well, what are the chances you’re pulling over? Next to Zero!

In the same way, the vehicle you pull up in and park in front of your prospects house will tell them everything they need to know about your authority.

Pull up in your wife’s minivan with the magnet stuck on sideways and your chances of closing the deal go down significantly.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect…

They are afraid. They’re looking for somebody they can trust to hold their hand through the chaos.

What does a trusted roofer drive?

Probably not a minivan.

What if a minivan is all you have to drive? Park around the corner.

What you drive can matter, but you don’t have to make it in an issue.

If what you drive isn’t a strength, take that focus away from your prospect until you can change what you drive.

#2 What are you wearing?

A Cop gains instant authority the moment they walk out of their house wearing that blue uniform.

A few hours ago they may have been shopping at Wal-Mart in their shorts and tank top, but they gain a whole new level of respect when they’re in uniform.

What does a professional roofing salesman wear?

That’s open for debate because it depends on what your prospect expects and everybody is different.

The best advice is to be yourself… your very best self.

However, if you’re wearing Shorts and a Tank Top, you’re leaving money on the table. That’s not the uniform of a person in authority.

People in authority wear nice clothes, don’t they?

If you’re a good salesperson now, but you want to make more money, take your next commission check and spend it on new clothes.

Invest in yourself by choosing to dress like an authority… a trusted authority.

If you want to make $1,000 a week, dress like you already make $1,000 a week. If you want to make $2,000 a week, you’ll have to sharpen up your clothes.

If you’re happy making $300, $400 or $500 every other week, keep selling in your grass stained tennis shoes wearing a pair of old khakis and faded polo pullover shirt.

#3 What are you saying?

People in authority don’t ask, they tell.

People in authority don’t spill everything they know, but they do ask a lot of questions.

It has been said that the very definition of an amateur is a salesperson who possesses extensive product knowledge and reveals all of it during the early stages of selling.

People in authority don’t beg, plead or negotiate.

If you’re asking, you’re probably not an authority. You’re a commodity.

If you’re telling everything you know, you’re probably not an authority. You’re a commodity.

If you’re begging, pleading or negotiating, you’re probably not an authority. You’re a commodity.

Cop or Pig? You Decide!

There many other things you can do to make yourself the roofing authority, but those three points (driving, wearing, saying) are the basics.

If you’re in a market that is saturated with roofing salespeople, you owe it to yourself to become the authority.

The good news is that you get to decide by your choices.

Peace,
Mike

P.S. Join us at http://www.facebook.com/roofingsalesman for more quick tips, tricks and timely ideas about how to make more money selling roofs.

About The Author

Mike Coday

Mike Coday is a retired youth pastor turned serial entrepreneur, roofing marketing consultant, author, speaker, sales trainer, and sentimental family man.

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