Selling with Authority or Getting Slaughtered like a Pig?

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 03/29/21 •  4 min read

I wanted to call this article “Authority or Commodity”, but “Cops or Pigs” had a better ring to it. Obviously, “Cops” represents “Authority” and “Pigs” represents a “Commodity”.

Let’s start off with the Wikipedia definition of “Commodity”:

“A commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.[1] A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it.”

Pigs and pork bellies are a commodity. Anybody can buy them for a set, specific price at any time.

They aren’t hard to buy. You know what you’re going to pay going in.

There’s an entire commodity market in Chicago where you can see exactly what you’ll pay down to the penny for pork bellies at any moment in time… kind of like Craigslist for Roofers.

The Roofing Commodity Market

Here’s a few Roofing headlines from the Dallas Craigslist. You tell me if this doesn’t sound like a Commodity Market:

I’ve got nothing against a roofer using Craigslist to pick up business.

God Bless anybody out there willing to put in a hard day’s work for an honest dollar, but let me ask you a a few questions…

Are You Worth More?

Did everybody you graduated High School with make the same amount of money today? Why not? You went to the same school. Took the same classes. Made about the same grades… maybe even skipped a few classes together.

Does everybody in the roofing company you’re working now make the same amount of money? Why not? You both work for the same company. Have the same brochures. Work with the same crews. You both have 24 hours to work with every single day. How come they make more money than you… or do they?

Are You A Commodity?

If you haven’t noticed, roofing turns into a commodity after any hail storm, hurricane or major weather event. Everybody gets into the roofing business.

In most states it can be as easy as printing up some cards, buying a magnet for the side of your vehicle, and toting around a ladder… presto, bango… you’re in the roofing business.

Congratulations! You just became a Commodity.

Sure, there’s demand in the market, but you’re no different than the next guy with a magnet slapped to the side of his wife’s minivan (without qualitative differentiation).

There’s so many of you in the field saying the same thing to all the same people, passing out the same fliers or mailing the same postcard. That’s why “the market treats it [roofing] as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it.”

3 Things Happen When The Market Treats You Like a Commodity

#1 The price goes down.

#2 The buyer takes control.

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

None of those options are very good.

As the marketplace continues toward saturation with more roofers, roofing sales people and roofing companies, the law of commodity becomes more difficult to escape… but, there is a way to do it… that’s why you’re still reading, isn’t it?

You’ll have to come back later today if you want to read Part II of “Cops or Pigs” where I’ll share a few more golden secrets about how to make more money selling roofs for a living.

Time to get ready for church with the family. I hope you have a great day and take a little time to relax this afternoon.


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.