But Can You Sell?

Larry Andrews at Swadley's BBQ

Starting a New Sales Job

I love the reader comments and email I get here at Roofing Salesman… and they aren’t always from the guys…

The ladies are very involved in the business of selling roofs and more-and-more are entering the workforce all the time because it can be a great opportunity to make money.

Here’s a recent question from Ashley who is new to the business. She has a legitimate concern and it is one that is probably shared by many people getting into roofing sales. The emphasis are mine:

I am completely new to the business and apparently have one distinct disadvantage compared to others: I do not own a truck. The company I took the position with as 35 years of experience in the state I am from, but does national storm restoration in 32 other states. They have paid classroom and field training. When I was hired for the position, I told them I didn’t have a truck. While he said a truck was preferred, it was not necessary. I’m looking for ways to overcome this objection (or even if it will be an objection). While I am completely new to roofing, I am not new to sales. As a matter of fact, I am a very good salesperson. I really want this to work out, as I hear the money is very, very good for those willing to relocate (I am driving to Tennessee this Sunday to start work) but, to be honest, the car only situation is worrying me. Any help or suggestions on how to overcome this objection and not just look like some schmuck trying to swindle them out of their money.

I Do Not Own A Truck

That could be a problem!

Having a truck helps you line up with the prospect’s expectation of what a roofer looks like. A big truck with vinyl lettering or a nice door magnet is what the public expects. That’s the reason your new company told you that a truck is preferred.

If you look the part and act the way a prospect believes you should, you’ll increase your credibility and establish more authority, which in turn should lead to more sales.

It doesn’t have to be a problem!

I started selling roofs out of a 4-door Chrysler 5th Avenue with a fold-up ladder in my trunk. I upgraded to a Ford Bronco II SUV three months later. I didn’t buy my first truck for 13 years after I started selling roofs. So, it doesn’t have to be a problem, but you have to make it not be a problem.

All you have to do is change the prospect’s perceptions of what they expect. Since perception is 99% of reality, you’ll need a new way of thinking… and you’ll need to sell your prospects on buying into your perception of what their roofing salesperson should be driving.

But Can You Sell?

Ashley, you said that you are a “very good salesperson”.

When I started selling roofs back in May of 1995, I sold them out of the back of my old Chrysler 5th Avenue. My fold-up ladder went in the truck on top of my sample boards and yard signs. I felt like an idiot unpacking my crap in front of every house I sold.

I also sold 60+ roofs in 1995… outselling every single salesperson in my office. I didn’t feel so bad about cashing my commission checks.

If you can’t sell, I don’t care what kind of truck you drive, how nice a wrap you have or how cool your business cards are, you aren’t going to make much money in this business without being able to sell. Nothing happens until somebody sells something.

You can sell. You’ll overcome not having a truck. Here’s how you do it…

3 Perceptions You Need To Change

#1 All roofers are guys.

People may still believe that, but you can gently remind them that there’s a lot of industries that were previously dominated by men that are now controlled by women. You don’t have to be a guy to be good.

Once you change that perception, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that many people (men and women alike) genuinely prefer to buy from a woman.

#2 Roofers drive trucks… big trucks.

Here’s the fastest way to kill this objection: Gas is Expensive.

I would like to drive a big truck, too, but “gas is expensive.” Prospects understand how much gas costs.

The only thing I need to do is carry around my sample boards and a few yard signs. Every once in awhile a truck would come in handy when I need to pick up materials, but I get the office to help me out with that.

Again, most people understand Gas is Expensive. While some may still see driving a truck as a symbol of prosperity (and people like to do business with prosperous people), they will understand you wanting to save money if you sell them on the idea.

#3 Roofers and roofing salespeople are the same thing.

We both know that most roofers can’t sell a roof and most roofing salespeople can’t install a roof… but, your prospects don’t understand that. They still think they’re one in the same.

I’m up against a time crunch and have to jump, but think about the creative ways you can sell your prospects on the value of having you in their corner and not some stinky, smelly old roofer.

There’s a big difference. Sell the differences and you’ll be just fine Ashley.