But Can You Sell?

Can You Sell?
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Can You Sell?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.

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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!

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 instead of theirs.

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

People understand that 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.


P.S. If you’ll read the comments below, you’ll find out that Ashley is a “He” and not a “She”. I apologized to Ashley, but have been told that this article has been extremely helpful even though I’m a stupid, assuming idiot.

About The Author

Mike Coday

Mike is a retired youth pastor turned marketing consultant, author, speaker, sales trainer, and sentimental family man. His expertise is internet marketing...and bad Dad jokes.

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    Reply Reply June 10, 2012

    Ashley,I live right out side of Knoxville I came here in July just like u new to the business,in 4 months I sold 380,000 in roofing and did it all out of a Toyota yaris with a telescopic ladder.i was in a sever car wreck in nov.so right now I don’t really have a way to get around,if you’re intressed I have contacts and a lot of knowledge about the business u can contact me on Facebook.lantieppitsenbarger.

  • Paul Lesieur

    Reply Reply July 10, 2011

    Just found your site and I like it.
    I just closed a construction company of 23 years, I am looking to get back into home remodel/repair sales. I always loved being a salesman and always felt comfortable selling.
    Storm roofing sales seems like it may be a good fit. Door knocking is not a big problem since I did it years ago and suffered no long term damage from doing it.

    I applied at 7 places (storm damage and window/roof/siding sales. I was offered 7 jobs. This more than anything concerned me but my instincts tell me that 4 offers were genuine and from professional outfits.

    I will decide within the week where I end up.

    Prior to starting my own company I worked sales until my boss filed bankruptcy, I took a couple of the leads I was working and opened up my own business, never liked being an owner, always liked being a salesman.

  • Ashley

    Reply Reply June 12, 2011

    Great information. You put into words exactly what I have been thinking. I already have perception #1 covered: I already am a guy (don’t feel bad, i’ve been getting mail saying “Ms. Ashley…” since I’ve been old enough to get mail). I know a few people in the business that started out just like I did with no truck and they did fine as well. It’s all about selling yourself and selling the company; if people don’t like you or get a sense of security from your words they won’t buy a damn thing from you. To help break perception number 2 and 3, I’m just not going to dress like a roofer. Pressed dress slacks and dress shoes with my company polo is going to be everyday attire. I already don’t look like a roofer (because I don’t roof, or have any desire to roof), so I’m not going to call myself a roofing contractor, I’m going to be a “project manager”. Project Manager’s don’t get up on roofs, they make sure it gets done and all the paperwork is filed correctly (“I manage your project so you don’t have to”). Let me know what you think of this approach. Wish me luck, I leave for Knoxville tonight for a sales meeting Monday morning! Again, excellent advice just like the rest of the articles on your site.

    • mike

      Reply Reply June 18, 2011

      Ashley, sometimes I’m such an idiot! Sorry about that.

      You’re on the right line of thinking by approaching the prospect as a “project manager”.

      I’m anxious to hear how your 1st week in Knoxville went.

    • Lisa

      Reply Reply July 2, 2011

      Also Curious how it went?? Thinking of taking a job doing the same thing in Knoxville but would be making a huge relocation away from my family. I am skeptical so please post what you think??


      Reply Reply June 10, 2012

      Also beware of AS*** CO. The only company that I’ve ever seen it cost a salesman to sell a job up to 600.00.Sounds crazy right it’s true

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