Ok, I Knocked. Now What?

Selling Roofs In A Suspicious Society
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I get a lot of email… from all over the country.

Unfortunately, I can’t answer every email because I don’t have enough time.

However, one sure way to get my attention is to ask a great question in the comments section below.

I’ll warn you in advance that I reject 90%+ of the comments on this blog because they’re either pathetic or spam, but this question from John got my attention:

Hi Mike: When you鈥檙e knocking doors for roof sales, what do you usually say when the homeowner first comes to the door? How do you introduce yourself and explain why you are there?

Old School Sales Training

Most of you are familiar with the sales formula AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and then Action). Old school sales training teaches you to immediately #1 Get Their Attention. Once you have their attention, you must #2 Arouse Their Interest. After you get them interested, your next step is to #3 Increase Their Desire and finally, #4 Ask Them to Take Action.

I’m here to tell you that things are different in this day and age. What worked in sales just 10 or 15 years ago, will cost you money today. You could double your income by making a few tweaks to how you approach door knocking.

The AIDA formula hasn’t changed much in 100 years. The way you understand and implement the formula is completely different. I’m about to tell you what’s changed and how to use your new understanding to completely dominate your sales market.

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s explore why your old sales training is hurting you more than helping you while you’re out in the field knocking doors…

The Suspicious Society

Images of crazy, cleaver-wielding madmen lurk in the back of our mind when a stranger comes to the front door. Why do we still open the door?

We now live in a very cynical and suspicious society. When somebody opens the door these days, there’s a little voice in the back of their head yelling, “don’t open the door! they might be an axe murderer!”

Would you open the door to somebody you don’t know?

Would you let your wife open the door to somebody she doesn’t know?

Watch the news. Bad things happen when strangers come to the door. Sadly, we quit being surprised a decade ago.

Now, we just expect the very worst to happen.

They Still Open The Door

Amazing! We all think that stranger at the door is going to chop you into a kajillion little pieces and store you in their garage freezer, but there’s still a large segment of society who will open their door to a total stranger.


Go ahead, think about that for just one minute…

Why, would somebody open their door to a stranger?

Who Killed The Cat?

Ever heard the saying, “Curiosity Killed The Cat”? People are naturally curious. We were made that way… we want the details. If you’ve ever been stuck in meaningless traffic because of a wreck on the OTHER SIDE of the highway, you know that people are insanely curious. Always have been. Always will be.

This is important… “People still open the door, despite the voice in the back of their head, because they are curious.”

In the old days, every sales person in almost every industry knocked doors. These days, nobody knocks on the door unless it is important. Getting out of your truck, walking up to the door and knocking is 90% of the battle.

MONEY MAKING TIP: You’ll make a lot more money when you stop driving around neighborhoods like your truck door is welded shut. Get out and knock because your odds of making more money go way up.

Some Folks Take Their Chances

Remember the AIDA sales formula? If you’re knocking on the door these days you’ve already kicked the first two letters in the butt… Knocking on the door gets your prospect’s ATTENTION and arouses their INTEREST at the same time. Everybody knows you don’t knock on a door anymore unless it is extremely important or you’re an axe murderer.

Some folks are still willing to take their chances and they’ll come to the door. When they do, you’ve just knocked down half the AIDA sales formula in one door-knocking blow.

Some folks won’t take their chances. They’ll act like they’re not home, peep at you through the blinds or coyly yell, “who is it?” from behind their door’s seven layers of dead bolts.

There’s Only 2 Kinds of People

There’s two kinds of people; those that will open their door to a stranger and those that won’t. The sooner you find out which type you’re dealing with, the faster you’ll make more money.

Don’t wait around forever hoping they’ll open the door. That’s lame and pathetic.

It is much better to move on quickly and have to turn around when they finally open the door late than it is to wait an extra minute while they stare at you through the front blinds trying to figure out if you look like an axe murderer. Move on baby. Move on.

Here’s another MONEY MAKING TIP: People who answer the door quickly are more curious than people who answer the door slowly. The greater the curiosity, the greater your chances of making a sale. Find the curious people.

How To Kill Your Advantage

Obviously, we know that just knocking on the door gives you an instant advantage because you’ve already got their attention and aroused their interest. That’s before they even open the door… before they even roll off the sofa, but there’s a few sure-fire ways to kill your advantage once they open the door.

What are you wearing?

This goes without saying, but if you’re wearing anything that remotely looks like what an axe murderer might be wearing, you just killed your advantage.

Okay, let’s imagine together what an axe murderer looks like by playing a game I like to call, “You might be an axe murderer if…

Let’s start with the shoes. They aren’t very nice shoes. I’m picturing old tennis shoes with grass stains or maybe a pair of ragged out boat shoes with paint drippings on them. Even if the shoes look average, there’s still a chance that you’re there to murder, rape, and pillage.

Obviously, you have to wear pants. Even Sponge Bob wears pants, but do you wear jeans, shorts, dress slacks, khakis?

If you’re standing at the door waiting to do evil, you might wear an old pair of comfortable jeans or pants with unfashionable holes in them. Again, paint drippings or even grease stains would be a dead giveaway. Wrinkles are also a sure sign of imminent danger.

You probably wouldn’t wear a nice pair of shorts… they’re too casual… too friendly for heinous crimes. You would look more like a neighbor from down the street coming over for a weekend BBQ. Pressed slacks would also do the trick.

Same goes for the shirt. Dirty, old, stained shirts will kill your advantage.

Actually, anything that looks like you just came over after a “Business Casual” office party at a Fortune 500 corporation would be out of character for any self-respecting criminal, but that’s perfect for you.

What are you saying?

There’s a subset of behavioral psychology that comes from the pioneers of psychotherapy called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). One of the fundamental teachings of NLP is that we use frames (yes, like picture frames) built from prior experience to interpret and understand the context of what happens to us in life.

Let me give you an example:

Suppose you just sat down to dinner with your wife and children. The phone rings and you pick it up even though nothing showed up on the Caller ID (because you’re curious). The caller immediately rattles off a phrase that sounds like this…

“Hello Mr Jones. This is ________ with ________. The reason I’m calling is because ________.”

Who is calling you?

If you answered, “a sales person”, you would probably be right. You based your answer on your life’s experience to build a frame to understand the context of that phone call. You’ve been interrupted at dinner with a phone call from a pushy sales person more than a few times in your life.

Before the caller ever gets to the reason why they’re calling, you already know they want to sell you something… and you’re “not interested!” click.


Now, you may not have thought about it before, but now you know exactly what goes through the mind of your prospect as soon as they open the door and hear you say…

“Hello. My name is _________ with _______ roofing company. The reason I’m here is because _________.”

That’s exactly right… Click. Goodbye. Get out of my yard. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

They might smile when they tell you “NO!”, but you’ve just invoked the most powerful, negative, instinctive reaction that’s known to man. Your prospect used their past experience to interpret why you’re at their front door… and it didn’t turn out good for you.

All Politics Is Local

It was Tip O’Neill, former U.S. Speaker of The House, who was credited with saying, “all politics is local”. You don’t get elected to office in Washington, D.C. until you win the political battle in your own back yard.

What’s happening right under your nose, at the house you’re at, with the person talking to you at that very moment, is the only one game that counts.

Some roofing sales people get distracted looking at the big picture. They want to take over entire neighborhoods overnight by trashing dropping flyers on doorknobs or getting a telemarketer to torture an entire city with a tired sales script that goes, “Hello. This is _______ with _______.”

Pay attention to the person standing right in front of you. They’ll give you a world of clues as to what to say if you’ll pay attention. Watch. Listen. Learn.

After all, they aren’t interested in you. They don’t care about your roofing company. At that very moment, they could care less about how long you’ve been in business, how many nails you use per shingle, or whether or not you belong to the BBB.

All they want to know at that moment is #1 Are You An Axe Murderer?

If you can pass that test, the next thing your prospect wants to immediately know is, “Why are you interested in me?”

Dogs, Cats, and Babies

Remember, they aren’t interested in you.

You have to earn the right to talk about roofing. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but you can’t expect your prospect to sign a contract with you if you won’t show them a little respect first.

Before I give you a few ideas about exactly what to say to complete the last two steps of the AIDA formula (e.g. Desire and Action), let me warn you about dogs, cats, and babies.

The fastest way to kill any chance of making a sale after you’ve passed the axe murderer test is to diminish, even in the slightest, anything your prospect believes is valuable to them.

Trust me on this, if their dog doesn’t like you, they don’t like you.

Even if you’re scared to death of dogs because you were bit on the back of the right leg while out jogging in your neighborhood as a teenager (I won’t mention any names), you better pet that dog if they come close to you.

Don’t look the dog in the eye, but bend down low enough where you can hold your hand out, palm up, with your hand much lower than the dog’s mouth. The dog will come up to you, sniff you in a few inappropriate places and then lick your hand… usually.

Once their dog has licked your hand, you’ve just earned the right to continue your conversation with the prospect.

Same is true with cats. I don’t care if you break out in hives and sweat sprays out of your forehead. If the cat wants a little rub and you refuse, a true cat person will take that as a personal insult to them. Buy some Claritin if you have to.

Goes without saying that you should be nice to their kids. If you don’t already know that, you’re an idiot.

So, What Do I Say Mike?

Let’s review our two rules:

#1 All Politics is Local

#2 They Aren’t Interested in You

Obviously, you want to say anything that references something happening in their world (Rule #1) and then focus like a laser on them (Rule #2).

Here’s a few really good lines that make the biggest impact using Rule #1…

Neighborhood: “Hi. You may have noticed all the roofing signs around and wondered what’s going on in the neighborhood.”

Keeping Up With The Joneses: “Hello. Your next door neighbor is getting a new roof and there’s a chance you might qualify for a new roof too.”

Using any sales frame that sounds remotely like our dinner-time telemarketer is the kiss of death. Both of these approaches break the frame. You can probably think of some other lines that would work. Whatever you say, make sure to honor Rule #1 “All Politics is Local”.

Now it’s time to focus like a laser on Rule #2…

What you say here will change from door-to-door. This is where you WATCH. LISTEN. LEARN. Pay attention to the person standing right in front of you. They’ll give you clues that tell you exactly how to handle Rule #2 “They aren’t interested in you.”

Obviously, if they aren’t interested in you (yet!) then your job is to figure out what they are interested in. Dogs, cats, and babies can kill your chances, but using them for sales leverage doesn’t pass the smell test. Stay away from my kids, you freak!

They scrambled to open the door in 2.3 seconds flat because they’re hoping you’ll want to talk about them. If you strike the right chord, you’ll raise their level of DESIRE (AIDA) and earn the right to ask them to take ACTION (AIDA).

I can’t tell you what you’re going to say at this point, but I can tell you that anything that honors Rule #2 is going to beat the standard opening line every other roofing sales person on the planet is using right now.

What I will tell you is that people buy from people who they believe are like them. Don’t be a dirty, cheap trick, slime ball and try to re-make yourself into something new for every prospect you talk to. You’ll never be able to keep up with all your disguises. Here’s an article I wrote about the incredible value of being yourself.

Some Will, Some Won’t. So What! Who’s Next?

You aren’t going to be able to sell the same people the other guys in your sales office will be able to sell. We all have different personalities and strengths. You may walk away from a prospect thinking they’re hopeless, but they might be the exact right fit for another salesperson in your office.

Here’s my last MONEY MAKING TIP of this article: Find the people who are like you and who you like as quickly as possible.

If you want to explore the Law of Liking, I wrote a short article you might find helpful on my marketing website or read “The Secret of Making Prospects Like You“.

As always, leave your comments below. If you leave a good question or comment, I may write an article to help you because you probably have the same questions as a lot of other roofing salesmen.


P.S. If you would like to learn more about my personal selling system, check out my Sales Domination System: The 5 Modules of Roofing Sales Domination.

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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. His expertise is coaching roofers to the next level of success.

Facebook Comments


  • Ann B.

    Reply Reply May 3, 2016

    Hi Mike,
    I am a female and am considering taking a job with a successful roofing company. I have never done anything like this before (I am an artist) but have wanted to change my career path in order to make money. I’ve been told that I “have the perfect personality” for sales and a very strong presence (in a good way). I have wanted to use these two traits to my advantage but truly, I do fear the failure. My husband has a steady job with benefits, so I am in a position where I could take a commission-only sales job because there is less pressure on me to “keep everything afloat”. Should I go ahead and take the leap of faith into these unknown waters? I just wonder if people would not take me as seriously because I am a woman in a predominantly male field. Pros? Cons? I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

    • Mike Coday

      Reply Reply May 9, 2016

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for reaching out to me.

      I understand your concerns. Normally, commission-only sales work is more difficult when you do not have another steady income at home. However, it sounds like you may already have your bills and benefits covered.

      The industry is dominated by men, but there’s a growing number of women getting into the business or roofing sales…and many of them do quite well!

      I can’t answer the question for you, but it sounds to me like you may want to give it a try. If it works out well, you’ll have found a new way to make money.

      I wish you all the best!

    • Timothy Todd

      Reply Reply July 6, 2016

      We pay our salespeople 75% of the total profit.

      • Mike Coday

        July 6, 2016

        That’s extremely generous, Timothy.

        Do you have an overhead charge? What’s the extent of the salesperson’s responsibilities? Do they manage the job themselves?

  • Albus

    Reply Reply April 15, 2014


    I’ve been working for a company for about three weeks now and thus far my experience has been very good. They were so excited about landing me as a salesman based on my past experience that they hired me immediately and, due to some circumstances in my personal life, moved me across the country so I could learn in a ‘played out’ area before our first storm of the season.

    I’d like to pay it back some even though they’ve already said they don’t expect much in sales out of me here. Any advice about how to work a played out area? I’ve knocked doors for three days weather permitting and I’ve gotten a lot of negative response because people in these areas got door knocked a TON last year.

    Thanks for any advice you have.

    • Mike Coday

      Reply Reply April 18, 2014

      Working old hail or storm damage, after all the other roofers have already worked it over, is tough sledding… as any veteran roofing salesperson will tell you. Not impossible, but extremely difficult because most of the opportunities have already been worked.

      Your best bet for working old storm damage is to discover pockets of damage that haven’t been worked as much or haven’t been worked at all. They may or may not exist. Unfortunately, finding these pockets is more difficult when you are new and don’t know what to look for or where to look.

      On the bright side, getting a lot of negative response can be a good thing because once you do get to a fresh opportunity, you’ll be roaring and ready to roll. I just hope you don’t get discouraged before you get a chance to work in a fresh storm.

      Hang in there. – Mike

  • Jack

    Reply Reply November 30, 2013

    Hi Mike

    I have used a lot of your tips and they work. Most people I have seen in this industry simply don’t dress for a sell or keep there trucks clean and organized. Very important to get out of your truck it works.

    I follow your advise and have sold over $200,000 in my first 12 weeks and have never sold door to door or roofs in my life I went from 35% profit to 50% profit (commission) on my first sale.

    Most people that don’t make it are lazy, get your 20 no’s and you win don’t and you can only blame yourself.

    Don’t expect anything, earn it. I was taught by my Father its a dog eat dog world out there eat or be eaten. Yes its hard but its harder to watch your kids go to bed hungry or your Wife not able to pay the mortgage think about that and get to work.


    • Mike

      Reply Reply December 1, 2013

      Thank you John.

      I sincerely appreciate the kind words and am so glad you’ve found success. You will inspire a lot of people with your words of hope and encouragement.

      Thank you again,

  • Garret

    Reply Reply October 8, 2013


    Garret here. You are the expert at sales and I think you can help me with a question that I had while reading your article. My question is to verify how I interpreted rule #2 “They Aren鈥檛 Interested in You.” and I simply need a yes or no if my interpretation is spot on.

    Watch. Listen. Learn. was interpreted by me as paying attention to the person, their possessions, their surroundings, and then listed to what they are saying and connect with them on the grounds of something they are interested in.

    For example, I love boating and if I come across a house with a boat I should take note that they may also love boating (now if the wife answers the door, she may not love boating as much as the husband and visa versa.) That is where the Watch. Listen. & Learn. comes to play.

    Once I connect with the person based on their interests I can then hope to bring up roofing. Right?

    I appreciate any answers you provide. Thank you again for this article. I came to it through the link on your latest post “Ants Always Think About Winter”.



  • John Davis

    Reply Reply May 2, 2013

    Why do you crank your head so far to the side and put your hand on your chin in your picture? Do you think you look cool? NOT! Why can’t you just look straight ahead and smile? It’s really hard to take you seriously when you picture looks so damned stupid!!

    • Mike

      Reply Reply May 2, 2013

      Some folks from my generation liked the self-important idiot pose… not all of us… just the pompous rear-ends.

      Times have changed since then.

      I’ve gotten a lot older, my hairline isn’t just receding, it is racing back, and I’ve put on weight… which I’m currently trying to lose.

      I realize that I’m not as cool as I was. My kids remind me of that daily, but thanks for pointing it out again.

      It’s official. I’m an idiot.


      • Kelli

        September 19, 2017

        Hey Mike,

        Your video was helpful and well spoken. Don’t listen to that fool! You are warm spirited and approachable and I can see why you do so well in this industry! You look great. Don’t let ignorance affect you.


      • Mike Coday

        September 19, 2017

        Why, thank you, Kelli. 馃檪

        I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

        Wishing you all the best,

  • Antonio

    Reply Reply October 9, 2012

    Hey mike I am thinking about becoming a roof salesman but I’m a little nervous because its 100% commission. I live in Raleigh NC and was just wondering is roofing a good industry to work in.

    • mike

      Reply Reply October 9, 2012

      Sure, it is and has been a good industry for several people over the years. Not everybody does well though. In my experience, most people fail in this business. Before you jump in, you might want to take some time and read through the Top 15 articles over on the right hand side of the website. They’ll answer a lot of your questions. LMK if you have any specific questions about roofing sales and I’ll be happy to answer them for you. Peace, Mike

  • K8

    Reply Reply September 19, 2012

    Any extra suggestions for a strong-willed polite female Project Manager?
    I have tried your tips recently and everyone still looks at me like I shouldn’t be there when I can do it just as well as the next person

    • mike

      Reply Reply September 19, 2012

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      Can you tell me a little more about the problem exactly?

    • keith corner

      Reply Reply January 30, 2013

      Here is something(s) that work….
      best time to talke to homeowners is evenings, and weekends, espically when they are out in their yards or visiting with their neighbors.
      – after your intro. if you get a positive or negative response ask them this: do you have “5 minutes” to hear about the best shingle in its class from possibly the best roofing contractor in the area…. we are currenty working for (blank number) of homewoners. I promise you I only need 5 minutes unless you have questions…..
      The prospect is more likely to listen to you for a short defined period of time. Have your presentation ready via lap top, pad or pitch book with touch and feel samples.

  • Dave C.

    Reply Reply July 12, 2012

    I’ve done door-to-door for 15 years, and have done it “all” from coupons when I was a kid for our football fundraiser, to selling meat door-to-door. And I love the challenge of the sale, to “B.S.” my way in the door to get them to see the product. I guess D2D is only for certain people…I stumbled into roofing sales in 2011 and loved it every since. But soon realized there is no need to bullshit my way in the door anymore. “Thanks for all the insight Mike”. Question, I will drive in area and see apt. complex/ or a complex of townhouses that will have new roofing material on there roof after hail storm. I would be very envious, and wondering how that sale got landed. I’m so comfortable doing homes but very hesitant on business type. But living on 100% commission and landing a apt. complex would be HUGE! How can I better my chances when I approach this potential customer?

  • Chad

    Reply Reply June 7, 2012

    Thanks for the insight. Just based on what i read so far, its going to change my approach on every door i knock.

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply April 6, 2012

    The key to d2d is no name insurance and independent adjusters. State farm Adjuster…..ugh

    • Chad Dixon

      Reply Reply April 14, 2013

      Ugh! is right. That is exactly what insurance adjusters think everytime they get another phone call (1 or 2 years after a hail storm) that a door-to-door roofer is out telling people they have hail damage to their roof. Ironically, the damage can never be repaired. The entire industry is really quick to encourage someone else to file a claim. No sweat off the roofer’s back, right?

  • Rodney

    Reply Reply March 22, 2012

    I just took a job selling roofs, with no major sales experience other than in retail. I am 23 and worried that my age may be a cause of concern to perspective costumers, any advice on how to make sure that doesn’t occur?

    • mike

      Reply Reply March 23, 2012


      You are young and there are some who will hold that against you no matter what you do. Nothing you can do about that.

      There are some roofing sales people who are old and people will hold that against them too. Some are fat, skinny, tall or short. Doesn’t matter… you can always find somebody willing to hold something against you.

      Since you can’t sell all of the people all of the time, you have to figure out what kind of people are most likely to buy from you.

      Strengthen your product knowledge, gather a full steam of enthusiasm and push forward.

      There are people who like, even prefer, to do business with a young, industrious, enthusiastic person like yourself. They feel good when they give somebody a chance.

      When they do give you a shot, show them their hunch was right. Deliver amazing service and ask for referrals.

      We all have vulnerabilities… the trick is to focus on your strengths.


  • Kevin

    Reply Reply February 27, 2012

    Hey Mike, I have been in Door to Door sales for sometime and have been successful in other industries. My question is I am now going into roofing sales, what is your typical closing percentage in this industry? Also another good point to make in D2D sales is space, back off the door and do not be in the customers face when your running your pitch. I agree with all you wrote the last thing you want to do in D2D is sound scripted and unhuman(drone) showing some personality does help alot to rid off the axe murderer persona. BTW the dogs sometimes can be a sales blocker especially when the home owner is holding them back from ripping your face off. If I have had good success in other D2D sales(trugreen lawncare) will this translate well as I go into the roofing sales game? thanks for your help.

    • mike

      Reply Reply February 27, 2012

      Hey Kevin,

      D2D with TruGreen is going to help you immensely. That’s some of the best outside sales training available right now. Keep that nice, easy, laid back approach and you’ll be good.

      Closing %’s vary greatly because you don’t control all of the variables. Even when you get the prospect to go with you, the insurance company still has to buy the roof or your sale is dead.

      If you’ll use The Law of 100, you’ll close a lot of deals and make way more than you ever made at the other job.

      Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.


  • john t.

    Reply Reply January 13, 2012

    Mike, as an old salesmen,(another industry), I found your comments very much on target. I am considering entering roofing sales and found your ideas very informative as I have not done residential door to door. One of the last comments by one of you readers stated that he had been able to set two appointments. Is not he main objective to get a contract. I realize that a call back appointment is better than a total loss
    but That kind of confused me

    • mike

      Reply Reply January 14, 2012

      Hey John,

      First of all, I’m glad you found us.

      As to your concern about setting an appt vs closing the sale… obviously, closing the deal is the more favorable outcome.

      If I had to choose between the two, I’m like you… give me the sale.

      A lot of the folks are having trouble just getting in the door. They don’t have years of sales experience like you.

      They wouldn’t be able to feel out a sale on-the-fly. So, they’re just looking for ways to get to the next step… the presentation.

      If you can warm up your prospect, present and close all at the same time, there’s no need to break it down into smaller steps.

      Sorry for the confusion. I hope my answer brings some clarity to the subject.


  • Matt

    Reply Reply January 11, 2012

    Hi Mike,
    I’ve been reading most of your articles and first off, I think they are great. And the reason they work for me is exactly the same reason that people buy roofs. Your personality is there and the you are appealing to the reader, not just the same dead pan sales advice. But anyways, I’ve been pretty new to the roofing scene as a 19 year old in college. I have been working for a GREAT company that has some very big awards and things like that. I will be honest, I have been guilty of using the same “hi my name is ________ and I work for ________…” and of course I realize that in hindsight that was a bad idea… But my goal is to get to where I can show why our roofing company is better than the rest. First off, how do you work your way to that point? and secondly, how do you say those things without being a turn off to potential clients? It’s hard to keep from blasting them with facts, but at the same time, I’m working in a storm environment and people have a tendency to not do their research it seems like. I have taken the approach of leaving typed letters along with a brochure regarding our warranty stapled together with a business card and that has worked probably 1 out of every 100.

    • keith corner

      Reply Reply January 30, 2013

      see my reply to K8, also offer $100 if they will just give you their insurance paperwork and let you help them recover what it takes to repair/replace all the damaged they have and tell you names of 2 or three neighbors. You pay cash when you sign the neighbors and will probably fin a way to get them prospect more money for repairs that are not listed by the insurance company, or the inspector etc. Offer additional services, to turnkey the job as well as adding additional value; like insulation. This works!

  • Randy

    Reply Reply August 19, 2011

    My name is Randy, and I just started my new job as a roof salesman for, in my opinion, is a fairly stable company. I am only 21 years old and for about the past year or so I was a project administrator for a general contractor here in Little Rock, AR. I have a fairly good understanding for roofing and roofing systems because of my last job. Also, I consider my self to have very strong people skills and find it very easy starting and maintaining conversations with others. However, I was just wondering if there is any particular insight you could offer to help me ebetter myself as a salesman for I have no prior sales experience. Anything would be appreciated and btw, I have read most of your articles and they are amazing.
    Thanks for your time,

    • mike

      Reply Reply August 19, 2011


      First of all, congratulations on your new job as a roof salesman.

      There’s a few hybrid pay models out there that guarantee a small weekly paycheck + commissions, but most of the folks selling roofs are paid 100% on Commissions earned because that’s where the really good money is made. This is a make it or break it job. There’s seldom any middle ground. You’ll know quickly whether or not this is the job for you based on how you do in your first 30 days.

      If you’re doing well, you’ll be glad you made the jump into sales. If you’re not doing well, get out as quickly as you can. You don’t want to stick around waiting for things to get better while you get behind on all your bills. Remember, the key is to fail faster. Figure out what doesn’t work as quickly as possible so you can move on to what does work for you… and makes you money. To do that, get in front of as many people as you can on a daily basis and make a sales presentation. If you’re not getting in front of people, you won’t be able to fail faster.

      Guys that come from a background of project management have a unique perspective on sales. They see all the problems that were caused by unrealistic expectations set by the sales person. As a result, when they find themselves on the other side as a sales person (“the dark side”), they tend to be very detailed oriented and set realistic expectations with their homeowners or business owners about their project. Believe it or not, that’s a very good thing… when you figure out how to do it right. It is all about balance. Let me tell you what I mean…

      One of the key indgredients for any good sales person is ENTHUSIASM… your challenge will be to bring both “realistic expectations” and “enthusiasm” to the negotiating table when you’re closing deals. You have to find the right balance between the two. They can go together, you just have to figure out how to do it. That’s something I can’t teach you because it is based on your own personality. You’ll figure it out. You’ll just have to do it quick.

      Good Luck Randy!

      • Randy

        August 19, 2011

        I signed my very first customer today, you’re the man Mike.

      • mike

        August 19, 2011

        Good job Randy!

  • Phil Coniker

    Reply Reply August 15, 2011

    Mike, good stuff. I am interviewing for sales guys. Is there a method or something you look for in the people you put on your team?

    • mike

      Reply Reply August 16, 2011

      Great question Phil. I’m going to write about that and answer your question. Should have something ready for you soon.

  • Tyler

    Reply Reply June 14, 2011

    After reading this article, I put some of your advice to use and set appointments on the first two doors that i knocked. It was a bit shocking how simple and easy it was with your advice to land appointments and i appreciate it very much

    • mike

      Reply Reply June 14, 2011


      You must not be an axe murderer! 馃檪

  • John

    Reply Reply April 3, 2011

    Mike: Thank you so much for taking the time on a Sunday afternoon to answer my question. I appreciate it very much!

    • mike

      Reply Reply April 3, 2011

      Thx John

      If you run into any interesting people while out in the field, I would love to hear your stories.

      I appreciate you being a part of the Roofing Salesman community. Anything I can do to help you make more money, I’m happy to help.

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