Before You Take That Roofing Sales Job

Mike Coday gives Roofing Sales advice.

Is Roofing Sales a Good Career?

Quick Summary

  1. Roofing sales offer lucrative commissions, often around 50% of gross profits, depending on company support and overhead costs.
  2. Successful roofing sales careers stem from quality training, good sales support, and leads generated & provided.
  3. Flexibility is a perk, but it demands discipline; success often comes from working more than just a few days a week, especially during optimal times.
  4. Trust in your company is paramount; if doubts arise, it’s better to leave immediately.
  5. Authenticity sells; customers appreciate honesty and a genuine persona more than a slick sales pitch.
  6. Door-to-door sales are fundamental in roofing sales, especially for beginners. It’s where learning and earning converge.
  7. Leads are valuable but can lead to complacency. Balancing leads with proactive door knocking keeps skills sharp.
  8. Advanced training and continuous learning are keys to longevity and success in the field.
  9. Effective door-to-door sales don’t start with a pitch but with listening, building trust, and engaging on personal topics.
  10. The ultimate goal of door knocking is to earn the trust of your prospect.

One Major Concern

Before you start selling roofs, you might have a major concern.

Maybe you’ve experienced some good success in other jobs, but when you imagine knocking on a door, doing the work of prospecting, you always imagine that door as being locked.

Locked doors come from locked minds.

Here’s a recent reader comment that illustrates the concerns so many have about getting into the roofing sales business.

Take a second to read the comment and then I’ll answer your questions…

Hi Mike. I have just been offered a job with a roofing company that pays 50% of gross profits. I met a couple of their salesmen and they seemed happy with their jobs. They only work a few days a week and stated that they are happy with their income. They also impressed me as being down to earth, honest people.

I have been in sales for about seven years. I am not a slick individual, my sales have usually been a result of my ‘good ole boy’ persona and honesty, I sold mortgages through the internet. I intend to put in as much time as possible. I am just a little hesitant about going door to door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Just Offered a Roof Sales Job

Congratulations on being offered a job with a roofing company. With unemployment hovering around 8%-9%, it’s nice to have an opportunity to make a living.

You’re going to get 50% of the Gross Profit. That sounds fair to me because there are several roofing companies that start their new sales people out at 25%, 30% or 40%. You’re coming in at 50%. That’s good.

One question I would want to be answered is, “what is the overhead or office fee” they charge against the job?

Many roofing companies with good sales support will have a standard overhead charge of 10% or more applied to every job.

For example, if you bring in a $10,000.00 contract, will they subtract 10% ($1,000) off the top before they figure your 50/50 Commission?

If a $10,000 job clears $3,000 after job expenses, you would earn a $1,000 final commission after the 10% overhead charge is subtracted.

$10,000 Contract
– $7,000 Job Expenses
= $3,000 Sub Total
– $1,000 (10% of $10,000 in Overhead)
= $2,000 Sub Total
x 50% (50/50 Split)
= $1,000 Final Commission

If you’re getting professional roofing sales training, exceptional back-office support, or you’re getting leads handed to you on a regular basis, it’s almost always worth it to pay the higher overhead (e.g. 10%, 15%, up to 20%) because you’ll be able to spend more of your time selling and picking up checks. Leads, sales training, and office help are all extremely valuable.

Roofing Sales Support Checklist

  • Quality, Up-Front Sales Training & Continuing Education
  • Draws, Advances, and Sales Incentives
  • Leads, Canvassers, and/or Advertising
  • Office Help: Phone Calls, Paperwork, Claims, Invoices, etc.
  • EagleView, Xactimate, and Bidding/Estimating Help
  • Material Ordering and Production Scheduling
  • Full Warranty Responsibilities

On the other hand, if you’re handling most of the work on the checklist for yourself, shoot for a lower overhead charge, or no overhead charge if you’re doing everything because you’ll have less time to focus on selling and picking up checks when you are not getting valuable sales support. You’ll want to understand your job description before you take the job.

Is Roofing Sales a Good Job?

Obviously, that depends a lot on where you go to work. When the current sales people all seem to be happy, that’s usually a good sign you’re working with a well-run roofing company. It’s step one to figuring out how to make 100k in roofing sales.

Here’s a little secret for you though… not everybody in the office is going to be happy to see the new guy. To them, you’re now the competition.

You’re now in direct competition for their leads, their neighborhoods, their favorite roofing crews, their draws or advances, and their status & standing in the company.

Stay away from these small-minded, selfish, insecure sales people. They’ll want to sabotage you before you ever get started.

Watch your back when you first start out until you know who you can trust.

Only Sell Roofs A Few Days A Week

The great thing about roofing sales is that you can work whenever you want.

The bad thing about roofing sales is that you can work whenever you want.

If you’re only going to work a few days a week, make sure you work on the days when you’re most likely to sign contracts.

7 Best Times to Get a Roofing Contract

  1. Anytime you have an appointment
  2. Right after you’ve signed your last contract
  3. With the neighbors when there’s a roof in production.
  4. Saturday during garage sale hours (10-2)
  5. Tuesday evenings
  6. Thursday evenings
  7. Monday evenings

5 Worst Times to Get a Roofing Contract

  1. Holiday weekends
  2. Holiday weekdays
  3. Friday evenings
  4. Wednesday evenings
  5. Extremely cold days

You can always knock doors during normal working hours (8 am – 5 pm), but you’re more likely to make contact with people at night after they get home from work.

One advantage to knocking doors during the day is that, in a lot of households, the wife is actually the decision maker. If you can catch a housewife at home, you may have to come back to tie things down with the husband at night, but the decision has already been made by the time he gets home.

Work With Honest People

If you ever get to the place where you don’t trust your roofing company, get out of there immediately.

Don’t wait around for things to get better or because they still owe you money. Leave. Leave now. Don’t look back. Trust me on this one.

Sales Experience

If you don’t have any sales experience going into the job, you’ll either learn how to sell really fast or you’ll go broke really fast. One or the other. Guaranteed.

Be Who You Are

If you’re the proverbial “Good Ole Boy,” stick with it because people just want to know you’re real and they can trust you with their greatest investment… their home.

Trying to be something you’re not is the worst thing you can do in this business.

When you first start selling roofs, you probably won’t sell many on your first visit (a.k.a “One Call Close”). It may take you going back to those prospects several times before you finally get them in the boat with you.

If you’re acting like somebody you’re not, you’re going to confuse them because you’ll never remember how you acted the last time you were with them. It’s always better to just be yourself.

Remember this simple rule about selling: “Confused minds never buy!”

You’re right on target here… Just be who you are.

Hesitant About Going Door to Door

Even though this is what you originally commented about, I purposely saved this one for last because it is the most important.

Always pay attention to the 1st thing somebody says to you and the last thing they say…because one of those two things will probably be the most important thing they say.

Knocking on doors is what this job is all about, especially early in your career!

Door to door sales is the beginning and the end… When you begin knocking doors, you’ll start making money. When you stop knocking doors, the money stops.

Roofing Leads

Some roofing companies invest in quality roofing lead programs.

As you get better at roofing sales, you might start getting a few leads here and there, but don’t count on them when you’re new to the business.

Because the leads are expensive, roofing sales people working leads, usually get paid less per job than what they could make from generating their own roofing leads with door knocking. They’ll make less per job because of higher overhead charges, lower commission rates, or both.

When you’re selling more roofs in less time, getting paid less per job isn’t a big deal. It’s actually a great deal if you’re a good closer because you can make good money, very good money, especially when you have a strong sales support team working with you.

Well, here’s my warning: If you’re going to work roofing leads, there’s a strong temptation to forget all about door knocking.

If you’re not careful, you’ll become addicted to working leads.

As long as they keep handing you leads, you’re fine. Once the leads dry up, and they always do, you’ll be under a lot of pressure because you’ve lost your selling edge. Door knocking is a skill that takes steady practice.

If you’re going to run leads, mix in a little door knocking. Talk to the neighbors on the left and the right. Walk across the street and introduce yourself, especially when your job is in production. You’ll increase your sales and stay sharp. Never allow yourself to get back in the truck until you’ve knocked a few doors around where you’re working. When the leads dry up, and they always do, you’ll still be going strong because you’ve built your own sales pipeline.

Get Advanced Roofing Sales Training

The Roofing Salesman University is the advanced roofing sales training online portal.

If you have specific questions about roofing sales or you would like to invest in advanced sales training for your company, request an appointment to speak with Mike directly using the form below:

3 Valuable Door Knocking Tips

Your odds of success go way up as soon as you get out of the truck, walk up to your first door, and knock.

Eventually, somebody is going to answer the door.

After you introduce yourself and tell them why you’re there, resist the urge, with everything that’s in you, to tell them everything you know about roofing.

They were minding their own business when you knocked on their door. Actually, when they heard your knock, they thought to themselves, “Hey, somebody wants something from me. I better go see who it is. I hope it isn’t a salesperson…”

They aren’t coming to the door to listen to you talk.

One of the most valuable assets you’ll have in your roofing sales arsenal is the ability to get people talking about what’s important to them… their dog, their kid, their job, their vacation, etc.

Whatever it is, get them talking and you start listening.

If you’ve done your job well enough – the job of listening, you’ll eventually earn the right to be heard in return.

They haven’t forgotten why you came to the door. It’s in the back of their mind the whole time they’re talking to you. You’ll know when they’re ready for you to tell them more.

Resist the urge to lead the conversation. Learn how to control it with questions and by taking advantage of the openings your prospects give you as you earn their trust.

Think about this for a minute…

Probably the most expensive thing you’ve purchased from your front door was Girl Scout cookies or maybe a magazine subscription.

Important decisions are made in the home.

Important decisions are made over a cup of coffee.

Important decisions are made sitting down at the kitchen table.

If you can get in the home, you’ve earned the right to be considered for an important decision. Getting to the table doesn’t guarantee you a sale, but it is a guarantee you’ll be seriously considered.

Your odds of closing go way up once you get invited to come inside.


P.S. The question I’m most often asked is, “Mike, will you train me?” The short answer is, “Probably not, unless you work with one of my private clients,” but you should subscribe to the all-new 101 Sales Tips daily newsletter to get a new sales tip from me every day for the next 101 days.