Knocking doors is the single, greatest concern people have about taking a roofing sales job.
Maybe they’ve experienced some good success in other jobs, but when they imagine knocking on a door, they always imagine the 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 in the comment section below. Feel free to join in the conversation and leave your comments below…
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 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’s 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 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.
Here’s the math…
– $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
Know your Overhead % before you take the job.
If you’re getting professional 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.
Important 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.
When the current sales people all seem to be happy, that’s usually a good sign that you’re working with a well-run roofing company.
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 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.
If they’re not for you, they’re against you.
Watch your back when you first start out until you know who you can trust.
Only Work 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 Contract
- Any time you have an appointment
- Right after you’ve signed your last contract
- With the neighbors when there’s a roof in production.
- Saturday during garage sale hours (10-2)
- Tuesday evenings
- Thursday evenings
- Monday evenings
5 Worst Times to Get a Contract
- Holiday weekends
- Holiday weekdays
- Friday evenings
- Wednesday evenings
- 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.
If you don’t have any sales experience going in to the job, you’ll either learn to sell really fast or you’ll go broke really soon. 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 that 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 the two will probably be the most important thing they say.
Reminds me of the tomb stone in the old cemetery that read, “I told you I was sick.”
Knocking on doors is what this job is all about.
It’s the beginning and the end… When you begin knocking on doors, you’ll start making money. When you stop knocking on doors, the money stops.
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.
Roofing leads are extremely expensive to generate.
Because the leads are expensive, roofing sales people working leads, usually get paid less per job than what they could make generating their own roofing leads from 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.
It all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
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. 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 every lead you work. When the leads dry up, you’ll still be going strong.
3 Valuable Door Knocking Tips
#1 Get Out Of The Truck
More roofing salesmen quit because they almost never get out of the truck. They’ll drive around endlessly acting like their door is welded shut.
Your odds of success go way up as soon as you get out of the truck, walk up to your first door, and knock.
#2 Get Them Talking
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.
They’re coming to door because they’re curious. They want to know, “Who thinks I’m valuable enough to spend their time coming to my door?”
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT!
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 by taking advantage of the openings your prospects give you as you earn their trust.
#3 Get To The Table
Think about this for a minute…
What’s the last thing you bought while standing at the front door of your home?
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 a 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.
If you’ve found this article helpful, take a moment and leave a comment below. I would appreciate your thoughts because it helps me to know how to help you best.
P.S. The question I’m most often asked is, “Mike, are you hiring and will you train me?” Click here to read my normal answer or click here to find out about my master sales training program.