How Do I Start a Roof Sale?

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 10/21/23 •  6 min read

Starting a Roofing Sale

You want to start your sale with the problem, the need, or the want because without a problem, need, or a want, there is no sale.

Something has to motivate your prospect to want to buy from you. Your job is to find that motivation before your prospect gets rid of you. Obviously, finding it is easier to do when the prospect called you first, but figuring out the problem, need, or want is more challenging when you’re out cold calling.

Regardless of how you get in front of your prospect, you need to know why that particular prospect will buy from you.

Quick Summary

  1. Identifying the Motivation: Every sale begins with identifying the customer’s problem, need, or want. This motivation is the driving force behind their decision to consider a purchase.
  2. Beyond the Roof: Surprisingly, the motivation to buy often extends beyond the immediate need for a new roof. Understanding the deeper reasons, possibly unrelated to the roofing itself, is crucial for a successful sale.
  3. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: The article suggests referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to comprehend the underlying motivations for a purchase. Recognizing these fundamental human desires can guide the sales approach.
  4. Engaging the Prospect: Getting the customer to open up is essential. By discussing topics they are comfortable with, salespeople can glean insights into the customer’s motivations and preferences.
  5. Listening to the Customer: The information that prospects share willingly often contains hints about their true concerns and desires. Effective salespeople listen carefully to these cues to understand the heart of the customer’s problem, need, or want.
  6. The Law of Liking: People are more likely to buy from someone they like, who likes them, or who they aspire to be like. Building a rapport and establishing a likable persona are strategic aspects of the sales process.
  7. Empathy and Understanding: Customers prefer to feel understood rather than sold to. Demonstrating empathy and showing genuine interest in the customer’s situation can facilitate a stronger connection and trust.
  8. Image is Crucial: The salesperson’s image plays a significant role in the process. Prospects must view them as someone they want to confide in and be understood by, which can influence the interaction’s dynamics.
  9. Dealing with Different Customers: While some customers are eager for a quick sale, others require a more nuanced approach. Adapting sales tactics to accommodate different types of customers is essential for sustained success in roofing sales.
  10. Four Key Sales Steps: The article condenses the sales initiation process into four steps: identifying the problem, need, or want; engaging the customer through conversation; applying the Law of Liking; and making the customer feel understood. These steps form the foundation of a strategy that can be expanded upon with more advanced sales training.

Why They’ll Buy

You might be surprised to hear this, but the motivating problem, need, or want may not have much to do with the roof.

In fact, it’s my contention most of the roofs sold are not sold because of a problem, need, or a want having to do with the roof specifically. Sure, the roof is in the equation, it’s a part of the conversation, but the roof isn’t the determining factor for the sale in most roofing sales.

I do more advanced training with my private clients and their sales teams, but look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for an idea about the real reason why they’ll buy a roof. This is where you should start your roofing sale… with the motivating problem, need, or want of your prospect.

Get Your Prospect Talking

Unless you’re going to railroad the sale, hard closing from the jump, you’ll want to get your prospect talking.

The Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

If you want to know the problem, need, or want your prospect is most concerned about, listen to them talk. They’ll tell you what’s in their heart. They can’t help themselves. The words will spill out of their mouth once you move them past the formal pleasantries.

If you want to get someone talking, ask them a question about something they don’t mind talking about. Winning topics for getting people to talk include their home, career, kids, pets, possessions, vacations, politics, religion, etc. For example, “I sure do like your boat in the driveway. When’s the last time you got away to the lake?”

If a man won’t talk about his boat, he’s got something else on his mind. Ask another question.

If a woman won’t talk about his boat, that tells you something, too. 🙂

The Law of Liking

There are 8 Laws of Persuasion.

I break all eight down, and exactly how to use each one to persuade your prospect, in my Quantum Success program for roofing company owners.

It’s extremely difficult for someone, anyone, to buy from you unless The Law of Liking is in effect.

Here’s how this law works in a sale…

  1. We buy from people we like.
  2. We buy from people who like us.
  3. We buy from people we want to be like.

I remind my clients, when you went into sales you gave up your right to not like people. If you can’t like them, you can’t sell them, and if they don’t like you, the sale is over before you begin.

Make Them Feel Understood

Prospects don’t want to be sold; they want to be understood.

If they don’t like you, you won’t be able to stick around long enough to ask enough questions to understand them. If you don’t understand them, you can’t make them feel understood. If they don’t feel understood, at the core of their problem, need, or want, they’re not buying.

It’s vitally important to position yourself as someone your prospect wants to be understood by. Image is everything.

Some people aren’t picky, they’ll let anyone understand them. They’re begging to be understood. These are the prospects who get sold first. Usually, by a hard closer who bulldozes them with a little bit understanding in exchange for a quick signature.

Nothing wrong with a fast, easy sale, but if you’re going to make a full-time living in roofing sales, you’ll have to start a sale and close it with all those prospects who are more difficult to understand and be understood.

How Do I Start a Roof Sale?

If you want more advanced roofing sales training, check out the Roofing Salesman University or ask your company owner to reach out to me for more help.


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Mike Coday

Mike started selling roofs in '95 while working as a youth pastor at a small church in North Texas. A decade later he transitioned to speaking at industry conferences and training outside sales teams. Today, he works exclusively as the premier consultant to roofing company owners who are driven for growth.