INOCULATION! How To Keep Customers From Cancelling

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 07/15/21 •  7 min read

Cancelling Customers?

Are you making sales, but having a hard time keeping your sales?

Unfortunately, that’s a common problem in roofing sales. It happens to rookies and it happens to veteran sales pros too.

I get a lot of questions from sales people who are trying to hold on to their sales or have recently just lost one.

Here’s The Question

“What do you do if a customer who’s signed on with you calls you and informs you he’s thinking of going with someone else? Is there a way to avoid this beforehand?” – Tony

Now, I don’t claim to be the founder of the techniques I’m about to teach you, but I’ve refined them over the years to work especially well with roofing sales.

INOCULATION! Sales Technique

My son absolutely always hated going to the doctor because he associated the doctor with shots.

Every single time I’ve taken him to the doctor, they’ve ended the check-up with at least a couple of shots.

Those shots boost his immune system. Making it more difficult for disease and sickness to overtake his body. I hate shots too, but the alternative to getting those shots is even worse.

What most people don’t realize is shots often contain small doses of the sickness they are meant to fend off.

You inject the body with a small dose of the flu and your body will attack any signs of the flu, building up an immunity to it. It’s not enough to make you sick (usually!) and just enough to train your immune system for a future victory.

Next time the flu comes around, your body says, “Ha! We know you Mr. Flu. We’ve seen you before and we know how to defeat you. Today you die!”

People have paid a lot of money to learn in a sales seminar or from a personal selling coach what you’re about to learn. Folks get mad when I just give away the good stuff.

Roofing has been really good to me through the years and I want to give back. Besides, there’s people out there fighting to pay their rent, cover their truck payment, or they’re just trying to feed their kids. Get mad if you want to, I DON’T CARE!

Borrowed From Nature

Anytime you observe something happening naturally in nature, someone somewhere is looking for a way to replicate and leverage that power in another walk of life.

The same is true of inoculation!

Politicians do it all the time. Next time you’re watching your favorite politician make a campaign speech, listen for a variation of these powerful inoculation phrases…

“My opponents will say…”

“There are those on the other side of the aisle who would have you believe…”

When you hear, “My opponents will say…”, that’s when they’re about to shoot you with their small dose of poison. It won’t be very strong… just strong enough for you to recognize it next time you hear what they’re about to say.

The next part of that sentence is the actual inoculation. This is when the needle plunges deep into your skin and the virus is thrust into your body.

Here’s an example of what a political inoculation may sound like…

“My opponents will say that we want to destroy medicare and leave millions of senior citizens destitute, but that’s not true. With your help, we’re going to make our health care system even stronger, ensuring the right of every senior citizen to quality care they can count on for as long as they live. The next time they try to scare your parents, tell them you’re proud to stand with the party that cares for the elderly.”

So simple, yet so powerful…

Notice, the argument doesn’t have to be extremely good or strong… it just has to warn the listener with a small enough dose of poison so they’ll recognize it and know how to kill it… even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

This is how you use inoculation!

Future Credibility Sales Technique

The best roofing sales people on the planet are constantly using the technique of “future credibility” to lock-down their prospects and make sure they become customers.

Basically, we tell the prospect what is going to happen (e.g. “the insurance adjuster will usually call you back within 48 hours”) and then when it happens, we earn more credibility because we told our prospect what would happen before it happened. We predicted the future for them.

However, this technique also works in reverse.

If you tell a client you’re going to keep the shingles out of their flower garden and your crew ends up destroying the wife’s rose bushes, you’re not going to get any referrals… and you may even have to fight them for the final check. You predicted the future and you were wrong.

When a politician tells the party faithful what the other side is going to say, and then it happens, the politician builds credibility.

So predictable, so simple, yet so powerful.

You can get more training on a step-by-step system for using future credibility and inoculation in the Roofing Salesman University.

Inoculation + Future Credibility

So, when we take these two similar techniques and combine them in roofing sales, we get an extremely powerful antidote to the problem of losing customers after they’ve already signed a contract with you.

Following up after the sale is still extremely important. Just because you use this technique doesn’t mean you can quit answering your cell phone, it just means you won’t get near as many calls from people wanting to back out.

After you’ve done an amazing job with your presentation and your prospect has decided to sign a contract with you… right before you’re about to leave, that’s when you get your needle out…

Tell them what’s likely to happen after you leave their home (future credibility) and what those other door-to-door salespeople are likely to say (inoculation).

Create a picture in their mind. Help your customer use their imagination. Tell them what to say and leave them with a simple strategy they can use to quickly kill the virus.

Here’s an extremely hard-core sales script snippet…

“Oh, by the way Mr. Jones, there’s several guys out here trying to sell roofs to anybody who will listen to them. I’ve never even heard of half of these companies.

Unfortunately, some of these vultures like to swoop in behind me after they see my sign in your yard because they can’t find their own customers. They might even ring your doorbell and say they’ll put cash in your pocket or cut you some kind of under-the-table deal. You can’t trust anybody who is willing to do something like that. I’m surprised they haven’t already gotten in trouble.

Personally, I like to do business with people I know and trust. People just like you Mr. Jones.

Do me a favor, will you?

When they come around, tell them you’re already doing business with a good company. Okay?”

Start using these advanced sales techniques today and you’ll keep more of your clients.

By the way, that was really good stuff you just read, wasn’t it?


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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.