Is Paid Training A Good Investment?

Pay For Training

Should a roofing company pay for training?

That’s a good question, isn’t it? As a trusted consultant to company owners, I’m often asked about paying for training. Here’s how one reader recently asked it…

Hey Mike-

I’ve worked in direct sales since very young. Always make top sales person.

The last 13 years I’ve been in business for myself and have learned so much about construction. But it’s a difficult trade–much failure.

I’ve come to see the money that can be made in the roofing business. Others see me and tell me I’m a great fit for it.

I’m looking for a local company who’s willing to pay training.

Do you think these roofing companies should pay training?

[Name Withheld]

Direct Sales Training

Most of the direct sales opportunities I’ve worked in since I was young have not paid training.

Shoot, some of them didn’t even have training, much less paid training. If anything, I’ve paid for all my own training—if not in dollars, at least in time.

[snippet]”I’ve paid for all my own training—if not in dollars, at least in time.”[/snippet]

I don’t many residential roofing companies that pay for training.

If you find a company that will pay you while in training, it’s going to cost you something. Nothing is ever free. You’ll end up paying for it, one way or another, usually in lower commission rates.

Draws Are More Common

You will sometimes find a company willing to do draws–where you pull money in advance of making commissions.

Once you earn the commissions, your draws are then re-paid from your earnings. Usually, these weekly draws are only a few hundred dollars—not much more than enough to help cover your food and gas while in training.

Draws usually don’t last very long.

If you start making commissions, you don’t need them. If you don’t start making commissions, they usually don’t want to keep paying out the draws.

Twenty years ago, my mentor probably gave me 5-6 weeks of $300 draws while I was in training. I clearly remember he did draws for several other rookie salespeople, too. Most of them never made a dime in the business.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you the name of a company that does draws either because I don’t know of any in your area.

Invest In Good Investments

Personally, I do believe a company should invest in people who are good investments.

The problem is knowing who is good, and who isn’t, before any sales are produced.

A roofing company will ideally have a brilliant strategy for how to sift and sort for salespeople. A responsible financial model will mitigate their losses on bad salespeople while simultaneously–and aggressively–funding the development of their good salespeople.

Good salespeople usually start selling very quickly–and don’t need much help–while those who aren’t very good at sales struggle to get going regardless of how much time they’re given.

I’ve found there’s a point with new salespeople, early-on, where additional training time does not significantly increase the likelihood of their success but it almost always guarantees the loss of investment for the roofing company.

If training really is an investment, a good investment for a roofing company will start making money quickly.

A bad investment will make money slowly…or not at all.