Are You a “REAL” Roofer?

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We all understand that selling roofs is not the same thing as installing roofs.

The average consumer will generically refer to most anybody in the roofing business as a “roofer” — and it’s important to develop your “roofer” knowledge — but there is an important difference between “selling” a roof and “installing” a roof.

If you’re selling roofs, you’re a “roofer” as far as your prospect is concerned. You may not have a lot of experience installing roofs, and many successful roofing salespeople don’t, but it’s important you understand your prospect’s perspective AND how your competition may try to position themselves against you.

In many roofing companies, the same person selling the roof is the same person installing the roof — or maybe directly supervising the crew. Often, the lead installer’s name is the exact same name as the roofing company. They’re proud of their work experience, and they should be!

However, because they have a lifetime of valuable “roofer” experience, they default to a sales angle that leans heavily on selling their personal installer experience. Many of these installers strongly believe a consumer should only buy a new roof from a “roofer” with real-world installation experience; ideally, the “roofer” with the most experience.

That makes sense why they would feel that way, right?

However, after a major insurable event, not all of the roofs will be sold by a “roofer.” I dare say, most of the new roofs will NOT be sold by a “roofer.” Many will be quickly sold by roofing salespeople… and then later installed by the roofing company’s “roofers.” In other words, the person selling the job won’t be the same person installing the job.

As you can imagine, this is extremely frustrating for “roofers” who are more skilled at the art of installation than they are in “the art of selling.”

Not only that, once a “roofer” gets busy installing roofs, they have even less time for selling roofs. They’re up there on the roof sweating out another installation with their crew. Meanwhile, teams of canvassers and salespeople flood the streets below knocking doors, giving presentations, and planting new yard signs.

Many of the roofs being sold right out from under their nose are being sold by people with inferior installation skills — but often superior sales skills, or at least far more time to focus only on selling.

Now, if you’re a professional “roofer” with years of real-world roofing experience, how do you think you’d feel?

That’s right, probably not very happy; maybe even a little bitter, jaded, sarcastic, or cynical.

Every once in awhile you’ll find a “roofer” who wakes up and gets it. They’ll focus on doing what they do best — roofing — and recruit salespeople, with far less installation experience, to hit the streets and do what they do best — selling! However, it’s rare because human nature is to only see the world from our point of view.

Are you a “REAL” roofer or aren’t you?

Peace,
Mike

P.S. Hit me up with your answer in the comments section below. I want to hear your opinion!

About The Author

Mike Coday

Mike Coday is a retired youth pastor turned serial entrepreneur, roofing marketing consultant, author, speaker, sales trainer, and sentimental family man. He specializes in helping serious roofers launch their roofing business to the next level.

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2 Comments

  • R.Josh Weber

    Reply Reply March 24, 2015

    I agree to disagree. Roofing sales is hard and only a small percentage make it regardless of previous install experience. However I installed both commercial low-slope roofs and residential roofs for over 15 years before someone turned me on to sales and estimating. I can not describe in words the value of my installation experience when it comes to closing. I was trained to sell with a presentation and pitch book blah blah blah. The first week was the worst. I would get invited into a home and has soon as the computer would come out with my various products and demo material you could feel the energy in the room turn. At this moment I have become a salesman and I could tell I lost the job. The following week I decided to try something different. I was going to leave everything in the truck except my tape measure, note pad and camera. I was going to be honest and respectable, I was going to be myself. I started in October of 2014. six months later I have sold over 600k in residential construction jobs, and plan on closing another 100k by the end of March 2015, I have the corner desk and best of all I have not had to knock on a door since November. Almost all of my sales are word of mouth and referrals. I am not the salesman at the door with the presentation anymore. I am a highly skilled roofing mechanic that people can trust to put the best roofing system based on their needs. You cant fake roofing experience, and lets face it, most roofers are only driven by just making it through the week. Some roofers always strive for more. They see the potential for profit and they will stop at nothing to achieve a six figure salary because they know whats its like to rip pitch off on a 95 degree day. These are the one per centers and these guys can be your best salesman if you can find them. Thanks

    • Mike Coday

      Reply Reply March 24, 2015

      Josh, you are the man! Not many installers make it in straight commission sales, but you’ve done extremely well for yourself. Much respect to you, Mike

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