Fingerprints of Success

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A Clue!

The thing I despised most about being a telemarketer was starting each sale from scratch on every new phone call.

The computer would dial a new number immediately after my last call hung up. Over and over again, all day long, the phone beeped in my ear.

Like Pavlov’s dogs, I learned to associate beeping with rejection, rudeness, followed by a hard kick in the teeth.

That’s no way to make a living, but the constant rejection was not the worst part. Like I said earlier, the worst part was having to start from scratch on every new phone call.

Outside of the little bump in confidence I would get from making a sale, there was no value, no relationship equity, gained from beep to beep.

The next guy who answered was ready to kick me in the teeth as soon as he figured out I was a telemarketer. My last sale didn’t mean a thing to him.

Roofing Sales Magic

Herein lies the magic of roofing sales…

You can build relationship equity in roofing sales. Not everybody does because most don’t know how, but the leverage you get from one sale can have a positive impact on your next sale… and your next one, and your next one, etc.

When you sell and build a roof, you leave fingerprints that are noticed, inspected and graded by people who could become your next client.

Think of these fingerprints as hand-written invitations; warm allurements that should attract prospects into a relationship with you and your roofing company.

Fingerprint Thinking

Normally, the fewer fingerprints at the scene of the crime the better for the defendant because the prosecutor will use fingerprints to help establish guilt, get a conviction and maybe even determine the depth of punishment.

Your challenge is to think the exact opposite!

If fingerprints are hand-written invitations designed to attract prospects to you, you want to leave your fingerprints everywhere.

You want them to know you’re guilty… yes, that’s you putting on the new roof down the street.. not your competitor.

Stealth Mode

The greatest shame for a roofing salesman is putting on a new roof and the neighbors not knowing who did it because you didn’t leave any fingerprints.

I can think of very few instances when you shouldn’t at least have your roofing sign in the front yard while the new roof is going up.

Even in the few instances when you might be tempted to skip the sign, what you give up is far more valuable than what you gain from roofing in stealth mode.

You want the neighbors, friends and family to convict you of getting things done, working hard for your clients, and taking care of business. Guilty as charged!

Put your proof out there. Touch everything… inviting people who discover your fingerprints to connect with you. Build your relationship equity.

We Are Connected

Humans were created to be connected.

If you’re reading these words right now, we’re connected. I wrote them. You read them. We’re connected.

Chances are we’d have a lot in common and could find more than a few things to talk about when we meet in person.

Actually, while I’m thinking about it, go ahead and Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or circle me on Google+.

My original intention for this website was to give back to the roofing business that has been so good to me through the years. What I didn’t realize was how many new relationships would develop from all over the country.

You guys email, call and message me just to stay in touch… and that’s cool! You tell me when you’re struggling. You tell me when you land the big sale. We solve problems together.

I’m not even sure how we initially connected, but the relationship equity is extremely valuable to me. You trust me because I have taken this relationship seriously.

Some of you have been reading the Roofing Salesman website for several years and I haven’t broken your trust yet. Thank you!

Relationship Equity

Connections are based on trust.

Fingerprints are invitations to connect.

So, your job is to leave Trusted Fingerprints.

Instead of starting each sale from scratch, give your prospects a clue that they can and should trust you. Give them an obvious foundation to build on that clearly signals your long-term intentions.

Here’s a short story to illustrate my point of signaling your long-term intentions…

While walking through the lobby of the Las Vegas casino where his company is holding their annual meeting, a below-average looking, severely overweight, aggressively balding executive is aggressively approached by an attractive, provocatively dressed woman at least twenty years younger. She whispers in his ear…

I’ll let you imagine how the story ends.

Do you think she’s offering a trusted, long-term relationship?

That “wham-bam-thank-you-m’aam” kind of thinking has reached epidemic proportions in some corners of the residential roofing business.

Prospects, like the rest of us, are good at picking out the prostitutes.

They know what they dress like, how they talk, the promises they make, how much they charge, where they’re likely to work.

Here’s the bottom line…

“You may not be a roofing sales slut, but when you focus on creating income instead of creating relationships, you sure do feel like one to your prospects.”

Build Trust

We usually stay connected to relationships where there’s trust. If the connection lasts long enough, that trust becomes stronger.

Similarly, we distance ourselves from people we don’t trust… or those who break our trust. The more you break trust, the deeper the disconnect.

Relationship equity based on trust leads to an increase in business.

When a homeowner and a roofing salesman have developed a trusting relationship, it is almost impossible to steal that business away.

Imagine how hard it is to sell a new roof to a guy who has used the same roofing company for the last ten years. He knows his salesman by name. They send each other Christmas cards. When they sold their last home, the roofing salesman came out and inspected their roof for free.

The more you think about, the more you realize that you’re wasting your time knocking on that guy’s door. There’s relationship equity there based on trust and you’re probably not going to break it.

Makes you wonder why more roofing salespeople don’t build relationship equity. Why do they spend all of their time thinking about how to make their next dollar instead of figuring out how to make their next connection?

I know what you’re thinking… most roofing salespeople don’t stay in the business (or in town) long enough to take care of the same customer for more than two years… much less ten years.

That’s too bad because it is costing them a lot of money in the long-term and giving guys like me another chance to leave trusted fingerprints, make a connection, and build relationship equity.


P.S. I didn’t cover specific “Trusted Fingerprints” except roofing yard signs. There’s got to be at least 100 more. Can you name any of them?

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. His expertise is coaching roofers to the next level of success.

Facebook Comments


  • chase

    Reply Reply November 7, 2012

    Hey Mike this is a off topic from this artical but I would like toknow what you think about working sandy?

    • mike

      Reply Reply November 8, 2012


      There are a lot of people emailing me this same question. I just mentioned it this morning on the Facebook Fan Page.

      I’m going to try to put something up on the website this afternoon and open up the comments section to answer any follow-up questions.


  • Armando Jacox Jr.

    Reply Reply October 22, 2012

    Thanks for this article Mike! I’ve been practicing how to completely ignore my commission and focus on how I can best serve my clients. I believe that my clients can feel that my priority is to help them get a new roof and they trust me and our company for that. It’s hard to ignore the commission because money is a powerful motivator, but I am convinced that I must forget about the money and work on helping as many people as possible. I believe that financial prosperity will flow from that commitment. Your article inspired me to send out Christmas cards this year to my past customers and wish them a happy new year, thank you for that!!

  • Brock Darr

    Reply Reply October 21, 2012


    We make everyone a nice Folder to keep all invoices, warranty, product literature and more in. On the front of this folder(blue like our logo) is a nice self adhesive label with our Company name, email, phone, cells, fax, and website and it is adhered to the center in a professional manner.

    When you open the folder, BAM a business card in the card slot with salesman and owner name as well as the contact info again.

    On the right hand side is a business card we had customized for referrals. Company name and number with a line for the homeowner to write their name on and pass this card to a neighbor, friend, or family member. If we sell them a roof, we send the client a check for the referral. This has been a successful program.

    Just a few more fingerprints left at the scene!

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