Everybody Likes to Buy

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 03/29/21 •  10 min read

Buyers Hide The Truth

It’s too bad that real prospects don’t wear signs that read, “Hey Stupid! Sell me a new roof.”

If they did, this job would be a lot easier. All you would have to do is look for the people wearing signs and you’d be good. Doesn’t work that way though, does it?

As a matter of fact, buyers are especially good at hiding the fact that they just might be a buyer.

They don’t want to give off any hints because… well, because they’re afraid they’ll be taken advantage of if somebody knew they wanted to buy something.

Everybody Likes To Buy

But believe me, people want to buy. Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody likes to buy. Everybody Likes To Buy! Repeat after me, EVERYBODY LIKES TO BUY!

As a matter of fact, there’s folks in those hail damaged neighborhoods you’re working right now who have made a list… get the oil changed, stop by the bank, get a new roof. Trust me, if they don’t have it written down, they’ve at least got a mental checklist and they know they need to get it done. They want to get it done. It is on their list.

Think about this, several of the people you talked to while out knocking doors this past week have buying a new roof on their checklist. You say, “That’s funny Mike because nobody I talked to even acted like they were interested in talking to me. As a matter of fact, some of them were downright rude to me. A few of them just slammed the door in my face.”

I’m sorry they hurt your feelings. Those mean, mean people. Don’t they realize you’re just trying to make a living? Don’t they care that you have bills to pay, car payments to make and you need to eat too?

They Don’t Care About You

Unfortunately, they don’t care… actually, they could care less about you and what you want, what you need, your bills, your family, your payments, your credit cards, your school loans, your anniversary, your kids clothes and shoes, your rent or your house payment… prospects don’t care about you. They don’t care about you. Repeat after me, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU!

Well, if your prospect doesn’t care about you, what do they care about?

Go ahead, say it out loud. What does your prospect care about?

Answer here ____________________.

That’s right. The only thing a prospect cares about is themselves. Their home, their family, their kids, their bills, their house payment… you get the picture.

Prospects only care about themselves. Oh, don’t be so smug. Think about it. When you’re buying something from somebody else, are you worried about them or you? Of course, you are worried about you.

That’s why prospects don’t wear signs that say, “Sell me a new roof.” That’s why they’ll flat out lie to you and say they aren’t interested in a free roof estimate when they’ve got getting a new roof on their checklist – the checklist they made just this morning – sitting on the kitchen table. They’ll say, “Not interested!” when they were just talking with their husband or wife about needing to pick a roofer this morning. Prospects only care about themselves.

3 Reasons Prospects Don’t Buy

I guess you’re wondering, well if prospects only care about themselves, “How am I supposed to sell them a new roof?” Glad you asked. Let’s first explore the 3 reasons why prospects don’t buy from you…

#1 No Money
#2 No Time
#3 No Like

No Money

You can’t fix stupid and you usually can’t fix money either.

If your prospect is a renter, it doesn’t matter what you offer them, they aren’t going to come up with the money to buy a new roof from you. They just don’t want to tell you that they’re only renting the house. Some will. Most won’t. It’s none of your business anyway… besides, it is embarrassing to tell a stranger you’re only renting.

If your prospect got their first check and then paid off several bills or went on a Disney Cruise, they aren’t going to have the money to get their roof replaced.

Sometimes, people will have the money, but they’ll act like they don’t have the money. Where is the money? The check is still sitting in an envelope from the insurance company tucked away in their safe or they’ve got it cashed and stuffed away in a savings account.

What these people are really saying is, “My money is a lot more valuable than your service. I would never give up my big stack of money for your little stack of value.”

Translation: I don’t have the money.

If you want to sell to somebody who actually does have the money, but doesn’t think you’re offering enough value in exchange, the only way to make a deal is to increase your value.

Well, how do you do that?

There’s a few good ways to increase your value…

My favorite way is for their roof to start leaking. Once they realize their insulation is getting wet and there’s water stains on their walls or ceiling, that check their holding on to starts to look smaller. As a result, your value increases quite a bit. Actually, one of the best days to go out knocking doors is after a heavy rain… “Are you leaking yet?”

Another way to increase your value is to become valuable to somebody whose opinion they value. Remember, they don’t trust you when you show up at their door unannounced, but if you do a good job for their neighbor, their mother or their co-worker, you just became a lot more valuable.

Finally, you could increase your value by offering more value. Surprisingly, this strategy is not as effective as most people think it would be. Offering a free iPad, giving away radiant barrier or adding 12″ of insulation may increase the overall value of your offer, but it doesn’t always translate that way to your prospect.

I’ve personally sold roofs to people who were offered everything from a new refrigerator to cash money in their pockets. Why did they go with me rather than the perceived better value? Because those supposedly “free” value offers destroyed the credibility of the person offering them.

I’m not saying that you can’t pick up business giving things away to increase your value, but do you really want to do business by destroying your profit margin? What kind of prospects do you think you’ll attract with this business strategy?

The kind who always want more. Go ahead. Take them. Save me some time. Please.

No Time

There’s a time and season for everything… including buying a new roof.

You can do very little to change time. The best you can do is get as much information as you can and ask them when would be a better time for you to come by and talk about their roof.

If they give you a time, show up! There’s no better way to destroy trust and credibility than to ask for a time and then blow it off.

If they won’t give you a time, then don’t waste your time trying to tie them down. Just come back later. Go knock on the next door.

No Like

Sometimes, people have both the money and the time, but they don’t like you.

Not everybody is going to like you and I guarantee you won’t like everybody you come across either. We’re human. There’s a few people we hit it off with immediately, some we learn to like and others we just don’t like the moment we meet them. Nothing they do will make us like them more. Nothing you do will make them like you. If they don’t like you, they won’t buy from you. Repeat after me, IF THEY DON’T LIKE YOU, THEY WON’T BUY FROM YOU.

Sell Them What They Care About

The question remains, “How do I sell them a new roof if they only care about themselves?”

You’ve got to tap into their reasons, motivations, wants, needs and desires for buying a new roof… not yours.

The only way you can figure out what they care about is by asking questions and then using your five senses to interpret their answers… both verbal and non-verbal.

So many sales people think that selling is all about being a good talker. Talking is important, but not nearly as important as interpreting the clues your prospect gives you about what’s important to them while they’re answering your questions.

Let’s go through a few examples…

Have you ever had somebody tell you, “I’m not interested” and then they just stand there looking at you? You heard the rejection coming out of their mouth, but their body language doesn’t line up with their words. They look like they’re waiting for you to say something. Weird, huh?

What’s going on here?

Maybe they’re just polite and waiting for you to excuse yourself nicely. Maybe they’re saying, “If you want to talk to me, you’ll have to come at me with something stronger than that!” When the body language doesn’t line up, they are trying to tell you something. Figure it out. Quick.

Here’s another example, you’ve just dropped your best opening line on your prospect and they come back at you with a question. The question may or may not even make sense, but they are wanting to get your response.

Maybe they want to know if you’re from a local roofing company or they could ask you where you went to school or if you have a brother that lives in the next town. Regardless, a question from your prospect is your very best friend. Any question. All questions.

What’s going on here?

First of all, let’s cover what’s not going on here… they aren’t telling you to get lost. That’s good, right?

A question is a request for more information.

It signifies interest – interest in you, interest in your offer or interest in your time. They want something from you… more information.

A question means that you’re in the game.

Now, how you answer their question will decide whether or not you get to stay in the game. So, what’s the best way to answer their question.

The best way to answer a question is with another question… your own question.

For Example:

Prospect: Are you local?
Salesperson: Yes, we’re local. We’ve been here for 10 years. We’re accredited with the BBB and have an A+ Rating. We have stacks of local references… many of them in this neighborhood. Is doing business with a good local roofing company important to you?

By answering with your own question, you put the ball back in their court and give them the opportunity to reveal more about what is important to them. Every question they answer peels back another layer and uncovers what your prospect cares about.

When you understand what is important to your prospect, you’ll be able to parrot that information back to them as you continue the conversation with more questions. In the course of your conversation, let them know that you have been listening by repeating what they told you was important to them.

Okay, that’s all for tonight. Let me know if you have any questions.


P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts and questions on this article. Hit me up by email or join in the conversation over on Facebook where we talk about selling, prospects and anything else going on in the world. http://www.facebook.com/roofingsalesman

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.