I Can’t Get Them To Sign The Contract

Get them to sign your roofing contract.
2 Flares Facebook 0 LinkedIn 2 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Email -- 2 Flares ×

roofing sales stabilityIf you’ve been reading these articles, you know I’ve often asserted that 9 out of 10 new roofing sales people will fail.

Some will fail terribly… ugly, messy, horrible, mangled crash & burn kinds of failure!

While the reasons for failure are numerous, the common denominator for me is often traced back to a deficiency of an entrepreneurial mindset.

The entrepreneurial mindset allows you to turn off, or at least turn way down, the screaming sounds of fear while you relentlessly pursue your goals.

The Big 3 Desires

It is human nature to desire safety, security and stability… these needs are magnified exponentially when you have other people counting on you to provide these same desires for them (e.g. wife, children, parent, etc.)

Whenever any one, or two, or three of these three desires are unmet, the human spirit goes into one of two modes: fight or flight.

In flight mode, it is impossible to turn the screaming sounds of fear off. All you want is for your fears to go away… in the words of Happy Gilmore, you want to “find a happy place.” You’ll run hard and fast until you find a return of the safety, security and stability your human nature craves.

With that said, I would like to bring in a recent comment from a new reader. As you read each word, I want you to feel his fear surging like crashing ocean waves. Imagine the depths of his desperation as he contemplates returning to his previously less rewarded life, but one of safety, security and stability.

I’m a new salesman in Alabama. I’ve been knocking doors and measuring the roofs for two weeks and not one sale.

Capital is getting low and my wife is starting to stress out. I’ve got people who take my estimates and say they have a few more to collect from other roofers.

I’m working under a profit split. I get 35 percent after 5 percent overhead and all other costs.

I need help. I just can’t seem to get them to sign the contract.

Should I give up or give it some more time?

I am used to making around $12k or $13k a year. So, of course I want to make the $30k to $60k everyone keeps talking about.

I just need some advice.

If you’re like I am, you really feel for this guy. He’s used to making a steady $12k or $13k a year… wishing he could double or triple his money. He wants a better life. His wife is on the verge and he’s almost out of money.

Do you feel what he’s going through?

I want to give this guy a standing ovation.

I want to pat him on the back and congratulate him for believing he can break out of poverty. He dreamed the dream, stepped out and took action. That right there is more than most people will ever dare to do…

They’ll live timid in their comfortable surroundings wishing they had the courage to do what this young man has done. Win, lose, fail or succeed he has taken the first step, the hardest step. For that he is to be greatly commended.

Obviously, he doesn’t have a problem working. He’s been out trying to sell roofs the old-fashioned way… measuring and giving estimates.

Hey, most of the folks out there selling today couldn’t measure a roof if their life depended on it…

Unfortunately for our friend, being able to measure a roof isn’t a prerequisite for roofing sales success.

Recipe For Failure

However, it is a classic recipe for hours of long, sweaty unpaid work because it lacks the secret ingredient of technical sales skill… the one… the only missing ingredient necessary for him to reach his goal of $30k.

Some of you laugh at the thought of making such a paltry sum. Why, you make and spend $30k in just a few short months after a hail storm. He longs to make that amount in a year… a good, long year full of honest, hard work.

If he lived in Texas, I would probably hire him on the spot.

For, you see, he has the seeds of greatness already in him. Can you see it too? I see a man just a half step away from making his dreams come true.

When faced with the option to fight or flight, he chose to fight.

It is right there in the first sentence of his comment… “I’ve been knocking doors and measuring the roofs for two weeks…”

Most of the guys that give up on roofing sales never make it past ordering their business cards. They give up before they knock a single door. They almost never get up on even one roof… much less, measure it.

Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades

He doesn’t have what it takes to close a deal… yet!, but he’s not afraid to knock on doors, “sell” them a free estimate or measure their roof.

It takes sales skill to get that far into the process… he’s right there on the verge of success. He’s been there for two weeks now. Close. Very close.

What Should He Do?

I know what I would tell him to do, but I would really like to know what you suggest he should do first. If you would like to help him, leave your suggestion in the comments section below.

I’ll join in the conversation after you’ve thrown in your ideas.


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


  • Armando Jacox Jr

    Reply Reply March 30, 2012

    I would insist on finding a top seller and shadow him for a couple weeks. I would read every article in this site and I would get a the book “mastering the art of sales,” by Tom Hopkins and study it with a sense of urgency. I would get a part time job so I don’t starve and keep a positive attitude. I would focus my mind on getting a check for at least three thousand ASAP and imagine many more checks like that and bigger in the near future and I would get obsessed with getting those checks. Welcome to roofing sales.

  • Eric

    Reply Reply March 23, 2012

    I think he should ask management for first a draw so he can provide for his family. Then he needs to ask if they offer any type of training, if not he’s with the wrong company.

  • Tony

    Reply Reply March 22, 2012

    Some really great responses here. It’s fun to read them all and use a different method here and a different method there to get even better at what I do. But I agree… the very main and most important thing is to study and gain knowledge on how to be more effective. Then have a great attitude at the door. So I will add to all the above by saying that I have said very little and have gotten more contracts signed just because I was genuinely interested in the person and smiled sincerely as I communicated with them. Dale Carnagie was right. When they like you, they will invite you in their homes.

  • Brian

    Reply Reply March 18, 2012

    First, this salesman needs to purchase “Go for No,” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. This book shows how success comes from failure. The ability, willingness, wantingness, and the bigger and faster a person fails, the greater the success. This book taught me that when I get a “No” I am just that much closer to that yes…Failure is the moment, NOT the person.
    Then, go on youtube and watch “suckers pt2.” The salesman’s job starts when the customer says NO…Although this vid is funny, as a salesman, there is a bunch of truths. Hell, I told one man one day that I didn’t have to ask my wife to sell the roof to him. Ether; get them excited about using you, don’t start feature dumping. Like my owner says; it’s not about the competition, it’s about you. You can tell them all day long about how they don’t need 3 estimates and your better than the competition. If they are not excited and want to use you as their contractor, they never will. Lastly, when you ask (assume the sale) imediately after asking, SHUT UP!!!! Let them talk!!!! Like the vid says, if they say no, ASK WHY!!!
    Set the appointment, GET to the kitchen table, and SIGN them up. If you get to the kitchen table and don’t sign them up, then you have failed. I don’t force people to sign up, I get them excited to sign up, I rarely have to ask, I just start filling out the paperwork…Yes, filling out the paperwork. When I sit down I will pull out the agreement/contract and put it on the table. They know why you are there, why not let them know what your intentions are…
    Lastly, as a salesman, you should be continually reading/listening/watching any material that will help build your craft. We all think the top salespeople have a natural ability, but most actually have learned how to be the best and are continually improving on it.

  • Jason Laymance

    Reply Reply March 18, 2012

    Hey Mike hope this helps.

    The problem is he giving estimates, if the jobs in question are insurance jobs price is a non issue. Most homeowners don’t understand how the insurance process works. They get a stack of paperwork that they don’t understand and a check for a amount that they feel is not enough money. 9 times out of 10 they are right!!!! Most homeowners think that is is there responsibility to find a quailty contractor that will do the work for the amount of the check they have. When I walk into someone asking me for a estimate and they tell me I am their 2nd or 3rd estimate, the first question I ask is why haven’t the other contractors meet their needs? Then explain how a insurance claim works and explain how depreciation works. Also explain that if they do find a Pete and a pickup roofing company to do the work for less then their insurance carrier paid they are only saving there insurance company money. Insurance companies pay fair market price for a reason (supplement sometimes required ) lol. If I walk in and customer asks for a estimate and I am the first, I create a xactimate estimate prepared for all storm damaged items inc all BSC and O& P if required. Show the homeowners what their insurance company owes for their loss. Sell your service not a price our job is to sell the customer on our service!!!!!

    If a customer keeps asking for a estimate the correct answer is your policy deductible and your insurance company pays the rest.

  • Brian

    Reply Reply March 18, 2012

    Somebody needs to teach him to set the appointment and get his customers to the kitchen table and show him how to “sign them up.” They allow you into their home and you don’t close the sale, it’s ALL your fault. He’s so close to making $30k in the next COUPLE of months he doesn’t even know it.

    Here’s another good vid to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4foUAaOrt38

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field