I Can’t Get Them To Sign The Contract

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 03/29/21 •  5 min read

Most Salespeople Fail

If 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, including having a terrible sales pitch, the one main common denominator 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 anywhere near one of my private clients, we would get him hired 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.

How Should He Change His Sales Pitch?

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, send me your suggestions and I’ll respond.

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


P.S. Now is the time to subscribe to the 101 Roofing Sales Tips free newsletter.

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.