I Can’t Get Them To Sign The Contract

Sean & Mandy Lunsford at 777 Roofing & Construction

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.

Quick Summary

  1. High Failure Rate: The author begins by highlighting that 9 out of 10 new roofing salespeople fail, often due to a lack of entrepreneurial spirit and an inability to handle the inherent uncertainties of the sales profession.
  2. Entrepreneurial Mindset: Success in roofing sales requires an entrepreneurial mindset, which involves suppressing fear and relentlessly pursuing goals despite setbacks and challenges.
  3. Human Desire for Security: People naturally crave safety, security, and stability. When these are jeopardized, individuals typically enter a “fight or flight” mode. The ability to fight through fears, especially in uncertain sales scenarios, is crucial for success.
  4. Real-life Struggles of a Salesperson: The author shares a message from a struggling salesperson who, despite effort and dedication, hasn’t made a sale in weeks. This scenario underscores the financial strain and emotional stress common in the initial stages of a sales career.
  5. Empathy for the Struggling Salesperson: The author commends the struggling salesperson for his courage to step out of his comfort zone and attempt to improve his life. Despite the hardships, the salesperson continues to strive for success, which is seen as commendable.
  6. Work Ethic Isn’t Enough: The struggling salesperson’s willingness to work hard, demonstrated by door-knocking and roof measuring, isn’t translating into sales. The author suggests that while the effort is commendable, it’s not sufficient without effective sales strategies and skills.
  7. The Importance of Sales Skills: The narrative emphasizes that technical skills, like roof measuring, don’t equate to sales success. Instead, mastering the art of closing deals is crucial. The struggling salesperson is close to success but lacks the skills to seal the deal.
  8. Potential for Greatness: Despite his current failures, the salesperson is viewed as having the seeds of greatness. His perseverance and willingness to fight rather than flee highlight his potential. He is just a step away from achieving his goals.
  9. Community and Support: The author encourages readers to contribute advice to help the struggling salesperson. This collaborative approach underscores the importance of community support and shared wisdom in overcoming professional hurdles.
  10. Invitation to Engage: The piece concludes with an invitation for readers to subscribe to a newsletter for further tips. It also reinforces the idea of a community coming together to offer guidance and support to those grappling with the challenges of the roofing sales industry.

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.