Getting Started Selling Roofs

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 10/21/23 •  13 min read

Roofing Sales 101

Knocking doors is the fastest way to get started making money in this business.

Find a neighborhood where the people are receptive to you. Whatever you do, don’t skip around endlessly from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Don’t get sucked into the trap of always looking for a better place to work…driving around like your car door is welded shut.

Find your spot, get out of the car, and go to work.

Below is a good, solid, basic strategy for knocking doors when you first start selling roofs. If you want to discover a more advanced roofing sales technique, ask your company owner to invest in private training on the Sales Domination System.

Quick Summary

  1. Starting Point: The fastest way to start making money in roofing sales is by knocking on doors, particularly in neighborhoods receptive to sales pitches. It discourages hopping from one area to another without giving each sufficient time.
  2. Organization and Documentation: Salespeople are advised to carry a notepad or use an app to record every interaction, including the house number, street, outcome of the conversation, and any personal details that could assist in future follow-ups.
  3. Professional Approach: The article emphasizes the importance of a professional demeanor at the door, suggesting standing 4-5 feet away to avoid invading personal space and holding a brochure at waist height to allow prospects to assess both the salesperson and the information being presented.
  4. Effective Communication: Crafting an effective opening line is crucial. The suggested script involves introducing oneself, mentioning the roofing company, and using social proof by stating that neighbors are getting new roofs, followed by a non-intrusive question about the prospect’s roof.
  5. Handling Responses: The salesperson must be adept at interpreting the prospect’s initial response, knowing when to proceed with a trial close or when to politely move on to the next opportunity based on the prospect’s interest or lack thereof.
  6. The Importance of Social Proof: The strategy heavily relies on social proof, emphasizing that neighbors are getting new roofs, tapping into the natural human tendency to conform to or be curious about the actions of others.
  7. Trial Closing: If a prospect shows interest, the salesperson moves to a trial close, reassuring the homeowner that the process is simple, insurance-covered, and hassle-free. The close includes a question that makes the prospect visualize the positive outcome.
  8. Establishing Trust and Simplicity: The approach aims to build trust quickly, showing prospects that they are understood, their needs are considered, and the process will be straightforward and taken care of by the salesperson.
  9. Contract and Follow-Up Details: After a successful pitch, the salesperson is guided to secure a firm agreement, fill out a contract with clear terms, and instruct the homeowner on the next steps, ensuring they understand their responsibilities, such as contacting their insurance.
  10. Post-Sale Actions: The final steps include leaving a company sign in the client’s yard, asking for referrals within their family or community, and encouraging feedback or communication post-sale to build a lasting professional relationship.

How To Sell a Roof

Write Everything Down

Once you find your neighborhood, you’ll want to carry around a notepad. Write down every street and every house number that you visit. Write down exactly what happened at that house.

Did you have a conversation? What did they say? Did you get their name? Did they have kids, a dog, a fast car? Write down notes to help you remember that person.

Maybe they’ve already contacted their insurance company. That’s good info and you’ll want to write it down, too. Maybe they told you to leave them alone and never come back…make sure you write that down! 🙂

There’s nothing worse than going back to the same guy’s house 5 times and having him slam the door on you. Don’t do it, especially when they are frustrated with you. Write things down.

Whatever was said at the door, make a note. If you just left a brochure, because nobody answered the door, make a note. That way you can come back and say, “I was by your home on Thursday at 3:30. You weren’t home, but I left my brochure that looks just like this (hold up your brochure).”

Giving people exact, specific data helps establish your credibility.

Your Approach At The Door

Knocking doors is the fastest way to start making money in roofing sales.After you knock on the door, or ring the doorbell, stand at least 4-5 feet back from the door so when your prospect opens the door they won’t feel like you’re invading their personal space.

Staying back 4-5 feet allows your prospect to feel as comfortable as possible with a stranger at their door.

Additionally, you want to stand to their right when they open the door. Studies have shown that people feel much more comfortable looking to their right than they do looking to their left. Looking left makes them feel uneasy. Looking or facing right is always more comfortable.

Hold your brochure about waist high with the headline clearly visible. While this is very subtle, people will want to size you up quickly. They can’t help but look at your brochure’s headline if your finger is pointing right at it.

Sometimes the prospect will open the door and ask you a question first. For example, “How are you doing today?” or “What can I do for you?”

If the prospect asks you how you’re doing, simply answer them with small talk and then ask them how they’re doing, too. “I’m doing good. How is your day going?” After they’ve responded, you can start your opening line.

Other times, they’ll just open the door and stare at you and look down at your finger pointing to the brochure. Either way, this is when the magic begins. You’ll only have about 4-5 seconds to make your initial impression. They’ll quickly decide whether or not they want to listen to you.

The Opening Line

“My name is _______ with [name of roofing company] in [name of city]. Your neighbors are getting a new roof. I just came by to see if anybody’s talked with you about your roof?”

Opening Line Break Down

Let’s break that line down because it is so important that you say it word for word exactly as it’s written.

“My name is ______ with [name of roofing company] in [name of city].”

Unless your prospect has seen your roofing sign in their best friend’s front yard, they’ve probably never heard of you before… at this point they don’t care.

The good news is that they haven’t heard of your competition either. Stating your name and the company you work for is just good business etiquette. It tells your prospect you are a professional.

“Your neighbors are getting a new roof.”

This is where social proof starts to kick in.

They remember the hail storm or have talked to friends and family who told them about it. Almost everybody in town was most likely impacted by the hail storm. That’s why “your neighbors are getting a new roof.”

They’ve also seen the roofing signs going up in the neighborhood.

While nobody wants to believe that they’ll have to replace their roof, they’re starting to get the feeling that it is inevitable and you want to draw on those impressions.

Finally, you’ve heard the saying about keeping up with the Jones’?

You can’t help but notice when your neighbor gets a brand new car or paints their house or puts in new landscaping.

I can guarantee you that the guys’ wife you’re talking to probably didn’t miss the new roof going up down the street. If my neighbor is getting something new, I wouldn’t want to be left out, would you?

“I just came by to see if anybody’s talked with you about your roof?

This last line of your opening is non-threatening. You aren’t asking them to sign a contract, you aren’t asking for their first born child. You just want to find out if they’re open to talking with you about their roof.

Once you’ve finished asking this question. Stand there completely silent with a slightly upturned smile and nod your head “yes” gently.

Wait until they answer you. Don’t dare speak a word until they speak first.

What they say next will tell you everything you need to know…

Their 1st Response

Again, whatever your prospect says next will tell you everything you need to know in order to move forward or move on.

There’s only 2 possible directions you can go based on their response.

Either you move forward with your first trial close or you say “thank you” and move on to the next door.

What are some of the things your prospect’s might say? I’m glad you asked.

3 Rules of Door Knocking

Rule #1: Never fight with a fool!

Rule #2: Never fight with a fool!

Rule #3: Never fight with a fool!

If they don’t think they have any damage (even though you just talked with 5 people who are getting a check from their insurance company, their neighbor has roofing material sitting in their driveway and their wind turbine is smashed), don’t fight with them about whether or not they have hail damage.

You have to know the difference between when somebody is telling you they don’t have any damage and when they’re asking you whether or not they have damage or possibly not sure whether or not they have any damage.

If they leave the door open, you can move forward with your trial close.

Otherwise, brush it off and move on to the next door.

Next Door

Before you move on to the next door, make sure you leave with a good impression. If you’ve caught them at a bad time, they may just be wanting to get rid of you.

You don’t want to leave them thinking you’re a jerk or worse calling the police because they think you’re in the neighborhood “harassing” people.

Make a note in your notepad about the conversation and move on to the next door. If you’re working that neighborhood the right way, I can guarantee you that somebody that fits in this category will eventually call you when the time is better for them. They’ll call you from a sign or you’ll do their neighbor’s roof.

Trial Close

If your prospect has left the door open for you to continue your conversation, it is now time for your 1st trial close.

A lot of contracts are closed right here on the spot. It doesn’t have to take a long time to get a deal. You just have to say the right words at the right time.

If they’ve left the door open for you to continue the conversation, right now is the right time to say these right words. Here they are…

“We’re replacing your neighbor’s roof and their insurance company is paying for it. Would you like a new roof too? We’ll take care of everything. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

Trial Close Break Down

“We’re replacing your neighbor’s roofs…”

Obviously, if you look at this line, you’ll see the syntax feels wrong because you’re switching mid-phrase from talking about their neighbor’s roof to talking about their roof.

This again has to do with the rule of social proof.

We want to remind them again that their neighbor’s are getting a new roof (we hope it is from us, but it will be from somebody) and that they should get one too.

“…and their insurance company is paying for it.”

This is where the transition from their neighbor to them happens.

You want to plant the seed that their insurance company will need to be involved, but it isn’t a big deal. There’s no fighting, no hassling, no pressure. It isn’t a hard process, we’re going to take care of you.

“We take care of everything.”

One of the next things that runs through your prospect’s mind is whether or not this is going to be a hassle.

It can be really confusing to go through everything required to get a new roof. You don’t want them thinking about it at this point.

Besides, you’ll help them with everything. That’s your job.

You want to reassure them that everything is going to be okay and that you’ll help them “take care of everything.”

“Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

That’s your closing line. It’s your 1st trial close.

After you’ve asked the question, you once again stand there silent with a slight smile and gently nod your head “yes”.

Of course, it sounds good.

If you’ve used your opening line and trial close word-for-word, here’s what you’ve already established:

#1 They trust you.

#2 They like you.

#3 They want what their neighbor’s are getting.

#4 They want it because it is simple.

#5 They want it because it sounds good to them.

What Happens When They Say “YES!”

After they say “Yes!”, stick out your hand and shake their hand. Give them a nice, firm handshake and say, “We’ll take good care of you.”

Fill Out The Contract

Write down in the dollar amount area “As per RCV insurance with NO additional out of pocket”.

* If you are working in an area that requires a written dollar amount, you’ll need to use a dollar amount on your contract.

Obviously, they are responsible to pay their own deductible. You’ll never charge more than what the insurance company allows unless they want additional work (e.g. eave repair, gutters, ventilation, etc.)

It is important to use RCV on the contract in the event that they have an ACV policy. You don’t have to explain the difference between RCV and ACV, but make sure you write RCV down on the contract.

RCV = Replacement Cost Value (Eligible for depreciation reimbursement)
ACV = Actual Cash Value (Not eligible for depreciation reimbursement)

AFTER you get their signature, tell them to call their insurance agent in the morning. Tell them that their insurance adjuster will call them back within 24-48 hours. Ask if they’ll call you as soon as they hear from their insurance adjuster.

BEFORE you leave, make sure they repeat back to you what they’re going to do about calling their insurance agent and having them call you as soon as they hear from their insurance adjuster.

REMIND them that you’ll help them take care of all the details.

LEAVE a sign in their yard.

ASK them if they’ll call their family for you so you can help them, too.

If you’ve enjoyed this basic outline for getting started selling roofs, contact me and let me know. I would love to hear from you.


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.