Questions about Roofing Supplements and Longevity

Shawn Deitemeyer

Roofing Supplements

I had two excellent questions today…

The first question is from Brock Darr, Owner at 214 Roofing serving the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

Brock is an experienced salesperson and one of the good guys in the residential roofing business. I appreciate his integrity and his desire to always be learning.

Brock’s Question:

Should we bother educating clients or potential clients with supplement knowledge and keep doing things correct or just accept they have short cutting insurance companies and replace items only paid for? Seems we get our throats slashed by the low balling companies way too often. Should we opt for quantity too? – Brock

Quick Summary

  1. Dilemma of Quality vs. Quantity: Roofing professionals, like Brock, face a dilemma whether to educate clients about insurance supplements and maintain high-quality service or to succumb to the pressure of competing with companies that undercut prices by offering lower quality.
  2. Value of Time Over Money: The article emphasizes that time is a non-renewable resource, more valuable than money. Roofing professionals must consider how they invest their time, especially when dealing with insurance supplements and negotiations.
  3. Focus on Profit Margins: The discussion points out that maintaining quality is not just about materials and labor but also about ensuring adequate profit margins. The strategy of supplementing is seen as an effort to protect these margins.
  4. Perception of Worth: The concept of ‘worth’ is explored, suggesting that something’s value is determined by what someone is willing to pay. This principle applies to both the services offered and the roofing professional’s time.
  5. Competition and Pricing: The article discusses the challenge of losing business to competitors who price their services lower, reflecting on the perception of value and the importance of the presentation in convincing prospects of the worth of a service.
  6. Strategic Pricing and Sustainability: The author advises maintaining prices that reflect the quality and sustainability of the business, suggesting that competitors who undercut their prices may eventually price themselves out of business.
  7. Longevity in Roofing Sales: The second question addresses the sustainability of a career in roofing sales. Longevity is linked to consistently being in the right place at the right time, particularly following hail storms and hurricanes that create urgent demand.
  8. Risk of Becoming a Commodity: Without the urgency driven by storms, roofing services risk becoming a low-cost commodity in a saturated market. The skill of selling becomes crucial in this scenario, more so than the actual roofing work.
  9. Travel and Market Dynamics: The article highlights that pursuing storm-driven opportunities often requires travel, which can be challenging for roofing professionals with families. However, working in consistent storm-damage areas can mean fierce competition and lower margins.
  10. Versatility and Skill Development: Finally, the piece touches on the versatility of skills gained in roofing sales, which are transferable to other sectors. Despite the challenges and potential need for supplementary income during tough times, the author reflects positively on the rewards of a career in roofing sales.

Choose Money or Time

Unfortunately, you’re often put in this position – when you have to choose between your time or your money.

Time is more valuable than money. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.

By the way, that’s just as true for you as it is for the people you deal with each day. They have the same restraints. Remember that.

Roofing Profit Margins

Since I know you’re not the type to cut your quality, what you’re really asking is whether or not supplementing is worth the extra effort to protect your margins.

So, let’s leave quality out of this discussion because you’re talking about profit and how to maximize your profit.

What Are You Worth

We always ask ourselves, “what is something worth?” Of course, the answer to that question is, “whatever somebody is willing to pay.”

If you’re willing to “sell” your time to get supplements approved, then you should keep doing that. Eventually, you’ll reach the law of diminishing returns where the amount of time it takes you to lock-in the next dollar of profit is not worth your investment of time.

Only you can decide when the law of diminishing returns kicks in and you are no longer for sale. You tell people what you are worth by the price you’re willing to accept.

The Competition’s Price

Remember, people are only willing to pay what they believe something is worth. You believe you’re worth full price. Your competition believes they’re worth less. We know that because they’re selling for less.

When you lose business to a low-balling company, it’s because your prospect believes your competition is worth the price they’re asking and you’re not.

Unfortunately, that’s not an unusual situation.

For instance, my Grandpa would drive several miles, past a bunch of gas stations, to save .02 cents a gallon on his next fill-up.

He probably spent more on gas driving across town than what he saved, but that was his perception. That’s what he believed and you weren’t going to convince him otherwise.

He believed the price they were asking on the other side of town was worth the time (and gas) it took him to get there.

Price is always important…

…the price of your service, the price of your time, the price of your prospect’s time, the price of your material and labor, etc.

Remember, your prospect decides what you’re worth based on the value you create in your presentation and the value they get from their relationship with you.

You decide at what price you’re willing to sell your time.

My opinion, sell your time to prospects who are willing to pay for a quality product at margin high enough to keep you in business for the long-haul.

Let your competition price themselves out of business.

Profits are like oxygen – you need them both to stay alive.

The Second Question

Our next question comes from roofing sales pro Derek Edwards who asked…

Longevity of the business? I’d like to hear your thoughts. – Derek

Longevity Answered

Your longevity in this business is directly related to how consistently you can find yourself in the right opportunity.

Hail storms and hurricanes are the events that drive roofing sales because they create a sense of urgency.

Without a storm-driven event, you’ll wait around for roofs to leak or fail inspection… the sense of urgency has been watered down and you lose virtually all of the social proof that comes from working a storm damaged neighborhood.

Are You a Commodity

This is precisely what turns you into a low-cost commodity.

You’re just another guy waiting for the phone to ring so you can bid another job against everybody else in the phone book who is sitting around waiting for their phone to ring too.

Without a storm to drive urgency and social proof, you’re nothing but a commodity in a market flooded with people who can roof, but can’t sell.

[Tweet “Roofing commodities happen when there’s a flood of roofers who can roof, but can’t sell.”]

The physical act of roofing a house pays less than selling a roof. That’s because nothing happens until somebody sells something.

You Need a Storm

If you are always in the middle of the next storm, you’re longevity in this business could be as long as you want it to be.

Unfortunately, to constantly be in the right opportunity at the right time, you’ll have to travel. That’s not so hard when you’re young, but after you’re married and have kids, leaving home for extended periods of time is rough.

If you live in an area where there’s consistent storm damage (e.g. Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, etc.), there’s a better chance you can stay closer to home, but your competition will be fierce and the margins are lower than the guys willing to travel and work up North or along the coasts after a hurricane.

Some Years Are Tough

Since starting in roofing back in 1995, I’ve had many years where I had to work another job to pay my bills. I did some traveling – worked a hurricane in Florida. I’m not willing to do that now. I’m getting old.

When things get slow for me here in Dallas, I have to rely on my marketing skills to make money.

Sharpen Your Skills

That’s the great thing about roofing sales, it will sharpen your sales ability. You’ll learn how to market yourself effectively and think creatively about how you can make money.

With the techniques you learn selling roofs, you can sell foundation repair, swimming pools, home improvement, siding, windows… the list is endless.

However, I’ve never personally found anything to be as fun, rewarding, or enjoyable as roofing sales.

I’m sure it is out there… I just don’t know what it would be.