Do you make this FATAL mistake when selling?

Joe Friday from Dragnet
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Joe Friday from Dragnet

Joe Friday, “Just the facts, ma’am!”

If you’re like I am, you’re too young to remember the old police show Dragnet, but I’ll bet you’ve heard it’s most famous catchphrase, “Just the facts, ma’am”.

The lead cop in the show, Joe Friday, doesn’t have time for long, winding stories from his witnesses. He needs to gather the facts and get down down the road as fast as possible.

The Roles are Reversed

Imagine for a minute that Joe Friday is your prospect and you’re the witness telling the story. The roles are reversed here because you want to tell your story and your new prospect, the guy who opened the door, just wants the facts.

At this point, your prospect doesn’t care about you, your company, your story or your bills… btw: he’ll never care about your bills. He wants some very specific facts so he can get back to the sofa asap.

What facts does your prospect want to know?

#1 Who are you?

#2 What do you want?

#3 Why should I care?

#4 How much longer do I have to listen to you?

#5 When are you going to go away?

You better say something good by the time they figure out #3 because your time is almost up. When they hit #4, you might have 1 more chance to catch their attention. If you’re still talking when they get to #5, you’re wasting your time… and wasting their time too.

Facts Kill. Emotion Sells.

Zig Ziglar is famous for saying that sales is the transference of emotion… “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

Are you making the fatal mistake of telling just the facts? Are you wandering from door-to-door, spitting out lifeless facts like a zombie waiting to be killed again?

Facts are cold and lifeless… tiny bits of frigid information. They’ll die a thousand deaths longing for the warmth of your emotion to bring them back to life.

We Need More Cowbell

Remember Will Farrell on that SNL skit? Stick the emotion back into your sales presentation. Make things interesting again. Have fun with your job. There’s several ways to turn up the emotion if you’ll think about it.

Approach the front door with enthusiasm. Put a smile on your face. Make them believe you’re there to give them good news. Nobody wants to listen to bad news… “I’m here for your money!”, but they’ll pay for good news.

Actively listen while they’re talking. Shut up and listen because you might just learn something that will help you sell them a new roof. Nod your head, focus your eyes on their eyes and lean in slightly to show you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Dress For Success

Sharpen up the way you dress. Look like you’re important and you have important things to say. The rule is to always dress one step above the prospects you’re going to see.

99.9% of your prospects work for people who dress nicer than they do… they listen when their boss speaks, do what they want them to do and value their opinion.

Wouldn’t you like to have that advantage too?

As always, I encourage you to contact me with your questions about selling roofs for a living.


P.S. You can leave your comments below or use the contact page to send in your feedback.

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.

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  • Paul M. Duncan

    Reply Reply August 9, 2016

    Great info Mike,

    There are a ton of clues as you walk up to a house that tell you what they’re interested in, boat, old cars, college football banners, high school drill team signs…use that stuff. It helps!

    • Mike Coday

      Reply Reply August 9, 2016

      Thx Paul, always pays to know a little about all these things…especially college football!

  • caleb

    Reply Reply September 22, 2015

    Hey, I have been in roofing sales for 5 years now. I have been quite successful but I would like more details about the specifics of dress and attire in your area. It seems like here in Tennessee most salesman just wear khaki pants or jeans and a quality athletic Polo shirt.

    • Mike Coday

      Reply Reply September 25, 2015


      That seams to be the standard uniform of a roofing salesperson.

      My opinion has always been, “when everybody else is zigging, you zag.”


  • M Rinta

    Reply Reply December 31, 2010

    Great article! It is so easy to just spout off your pitch day after day and forget about the emotional side of buying. Thanks for the remind!

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