Exclusive Consumer Research Shines a Light on Roofing Contractors
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Build a Solid Sales Presentation
When it comes to selling, I would ask you to consider the following:
- The overwhelming majority of your prospects have never been involved in a roofing project — and if they have, they probably weren’t happy or they would have called the same contractor back to do the work.
- Most of these same people have no idea how to distinguish between a “good” roof project and a “bad” one. If they drove through their neighborhood it is highly unlikely that they could look up at the different roofs and tell which one was done right and which one wasn’t.
When you consider these points, is it any surprise that 94 percent of the homeowners’ surveyed by Roofing Contractor stressed the importance the contractor communicating their plans for doing a high-quality job?
It is my assertion that your prospective customers are not looking to make the “best” choice because they don’t know what the “best” choice looks like. They will, however, go to great lengths to eliminate the risk of their making a “bad” choice — which is why they may insist on meeting with several contractors before making any decisions. This may also be the reason they press so hard for a better price. In the absence of any measurable differences between the various contractors, homeowners may push for a lower price because they mitigate their risk by getting you to do the work for less.
It’s my strong recommendation that you develop a powerful sales presentation that leaves your prospect with the impression that they would be foolish if they choose anyone other than you. The framework of your presentation should be similar to that of the way we build a home. For example:
- The foundation of your presentation is trust. The homeowners’ lack of experience with roofing projects and their negative perceptions of contractors make it critically important that you invest the time necessary to establish rapport and earn their trust. The more they trust and like you, the greater your opportunity to earn the sale.
- The walls of your presentation are built with value. This is where you will highlight your experience, attention to detail, and the policies and procedures that makes you the “safest” choice. It should be your goal to construct your value proposition in a way that eliminates the competition. What can you say about your tear-off or clean-up process, for example, that feeds the perception of your delivering a significantly better experience than your competition? How does your lifetime workmanship warranty set a standard that makes it very difficult for your competitors who offer a five- or ten-year workmanship warranty?
- The roof of your presentation speaks to the project itself. I’m not suggesting you talk about the quality of the materials you use; I am instead suggesting you talk about how you intend to use those materials to ensure a successful project. It’s my recommendation that you use your iPad or Android tablet to take some pictures of the roof and use those pictures to show your prospect their home’s most vulnerable roof areas. Talk about the weather and highlight the important steps you will take to protect those areas from wind-driven rain and ice dams, for example.
This is also a good place to discuss the different options the homeowner might want to consider for their project. The survey tells us that 86 percent of the homeowners surveyed said it was very important that the contractor discuss the different product options and choices available to them.
Communicating the options not only helps to further position you as a professional, it also creates up-sell opportunities that will increase your sales and profits. As you describe your installation process, get the homeowner involved in product selections such as the underlayments they would prefer or if they would like you to install metal in the valley. Allowing them to make these decisions gives the homeowner a sense of pride and ownership that emotionally connects them to your project. This is also important because the homeowner’s product decisions gives you something to take away if they ask you to lower your price. Now you can change the project to fit their budget — as opposed to you lowering your profit.
One word of caution: please don’t create a presentation that is limited to the value of your shingle brand or the quality of those materials. All roofing professionals are pretty much using the same products, so it is important to differentiate yourself by talking about how you intend to use those products to ensure a successful outcome. You need to recognize that the more time you spend talking about your shingle brand, the less time you’re spending talking about you — and you need to make sure that you’re the No. 1 reason the homeowner chooses you for the project. If you convince the prospect that it’s all about the shingle, you open the door for them to see if they can find a different contractor to install that shingle for a lower price.
In the best interest of helping salespeople sell the differences, I’ve created a Roofing Contractor Comparison Checklist which encourages the homeowner to evaluate your strengths versus that of the other contractors they might meet with. Feel free to contact me if you would like to receive a copy.
John DeRosa Jr. is Manager, Sales and Contractor Development for IKO Sales, Inc. (www.iko.com). He can be reached at John.DeRosa@IKO.com.