Many roofing contractors aren’t entirely comfortable showing premium shingle options to homeowners because they don’t want to lose the sale by showing a higher-priced product. Some homeowners are very cost-conscious, and contractors know upselling to them is a fine line that they’re hesitant to cross. However, presenting more than one shingle option can actually help close sales. It all comes down to providing homeowners with options and benefits, but presenting them without being pushy or using the hard-sell tactic. This article highlights some of the techniques that successful contractors use when presenting shingle options to a homeowner. 

In a 2014 survey commissioned by GAF of roofing contractors in the United States, 95 percent of high-volume contractor respondents stated that they present more than one shingle when meeting with homeowners, and eight out of 10 present three or more shingle choices. High-volume roofing contractors are defined as those who indicated they install 40 or more roofs per year. About half of the high-volume contractor respondents said they closed more sales when they presented homeowners with more than one shingle choice. If you’re not sure how to show homeowners different shingle types, here are some tips to try out.

1. Be Prepared

Bring in two shingle sample boards when you present to a homeowner — both a traditional shingle sample board and a designer shingle sample board. Set the designer shingle sample board aside — perhaps by the door — or just somewhere away from the conversation. Talk first about the traditional shingle, and more often than not, the homeowner will inquire about the other sample board. This is an easy way to introduce a designer shingle option without being pushy about upselling to the more expensive product. As an example, GAF offers a new, all-encompassing sample board called the EasyPro Selling System that makes it easy to show multiple styles and colors of shingles, along with home and shingle-swatch images — all in one board.

2. Get the Picture

Show homeowners photos of your completed work. It’s even better if you have testimonials and references from previous clients to showcase.

3. Crystalize the Options

Break your proposal down to reflect pricing and payment options for good, better, and best shingle choices for homeowners. Note that the differences are primarily a matter of taste and design. Then arm your prospective customers with information on various shingle styles, colors, and features to get them involved in the process.

That’s the exciting part for homeowners, and it allows you to gain insight into the shingle styles that may appeal to them. Manufacturers, such as GAF, have style guides on their websites in addition to mobile roofing apps to help a homeowner visualize the good, better, and best options either on their own home or on a home similar to theirs. Having homeowners use a tool to see the different shingle colors and style options on their roof helps reduce the uncertainty of “I don’t know how this shingle will look on my house,” making it easier to close the sale.

4. Push Affordability

Highlight available financing options. Roofing is an investment, so to demonstrate the affordability of designer shingles, it’s important to inform customers of ways to help finance their options. Homeowners likely don’t know they can finance a roof, and may put off a much-needed replacement if they can’t afford it outright. Let them know it can fit into their budget even if they choose a higher-end shingle. Show the monthly payment differences of each shingle choice so a homeowner understands the options.

5. Bank on the Benefits

If a homeowner seems concerned about spending the additional money on a more expensive shingle, explain the benefits that a designer shingle can provide. According to a 2013 survey conducted in the U.S. by the National Association of REALTORS®, a new designer roof can increase the value of a home by a median of 7 percent.

The survey was commissioned by GAF of REALTOR® Appraisers and Non-Appraisers in the U.S. It compiled responses by REALTOR® Non-Appraisers who provided an estimated value increase for a home with a designer shingle roof compared to a home with a basic three-tab shingle roof.

The research is particularly important if the homeowner is interested in increasing the curb appeal, market value, or overall impression of their home.

6. Avoid Assumptions

Most importantly, never try to “peg” your customers into a certain category or assume they can’t afford a better or best option. You never know a customer’s financial situation, nor should you make assumptions. A roof is a long-term purchase homeowners should be happy with. Your job as a roofing contractor is to provide them with all the facts and options to help them make an educated decision. Homeowners will appreciate these less-pushy tactics, and this could help you become a valued partner whom they will want to recommend to their neighbors.