As a sales consultant, coach, trainer and leader in the roofing industry, I feel obligated to share my thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic that’s rapidly unfolding. My hope is that our industry will come together to take the necessary actions to navigate what is certainly uncharted territory. There’s a clear medical effect that we are seeing impact our communities and small businesses, but what will impact our lives and businesses even more is the economic ripple effect.

Who knows how long this will last? We don’t know the answers, and there remain too many unknowns. However, we have seen economic depressions before, and we can take the right actions.

Best Roofing President Gregg Wallick, RC’s 2018 Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year and my business mentor, told me once that the economy is cyclical. We struggled in 2008-09 and changed our business radically to avoid suffering the next time there is one, and there will be another. I believe that the coronavirus pandemic will force this next depression into reality, and we need to be ready and make sure we survive it.

Gregg began moving out of the bid-world and focused on building a service and sales organization, which is much more of a recession-proof business model than new construction. He started sales training in 2008 and hasn’t stopped. He’s seen this movie before. I learned why and how he did this, which birthed my desire to start Sales Transformation Group — so the construction industry can have the skills, the focus and strategies to survive and thrive. I’m writing to help and encourage you to stay positive. Don’t be afraid, we will make it!

Here’s what you can do:

  • The coronavirus will impact your customers’ confidence of having your team members step on their property, so record your “COVID-19 Hands-free Process” from “contact to close-out.” People will always need to fix leaks.
  • Record this “process” in a scrappy way — put in on your website, post on social and email broadcast. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
  • Send an email to your staff and stakeholders. People need your leadership right now.
  • Allow your staff to work remotely. Require an end-of-day scorecard and seven-minute morning huddle via Zoom.
  • Take precautions medically. Social distancing, gloves, protection, etc. I’m no expert here so please find a reliable resource.
  • Keep marketing and keep selling!

What’s the best way to sell now?

  • Set up 15-minute discovery calls, 30-minute project consults via Zoom meeting (have prospects download the app.) Zoom is free up to 40 minutes.
  • Stick with the sales process! Don’t skip the steps because you’re anxious. This will allow you to differentiate.
  • Use technology to perform a digital, virtual, hands-free inspection, take-off and estimate.
  • Present via Zoom by appointment. Don’t email your quotes and don’t be a human panic button.

Who should you sell to?

  • I’ve said this time and again because of Gregg Wallick: non-insurance and non-new construction work keeps you surviving through economic storms.
  • Relationships with owners and managers of old commercial and residential buildings will help you survive.
  • New builds will dry up. Focus on creating a great customer experience with repairs, restoration, replacement and retrofitting projects.

How do you find them?

  • Scrub your outstanding pipeline. TODAY.
  • Communicate and protect your existing clients. People will be trying to get them now. Trust me, the competition will be scrambling. Ask for introductions, “who do you know?”
  • Certain buildings are vacant, leverage this time to complete jobs (restaurants, schools, sports facilities).
  • Reonomy is a database you can subscribe to in order to help locate contact information of building owners.
  • Prospect – LinkedIn. Facebook Groups. Next-Door App. Advertise in your local market.

What should your message be?

  • Use “Vidyard,” “Loom” or “Icecream” to capture short screen recordings. You can Google Earth a video of the building.
  • Send Linkedin Messages of the recordings with an identified problem and demonstration of the problem. Video messages of your face are also different than the rest.
  • Share that you have a “hands-free process to remedy the problem from contact to close-out.”

In closing:

  • Don’t be afraid. This is an opportunity.
  • Stick with servicing old, existing buildings.
  • Share your mapped out “Virtual, digital, COVID-19 Safe, Contact-Free Process”
  • Communicate. Market. Sell. Sell. Sell. Require all sales staff to prospect digitally in one- to two-hour blocks in the conference room or remotely.
  • Get ready to endure a medical and economic storm, have courage.
  • Stick with training and coaching. We are here for you; this is a time to get better and pivot.