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5 Game-Changing Lessons for New Roofing Salespeople

Hey, Adam, here at The Roof Strategist. Today, I’m going to talk about five game-changing lessons for new salespeople and seasoned pros.

I’m going to share some golden nuggets that will inspire you and help you make some more sales. So, before we jump in, one thing to get out of the way — upfront housekeeping. Grab a copy of my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library. It has every video I’ve ever done, organized by category, with tons of tips, tricks, and more.

Now, let’s jump in today to the five game-changing lessons for rookie salespeople.

These lessons have helped me make more money.

Game-Changing Roofing Sales Lesson #1: Ask for the Business

If you’re in sales, this may seem like Sales 101. And you’re dead right. But guess what?

I didn’t ask for business when I started. I used to just go through the contingency and say, “Hey, what do you think? Does this sound good?” And I never directly asked for the business.

It can be as simple as just saying:

  • Is this something you’d like to move forward with?
  • Would you like our company (name your company) to move forward with this on your behalf?
  • Would you like us to get started right away?

Just ask for that immediate “Yes” because people aren’t going to offer it up if you don’t ask.

I know it’s silly. I’ve been in sales a long time, and I’ve contributed to well over $100 million in sales. That’s less than it could have been had I learned to ask for business earlier on. So, you just have to ask and go through your pitch.

Say outright:

  • Is this something you’d like for me to move forward with on your behalf?
  • Is this something that you’d like me to get started on for you right away?

When you get to that “Yes” by asking, that’s when you bust that contingency out. I used to just try to pitch because I was comfortable — and I’d talk and talk and talk. That catches people off guard.

So, I adjusted that approach to get to “Yes” first. I’m literally having them ask me to pitch them. Then, I pitch. I ask if they have any questions, and I’ll ask for the business.

Is this something you’d like for us to move forward with?

So, that ask is huge. That’s number one. ALWAYS ask for that business.

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Game-Changing Roofing Sales Lesson #2: Ask for Referrals with the Right System

I have run countless sales meetings across the U.S. I’ve worked with suppliers, and I’ve spoken on stage. When I open those events, I say this to the crowd …

Raise your hand with the number of fingers showing me how many referrals you’ve asked for this week.

What about you? Have you asked for any referrals this week?

So many people will sheepishly look around when I ask them about referrals because their number is zero, one, or two. The truth is that you need to have a system for asking for referrals. You need to ask systematically. Watch my videos on the Referral Strategy that I use.

I believe, at the very minimum, we should be asking for referrals:

  1. When we signed the deal
  2. When the roof gets approved
  3. During production
  4. When the check is picked up

Some people will argue that it’s too soon to ask for a referral when you sign a deal. That’s okay. But even if you drop that off, that’s still three asks per customer. If you’re shooting at 50% that means half of the people that you sign up will give you referrals. And that means knocking on a whole lot less doors. You don’t want to miss those opportunities.

I have built a bunch of this into the Battle Pack, by the way. I have a sheet that you can leave behind with the customer to help with referrals. Beyond the leave behind and asking for referrals at all those key stages, you can ask in the emails when you send notifications about what’s happening with the project.

When you layer in those requests, you have those verbal three to four asks — whether you’re using your own material or emails in the Battle Pack. And your project updates, when you’re providing value and educating your custom, you can also be asking for referrals.

I actually send emails 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days after as well. When I layer in all those referral requests, three through the emails and four in person, plus project updates, that 7 to 10 per customer. Most people are only asking once a week. But when you make it a habit and you keep asking, you’re going to get those referrals.

Game-Changing Roofing Sales Lesson #3: Time Is Your Number One Resource

Time is your number one resource. Squeeze every minute of time out of every day you can.

I say this a lot because it’s true — the limiting factor in the roofing sales industry is NOT your ability to sell. Even if you’re not great at sales, if you take care of people and you ask for referrals, you’re going to get busy. You end up spending a lot of time in your truck that’s dead time.

I did video on How to Make Sales Using That Dead Time, that time wasted driving around. You have to squeeze every minute of the day and sell smart. Get into a neighborhood. You don’t want to take a shotgun approach that will scatter you all across like five different cities. Get a new neighborhood and focus your efforts because time is of the essence. So, use your time wisely.

I have done some training videos on Time Management in my Pitch Like a Pro sales training video library. Those have goals and motivation sections, with tons of helpful videos.

Time management comes down to knowing what activities to do at what time of the day. You don’t want to use prime door-knocking time to catch up on paperwork, for example. And you can make good use of rainy days, evenings, or whenever if you know the best time to take care of different things. Use your calendar for help and set up notifications to stay on track. It’s definitely huge and can be game-changing for anyone new to roofing sales.

Game-Changing Roofing Sales Lesson #4: Network

Network and build relationships like your livelihood depends on it. You never know where opportunity comes. In fact, one of my best relationships I developed was with a builder who I met on a project with a nightmare customer. That job fell through, but the builder ended up referring me a million dollars of work over a couple of years. No joke.

So, build relationships. Insurance agents have every single customer (check out my video on Networking with Insurance Agents). And pro tip — get the insurance agent name from every single customer and reach out. I have this information in my Marketing Battle Pack if you want to use it.

When you reach out to insurance agents, introduce yourself and say:

Hey, we’re serving this mutual customer. I’m replacing their roof. I just wanted to make myself available to you, make sure you’re up to speed, and see how we can help out.

And, then, by the way, if you know anyone else we can help, we would be happy do it.

You don’t offer money. It’s not right. Now, with an insurance agent, you could offer to give them priority service and help out, which I teach. So, network like your life depends on it. I’ve had like two or three agents sending me work all the time, and it was just through simple networking.

Game-Changing Roofing Sales Lesson #5: Use Every Rejection as a Learning Opportunity

When you get rejected, use that time as a learning opportunity. After all, you have nothing else to lose. So, create a challenge for yourself — take the “stay at the door” or “stay in their home” challenge.

Ask questions. You should be uncomfortable. When you are, you know you’re pushing yourself enough. And when you’re pushing enough, you’re learning. That’s when you flex that comfort muscle. I used to think this was garbage. But, truthfully, there’s no growth in comfort. You have to flex and be uncomfortable.

And I’ll be frank here — doing live videos on YouTube is really uncomfortable. If I mess up, I can’t edit it. But what I do know is there’s a level of vulnerability with the live broadcasting. And there’s a high level of flexing my discomfort to grow and provide value.

So, use those opportunities of rejection and make them work for you. Use them to learn and flex your abilities. That’s how you’ll improve.

Recap: 5 Game-Changing Lessons for Roofing Sales Rookies

Here’s a recap of our five game-changing lessons for those who are newer to roofing sales:

  1. Ask for the business. You have to be direct. You cannot leave it to chance. You have to ask a closed-ended question, like, “Is it something you’d like us to move forward with?” or “Do you feel comfortable working with our business to move forward on your project?” to get that “Yes.”
  2. Systematically ask for referrals. I recommend asking every customer for referrals at least six times at minimum and, ideally, 10 times.
  3. Consider time as your number one resource. Squeeze every minute out of every day. Work smarter, not harder. Use every time of the day paired with the best activity for that time of the day. Don’t be sitting in the office doing follow ups and scopes when you should be knocking on doors. Know when to sell and when to do administrative work.
  4. Network and build relationships like your livelihood depends on it. Specifically, target insurance agents. Get the name of every agent your customers work with. You can use my Referral Agent Program.
  5. Use every rejection as a learning opportunity. Grow, grow, grow. That’s how you build confidence.

Roofing Sales Bonus Tip #1: Don’t Let a Lack of Knowledge Hold You Back

You CAN outsell even the smartest roofer right now. When I started in roofing sales, I felt like a lack of confidence and knowledge were my biggest obstacles. I didn’t know about drip edge, rake edge, or different shingles. I’d feel caught in my heels, and I feel really stupid. My customers would ask me questions, and I’d be like, “Shoot, I feel so dumb. I don’t know the answer.”

Here’s the thing. You do not have to know everything. If you’re asked something you don’t know, simply say:

Listen, you know, that’s a really good question. I don’t know the answer. Let me go hop on the phone with my manager and I’m going to get the answer for you. I’ll be right back.

Don’t be shy to admit when you’re in over your heard. Plus, adjusters will teach you. So, when you just kind of admit and embrace that you are new and you still take care of people, that will help you maintain confidence.

I didn’t know anything about roofing when I got into this business, and in under a year, I was running a multimillion-dollar, multi-state location with a sales team of 30 people. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know the ins and outs of finding a roof leak. I learned it in time, and I knew the people I could lean on.

So, embrace the process. And I’ll tell you, I outsold people who are way smarter than me at roofing. But ultimately, this is a business of customer service and understanding people in sales. So, don’t let that hold you back whether you’re new or you’re seasoned at roofing sales. Don’t let a lack of knowledge be your obstacle.

Roofing Sales Bonus Tip #2: How to Handle Subcontractor Objections

One objection that your customers could have could come down to subcontractors. You could hear something like, “I wish you would have told me you sub the work out. If I would have known that, I would have hired them for cheaper.”

When someone says this or they ask you if you sub out the work, here’s how to overcome that objection. You say:

Yes. We have relationships with subcontractors that we use frequently. It’s quite common in the industry. But I want to share with you how this works.

So, the way that we develop our relationship with contractor with subcontractors is by fully vetting them and keeping their insurance, general liability, and workers comp on file for your safety and our safety. So, everybody’s protected.

Also, we stand behind their warranty no matter what. So, if they do a shoddy job, which they won’t, but let’s say something happened, you have our warranty, not just a subcontractor who may be gone and who are notoriously less financially stable than our company.

The other thing that I want to share with you is this if you call up a subcontractor, you will not get the cheapest rates.


Because there is a hard cost to going out and estimating a project and facilitating the entire process with the insurance company, with the supplements and the scopes. Being here during the install, after invoicing the insurance company on your behalf. We do not bill for that. They’re factored into all of the project expenses.

However, if you were to go and find your own subcontractor, you are going to end up paying the same thing or darn close to it. The reason that we use subcontractors is all they do is installations. They don’t know this entire process. They are not experts when it comes to the insurance claims process.

Of course, you will find some people who may still say “Forget it” after that explanation. They’ll still want to find someone to do it for cheaper. There are just some folks who have that Walmart mentality. At some point, you just can’t beat the Walmart mentality. That’s when price is all that matters. You just got to let those ones go.

Many people, though, will understand once you explain why you sub work and that everything’s vetted, insured, and protected.

Want More Roofing Sales Strategies, Tips & Videos?

Subscribe for the latest roofing sales training videos and get your copy of my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library. It includes every video I’ve ever done, organized by category, along with a bunch of tips, tricks, and more. It’s updated all the time to help you and your team SMASH your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.

Also, check out my Marketing Battle Pack for instant access to 70+ pieces of my proven, turnkey roofing sales and marketing materials. It’s an entire suite, specially designed for sales teams, managers, and owners, providing:

  • Scripts
  • Scheduling
  • Direct Mail Letters
  • Door Hangers
  • Goal Projection Planners
  • A LOT more!

It’s affordably priced and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. There’s also a playlist of instructional videos in there, explaining every single thing. So, you can watch the videos, and you’ll know exactly what to do.

Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.