What if I told you there’s one really simple thing that you could do before overcoming an objection to get customers to listen attentively, lock into every word you say, and most importantly, keep that conversation moving towards “Yes”?
The hard part of this is that if we skip this ONE step, which I believe is the single most important thing we do before overcoming an objection, we often come across as being salesy, pushy, or sleazy.
After all, all of our logos read the same to homeowners, saying, I sell roofs. And we can come across to homeowners as the guy or gal in the house trying to force the decision to buy a roof.
So, I’m going to teach you this ONE simple step to avoid this, and I hope you can test it out on your very next sales appointment.
Before we get to it, though, I just want to say a quick welcome or welcome back. Adam Bensman here, The Roof Strategist, and everything I do here is designed to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
In fact, I do what I do because:
- In my experience, about 66% of salespeople quit or get fired in their very first year.
- I don’t want that first-year fallout to happen to you.
Now, let’s get to it.
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The Traditional Path to Overcoming Objections in D2D Roofing Sales
In roofing sales, we have a couple of paths to overcoming objections, and one of those is to try to explain the objection away.
Let’s say a homeowner points out that your estimate is $2,000 higher than the other estimates. Many of us will go into explanation mode, trying to explain that we have a better product, better service, and a better warranty. And we highlight the fact that we include everything in our estimate. That’s explaining the objection away.
That’s for retail; on the storm front, it can be about eating deductibles. Again, we can explain that away, right? We point out that it’s illegal and fraudulent to do that. It’s a felony, and we have to abide by the law.
As we explain these objections away, the homeowner thinks:
Well, you’re a salesperson who’s trying to justify to me that I should pay you A LOT more money than the other guy.
That tends to create a tremendous wall of distrust. In fact, even though you’re explaining the truth, your explanation is valid, and you’re trying to do things right, the homeowner just hears and thinks:
This person wants me to spend more money than the other person, and they’re pushing me into the decision.
Taking a step back, we can see that the homeowner thinks:
- All estimates are the same.
- A roof is just a roof, a commodity, with shingles going on and off the roof.
As roofing sales reps, however, we know it just doesn’t work like that.
Roofing Sales Objection Handling Secret
Now, here’s the real secret when it comes to overcoming an objection — people are not receptive if they think they have the answer.
So, put yourself in the shoes and in the mind of a customer who has 3 estimates, with:
- A $14,000 estimate
- A $14,500 estimate
- A $16,000 estimate
Why is your estimate more expensive? Why can some other roofer eat the deductible, but you can’t? And why spend more money on the same roof?
It just does NOT make sense to homeowners.
Now, in the roofing sales industry, we know that the folks who have those low estimates are usually cutting corners somehow in order to maintain margins and sustain their business. If they don’t, they go out of business.
That can be very difficult for us to communicate, however, because trying to explain that can come across as pushy.
BUT everything changes when we do this ONE thing, and that one thing is asking a question.
How One Question Can Help You Overcome Objections in D2D Roofing Sales
Now, I want to show you how asking one key question can make ALL the difference when it comes to objections in door-to-door roofing sales.
Walking through this with some more roleplay, here’s what I’d say and how I use questions to deal with homeowners’ objections (this is in script form to show you a typical homeowner’s responses and how I’d answer them):
Me: Hey, Mr. Homeowner, how do you feel about moving forward?
Homeowner: You know what? You’re $2,000 more than the other estimate we have.
Me: I can understand that. Well, the reality is we provide better service, a better product, a better warranty, and a better install.
You’ll see on our estimate, with this, that, and some other items (you would point out some specific value propositions here).
At this point, everything tends to hit homeowners, and they usually start thinking, You’re just trying to take me for money!
Now, the homeowner thinks they know the answer at this point.
But what if you asked a question to help them come to a conclusion that they do NOT know it all yet?
That’s what we call a knowledge gap.
How to Create a Knowledge Gap in C2D Roofing Sales
We want to create and open up a knowledge gap to:
- Get the homeowner to recognize that there might be something going on that they’re unaware of.
- Make the homeowner more receptive to listening.
We do that by asking a question, and it’ll go something like this:
Mr. Homeowner, I understand that the other contractor said that they could do it for $2,000 less.
And I recognize, especially in today’s economy, that $2,000 is NOT a small sum to overlook.
But here’s what I’m perplexed about — how did the other contractor explain that they could do this project for $2,000?
When you ask that “how” question, they’re going to say, “I don’t know. They just said they could do it.”
There it is — the “I don’t know.” NOW, we can speak to what they don’t know, right? To do that, we can say:
I heard you say you don’t know. They just said they could do it.
How do you feel about bringing that other estimate out, so we can review the estimates side by side and figure out what’s going on?
At this exact moment, instead of explaining it away and pointing out what you’re offering is better:
- We just ask, “how is the other contractor able to do it for $2,000 less than I am?”
- They’ll usually say, “Well, I don’t know.”
- That “I don’t know” response means that there’s a knowledge gap.
On the flip side with storm-damaged roofs, the same rule applies. When a homeowner points to another contractor that can eat the deductible:
- You can say, “Yeah, we can’t do that. It’s fraud, it’s illegal, and it’s a felony,” explaining it away.”
- They’re likely going to think, “You’re just trying to take me for more money.”
- You ask that essential “how” question, saying “Hey, did the other contractor explain how they could eat the deductible?”
- “No, they just said they could,” the homeowner answers.
- I can immediately transition to asking, “Would you like to hear how they’re going to eat your deductible and what’s going on behind your back that might get you into some trouble?
- That homeowner is probably going to say, “Wait, what? What’s going on behind my back?”
Most of us would want to know what’s going on behind our backs, right?
That’s how we create the knowledge gap.
Once I’ve done that, I can take that and deliver that same explanation to the homeowner, and they are going to be far more receptive to hearing it because I created a knowledge gap first.
So, the golden rule of overcoming objections is to ask a “how” or a “what” question before you overcome the objection. The goals are to:
- Ask a question that they cannot answer.
- Create the knowledge gap. So, the homeowner says, “I don’t know.”
- Answer that question, so they’re a whole lot more receptive to hearing you (versus if you just went the straight explanation route).
Now, these often come across as unnatural at first, so it’s super important to practice this into roleplay, so you’re ready to go and use it on your very next sales appointment. The better you are with this strategy, the more often you’ll likely get homeowners to say “yes” to you.
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.