This ONE simple exercise can make you your own mentor.
So, throw out all that garbage you read online, telling you that you need a mentor. Look — mentors are good and helpful, and you might need one.
BUT the first thing you need to learn is how to be your own mentor and your own coach.
In fact, I think the BEST mentors and coaches teach you to be your own mentor and coach. Otherwise, they’re just handcuffing you to writing them checks over and over and over again.
So, skip that and learn how to be your own coach. If you learn how to coach yourself, you can mentor yourself in a way that is FAR more powerful and effective than what anyone can offer.
Now, this is for you IF:
- You’re new to the roofing sales business, you’re not flushed with cash quite yet, and you want a mentor.
- You’re an owner or manager of a team, wanting to create this culture where people are coaching themselves.
- You just want to be the absolute BEST at what you do, always improving.
I know this is a TALL claim, but I think it can truly have the power to transform your life, as it has mine. I do this exercise at every single speaking event that I attend, and I do it beyond just speaking events. In fact, everyone on our team submits these to me every single Friday.
Before I share more about that exercise and dive into the nitty-gritty of how to be your own coach, I want to say a quick welcome or welcome back. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist. Everything we do here is designed to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
So, why do I do what I do?
I do it because I estimate that:
- About 66% of roofing salespeople quit or get fired in their very first year.
- The main reason for that is they weren’t equipped to succeed, and I want to help change that.
So, let’s get to it.
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Why Be Your Own Mentor? A Background Story
Now, before I teach you this exercise, I just want to tell you a story. It’s actually quite an embarrassing story.
I was at this bar one time, back in my drinking days when I thought I’d give karaoke a whirl. Now, I no longer drink alcohol, and it’ll be pretty clear why after this story. I’m also not someone who sings (in fact, my own voice scares me), but I had enough liquid courage.
So, after I drank a ton of vodka at this bar, this song comes on, and I fly out of my chair, running on stage and grabbing that mic. Then, I just get into my song like a rockstar, with my eyes closed and everything.
When I finish, I open my eyes to have this wave of pure embarrassment wash over me. I had flipped the table I was sitting at when I got up. I was SO drunk that I had no idea, and all the glass bottles and mixed drinks were shattered on the ground.
It was a MESS. There was liquid everywhere, with strewn chairs, a tablecloth in a mess, and a swarm of people mopping up the mess I made. And I was OBLIVIOUS because I was up there singing on that microphone.
That same thing can happen to us inside the house — how?
There are times we have those blinders on and we lose our self-awareness.
So, I’m going to teach you an exercise to get those blinders off, so you can:
- Be your own coach.
- See yourself from this third-party perspective, in real time, almost like watching a game.
Essential Roofing Sales Exercise: After-Action Reports
Now, I’m going to teach you about after-action reports and how to use these to be your own mentor.
We are going to use this exercise EVERY DAY in the field when we’re done selling (and if you don’t want to do it daily, I’m okay with weekly). Getting started, though, the more you do this, the better.
Still, if you did this every Friday, you’re going to have a leg up on your competition.
In fact, I actually went through this exercise with our newest team member, Kennedy, when we were out in Scottsdale. She wrote some things down and said, “I’m done.” So, I challenged her. And she ended up getting 75% more.
Step #1: Write everything down.
Whether you do after-action reports daily or weekly, first, you need to write down every single thing that you did well that week.
If I were doing one of these reports, here are some things I’d note as successes of the week:
- Planning my day the night before
- Hitting all my follow-ups
- Nailing my presentations inside the house (and the list goes on)
This is your time to focus on what you did well. It’s very important we start here, so do not start elsewhere.
Now, the next piece is to go as deep as you can here. If you do, you’re going to find some golden nuggets, uncovering key details, like WHY your presentation was so good and HOW you transitioned.
The more you focus on what you did well, the easier it will be to:
- Keep that momentum going
- Do more of what’s working
Remember, it can be natural to focus on the negative first, so resist that urge. It’s GARBAGE.
You need to focus on what you did well, so you can enhance it.
To do that, create two columns:
- A “Well” column: This is where you list what you did well over the past day or week. Note your successes.
- A “Better” column: Here, you’ll note what you could have improved on and done better.
I’m going to go through this list in GREAT detail, especially when it comes to listing out what I could do better. That could include things like (but not limited to):
- Building a little more rapport
- Asking more questions in the beginning
- Refining my intro
If I can focus on those “Better” items on my list, the next time I’m out selling in a home:
- I’m going to feel really
- My presentation will get even better.
- I’m going to find ways to improve my questions and my rapport-building techniques.
Now, I can start thinking about how to piece it together.
Again, first, list everything you did well and exhaust it. This’ll take time, and when you think you’re done, you’re not — you’re just getting started. So:
- Go at it again.
- Sit in the quiet and focus, going through EVERYTHING you did better.
Next, we’re going to create a plan.
Step #2: Create a plan.
To do this, I’m going to look at everything I wish I did better and convert these items into a plan. Here’s how I’d create a plan based on my list above:
- Rapport: I’m going to spend two minutes building rapport by finding common ground. That’s how the idea of rapport becomes a plan. I’m taking a concept and putting it into an action I can take in the real world.
- Discovery and questions: To improve my discovery and ask more questions at the beginning, I’m going to get into more details, so I can further understand where they are in the process. That means I’ll ask questions like (but not limited to):
- Where are you at in the process?
- How many estimates have you received?
- Why did you call us?
- What’s the problem with your roof?
- How many estimates have you received?
Now, that’s my core focus — I’m building rapport and asking those questions. And all I do now is review that plan for the next week. That means, on Monday, I’m going to:
- Go over my plan first thing to kick off the week.
- Spend more time building rapport.
- Find common ground for two minutes, so I can learn more about my customers and so my compliments land with authenticity.
After all, your customers are people. They need help, and they need YOUR help.
So, that’s the plan, and I can use it to:
- Become my own coach.
- Reflect on what I did well.
- Nail my presentation and follow up.
- Keep improving and getting better week after week.
If you do this, before you know it:
- You’ve become your own coach and your own mentor with the power of perpetual improvement.
- Each and every day you’re going to gamify your growth as you level up your skillsets as your own coach. The truth is no one else is giving you this feedback because no one else is in your truck with you, and no one else is in that house with you all the time.
The more you do this, the better you’ll get at:
- Seeing yourself from this perspective.
- Focusing on what you did well and what you can do better
- Turning those items into a plan
- Repeating the process
Do this, and before you know it, you’re going to watch your (or your team’s) income DOUBLE.
So, that’s how to use the after-action report to become your own mentor. Use this exercise weekly at least and do it daily if you really want to fast-track your development and success in roofing sales.
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.