How can you be a salesperson without coming across as a salesperson?
How do you learn new techniques without regurgitating a bunch of sales garbage, turning homeowners off, and coming across like a try-hard slimeball?
I’m going to answer those questions here (and thanks to my cousin, Harrison, for suggesting this topic!).
After all, sometimes, customers recognize the language, the body language cues, and other tactics you use, and they only see you trying to sell them something.
Plus, this topic also comes up whenever you think to yourself:
- I don’t want to sound like a robot.
- I don’t want to sound forceful.
- I don’t want to be pushy.
- I don’t want homeowners to feel like they’re being sold.
And this becomes even MORE common in companies that place a really high value on hiring “good with people” people. Those are folks whose ethics you don’t have to question because:
- You know they’re going to take care of homeowners.
- You know that they uphold your values.
Now, sometimes, when folks are learning to sell, they feel and sound in a way that’s incongruent with how they really want to come across.
So, I really appreciate the suggestion for this topic, and I want to break down three different ways to help you learn new things in sales and apply them without sounding salesy or coming across as a sleazy salesperson.
First, though, I just 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, thank you for spending your valuable time with me here today.
Now, let’s rock and roll.
Groundwork: What’s the Problem with Being ‘Salesy’ in Roofing Sales?
First, we have to lay some groundwork, and that involves understanding that modern homeowners are bombarded from every single angle with:
- Sales messages, marketing messages
- People wanting to reach out and grab their money.
That’s one reason why today’s consumers are generally smarter and savvier than ever before because:
- They’ve seen all the gimmicks, especially those overused and abused ones.
- They’re seeing ads EVERYWHERE, from social media and YouTube ads to TV ads, radio ads, and more.
The point is that EVERYONE is reaching out, trying to grab attention and grab consumers’ money. That exposure means the average consumer can sniff through the canned sales garbage and the tired gimmicks.
So, our mission in the house is to:
- Learn to communicate effectively.
- Guide that homeowner into making what we believe is the best decision for them.
Now, in your heart of hearts, do you believe you are the very BEST person and the BEST company to:
- Win that customer’s trust?
- Do their roof?
- Actually do the install and then stand behind it at all costs?
If that’s you, well, I was there too. And I especially loved to serve the little old ladies. I’d treated them like my grandmother, and I wanted to help them, so they wouldn’t get scammed by the next roofer.
So, if that’s you, your next challenge is to communicate:
- That exact message very clearly to homeowners, so they choose you.
- In that way that will really drive that message home, so we can earn the business and fulfill our mission.
Still, the problem is sometimes when we learn sales:
- We get a little robotic.
- We can come across as inauthentic.
Again, homeowners can sniff this out really quickly.
That’s the foundation of what we’re going to discuss next, the three different things that we can do in order to come across as not salesy. Specifically, I’m going to get into:
- Why we use formulas and not scripts
- Concept and understanding
- How to fast track this
Now, let’s get to it.
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Roofing Sales Tip #1: Use Formulas, Not Scripts.
I do NOT believe in word-for-word scripts in roofing sales. Why?
Because we have storm and retail and:
- On the retail side, there are four reasons people replace their roofs. Therefore, we have about four main pitches.
- On the storm damage side, we have four stages of the claims process. Within each of those, there are at least two different mindsets to contend with, with the exception of the final one (when they’re sitting on a check). So, really, there are 7 mindsets and 4 stages here — and 7 pitches to fit those mindsets.
So, the average roofing salesperson actually needs to learn how to sell to 11 different scenarios if they’re selling both storm and retail.
That’s just not going to work with word-for-word scripts.
And, truthfully, you’re not going to sell to someone the same exact way in any of the following scenarios:
- They’re sitting on a check from the insurance, and they want an estimate the same way.
- They have NO idea that they might even have roof damage.
- They have an active leak or a problem.
- They call you up, saying, “Hey, we’re just trying to get some estimates because we know we need to replace the roof in five to seven years.”
You’d approach each of those situations VERY differently.
So, the reason that I teach formulas — including my SLAP Formula to use at the door, my ARO Objection Handling Formula, and the most powerful one (in my opinion) is the CARPARK Formula for the in-home sales presentation process — is that they give you a framework to follow.
With a formula, there’s a certain order to follow, and that’s going to give you important mental cues.
So, for example, with the CARPARK Formula, if I have already connected with the homeowner (the first “C”) and they derail me, I know that I need to go through and:
- Hit the “A,” meaning I need to assess their situation to find out where they are in the process.
- Move onto the “R” after getting on the roof and report my findings, so I can get invited inside.
- The “P” to present is next
So, that CARPARK Formula really gives you a way to quickly transition to the next thing. It’s because it’s a guide and a placeholder, especially if you end up going off course. And it also gives you some flexibility.
Think of Roofing Sales Formulas Like Recipes
To give you a better idea of the power of formulas and why I prefer them over word-for-word scripts in roofing sales, let’s pause for a moment and talk about cooking show challenges.
Have you seen those challenges, like the Gordon Ramsey mystery box challenge?
With those, he gives the chefs like five ingredients, and he:
- Tells them to cook a delicious meal.
- Gives them like 5 ingredients — any cut of steak they want, butter, potatoes, salt, and pepper.
So, they all race to the pantry, and one comes out with a beautiful filet mignon while another has a ribeye, one picks a Tomahawk ribeye, and another selects a New York strip.
Then, they all cook their different cuts of steak in different ways — one grills it, one sous vides it, and another uses a reverse sear. The same goes for the potatoes, with each chef choosing a different way to cook them — one does a twice-baked potato twice, another makes steak fries, and another does hash browns.
Finally, when they’re all done, they each describe their dish, and it’s usually very delicious because the chef knows:
- How each one of those ingredients comes together
- How to work with them and assemble them into a cohesive dish
That’s just like using formulas in roofing sales.
So, when we learn to follow a framework or a formula, it allows us to break free of word-for-word scripting.
Now, you may be wondering if there IS a time and a place for word-for-word scripts. And the truth is that there may be.
In fact, with our new roof with solar sales system, for example:
- There’s a moment when we transition from selling the roof to the solar system.
- We have to time the ask, timing when we do that and being careful about how we do it.
- There’s a transition script to set the hook to pique someone’s interest.
That’s one of the very few times that I am a fan of word-for-word scripts in roofing sales. And once you get that repetition down and see what works for you in the field:
- You’ll see how you can go “off script” while embodying the core meaning, psychology, and philosophy behind the script.
- You can start to become a little more flexible with it.
So, with rare exception, I am NOT a big fan of word-for-word scripts in roofing sales.
And if you don’t want to sound “salesy” in roofing sales:
- Do NOT follow scripts.
- Follow a formula.
If you want to learn the formulas that I teach, you can access that while training your entire team using our all-in-one sales system. Simply text “DEMO” to (303) 222-7133 for a free demo and more info.
Roofing Sales Tip #2: Know the ‘Why’ of What We Do.
If we don’t want to sound salesy, we also have to understand the core philosophy of what we’re doing.
And when we’re selling and doing the body language, we’re often regurgitating what we’ve heard. And that’s really no different than spitting out facts about history (or anything, really).
It’s just regurgitating or rehashing what you’ve heard. Unfortunately, so many folks in roofing sales:
- Hear something
- Spit it back out, regurgitating it in another situation
Now, when that happens:
- It comes across as being salesy, forceful, and trying too hard.
- Homeowners pick up on it. They can smell your commission breath — that you want and NEED that sale.
- You don’t get the sale.
Now, the fix is understanding the theory and philosophy behind it. I’m going to give you an example.
Example: Dr. Robert Cialdini wrote a book called Influence. In it, he describes two factors of influence (and he teaches six total in the book). One is authority. Another is social proof. Now, authority means I’m the expert. Social proof is what other people are saying about us, like your online reviews. Those factors are VERY important to build into the sale. And when you understand how and why they’re important, you can put them into practice, talking about the neighbors, your reviews, and what other people have to say about you, in the right way.
That’s how you can leverage philosophy in a fluid conversation by understanding the core principles, instead of sounding like a robot.
So, to not come across as salesy, we simply need to understand the deeper philosophy, meaning, and psychology of how to apply what we’re learning.
Now, just to reiterate, to not seem overly sales, we have to:
- Use formulas, not scripts. You can access all my formulas in the training here.
- Understand the deeper message.
On to the final tip now.
Roofing Sales Tip #3: Use repetition (or roleplay).
Repetition creates new neural pathways in the brain, and that allows you to communicate clearly and effectively without stuttering, stopping, or thinking about it.
So, with repetition (i.e., roleplay or sales practice), you can now take the thing as you learn it and use it. It can be a little awkward at first, and that’s why we work out the kinks in roleplay. It lets you:
- Work through that unnatural, forceful zone
- Find a truly authentic way to communicate what you know
And it works because you’ve combined these three things:
- You’ve learned a proven framework to follow to allow you to deliver your sales message in the right order.
- You understand the philosophy of buying decisions and the psychology of human behavior, so you can leverage both.
- You practice without being in the home, so it’s all incredibly natural.
That’s where roleplay and sales practice come in to:
- Develop those new neural pathways
- Connect everything
- Help you come across authentically and naturally
And THAT is how you become an absolute sales MACHINE and how you and your team can smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
And the best part?
All of that is going to help you serve even more customers.
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.