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Staying Motivated When Canvassing Door to Door & Dealing with Rejection

Hey, Adam, here at The Roof Strategist. Today, we’re going to have a real talk — we’re talking about what it’s like to get your teeth kicked in at the door.

Prospecting can SUCK. You have days when you have to muster every single ounce of energy you possibly have to get back out there and go knock on the next door — days when you’re dealing with the angry, drunk homeowner who opens the door with a racked shotgun telling you to get the EFF off his doorstep.

These times suck. They defeat what we do. They take the air out of our wings, but there’s a way to get past it.

Now, when I came into door knocking, I had zero experience. I had the opposite of thick skin. I was a sensitive Sally. I hated it. I knocked on a door and had someone screaming at me through the window, “My kid’s napping! He’s been up all night.” And I’m like, “Well, now, you woke your kid up.”

We’ve ALL been there.

So, what I want you to do is really, really dig deep. I’m going to share some tips to get you on track and help you deal with that rejection.

Door-to-Door Roofing Sales Tip #1: Don’t Take It Personally

You cannot take any of this personally. At all. Truthfully, door knocking was like the best life experience I could have ever asked for in terms of building my confidence and honing my ability to communicate and interact with other people. Consider it like this…

Chinese proverb (I think): A guy is paddling up a river in a canoe. As he does, he notices another canoe coming down the river towards him. So, he starts screaming “Hey, man, get the eff out of my way.” As the other canoe gets closer and closer, the guy yells, “What the hell you effing moron?!? Get out of the way! You’re going to hit me!” Then, the canoe hits him. When the guy turns around to look at the passing canoe, he realizes no one was in it.

So, what’s the big takeaway here? It’s NOT about you.

We have all these reactions to people and things that happen outside of us. But, ultimately, it’s all about how we interpret the outside feedback.

It’s Not About You

Now, when someone’s yelling at you and kicking you off their doorstep, here’s the news, buddy. It’s NOT about you. It could have been you or anybody. It could have been the Jehovah’s Witness knocking at the door. It could have been the Cutco sales guy or even their best friend. If they had a bad day, they’re going to yell at someone. Sometimes, that someone is you.

So, do NOT take it personally. Ultimately, it has nothing to do with you as a person. So, you cannot personalize it, right?

It’s their property, it’s their home. When you’re in this field, you’ll realize that people interact in business very differently when we’re at their house versus if I’m in a store and they’re coming to me. So, don’t take it personally.

And remember, tell yourself, there’s no one in the canoe. There’s no one in the canoe. This is my mantra whenever things feel like they’re not going right — like when the wind blows my truck door closed, it hits me in the head, and I’m about to lose it. I stop and think, There’s no one in the canoe. No one’s slammed the door in my head. It just happened.

So, when you can remove yourself from this situation, you’re going to stay confident and calm. You’ll be able to shake it off. It’s a game. So, don’t take it personally.

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Door-to-Door Roofing Sales Tip #2: See Dollar $igns

When I started knocking on doors, I was broke as a joke. I had to ask my mom to pay for gas to go visit my family for Easter. This is how bad it got. I literally couldn’t drive an hour.

So, when I got into door-to-door roofing sales, I saw dollar signs. My commissions, on average, when I started were around $1,000 to $1,300, obviously with some bigger ones. If I see a $1 sign on a Saturday, I can knock on a door and get a deal, two deals. I see a $1,000 bill at the door.

Suddenly, those homeowners are just targets. I just want to have a conversation with them. And this could be a $1,000 conversation or a $2,000 conversation.

So, see those money signs. It’ll help you keep that motivation up. Because there are days that you’ll get your teeth kicked in all day long. And the next day, you got to get up and start over. But you’re defeated. And you have to say to yourself, Hey, I got to knock on that door. It’s a $1,000 day.

By the way, counting your commission before it even comes in is motivating too. Don’t spend it before you earn, of course (owners don’t like writing draws) — just count it.

Door-to-Door Roofing Sales Tip #3: Make It a Game

There are two ways that you can make a game out of door-to-door roofing sales.

  1. Use every opportunity to practice and challenge yourself. If I had a homeowner who was chomping down my throat, yelling at me, and I could just sit there calm, I would make a game out of it. I’d challenge myself to see how long I could just stand in front of them and take it.
  2. Kill them with kindness and have a conversation. When it becomes a game, what’s amazing is that you’ll make sales.

This has worked for me a lot, by the way. In fact, I’ll never forget these two old guys. Both were mowing their lawns when I walked up (my favorite way to make sales is when they’re mowing the lawn). So, I see this old guy mowing the lawn. I walk up to him, and he brushes me off. And I say, “Hey, can I have one minute?”

He kills the mower and gives me that Death Stare, like I know he’s thinking, you better make my head spin in the next minute, or you’re off my property.

Then, I just tell him that I was working with his neighbor and that I noticed his roof looks old, like it needs to be replaced very soon. I say there’s a very good chance that it’s hail damage, and I could help him get it replaced using his insurance coverage.

I let him know that, instead of the roof probably being about $15,000, I can get it done for the deductible. All I need to do is take a look. I say, “I’ll take photos, and I’ll show you what I find. It’s up to you. You don’t like it? No problem.” I signed the deal. His name was Gerald, and his wife loved me. Every time I was in there, it was like coffee, tea, and snacks. I loved it.

So, make it a game, and don’t take it personally.

By the way, the second time I was in the neighborhood, this guy who was mowing sees me and basically flips me the bird. He had his little earmuffs on, so he couldn’t even hear me. He wouldn’t even take them off.

So, I just waved, whatever. I visited two of his neighbors and walk by again. I wave. This time, he’s more receptive because he’s seen me three times. He saw two of his neighbors sign with me. So, we had a conversation.

And the same thing happened. I went up on the roof and found damage. He and his wife loved me and gave me referrals while I was standing there. The neighbor across the street called me before my second trip because he gave the neighbor my business card.

So, make it a game, see how long you can endure the discomfort, and kill people with kindness.

Recap: 3 Tips for Staying Motivated in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales

Ok, so when you’re feeling deflated with rejection in door-to-door roofing sales, remember these 3 tips:

  1. Don’t take it personally.
  2. See dollar signs.
  3. Make it a game.

If you can do all three of those things, you will stay motivated to go knock on doors.

Remember, it’s just an avenue. You’re outside. Believe me, this is WAY better than sitting in a cubicle, cold calling all day long. You’re outside. And you get to meet great people. You build a network. You meet the neighbors, you have fun, and you’re out in the sunshine.

So, I hope this helps you keep that motivation up when you’re prospecting and knocking on doors.

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