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“I have to call my insurance agent first.” WHAT? Squash This Now!

“I don’t want to do anything yet. I want to call my insurance agent first.”

Have you heard this one?

Adam from Waldorf, Maryland, emailed me about this one, and it is becoming a VERY common objection. In fact, after presenting the findings to the homeowner:

  • They may call their insurance agent.
  • That call could steer them away.

So, what do we do?

Well, I’m going to explain that here in great detail because, sometimes:

  • Objection handling does NOT really get to the root of what’s going on.
  • We just isolate certain aspects of the scenario, saying “Well, they said this or you say that.” This can be really shortsighted. So, we have to look at the whole scenario to understand what’s going on.

So, I’m going to cover this in two parts, sharing:

  1. WHY this happens, guiding you through an experience, so you can begin to think like your customer.
  2. HOW to overcome this objection if it comes up

I’d even guess that if we do EVERYTHING that I share in the beginning, this objection is probably NOT going to come up that often, if at all.

Before we get into it, first, I want to say a quick welcome or welcome back. Adam Bensman, here, 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. And if you haven’t yet done it, subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don’t miss a new upload. I’m putting up a couple of new roofing sales training videos every single week.

Now, let’s get started.

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Background: What Our Customers Think in D2D Roofing Sales

First, let’s lay the groundwork for what’s actually happening in the house and what’s going on inside our customers’ minds.

Now, when we show up at the house, we’re strangers. And let’s assume that we’re knocking on the door when the homeowner’s relaxing on the couch after a long day. It’s 6:30 p.m. They’re unwinding when they hear that knock, knock, KNOCK on the door.

When that happens, what are the two questions that go through their mind? They immediately are asking:

  1. WHO in the heck is that?
  2. WHAT in the heck do they want?

Often, that exchange happens with a significant other. They turn to a spouse asking, “Who is that? Are you expecting anyone? What the heck do they want?”

Then, as the door opens:

  • We are standing there.
  • All of our logos read the same, and they all say “I sell roofs.”

So, you do your pitch, you hop up on the roof, you do an inspection, and you explain what you found. Then, you tell the homeowner that the roof is damaged and that they need a new roof.

At that point, the homeowner is sitting there thinking:

You’re the roof guy who offered me a free inspection. How shocking that you’re telling me I need a new roof! I don’t trust you anymore.

Here’s how we can avoid walking into that trap.

How to Avoid the “Damage” Trap in Roofing Sales

Many roofing sales reps make the BIG mistake of telling people that their roof is damaged. I firmly believe we should NOT do that.


Well, we wouldn’t show up to someone’s house and tell them they’re an alcoholic, right?

Now, I’ve stopped drinking alcohol, and I later realized I was an alcoholic. So, I can say this — we’d never want to show up at someone’s house and tell them “You’re an alcoholic.”

If we did — and if they’re not aware of that — they are NOT going to say, “Oh, thank you so much for telling me that!” and then reach out and hug you.

No, they’re going to throw a right hook at your face. They’re going to be mad. So, to get someone to change:

  • We need to get them to take ownership of the problem.
  • We can’t show up and just tell the homeowner that they have a problem, meaning their roof is damaged. It’s NO different than showing up and saying, “Hey, Mr. Homeowner, you’re an alcoholic.”

I know it’s an extreme example, and I hope I don’t offend anybody. I’m being a bit cheeky here, and showing an extreme example to highlight the difference between telling the homeowner they have a problem versus:

  • Guiding that homeowner to take ownership of their problem
  • Identifying that damage
  • Having the homeowner explain it to you

By the way, I did a video on why we should Never Tell a Homeowner the Roof Is Damaged; so, check that out for more on this topic.

The point, however, is that we NEVER want to tell a homeowner their roof is damaged. We need them to tell us it’s damaged.

How to Handle Objections in Roofing Sales: The ARO Formula

Now, if we’re NOT going to tell homeowners that their roof is damaged, how are we going to overcome this insurance objection in door-to-door roofing sales?

Well, in my training center, I teach an in-depth objection-handling formula called the ARO Formula. This stands for:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Reassure
  3. Overcome

ALL objections we run into in door-to-door roofing sales fall into one of three categories. The homeowner objects because of:

  1. Trust: They don’t trust you.
  2. Need: They don’t think they need you, your support, or your guidance on the insurance side. Or they don’t think they need a new roof, especially on the retail side. They may think, I want to get a few more years out of my roof. The bottom line is that there’s not enough NEED in their eyes to take action. They don’t need to solve a problem yet.
  3. Money: On the insurance side, this usually has to do with the deductible. On the retail side, it can be that your estimate is too high, or they don’t think they can afford it.

So, it ALL comes down to trust, need, or money.

Now, if someone says, “I want to call my agent first,” which category does that fall into? Is that a trust, need, or money issue?

It’s about TRUST. They don’t trust you.

So, if you’ve made some mistakes leading up to this point — like maybe you’ve shown up as the roof guy, offering a free inspection and pointing out the roof damage —the homeowner is probably thinking:

  • I don’t trust you yet.
  • I’m going to call someone I do trust, which is my insurance agent.

And if they do talk to their agent, they’re probably going to tell the agent something like this:

A stranger showed up at my house, offering a free inspection. He told me I had roof damage and that I should file a claim.

That does NOT sound very good.

So, my best advice is to watch that video, Never Tell a Homeowner the Roof Is Damaged. If you go through that process and communicate in a way that can get them to take ownership of that damage:

  • You can pinpoint exactly what they need to do, which is to call the claims hotline to solve the problem.
  • Now, there’s no need to call the agent.

And if I said that someone showed up, offered me a free inspection, and I saw the pictures of my roof and the hail or wind damage with my very own eyes, that agent is going to say, “You need to call the claims hotline.” Now, if they do call the agent, we’re in a better place.

Recap: How to Overcome the “Call My Insurance First” Objection in Roofing Sales

Now, you know how this objection can come up and how to use that ARO Formula to address and overcome this objection whenever it arises. Just remember to:

  1. Acknowledge, saying something like, “Hey, Mr. Homeowner, I understand you want to speak to your agent a trusted resource.”
  2. Reassure, with something along the lines of, “I can understand that you might be a little timid to do anything about this with a stranger who just showed up. You don’t know me that well. So, I know there’s some resistance to that.
  3. Overcome, saying something like, “I’m a little confused. I know you saw this damage, and you described it to me. May I ask what is it that you’d like to chat with your agent about?

Again, we were going to ask a “what” question first and discover WHAT they’re going to ask because we don’t know why they want to call their agent. It might be something like, “Well, I wanted to ask my agent if my premiums would go up if I file a claim.”

BINGO. We can speak to that, explaining that it’s an act of God, so those premiums are not going to go up because of an act of God. Still, like health insurance, premiums can go up every year, even if they don’t file a claim.

So, we want to ask a question like:

  • Hey, do you mind if I ask, what is it you’d like to talk to your agent about?
  • What questions do you have for your agent?

Then, if there’s no way to get around it and you can’t handle those objections when they then tell you the truth, you can say, “Hey, let’s put together a list of questions for your agent.” At this point:

  • As you’re sitting there and documenting those questions, you can say, “Listen, I’m going to help you out. I’ll happily put together any list of questions for your agent. I’ll give you some answers, and then you can fact-check anything you want with your agent if you choose to chat with them.”
  • You can literally get them to draw out all of their objections, most, if not all, of which you’ll be able to squash right there.
  • You can move on to getting the deal signed.
  • If they DO call the agent and you provide proper education, the homeowner’s going to validate that with the agent and call you back after.

Now, you know the root cause of why people say, “I want to call my agent first” and what to do about it.

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