You knock on the door, and the homeowner answers with this rejection:
We’re already working with someone. We already have a roofer. We’re already taken care of.
What does that really mean?
Is it a smokescreen? Is it the homeowner just trying to be nice, like those who say, “Hey, just leave your card. We’ll call if we’re interested.” These are the nice folks who don’t want to kick you off their doorstep, but they’re still rejecting you.
Are they telling you the truth? You never know.
So, I’m about to teach you one very simple, very powerful question to ask in response to the objection, “I’m already working with someone.”
This question will help you figure out whether the opportunity is open and how to respond — or if you shouldn’t waste your time and should, instead, simply move on.
Before we jump in, welcome and welcome back. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist. Everything I do here (and on my YouTube channel and my podcast, on Apple and Spotify) is designed to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
Now, let’s dive in.
How to Respond to This Common Roofing Sales Objection: An Open-Ended Question
Has the homeowner really started working with another roofer or are they just trying to shoo you off their property when they say, “I’m already working with someone”?
To figure this out, we are going to ask one very simple question.
It’s an open-ended question that requires some thought, not a closed-ended question that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”
- Closed-ended question: Did you enjoy your lunch today? Yes or no? Think of a closed-ended question as a conversation killer. The reason we don’t use these closed-ended questions at the door is because it leads to easy and fast rejection.
- Open-ended question: What did you have for lunch today? An open-ended question requires the homeowner to think a little bit before responding. It also gives you the chance to ask follow-up questions and start a conversation. How was lunch? How was the service? Where did you go? How long was the wait? There are a million other ways to further the dialogue.
So, here is that one very powerful question that you’re going to start asking every time you hear, “I’m already working with someone. We already chose a roofer. We’re already taken care of. No, thank you.”
And it is this simple — When?
The keyword is when. That’s how we start an open-ended question. “When” doesn’t invite a “yes” or “no.” It requires thought — When did you sign a contract or agreement?
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What Happens When You Ask “When”?
You’re going to quickly find out if a homeowner was, in fact, being truthful with you or whether they were lying when they said they already signed on with someone.
I do have to prep you for one thing with this question, though. You could be in for some very severe rejection. Remember, we are in door-to-door roofing sales, and not everyone will like the fact that we’re there. If they tried to shoo you away and you ask, “When did you sign an agreement?,” there’s a very good chance that they say, “None of your business. Get off my property.”
In that case, fine. Move on and put it behind you. We deal with rejection no matter what.
On the other hand, if they respond to you appropriately, we are going to have a course of action, and I’m going to teach you the proper response.
If they start giving you the truth that they did not, in fact, sign with anyone (meaning they were lying before when they said they did), now, we have an opportunity to present to that homeowner. You can say something like:
Since you haven’t signed any agreement yet, you still have the opportunity to choose a roofing contractor who you like and trust.
I’d be more than happy to explain to you why we might be a good option.
But, first, we open with a question:
- Where are you at in the process?
- When was the last time you had your roof inspected and routine maintenance conducted?
If they were lying when they said they had already signed on with someone, we now have the green light to keep presenting.
Here, I also want to point out a couple of things that I teach all the time:
- Don’t go walk in on yard signs.
- Don’t go trying to poach.
If there’s a yard sign, it’s sleazy and slimy to try to steal that job from the next company. Yes, people do it. If you’re doing it, it’s not my style. I like to put my head on my pillow at night and feel confident and excited about how I serve people, how I engage in the world, the value I brought, and living with honor and integrity, not trying to snake business or be a slime ball.
So, if they did not, in fact, sign a deal with anyone and they were lying when they said they did, this is an open opportunity for you to present using this open-ended question strategy.
The Exception to the Rule: What If They Have Signed Already?
What happens if they did, in fact, sign a deal already? If they are telling the truth, then they may say something like, “It was 60 days ago,” followed by “but the last company…”
Now, remember the top three complaints about contractors:
- Horrible communication: How many times have you heard a homeowner say, “Hey, they promised to do this. I was waiting on an estimate. They said they would call the adjuster and never did. They said they’d show back up with a sample, and they never did”? These types of complaints about horrible communication are common in roofing sales.
- Too much time: Maybe, they were on the books, but then the job got pushed back a couple of times for whatever reason. Waiting out these delays is another top complaint among homeowners.
- Too expensive: The third complaint is that the project simply cost too much or that the price increased after initial estimates.
I explain to the homeowner is that it’s OK if they signed something yesterday, 7 days ago, 30 days ago, or whenever. And, by the way, I am a very gentle salesperson in this respect because, as I said, I don’t want to steal jobs from other people.
At the same time, my mission is to help you smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience. Unfortunately, not every company actually cares about that amazing experience. But I know that you do if you’re here and using my material.
What to Say If They Are Already Working with Someone: Your Roofing Sales Pitch
If a homeowner has been telling the truth about already signing with someone else, here’s how we respond. We start by saying:
Mr. Homeowner, I understand that you signed something [and repeat what they told you about what and when they’ve signed].
Next, we reassure them by saying:
Listen, I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I understand that the top complaints about roofing companies are horrible communication, it took too long, it costs too much, or the price increased.
Then, we overcome these objections and issues by giving them a new perspective.
So, if any of that ever happens to you, I’d be more than happy to chat through a few options with you.
Would you like to hear how we can help right now?
If they say, “No, thank you,” fine. Then, we simply leave our card and say:
I hope you’re very well taken care of and have a great experience. If that doesn’t happen for any reason, here’s my information. I’d be honored to help.
Again, just be very polite. There’s an appropriate way to be polite and honest versus pushy and aggressive. This is the polite and honest time. Pushy and aggressive is not a style that I jive with, and it’s different than being persistent. Many people blur those lines.
What to Say If They’re Unhappy with Their Current Contractor: Your Roofing Sales Pitch
Let’s say you ask your open-ended question, and the homeowner tells you, “Hey, do you know what? We’re open to hearing how you can help. We have three days to cancel or whatever, and we’re not happy with the contractor. We’re upset.” If you hear something along those lines, you can say:
Okay, great. I’d be more than happy to chat through some options with you.
But first, where are you in the process?
Again, we slide into that open-ended question because we need to know whether:
- A claim has been filed.
- It’s a retail replacement roof.
- They’ve had partial payment from the insurance company.
- There’s been a denial of their claim.
- They have a check in hand.
Each one of these will be a different presentation on the value you bring and how you’ll give that customer an amazing experience.
So, now, you know the perfect way to handle that objection and turn it into a roofing sales opportunity.
Recap: How to Respond to the “I’m Working with Someone Already” Objection in Roofing Sales
The one question to ask when someone tells you, “I’m already working with someone. We’re taken care of,” is this — when did you sign an agreement or contract with them?
When you ask this, you’ll figure out whether:
- They’re lying to you, and the door is now open for your roofing sales pitch.OR
- They’re telling the truth, and you now have the chance to explain your desire for them to have an amazing experience.
And refer to those top three complaints about roofing contractors:
- Horrible communication
- Too much time
- Too expensive
That can open the door to further conversation. And you can follow it up with your “when?” question, asking things like:
- Before I share more, when did you sign?
- Where are you in the process?
If we keep the open-ended questions coming, we can keep the customer feeding us the appropriate information, so we can keep the conversation going and grab the right pitch to present (on that note, check out my video on the 7 Roofing Sales Pitches You Must Know, so you can always respond like a pro).
Want More Roofing Sales Strategies, Tips & Videos?
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.