Dealing with toxic, negative, angry people can totally put a damper on your day.
In roofing sales, we deal with toxicity ALL the time. This can come up when:
- You’re knocking on someone’s door: When they open, they may just scream at you, calling you a scumbag. Or they could yell at you, telling you to get a real job and calling you all sorts of names.
- You’re with customers: Sometimes, everything seems to be going just fine with a customer when a switch seems to flip. Suddenly, they are angry, aggressive, insulting, and mean.
Now, if you’re anything like me, these negative interactions can POISON a day. In fact, even though we try not to take it personally, that negativity can stick with us and:
- Weigh us down
- Poison our motivation
- Be incredibly difficult to shake off
So, I want to give you some tools to help you deal with the inevitable toxic negativity in roofing sales.
This topic was inspired by someone who gave The Roof Strategist a thumbs down on Facebook, commenting that the positive reviews there were fake.
Truthfully, many of them were fake because we got spammed by someone doing Forex Trading. It blew up our page, we’ve reported this to Facebook three times, and Facebook will not take it down.
Still, every single other review there IS real. These reviews are from people who’ve met me and who use our programs (and you can check these reviews out here).
Those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of reviews are totally unsolicited (and you can jump into Facebook Groups and ask about Adam Bensman or The Roof Strategist to get real-time feedback and reviews too).
So, personally facing that negativity inspired this topic, and I’m going to give you some simple but powerful tips for getting past it.
First, I want to say a quick welcome or welcome back. Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist, here. Everything I do is designed to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
And the reason I do what I do is that I’ve found that:
- About 66% of first-year sales reps quit or get fired.
- That’s happening because those reps weren’t equipped to succeed.
- Part of being equipped to succeed is knowing what you’re actually going to face out in the field and day-to-day on the job.
Now, the roofing industry is far from easy. It is really simple, but it is NOT easy. We get beat down, we get called names, and customers can flip on a dime. Plus, crews can face challenges, there can be office conflict, and more.
And the interpersonal stuff we face is just really, really challenging.
So, let’s jump into my three tips for dealing with toxic negativity.
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Roofing Sales Tip #1: Realize It’s NOT About You.
When you run into negativity, the first thing you need to do is remember that it’s NOT about you. Now, I want to qualify that because everybody says, “Don’t worry about it. It’s not about you.”
One of my past videos was on Staying Motivated in Tough Times. In that, I share a story, and I’m going to give you the short version.
It’s an ancient Chinese proverb, and it goes like this:
A man is paddling upriver in his canoe. As he’s paddling, he sees another canoe coming downriver, right towards him.
So, he stands up and waves his paddle, saying, “Hey dude, watch out! You’re coming right towards me!”
And the canoe continues barreling straight toward him, without moving. So, naturally, this guy gets MAD.
So, he moves over, and the canoe comes right towards him. He says, “Dude, watch out — you’re coming right towards me!”
And the canoe keeps coming towards him, and he gets IRATE. He’s screaming at the other canoe. Before you know it, the canoes collide, and the man falls, stumbling on his oar. As he picks it up and turns around, he looks at the canoe that just passed.
Then, he sees that it was empty.
So, the point?
There’s NO ONE in the canoe. That means that our reactions to things broadcast our emotions, but they’re really not aimed at someone.
It’s just like that person who wrote me a negative review. That review wasn’t about ME. It’s NOT insulting my character.
No. Instead, this is someone who just so happens to have enough free time and feels compelled to share this information online.
So, I set the anger aside, and:
- I realized it’s NOT about me.
- I shifted from anger to a level of compassion, thinking that must really not be a great way to feel, like that individual needs to say negative things about someone else to feel better.
- It’s no sweat off my back because there’s NO ONE IN THE CANOE. If it’s not about me, it’s about someone else.
- There are pretty good chances that the reviewer has blasted the same negativity to other people.
Again, it’s not about me, and it’s not about you.
So, tip number one is to realize that even when things feel targeted and directed at you, it’s really NOT about you.
We often personalize these things like it’s an attack on our core being, but if we just swapped replaced you in this situation with another sales rep, they’re going to get that same response from that person, the angry screaming when things go wrong in their house because it’s their home, their castle.
So, remember, don’t take it personally because there’s no one in the canoe.
Roofing Sales Tip #2: Reconnect with Your “Why.”
What is our why? Let me share mine with you as an example. My why is to help every sales rep smash their income goal and give every customer an amazing experience.
Now, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to impact that many people. So, this gives me a vision to chase indefinitely. By the way, Simon Sinek’s book, The Infinite Game, inspired me to chase that really big WHY and reconnect with it.
It’s the same for you. Your mission, I assume, is to:
- Smash your income goal.
- Give every one of your customers an amazing experience.
And if you allow this toxic negative energy to impact who you’re serving, they’re winning.
So, if your mission is to serve well and earn great money, you need to focus on your people, your why, and your mission.
And if you don’t have a “why” yet, here’s a really fast exercise you can use to figure that out:
- Write down your income goal: For instance, you can say, “I want to earn $X by this date.”
- Ask yourself, “WHY do I want to earn that money?”
For many of us, we want to hit our income goals because we’ve simply never earned that much before.
Still, that’s NOT enough of a “why” to really keep you deeply motivated. So, ask yourself deeper questions, like:
- Do I want to buy the house?
- Is it to save money for college for my kids?
- WHY is that important?
So, we have our goal, and going deep into that “why” behind it can uncover deeper motivations, like (but not limited to):
- Wanting to give your children opportunities you didn’t have
- Giving my wife the opportunity to not work and raise our kids
- Saving for a house or a bigger home
- Providing a lifestyle for my family that I didn’t have growing up
NOW, we’re uncovering something bigger.
So, tapping into your why is the second method for surviving this toxic negativity in roofing sales.
Roofing Sales Tip #3: Recognize the Value of Your Service.
This is far and away my favorite method for overcoming negativity in roofing sales, and it involves focusing on your good work. So:
- Close your eyes.
- Recite all of the amazing customers that you’ve served, the lives you’ve impacted, the stories you’ve heard, and those emails sent in saying, “Thank you so much for helping me! You’ve been amazing. Thank you for making this process so streamlined and creating an opportunity that was SO much better than the last time we had a deal with a contractor.”
As you look back at all of the customers who have thanked and loved you, you’ll start to get a real sense of the positive impacts of your service — and that can be a really effective antidote to the toxicity we run into in roofing sales.
How to Build a Shield Against Negativity in Roofing Sales
When you combine all three tips above, you can really create a shell of armor that’s like Teflon, with all this toxic negativity just bouncing right off of you. As a quick recap, the three things you’ll need to do are:
- Remember that it’s NOT about you.
- Tap into your “why.”
- Recognize your worth and the value you’ve brought in your service.
After all, I didn’t fit the norm when I started roofing sales. And the longer I’ve been in this industry, being myself, I’ve found my greatest challenge has been to be MORE of myself and inspire others to do the same for themselves.
Now, I feel like it’s my duty to be:
- Heartfelt way (and not a way to justify a negative attitude or cursing)
I mean tapping into my core being, as a loving human being and trying to serve others.
The more we do this together — you and me — the more we can serve, earn, and uplift this industry.
So, my ask is for you to share this with anyone on your team who’s dealt with negativity or an angry customer. This negativity won’t stop, especially in the world of social media where everyone can get behind a keyboard.
And the more successful you are at dealing with negativity, the better you’ll be at:
- Fulfilling your mission
- Smashing your income goal
- Giving every customer a truly amazing experience
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.