Hey, Adam, here at The Roof Strategist. Today, I’m going to talk about how to handle objections.
This is the hottest thing in roofing sales because we can go out and touch as many homeowners and commercial property owners as we possibly can, then…
We’re stopped in our tracks. Some deadfall question makes us freeze. We turn white, we choke up, and we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know how to overcome it, we stutter, and we fumble. When we try to get that sell, we just look like an idiot. We lose the sale.
We’ve ALL been there, and no one wants to get caught on their heels. So, I’m going to tell you how to stay on your toes and how you can respond when this objection comes up.
The Insurance Objection in Roofing Sales
Now, this is a common objection. A homeowner says, “Well, I just want to let my insurance company handle it.” Have you heard this one?
It can come up at any point in the process. And, remember, there are four different stages of the claims process:
- No claim has been filed.
- There’s been partial payment.
- The claim has been denied.
- The homeowner has the check in hand.
Whether or not someone has had the insurance company out already or they are waiting on a scope, they might turn to you and say, “Hey, thanks for showing up. But I just want to let my insurance company handle it.”
So, what do you do? How do you respond when someone says to you, “I don’t want you. I just want to hear what my insurance company has to say”?
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How to Overcome the Insurance Objection: Take an Educational Approach
I always preach education. When you can educate someone on what happens through a claim, they will feel comfortable and confident. They will feel informed about their buying decisions. After all, no one wants to be sold. Everybody wants to feel in control and know what’s going on.
Think of it this way: I want to ask you something to get you to think like your roofing sales customer. Have you ever ordered something with a set delivery date, but you track the shipping anyway?
Let’s say it’s Amazon Prime with 2-day shipping. You know your order is coming in two days, but you check it anyways. I do it, and I’m not the only one. Why?
Because our human psychology is wired to draw conclusions. We want to know what’s happening next. We want to be informed and educated. That makes us feel confident because no one wants to feel stupid.
A homeowner isn’t going to say “What are you here for? How can you help me?” That would make them look weak. So, it is up to us to not make ourselves look powerful and smart. No one cares about us. They care about themselves.
So, how do I make the homeowner feel important and smart? I go through the steps below with them. I inform them and explain exactly how I can help them.
Step 1: Acknowledge the Objection
Now, this is a big shift in your sales psychology. It’s not about you being a busy sales boss who only has two appointments a day and homeowners have to pick one. That’s BS. It’s theatrical crap that everyone teaches in sales. I hate it.
I’m all about sales authenticity. This is about winning business through proper communication, quality service, and winning a competitive edge because you’re the best damn version of yourself. Your customer falls in love with you because they feel comfortable with you. If that’s your approach, you’re in the right place.
To do that, you need to make the homeowner feel special and important.
First, we want to acknowledge their objection.
Now, one of the biggest mistakes we can make at this point is to try to shove it down. You’ll feel yourself want to respond to the homeowner’s objection with something like, “You don’t need to do that. That’s stupid. Insurance companies are evil.” But you cannot dismiss this, and you cannot shove it down. Don’t try to tackle it or wizened them up. You can’t do it.
Instead, simply acknowledge it. Say:
Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, I completely understand that you want to have your insurance company go to bat. I’m not here to press anything. I’m here to educate you on the process. Because I hear this quite a bit and I simply want to let you know what to expect.
And after you hear what I have to share, the decision is entirely yours. Sound good? Great.
So, Mr. Homeowner, most folks have not had an insurance claim on their home before. Have you?
Now, this is a great question to ask because most people haven’t, or they don’t remember their last insurance claim. So, we want to start that dialogue. Then, we can move into overcoming the objection.
Step 2: Reassure the Homeowner
Next, you want to reassure the homeowner that their thought process is normal. You want to ease their mind because people want to feel like they’re “normal.”
Think of it this way: If you go to the doctor, you don’t want to hear him say, “WHOA, I’ve never seen that before!” You’d freak out, right? You would think, what’s wrong with me?
Now, let’s say, instead, the doctor said something like “Oh, that’s perfectly normal. I’ve seen this 1,000 times before.” You’d probably feel more confident in the doctor, right?
The same thing goes with the homeowner. You acknowledge their objection and say, “Hey, I completely understand that you want to let your insurance company handle this.” Then, you reassure them and say:
So, this is a very normal response when dealing with a claim because, after all, you have people like me showing up at your door. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what the outcome might be.
Now, all I’m here to do is help educate you on the process. I’m going to tell you what to expect from them, whether or not we work together. If you know what to expect, you can select the right contractors, ones who you feel comfortable with.
By the way, I like to lead with this before I go into overcoming the objection. It’s a great way to set the stage for what’s coming up next.
Step 3: Explain the Process & Set Expectations
Once I’ve acknowledged the objection and reassured the homeowner, next, I’ll explain the claims process. I want to set their expectations, so they know what’s going to happen. So, I’ll say:
Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, you’re in a really privileged place right now. Because despite the discomfort and frustration of this claim, you have the opportunity to work with any contractor that you choose. Because the price doesn’t change. It’s whatever the insurance company comes back with — and your contractor works with them on price.
That’s how it works. Now, again, it is very normal for you to want to see what they have to say, but I want to educate you on how this process works.
So, naturally, you had a claim. This hailstorm fell, and your roof is damaged. We’re waiting to find out from the insurance potentially how bad it is and what might be covered.
At this point, one of three things can happen.
Now, you’re going to explain what the insurance company may come back with and what that means for the homeowner.
Scenario 1: The Insurance Company Says the Roof’s Totaled
This is how I explain scenario one to the homeowner:
If the insurance company comes back and says your roof’s totaled, they give you a check and expect you to get it done. In your mind, you’re thinking, ‘Great! All I got to do is find a roofer.’ And you’re probably thinking of getting an estimate from multiple roofers so you can compare them.
But that’s not really how it works. It’s not like a car claim. Because the insurance company will pay you in two parts. They’ll pay the first part, meaning what the roof is worth today. So, if it’s a 30-year roof and there’s 10 years on the shingles, they’re going to give you two-thirds of the price of a full replacement to get the job started.
Then, when it’s done, they’ll pay the difference. But the ONLY way that difference is paid is when we invoice them for the proper amount and say that all the work was done. Then, it’s handled. That’s one outcome.
Scenario 2: The Insurance Company Will Only Cover Part of the Damage
Here’s how I explain scenario two to the homeowner:
The second option is for the insurance company to come back and say they’ll only cover some of the damage. Or, worse, they say they aren’t covering anything. So, Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, you have two chances to get this thing approved the right way.
Now, think of it like going to court. You’re not saying that the adjuster or your insurance company is evil because they’re not. They are for-profit organizations. And obviously, they make more money by paying out less. But that shouldn’t influence the outcome. All that should influence the outcome is the time and attention of the insurance adjuster.
So, if you had a guy like me — again, whether or not we work together — alongside that adjuster or reviewing those details, would you agree that four eyeballs are better than two? The chances of things being noticed and identified are greatly increased, right?
I know that, sometimes, you can’t be out there on-site, especially if it’s not legal in your state (and I know the laws are changing all the time). So, you can alter this part of the pitch and talk about showing up afterward or discussing the details with them.
Now, you’re going to tell the homeowner about the option for re-inspection and highlight how you’re there to help. Here’s what you say:
If we don’t like what the insurance adjuster comes back with, the next recourse is what we call a re-inspection. That re-inspection means the adjuster is going to come out one more time. This is our final chance to make it right.
So, if he comes out and he writes the estimate and misses things, like maybe he only covers some damage and puts you in a bind, you’re going to be worried about getting the whole roof approved because you don’t want to pay out of pocket.
Or, worse yet, let’s say you don’t do the work now that your roof has been paid for. In that case, it’s literally no longer insured. Because the insurance company paid the claim. If it hails again or a tornado comes through rips your roof off, they’re not going to pay for it because it’s already been paid, and you never did anything. In this case, you would essentially be collecting on the damage twice.
So, it’s in your best interest to get this handled the right way, on the second go-around, by having an insurance restoration contractor on your side.
Scenario 3: Legal Recourse
Here’s how I explain this last possibility to the homeowner:
Let’s say the last two scenarios don’t pan out. Now, we’re down to legal recourse. It’s not fun for anybody, but there are options. I don’t want to go into them. But there are appraisals and bad faith claims with an attorney.
But before you get here, you have two shots at this. And no matter what the insurance provides, that is what any other contractor is going to work with.
So, my job, Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, and why I’m here today is not to sell you anything. Of course, I want to earn your business. But we’re not talking about me doing the roof right now. We’re talking about me standing here, helping you identify and assess the damage. And I want to explain how this process works.
Step 4: Point Out the Difference Between Roof Claims & Car Claims
At this point, it really helps to explain how roof claims are different from car claims because most people will assume they’re the same. And we know they aren’t. So, here’s what I say:
With roof claims, most people think they’re just like car claims. Like, if I dinged my bumper, for example, I might go to an auto body shop, and I’m going to hold my estimate close to the chest. The insurance company gave me $2,000 to fix my car, and this guy could do it for $1,500. So, I made $500, right?
It doesn’t work like that with roof claims. With these claims, there’s software called Xactimate. It is designed as a third-party Estimating Software that essentially price locks the whole industry. All the insurance adjuster (the guy or gal who’s going to come out) is going to do is identify the building materials that are damaged in the quantities or measurements of those materials.
So, then they go back to their office, they sit at their keyboard, and they say, “Okay, there’s this many shingles, this much drip edge, this much edge flashing, and this much counter flashing.” All they do is enter the quantities, key in some numbers, into this Xactimate software.
That software, which I’m an expert at using, will produce an estimate or what they call a Scope of Loss. That Scope of Loss is an estimate that’s based on your zip code and standard rates that are updated every single month by this monster database.
By the way, it’s really good to use this industry jargon with homeowners. It shows you know what you’re doing.
Step 5: Bring It Back to Price
Now that the homeowner has a clear idea of what to expect, here’s a powerful way to start bringing it all together to address their cost concerns:
So, I’m not here to try to get you to buy anything. You have a roof that’s damaged and needs to be replaced, and you have the opportunity to choose any contractor you want. My job is to help educate you on the process, make you feel comfortable, and help you feel confident.
But, most importantly, I can also hop up on your roof and assess the damage, wholly. Then, I can work with the insurance company to acknowledge it, and BOOM — the number they spit out is what we work on.
And I offer you my price lock guarantee.
Once homeowners know that their price — their out-of-pocket costs — are the same no matter what, you’ve opened the door to really lay their objection to rest.
Step 6: Pitch Your Roof Inspection
Now, it’s time to earn the sale. This is where I use my favorite line, and here’s what I say:
So, with all of that being said, Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, do you have any objection if I hop up on your roof?
I’ll conduct a complimentary inspection and take some photos. Then, I’ll hop down, and we can discuss any next steps. So, do you have any objection if I hop up on your roof?
When we ask that question in that way — Do you have any objection? — the knee-jerk response is to say “No.” And if I said, “Hey, can I hop up on your roof?”, the knee-jerk response is also “No,” right?
So, when I position it as, Do you have any objection?, you’re actually agreeing with me when you say, “No.”
That’s how you overcome this objection, the “I want to let my insurance company handle it” objection. You educate the homeowner, and you let them know how the process really works.
You’re positioning yourself as a storm restoration expert. You’re someone who understands the proper assessments, Xactimate, and the industry language. And you can explain that the homeowner has two chances to get their roof paid for appropriately.
Now, they feel comfortable and confident. They have nothing to lose by having you hop up and take a look at their roof.
How to Overcome the Insurance Objection in Roofing Sales: Extra Tips
You are now armed with a very powerful suite of information. Here are a few more tips I want to share to help you along as you address this objection:
- Pick and choose your strategies: I shared some different techniques with you, and some will work better than others in certain situations. So, cherry-pick what works best for you.
- Pause and ask questions: When you’re sitting with a homeowner, don’t be afraid to stop and periodically ask questions. Ask something like “Does that make sense?” or “Do you follow me so far?” to keep them engaged.
- Emphasize that you’re there to help them: As you explain the process, tell the homeowner that you’re there to help with the assessment. Ask them, “Do you have any objection if I hop up and take a look?” and explain that you’ll take pictures to show them and you’ll walk them through the process.
That’s how you move homeowners past the insurance objection, so they let their guard down and you have the opportunity to earn the sale.
By the way, check out my FREE Pitch Like a Pro Roofing Sales Training Video Library. It’s packed with a bunch of roofing sales tips and tricks, including strategies you can use to get invited to the kitchen table by taking pictures on your phone.
So, this right here is going to help you overcome those objections and earn more sales, instead of getting denied right away. Now, you’ll be able to turn that denial into a really ripe opportunity.
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Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.