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Pitching Mistake FIXED! Setting Yourself Up for Rejection at the Door? The “S.L.A.P.” Fix

Did you know that you could literally be creating your own objections without even knowing it? You could be unconsciously planting seeds of doubt in prospects’ minds at the door, giving them an easy way to reject you.

That’s what’s at stake when you pitch the wrong way.

I’m going to teach you how to avoid that rejection by revisiting the SLAP Formula.

It’s a powerful strategy that lets the homeowner guide you on how to pitch them, so you don’t unknowingly give them the objections or easy paths to boot you off their doorstep.

Welcome or welcome back, by the way. 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.

So, let’s jump right in.

What’s the SLAP Formula for Door-to-Door Roofing Sales?

My SLAP canvassing formula covers a framework of how to pitch at the door (check out my intro video on the SLAP Formula if you’re new here or you need some more background on this).

Here’s a quick recap of the SLAP Formula and what each letter in this acronym stands for:

  1. S -> Say “Hi” and break the ice.
  2. L -> Let them know why you are at their doorstep and make it as familiar as possible by referencing things (or people) in the neighborhood.
  3. A -> Ask open-ended question (more on this below).
  4. P -> Present to their answer.

It is stupid, simple. And it means you don’t need word-for-word scripts. It’s a highly effective strategy you can adapt to practically any situation in door-to-door roofing sales.

Now, yes, I do provide a few word-for-word roofing sales scripts in the Marketing Battle Pack, along with a printout of the SLAP Formula. So, you can literally print it out, put it in your truck, and use it as a quick reference when you’re knocking on doors.

But here’s one of the best things about the SLAP Formula — it makes it easier to shorten your roofing sales pitch at the door and start conversations more naturally.


By asking the right open-ended questions.

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Why Open-Ended Questions in the SLAP Formula for Roofing Sales?

First, let’s look at the difference between closed-ended questions versus open-ended questions with a couple of simple examples.

With closed-ended questions, the answer is a “yes” or a “no.”

Example: Did you eat breakfast today?

When I ask this question, what happens? You immediately ask yourself the question, and you know the answer right away. And by asking this, I’ve guided you to a “yes” or “no.” And I really only want to be getting a “yes” as an answer at the door (with very rare exception).

Now, let’s switch that to an open-ended question.

Example: What did you eat breakfast this morning?

This question gets you thinking more, and it asks for more than a one-word answer. It’s going to start a conversation. And that’s, of course, what we want.

Now, let’s look at this in terms of storm damage.

How to Use Open-Ended Questions in Your Door-to-Door Roofing Sales Pitch

At the door, let’s say you start your pitch with a closed-ended question.

Have you had someone take a look at your roof yet?

What’s the response? A homeowner will probably say something like:

  • No, we’re good. Thanks.”
  • Yes. Our insurance was out. We’re good.”
  • Yes, I’ve had three roofers out to look at it already. I’m taken care of.”

Boom, door closed. You’re literally creating an easy answer, an easy out, for them by asking that closed-ended question.

And to be clear, I’m defining “closed-ended question” as one that has a “yes” or “no” answer. With these questions, you’re creating the rejection. You’re telling the homeowner how to reject you out of the gate.

That’s why I preach an open-ended question. It requires them to think about an answer.

When done right, the open-ended question invites the prospect to tell you what their problem is. That’s what sales is all about — identifying a problem and inserting yourself as the solution.

So, when you’re at the door, ask the homeowner an open-ended question. Here are a couple of great ones to use in door-to-door roofing sales.

1. How has the insurance process been for you?

Point to the roof, look up at it, and ask:

How has the insurance process been for it?

The homeowner will have to answer with something like, “good,” “bad,” “great,” or “not so great.” And many will follow with, “Here’s why…”

Whatever they say, they’re going to have to think a little bit before answering.

They can’t answer “yes” or “no.” They can’t shut you down just by saying, “It’s good,” “It’s bad,” “It’s great,” or “We’re okay.” All of those start a conversation.

Here’s another question that can open up a conversation with a homeowner.

2. Where in the insurance process are you?

Lead into this one using the SLAP Formula. This is a pitch that lets them know why you’re there (“L”), followed by the open-ended question (“A”):

So, I just finished up with Peggy next door and just helped meet with her adjuster.

We got the roof approved. And while I’m in the neighborhood and have my ladder with me, I just wanted to stop by and ask

Where are you again?

You’re not being forceful, and you’re not inserting yourself here. By asking, “where are you in the process?,” you’re giving them a way to think about the process and tell you about the problem.

After the Open-Ended Question: The Answer Is a Stage of the Claims Process

As homeowners explain their problem, we know that it’s going to relate to one of the four stages of the claims process. Here’s how:

  • Stage 1: They may say, “What are you talking about?” or “What insurance process?” If they do, you can simply respond with, “Oh, great. I’m glad I stopped by. Your neighbor’s roof is totaled. Yours might be too.”
  • Stage 2: The homeowner could say something like, “Insurance came out already, and they’re only paying for a couple repairs.” At this point, the homeowner maybe or may not be satisfied with that. But now you know the problem.
  • Stage 3: They may say, “Hey, they denied my claim. And I’m really pissed off because I know my neighbors got a new roof.”
  • Stage 4: They could say, “We’re looking for a roofer. Insurance came out to pay for the roof, we got the check, and now I’m getting estimates.”

So, by asking that open-ended question, you invite a homeowner to tell you about the problem they’re having. That gives you an easy way to apply the “P” in the SLAP Formula — to present to their answer and provide the solution to their problem.

It gives you the keys to pitch. Then, you say:

Hey, I’m so glad I stopped by. Here’s how I might be able to help you out.

And you just fast track it. You cut through all the noise and BS. Just let them guide you.

Recap: How to SLAP Down Common Mistakes in Your Door-to-Door Roofing Sales Pitch

So, let’s review the key takeaways here. And by the way, if you are interested in a deeper dive on this topic, check out my Battle Pack and Complete Sales Strategy.

When you show up at the door, here’s how to use SLAP for hail or wind damage:

  1. S -> Say “hi” and break the ice. Find something unique about their house, find common ground, or compliment them in some way. Compliments are great icebreakers.
    • Example: Hey, my name is Adam. By the way, that’s an absolutely beautiful vegetable garden. Nice F-150. Oh, I see you’re an Eagles fan. Awesome.
  2. L -> Let them know why you’re there and make it familiar. The more familiar, the better.
    • Example: Hey, the reason I’m stopping by is that I’ve been helping homeowners on [name of the street] or in [name the neighborhood or city] get their roof looked at after that big storm that came through last week.
  3. A -> Ask an open-ended question. Then, let them talk.
    • Example: Where are you in the insurance process? How has the insurance process been for you?
  4. P -> Present to their answer.
    • Example: Hey, I’m so glad I stopped by. Here’s how I might be able to help you out with that.

Now, you can see how this all comes together. It invites the homeowner to tell you the problem is in a very conversational way. No matter what scenario comes up at the door, you can just plug and play with the SLAP Formula. You can adjust it on the fly.

So, print out that SLAP cheat sheet in the Battle Pack, which also gives you access to direct mail letters, the letter leave behind, the call scripts, the referral program, and more — it’s all in there.

And remember, this key takeaway

You need to ask open-ended questions. With closed-ended questions, you’re kicking yourself in the teeth because you’re giving the homeowner an easy way to reject you.

So, don’t make it harder for yourself. Make it easy. Go against the grain and do what’s different because every other roofer out there is doing the same garbage. And most of the training in this industry tells you pitch the free inspection.

Well, guess what? The homeowner doesn’t need an inspection if:

  • They have a check in hand.
  • Their insurance company told them that they have partial coverage.

They need you to tell them how to get to where they need to be, and that’s getting the whole roof done. So, put this SLAP Formula to use, and you will start getting past more doors than you can imagine.

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