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Shame, Pride, and Belonging: Mindset Fix in Roofing Sales

Have you ever felt ashamed of what you do?

Have you said you’re in “home sales” or “home services” because:

  • You’re embarrassed to tell others you’re in roofing sales?
  • You feel like you don’t belong?

I felt that way, and that’s what I did.

In fact, I didn’t feel like I was part of this industry — and I didn’t want to be because I didn’t want homeowners to put me in the same category as:

  • Other door-to-door salespeople
  • Snaky contractors (like the ones you read about on the news because they’re going to jail, they’re associated with injuries and OSHA violations, or they’re linked to scams).

And that’s what homeowners think of when they think of roofers.

On top of that, there was another group of roofers who I also didn’t feel like I fit in with. That was the group that was more aggressive and solely focused on “winning” and “closing” the deal.

Now, I’m a small-statured man who:

  1. Really geeks out on sales
  2. Deeply cares about using sales to provide an enjoyable experience of togetherness and powerful engagement that earns the sale, as opposed to like winning it or closing it.

So, I felt lost and lonely. I did NOT feel a sense of pride.

Later, I began to learn that this negative self-talk — meaning telling myself, Hey, you don’t fit in, and you don’t belong. You’re not proud of what you do! — it was truly a ceiling to my success.

To date, I’ve had the opportunity to work with tens of thousands of roofing salespeople, all of the top earners (making at least $300,000 in income). And ALL of them are PROUD of what they do, screaming it from the mountaintops.

This is NOT for them. It’s for the folks who are on a journey to get there.

Now, believe me, I’ve gone through this MANY times, and I truly hope it helps.

First, I want to say welcome or welcome back. My name is Adam Bensman, 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 already checked it out, I invite you to explore my brand-new FREE training center, which includes my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library. Simply text “FREE” (303) 222-7133 for more info or a private demo.

Now, let’s get to it.

I’m going to discuss this from three angles or perspectives, highlighting the real experiences that we go through and going over:

  1. Our self-talk
  2. What we say to our customers
  3. How we fit into the roofing industry at large

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Roofing Sales Mindset Factor #1: Our Self-Talk

Our self-talk is our internal dialogue or narrative. It’s like we have the “devil” on one shoulder and an “angel” on the other, with the:

  • Negative self-talk questioning what we’re doing, putting us in the same category as those “scumbag” roofers, and wondering if we should just get another job
  • Positive self-talk telling us that we’re really good folks who are just trying to do the right thing and help homeowners through the process

Now, this self-talk can go back and forth between negative and positive, the “devil” and “angel” on our shoulders.

And when I dealt with this type of self-talk, I started to side more and more with the devil because I started to view things from a place of FEAR. I would start to SHY away when people asked me what I did for a living. I’d say:

I’m in-home sales. I’m in home services.

I NEVER said what I actually did. I never said with pride:

You know what?

I HELP homeowners get through one of the most painful, boring processes of their entire life that they absolutely need to go through.

Eventually, though, I DID change lanes here, and I started to get creative with my answer, even bringing some humor to it. In fact, I’d answer the “what do you do?” question with:

I help homeowners replace their roofs after storm damage. And I make the process incredibly easy, painless, and quite frankly, fun.

Over time, I started to learn how to communicate with passion and excitement.

So, I want to share this mindset shift with you, so you can go from this “devil” or negative mindset, which comes from the fear of others judging you, to a more positive perspective. And this shift doesn’t mean you have to put down other roofers and position yourself as “the golden child” (I’ve done this before too, and it’s kind of pathetic).

Now, I have fun when I answer the “what do you do for a living?” question. I’ll say something like:

I help homeowners go through the most expensive and boring process they’re EVER going to have to go through with their homes.

After I say, folks usually ask, “What’s that?” Then, I’ll say, “replace their roof,” and it brings humor to the situation. It’s fun, and it’s true.

So, again, that mindset shift involves:

  1. NOT listening to the fear-based narrative that gets you worried about how you’re perceived
  2. Sharing how you WISH to be perceived, coming from a place of confidence

That internal dialogue is the first place to start shifting your mindset — and you have to get this right before you move on to the next step.

Roofing Sales Mindset Factor #2: What We Say to Customers

Next, we need to look at shifting how we communicate with customers. To that end, I encourage you to ride your elevator.

Why? Because it’s an easy way to chat with folks and practice explaining what you do. As you do this, you need to share the:

  1. Who: Who are you?
  2. What: What exactly do you do?
  3. Why: Why do you do it?

Here’s how I hit those three points:

  1. Who? -> Hey, my name’s Adam.
  2. What? -> I help homeowners replace their roofs.
  3. Why? -> Because the experience is miserable, and I make it fun.

Feel free to run with that in various ways, get creative, and change up your answers. Here’s another version:

  1. Who? -> Hey, I’m Adam.
  2. What? -> I help homeowners navigate the insurance process to get their roof replaced.
  3. Why? -> Because that process is overwhelming and confusing, and I make sure folks get taken care of.

Again, you can spin that a million different ways. So, grab a piece of paper and brainstorm. Simply write down some possible responses you could use here.

Now, a quick recap — we’ve covered:

  1. Self-talk and our internal dialogue
  2. How you communicate

Next, I want to talk about the sense of belonging.

Roofing Sales Mindset Factor #3: How You Fit in the Roofing Industry

Feeling like you fit in with the roofing industry is important because that can keep us driven and happy.

On that note, there’s a great book that I highly recommend, The Courage to Be Disliked. This book focuses on a philosophical conversation, with the author suggesting that happiness is linked to one’s sense of being useful or their “community feeling.”

That “community feeling” means feeling like we’re part of something, and it can impact our happiness levels. With this perspective, when we’re being of use to someone:

  • We are helping them through the process.
  • We are providing an essential service (In fact, our government designated roofing as an essential service during the 2020 shutdowns, letting us continue to operate).
  • We are part of a community, creating that sense of belonging.

So, from a purely analytical standpoint, we ARE of use to other people.

Still, you may feel different from others — like you’re an odd duck or an outcast.

And guess what?

It does NOT matter if you’re old or young, tall or short, fat or skinny, an ex-con, or WHATEVER. Anyone can belong in roofing sales — that’s the fun part!

And it’s been a BIG privilege for me to speak at events and communicate with thousands and thousands and thousands of folks to highlight the facts that:

  1. Everybody is going through the same thing.
  2. Everybody is dealing with the same inner battles and demons, including those folks who don’t want to talk about it. They deal with rejection too, and they are afraid of it. They have difficult days.

It really does help to know that you’re not going through this alone and that almost everyone faces these struggles. It’s NORMAL.

And at one point or another, we’re going to have personal stuff going on or problems with a specific job or customer — and we’re STILL going to have put a smile on for our other customers, no matter how much we wish the day was just over.

In roofing sales, we go through this together. And there’s something that unites us collectively through this experience, creating that sense of belonging in the industry that extends beyond our individual backgrounds.

In fact, it doesn’t matter what your background, your education, your financial status, or your other personal details are.

Roofing sales is a level playing field of opportunity. So, the best part of “belonging” in this industry, is that:

  1. ANYONE can fit in — there are NO RULES.
  2. We’re ALL out in the trenches doing the same thing.
  3. All of us have come to this roofing space with a shared vision, entering the industry with little to no experience, taking an opportunity to change our lives, and helping people along the way to earn life-changing money.

THAT is the sense of camaraderie in the roofing sales community.

We’re ALL facing the same challenges, regardless of whether we’re just starting out, we work at a mid-size company, or we work at one of the top 10 roofing companies in the U.S. — everybody is going through the same thing.

Recap: How to Shift Your Mindset in Roofing Sales

I hope this helps you and anyone on your team who’s questioned their pride, their confidence, and their place in the roofing sales industry.

At the end of the day:

  1. We’ve all felt like we don’t fit in at one point or another.
  2. You DO belong because you are of use to someone.
  3. You have skillsets that can help someone through a situation or scenario that they don’t necessarily want to go through, acting as their guide.

I hope this helps you change your mindset, how you talk to yourself, and how you view your worth. It’s about:

  • Being of use to someone
  • Communicating with your customers in a different way, showing them your pride and confidence, as well as your commitment to doing what’s right and giving them an amazing experience that they probably haven’t had with other contractors

With this, I really hope two things happen — I hope that:

  1. Your confidence soars wildly.
  2. Your income follows suit.

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