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Traumatic Childhood? Why It Helps in Sales

A screwed-up traumatic childhood could be the reason why you’re SUCCESSFUL — or why you will be very successful — in roofing sales.

First, I want to share a BIG WARNING.

This topic may dig up some stuff for you, and it’s unlike anything else I’ve done before (and I was actually quite nervous to share this).

Still, I’m putting this out because I believe it’s going to tap into the core of folks who have maybe hand childhood experiences or trauma due to things like:

  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • Severe mental illness
  • Physical abuse
  • More

When you go to school as a kid, your home environment is just your “normal,” and:

  • You probably don’t want people to know what’s going on at home.
  • Everyone on the outside looks at you thinking everything’s great and you’re living this normal life.
  • It’s not until you get older and look back that you realize your childhood was messed up.

Disclaimer: If you don’t want to go into this trauma, STOP here. Do NOT keep going to dive in deeper. Now, if you’re someone who really believes that roofing sales truly is personal development in disguise, this is for you. Also, I’m NOT a therapist, and I’m NOT your therapist. I did get an undergraduate degree in Psychology, which basically means nothing. I just want to get really personal, talk about the inner landscape of roofing sales, and highlight why I believe childhood trauma can fuel success in sales.

Now, I recognize that not everybody agrees with this. So, I invite an open conversation on this topic, and I encourage you to drop comments on this video on YouTube.

Not too long ago, I brought up this topic at a dinner, and this woman that I was with completely disagreed. In fact, I said that I believe most highly successful salespeople had really traumatic childhood experiences, and she disagreed strongly.

So, we all have our own opinions, and I want to share my beliefs because:

  • They’ve empowered me.
  • I hope that they can empower you too.

Welcome or welcome back, by the way. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist. Everything I do honestly in my life is designed to help you and your team smash your income goal and give every customer an amazing experience.

And I do what I do because I’ve found that:

  1. About 66% of roofing salespeople quit or get fired in their very first year.
  2. We have a really high turnover in roofing sales.
  3. Arming folks like you or your team with sales strategies, tactics, and skills can help you succeed — and succeed very quickly, like on your very first day, in your very first week, or in your very first month.

Beyond that, I know that WE are often our own biggest roadblock in roofing sales. So, having that motivation, that drive, that knowledge of how to deal with situations that we haven’t yet encountered can help A LOT. And roofing sales CAN be the best therapy in the entire world.

That’s why I’m going to share my journey with you here. Hopefully, it inspires you to take that journey too.

So, let’s jump in.

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Why Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Success in Roofing Sales

I believe that people who have childhood trauma, growing up in families with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, physical trauma, severe mental illness, and more, CAN become wildly successful salespeople because of the skills they developed dealing with that trauma.

Let me explain. Oftentimes, children dealing with traumatic environments feel:

  • Unstable
  • Insecure
  • Unsafe
  • Very anxious

Personally, I’ve struggled with this my entire life, as long as I can remember, until I read this book called, The Dare Response. This book provided a healing platform and a framework to follow, and that has been phenomenal.

Still, as children:

  1. We learn these skill sets out of fear, anxiety, and feeling unsafe.
  2. Out of pure survival instinct, we find ways to make ourselves feel safe.

Now, that can be with activities like binge eating (because that’s one thing you can control), and I binge ate. I’d also rearrange my room constantly because I could control my home environment.

So, we find these things that we can control. And with interpersonal skills, we end up finding we play a role. I’ll give you an example, sharing my story.

Roofing Sales Skills & Childhood Trauma: My Story

As a kid, I played the peacekeeper in my house. That’s the behavior that comes right before the explosion. I didn’t want to deal with that explosion, so I’d try to keep things calm and maintain the peace.

After all, if there’s no tension, then everything’s good, and I’m calm and safe. And when I played that role of peacekeeper as a child, I developed these skill sets, like having eagle-eye vision to tune into and read:

  • Subtle body language signals: I’d tune into facial expressions and tonalities, anticipating things and learning how to observe people play this peacekeeper role.
  • Sounds in the house: I could tell that if doors slammed or things were slammed on the counter, it was the precursor or the indicator of tension.

That helped me develop this very powerful skillset that I could apply to messaging and communication. Now, I know:

  1. What they’re thinking and about to do
  2. How they’re going to react
  3. If I can do my best to try to control this environment, I can keep this peace, I don’t have to deal with this garbage anymore, AND I can just be happy.

So, that skillset — learning how to read and observe people — helped me in roofing sales because I now have developed a keen understanding of:

  1. How to watch people, noticing their subtle movements, when they’re uncomfortable, when their mood changes, and when they disagree with something
  2. The unconscious behaviors people can display right before they get upset or angry.

The role that I played as peacekeeper helped me develop these skills, which then helped me become successful in sales AFTER I learned how to conquer the weakness.

So, our greatest strength is often our greatest weakness.

Peacekeeping & Conflict in Roofing Sales

Now, let’s talk about peacekeeping and avoiding conflict in roofing sales. Personally, I used to HATE conflict, and:

  • I did everything in my power to avoid conflict.
  • I didn’t have thick skin.
  • I wanted to keep everybody happy.

Well, guess what?

Keeping everyone happy is NOT possible in roofing sales (or sales in general).

So, when I started knocking on doors, I was that peacekeeper who just wanted everybody happy. That meant that I would:

  • Show up at someone’s house, with a smile on my face.
  • Knock on the door.
  • CRUMBLE when I encountered homeowners who yelled at me and called me names.

I didn’t have thick skin, and I would just crumble under that pressure.

So, getting out to knock on doors was incredibly challenging for me because:

  • It went against everything that I’d learned about survival as a child.
  • I had to conquer my “inner demon,” that part of me that no longer served me.
  • I need to adapt my skillset to really distill the communication and process what’s being said and how it’s being understood or received.

Now, in roofing sales, I’ve developed a very fine-tuned skill of empathy, learning to not only read but understand and feel what other people are feeling because I’ve been there through direct experience.

That is why I believe that:

  • Roofing sales is personal development in disguise.
  • We can be our #1 roadblock.
  • We have to get past our peace-keeping tendencies and fear of conflict.

How Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Success in Roofing Sales

We can use roofing sales to help us get past any fears of conflict by taking this therapeutic approach and saying to ourselves:

Hey, I learned these skills in my childhood, but they don’t serve me now.

Now, I’m going to practice the skillsets I’ve developed each and every day:

  • Going up into that door
  • Knocking on that door
  • Facing and conquering my fear
  • Leaning into that discomfort
  • Sharpening those skills that I develop to be even more potent
  • Channeling those skills in a healthy direction to be WILDLY POWERFUL as a teacher, a salesperson, and a leader

That’s why I invite you to join me on this journey of roofing sales and personal development. Now, I’m not against therapy by any means. In fact:

  • I was in therapy for most of my childhood.
  • I’ve participated in my own type of therapy through self-study reading and constant experimentation (and that’s actually one of the reasons I got this watch; it’s a reminder of that journey and where I’m at today).

These symbols that I wear, the tattoos that I have, are all a constant reminder of:

  1. That journey
  2. Where I was
  3. Where I can be

So, if you believe that you need therapy, you want it, or you think it’ll be remotely helpful, go do it. Who cares? Drop the ego.

But what I think is really fun about roofing sales is that you get paid to be in therapy to:

  • Be the BEST version of you.
  • Grow beyond your childhood traumas.
  • Harness all the negativity and toxic crap you’ve dealt with in a way that says, “I am the way I am today because of what I grew out of and what I survived as a kid. Now, I’m here to channel all of that is my gift to the world to give, to be of service, to be of use to others, and to commit my life to being of use in the highest use possible.”

For Adlerian psychology, that IS the definition of happiness — to be of use to others.

So, I invite you to join me on the challenge and the journey of:

  1. Embracing your childhood trauma
  2. Diving into it to find out why you became who you are in journaling
  3. Grabbing a pen and paper and writing down what skill sets you developed through those experiences and how can you apply those skill sets in a positive light to serve others better and connect more deeply.

That’s why I believe that roofing sales is personal development in disguise. After all, roofing sales is NOT for everybody, especially those who are weak at heart. It is NOT for folks who are:

  • Afraid of themselves
  • Afraid of conflict
  • Seeking comfort and security all the time

For those who enjoy the challenge and the journey of personal growth — and who can lean into that discomfort —the byproduct of roofing sales is getting to:

  • Help more people.
  • Collect more thank you notes.
  • Earn more money.

So, that’s why I believe that childhood trauma is one of the MOST important factors in shaping us and helping us become very, very, very strong, powerful, and confident salespeople. I hope this inspires you or your team, and I invite you to share this and revisit it.

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