Door-to-door canvassing. Direct sales.
It’s cold. Right?
We show up, and people don’t know who we are. It’s completely unannounced.
Therefore, it’s cold, just like direct outreach or cold calling, meaning you’re calling someone for the very first time.
Unfortunately, this cold approach is not ideal.
Now, I know it must be done, but I’m going to share a strategy you can use to make it warm. I’ll explain what that means here in a second.
The Problems with Cold Door Knocking in Roofing Sales
When we show up with the cold approach, our customer is thinking, Who the heck are you? I haven’t seen you.
The problem with cold approaches is that it gets in our head. And, again, I know that the cold approach needs to be in place for a short period of time.
But for both newer and seasoned salespeople, the cold approach gives us this mindset where we internalize all of the negativity that we’ve heard. And it kills our confidence.
By the way, owners and managers, that’s one of the main reasons that sales reps quit. They get beat down over and over again. They’re in their head, and all of this negative nonsense gets internalized.
I AM a sleazy door-to-door salesperson, the reps start thinking, and their confidence is destroyed.
So, it’s our job as leaders to give our team the right steps, the right path forward, to rewrite the story in the sales reps’ mind — for you sales reps out there, you can do THIS on your own (and I’ll share more about what “THIS” is shortly).
When we make this shift from cold door knocking, meaning no one knows who we are and it’s our first time in the neighborhood, to warm door knocking, which means people have seen us before and there’s familiarity, great things happen:
- For owners and managers, that means increased retention and higher performance.
- For roofing sales reps, it means finding more meaning and more enjoyment out of their career choice.
How do we do this?
That’s what we are going to cover in this blog.
Roofing Sales Opportunities & FREE Training Videos
Before we get into the warm door knocking strategy, I want to say welcome or welcome back. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist. And the roofing industry has completely changed my life. I’ve tried to leave four times, and I keep getting drawn back in — I love it.
That’s because this industry provides opportunities for everyone, no matter your walk of life, your background, your education, or where you came from. It does NOT matter. It truly is a land of opportunity, as long as you are willing to apply yourself, lean into the discomfort, grow, and do the work.
Sometimes, it’s not easy, but we CAN make it easier by following the right steps.
So, I’m glad you’re here because everything I do here (and on my YouTube channel, Instagram, and my podcast on Apple and Spotify) is designed to help you and your team at smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
To help you do that, I want to invite you to download your FREE copy of my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library, if you haven’t already. Just enter your name and email, and you’ll be in good company, joined by thousands of people who’ve already downloaded this video library.
You’ll also get instant access to all my videos, so you can jump right into more on canvasing training, pitching, and other hot topics in roofing sales. You’re going to LOVE this if you enjoy my roofing sales training videos.
Now, time to dive in.
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Cold vs. Warm Door Knocking in Roofing Sales
Let’s get on the same page with what “cold” means here. In roofing sales, cold means we’re showing up for the first time. People don’t know who we are.
And the BIG mistake with this, especially for newer salespeople, is the grass-is-greener mindset. They knock on doors in one neighborhood and then move right on to the next one if no one’s home or if they didn’t get any bites.
If that’s you, it means that, each and every time, you’re going in cold, so no one knows who you are. Insult to injury, once you do get some traction and you keep this up, you’re spread out all over the place.
With the best-case scenario being 5 visits to each house, that means you’re driving back and forth a LOT — 5 times here, 5 times there, and 5 times over to third totally different location. Suddenly, you’re spending hours and hours a day in windshield time. I’ve done it, and believe me, it’s NOT fun.
Instead, we want to focus on warm door-knocking.
How to Transition from Cold to Warm Door Knocking in Roofing Sales
In door-to-door roofing sales, we want to go from cold to warm as FAST as possible.
How can we do that?
By the way, I read those books after I developed the process I’m teaching you here. And this exact process is literally the foundation of my all-in-one sales training, sales strategy, and sales system that’s being used by thousands as we speak for storm and retail roofing sales.
It’s a complete system, from knock to close, that will get you on this transition from cold to warm as quickly as possible.
But I want to lay out the foundation first and share some context for the Friendship Formula. Jack Shaffer, as an FBI agent, was tasked with spotting foreign spies in the U.S., so guys from another country who are in the U.S. to send intel back to their home country. Jack’s job was to befriend those spies, flip them, and get them to start giving him (and the U.S.) intel.
Now, I’m sharing that context as I begin to lay out this roofing sales strategy because if the Friendship Formula can convert a foreign spy, I’m pretty sure it’ll work in door-to-door roofing sales.
In fact, we KNOW it has worked because of the results.
Door-to-Door Roofing Sales: How the Friendship Formula Works
What exactly is the Friendship Formula? It’s a 4-part blueprint for “warming” people up to you. And those parts include:
Let me explain what this means. So, Jack Shaffer’s job was to spot foreign spies, flip them, and get them to start spying on their own home country. He would NEVER have his first interaction with them sitting down. He’d go on a walk.
And he started to “warm up” his targets by:
- Stopping by the spies’ place of business or their local hangout multiple times (frequency)
- Getting close to them, so they’d see him out of the corner of their eye (proximity)
- Spending more and more time in those businesses or hangouts (duration)
- Building intensity to develop that emotional connection and emotional response from his targets (intensity)
How do we apply this to roofing sales?
- Frequency: This is how often you’re in the neighborhood and how many times during the day homeowners see you. If they only see you once, are they going to eagerly buy from you? No, probably not. By the way, the same thing goes for being “seen” online, like if you’re running Facebook or Google ads for leads. Homeowners are going to recognize you and be more open to buying from you. You’ll hear them say stuffy like, “I see you everywhere. We’ve seen your ads. We’ve seen your trucks.” That’s frequency.
- Proximity: This is how close you are to that home. After all, it’s easier to sign the neighbor than the homeowner who’s 7 blocks away. So, the closer, the better.
- Duration: This means how long you’re in a neighborhood. If you are one-and-done in a neighborhood, homeowners only see you once. That’s low-frequency and low proximity for a short period of time. Now, if you’re in that same neighborhood over and over again for long periods of time, homeowners are going to say, “Hey, I saw your truck in the neighborhood all day. I saw your crew here all day. You’ve been in the neighborhood for weeks. You’ve done multiple jobs here.”
- Intensity: This is the degree to which the customer or the neighborhood has had some sort of emotional response to you or developed some type of emotional connection with you.
This Friendship Formula works because of the psychology behind it.
The Psychology of the Friendship Formula in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales
Let’s dig into this a little more and see why it works.
When we’re cold door knocking, people are thinking, Who the heck are YOU?
Instead, we want to be doing warm door knocking.
When we make this shift from cold to warm door knocking, we now have:
- A service-focused reason for our visit in the neighborhood
- Reps who enjoy what they do
By the way, this is the plan that most of the wickedly successful reps who I’ve interviewed use — like Bill Sansom, who did $2.2 million in his first year at age 60, and Marshall, who did about $500k in 6 weeks when he flipped to this system. Marshall calls this plan “breathing familiarity.”
When we follow this system, which is inside the Roofing Sales Success Formula & Complete Sales Strategy program, it not only changes the rep’s mindset, but it also:
- Increases retention
- Enhances roofing sales reps’ performance
- Allows reps have fun with it
How to Apply the Friendship Formula in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales
Fundamentally, we want to stay in the same neighborhood. And if you don’t get traction, that’s okay because we can:
- Come back another time
- “Batch” our time in the neighborhood
- Leverage key touch points
Key touch points are triggers that allow us to provide incredible service to the customer. That’s the touch point that lets us convert that service into a sales opportunity.
How does it work?
Again, we want to stay in the neighborhood and leverage those key touch points.
Now, the last piece of groundwork here is strong habits. I’ve studied habit-forming behavior, and the idea is that we have a trigger to take action. Let’s check out a couple of examples of I mean by “trigger.”
Examples of Triggers: Take folks who enjoy a beer or a cocktail after work. The ritual of pouring yourself a cocktail or grabbing a drink becomes a routine that indicates the end of your workday. So, the trigger is finishing work, and the habit is going for a beverage. Of course, triggers can happen with other behaviors too, whether it’s playing video games, working out, or whatever. The point is that we have a trigger to take some action in the moment.
Our mission is to take that natural human tendency and use it to our advantage.
What Are the Key Triggers & Touch Points in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales?
Strong habits focused by triggers are the key stages or touch points. And those triggers, stages, and touch points occur when:
- We sign a new customer, regardless of whether that homeowner signs a contingency or a contract.
- We schedule the job.
- We visit for install day.
- We return when the roof’s done.
- We pick up the final payment.
I’m going to add in one more touch point here, and that’s entering or opening up a new neighborhood (it’s less of a trigger but still a touch point).
So, whether you’re holding yourself or a team accountable, we now know that when you:
- Sign a new customer you have to take steps A, B, and C
- Schedule a job, you have to do D, E, and F
- Visit after the job’s done, meaning you’re invoicing the homeowner or the insurance company, you take steps G, H, and I
- Receive full payment, you follow steps J, K, and L
So, here’s what this allows us to do this. Again, if you are using my all-in-one sales training, sales strategy and sales system — the Roofing Sales Success Formula & Complete Sales Strategy — this is all laid out there in great detail (and if you are interested in the program and want to chat more about it, just call or text my team at (303) 222-7133, and we’d be happy to answer your questions).
The flow we have here is the habit, meaning the trigger, which then indicates we need to follow these steps.
Habit (Trigger) –> Action (Steps)
By the way, the Marketing Battle Pack comes with scripts, emails, and several other resources all baked right in. Those will guide you on exactly what to say, what materials to use, and a whole lot more at each touch point.
By rewiring your mind with that habit-trigger-action flow, you can:
- Engage in these steps from a service-based approach
- Easily go into warm door knocking
So, the ONLY time we’re doing cold door knocking is when we’re brand new to a neighborhood. And we’re only doing cold door knocking up until the point when we start getting inspections. Then, we can:
- Start referencing who we’ve talked to in the neighborhood
- Transition into warm door knocking
- Take a service-based approach
Roofing Sales Script: What to Say at Each Touch Point
Here’s a quick look at what you can say to homeowners at each key touch point. In other words, here’s how to use the warm approach to canvassing and what to say at each “trigger” moment:
- Signing a new customer: Hey, I’m stopping because Peggy, two doors down, just chose us to do her roof. The reason I’m here is __________.
- Scheduling the job: Hey, the reason I’m stopping by is that Peggy’s roof is getting installed next week.
- Install day: Hey, I’m stopping because we’re actually installing your neighbor Peggy’s roof today.
- The roof’s done or the job’s paid in full: Hey, I’m stopping by because, last week, we did Peggy’s roof.
I’m breaking all this down so that, every time we’re out there, we’re leveraging the Friendship Formula — frequency, proximity, duration, and intensity.
We’re there a lot. We’re close by, and we’re there very frequently. And the intensity is the relationships that we develop.
Warm Door Knocking Works: A Personal Story
A little while back, I was working this little neighborhood with a gentleman, Lonnie, who used to sell for us.
We went in there cold, and we got nothing, absolutely NOTHING. And there was no competition there. It was this fringe area with an old storm date, and a new storm had just kind of hit.
We knew that if we could find something, we’d crack it. But we got nothing. We kept getting rejected, rejected, rejected.
Fast forward 6 weeks, and we had signed like 60 homes. Most of that was Lonnie because I was managing at the time and just helping out.
Lonnie kept hearing, “No.” Then, he’d get a roof done. Next, he’d get roofing and siding done. And he’d go back to those houses where they said “No,” and he flipped five of them into a “Yes.”
And I vividly remember this four-block perimeter with yard sign after yard sign after yard sign.
We CRUSHED it, and it was because of these touch points and leverage — leveraging the principle of the Friendship Formula.
Next Steps for Roofing Sales Reps, Managers & Owners
So, here’s your mission.
- Roofing sales reps: Your mission is to quit the one-and-done method. Try to transition from cold door knocking to warm door knocking as fast as you can.
- Owners and managers: Your job is to understand that it’s your responsibility to give your team this path to rewire their own internal dialogue. This can increase retention while helping reps feel confident with their work because they’re taking the service-driven approach.
Get More Roofing Sales Strategies, Tips & Videos
If you want more on canvassing, pitching, or any topic in door-to-door roofing sales, check out my all-in-one sales training, sales strategy, and sales system, the Roofing Sales Success Formula & Complete Sales Strategy.
We have packages available for individual reps and entire teams. The team packages include recruitment training, sales leadership training, role-play training, and a management rollout guide to help you implement everything. This exclusive program covers everything from presenting to closing. If you have questions, just call or text (303) 222-7133 for more info.
You can also subscribe for the latest roofing sales training videos and/or get a copy of my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library. It includes every roofing sales video I’ve ever done, organized by category, along with a bunch of tips, tricks, and more. It’s great for new people and seasoned veterans, and it’s updated all the time to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
And don’t forget to check out my Marketing Battle Pack for instant access to 70+ pieces of my proven, turnkey roofing sales and marketing materials. It’s an entire suite, specially designed for sales teams, managers, and owners, providing:
- Direct Mail Letters
- Door Hangers
- Goal Projection Planners
- A LOT more!
It’s affordably priced and comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. There’s also a playlist of instructional videos in there, explaining every single thing. So, you can watch the videos, and you’ll know exactly what to do.
Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next blog.