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Your 1st Second & What NOT to Do

What if I told you that you had just ONE SECOND at the door to make or break that conversation and get the chance to pitch?

It sounds pretty crazy.

But in door-to-door roofing sales, learning to master the initial impression — that first, split-second at the door — can mean:

  1. Having 3, 5, or even 10 more conversations a week
  2. Getting on a lot more roofs and stacking up to probably 5, 10, 20, or even 50 additional sales every year.

That’s the beauty of sales. When we master what we say, how we communicate, and how we interact with others, we can begin stroking ourselves $5k, $10k, or even $20k a month.

And as you know, communication is far more than just the verbal side. It’s more than the words we say.

So, I’m going to take a dive deep and give you a tactical strategy to:

  1. MASTER your very first second at the door
  2. Make door knocking easier
  3. Help you start even more conversations.

Welcome or welcome back, by the way. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist, and I’m really glad to have you here. Everything I do here on my YouTube channel and my podcast (on Apple and Spotify) is designed to give you the tools and resources that you need to smash your income goal and give every customer an amazing experience.

When I got started in the roofing sales business back in 2000, we didn’t have stuff like this. So, I’m incredibly excited to share this with you to help you fast-track your success.

Now, let’s get to it your first second at the door.

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D2D Roofing Sales: What Do Our Customers Think When We Show Up?

First, let’s take a little journey and put ourselves in our customers’ minds. After all, when we deeply understand our customers, we can engage them in the best way and connect with them more deeply because we know what they’re thinking.

That’s really what it’s all about. So, what IS your customer thinking when you show up?

Now, put yourself in their shoes. It’s 6:30 p.m., you’ve just finished dinner with the family, and you’ve moved into the living room to watch some TV together. Suddenly, you hear a knock on your front door. And you’re thinking:

Who IS that? Am I expecting anyone? Is anyone in my family expecting someone?

If not, their next immediate thoughts are usually:

Who is this? What do they want? Why are they here?

So, they get up off the couch to answer the door.

When they do, we know right away, as soon as they open the door, that the homeowner does NOT recognize you. They do NOT know who you are or why you’re there.

That immediately causes a flood of distrust, right?

They’re instantly wondering who you are, whether you’re safe and trustworthy, and why you are there, at their front doorstep. So, our immediate mission is to do three things:

  1. Disarm the customer: We basically say, “no, it’s okay. I’m not here to hurt you.” Again, I know it sounds dramatic, but the truth is that’s what people are thinking. Remember, humans are animals by nature. We lose sight of the fact that we still have these survival instincts, and looking out for our own safety is one of them. So, we have to disarm them and say, “Hey, we’re good.”
  2. Make them feel comfortable with us: People are only going to engage with someone that they’re comfortable with.
  3. Begin building trust: People will only start trusting you if they’re comfortable with you.

These all go hand in hand.

And by understanding what our customers are thinking at the door, we can learn how to disarm them to create comfort and trust.

How do we do that?

I’ll share that with you in a second. First, though, let’s cover a few key things NOT to do in door-to-door roofing sales. These are the BIGGEST mistakes you want to avoid making.

D2D Roofing Sales Mistake #1: Do NOT Tower Over Anyone

If you’ve met me in person, you know I’m a pretty small-statured guy. My wife used to say, “Adam, the reason you did well door-to-door roofing sales, especially with stay-at-home wives, was that they’d answer the door, size you up, and think, I could take him.”

I’m just not that threatening. Meanwhile, I was training a guy named Troy who’s built like a brick house. He’s 6’ 6” and like a monster.

When he stood too close to the door, the person who answered felt like they were being towered over. Again, it’s threatening.

So, does that make people feel comfortable?

Does it disarm them or make them feel open to trusting?


In fact, that all reinforces our brain’s safety signals telling us that we feel threatened.

So, be mindful of your size and your stature. And do NOT tower over anyone at the door.

D2D Roofing Sales Mistake #2: Do NOT ‘Square Up’

What do I mean by square up?

I mean standing squarely, with your shoulders squared up, like my stance below.

Now, compare that squared-up stance to the stance below, which feels more comfortable, friendly, and natural.

What NOT to do in D2D Roofing Sales | Roofing Sales Training & Strategies

When we square up, it’s very aggressive and forceful, not friendly, in nature.

So, ALWAYS make sure to have your stance bladed (angled), leaving with enough space between yourself and the door.

D2D Roofing Sales Mistake #3: Do NOT Talk Instantly

Do not jump right into your roofing sales pitch right away. Sometimes, the minute that door opens, we just vomit our pitch out to a customer.

In fact, I had someone reach out the other day on Instagram and ask me about this (by the way, you can follow The Roof Strategist on Instagram for little stories and behind-the-scenes videos of how I make my YouTube content).

And the question is this — do you talk first or do you wait for the homeowner to talk first?

The answer is that it kind of depends. I typically give people a short window to talk, and I’ll break that down in a second.

So, the key takeaways here are that:

  1. We do NOT want to talk instantly.
  2. We do NOT want to jump right down their throats.

Now that we’re on the same page about the mistakes to avoid in door-to-door roofing sales, let’s move into the tactical pieces and what you should do at the door. These simple strategies are going to help you maximize your impact in your very first second at the door.

Roofing Sales Tactic #1: Smile

It sounds silly and simple, but the reason I’m covering this is because it’s SO critically important to:

  1. Smile
  2. Be happy
  3. Let other people see your joy with an authentic smile (and not a cheesy, forced one)

A real smile engages your forehead, your eyes, and the corners of your mouth.

Smile in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales | D2D Roofing Sales Strategies & Training

I cover this because it can be easy for some of us to get too serious and forget to smile. Sometimes, it can even just be a comfort thing (especially for some men).

They’ll have this very serious face on when the door opens because they’re thinking:

I’m here for business, and I’m here to tell you exactly how I can help you.

It’s going to be very heavy and straight to the point.

And they look something like this.

How to Make Customers Comfortable in D2D Roofing Sales | Roofing Sales Training

That can be super threatening. It’s not really fun or disarming.

So, instead of being that straight shooter, serious guy, smile a bit.

You have to check up from the neck up (I recently reheard that saying from Bill Sansom, and I love it. So, I want to share it with you).

Roofing Sales Tactic #2: Use the Eyebrow Flash

You may have heard me talk about this eyebrow flash in my other Body Language videos.

The eyebrow flash is kind of the international signal of friendliness and familiarity.

Eyebrow Flash & Roofing Sales Body Language | D2D Roofing Sales Training

See my forehead?

We naturally do this when a friend walks by or we see someone we know.

It’s a friendly, inquisitive, and inviting signal of recognition that says, What’s up?

People unconsciously read and understand that. And it can automatically start to put them at ease (by the way, we’re going to put all of this together at the end).

Roofing Sales Tactic #3: Chin Tilt

This can also be called the “head tilt,” but I call it the “chin tilt” because we’re lifting our chins up with this gesture.

Body Language in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales | D2D Roofing Sales Training

Now, let’s see how all of this works together.

How to Put It All Together & Make a Great First Impression in D2D Roofing Sales

Putting everything together, here’s what it looks like when you’re smiling, doing the eyebrow flash, and lifting your chin simultaneously.

I can’t even separate those gestures because I naturally do this all the time. It’s like instinct when I meet people. And I do it because it makes people feel good. It disarms them and puts them at ease.

You’ll be amazed at how much softer and more natural random conversations are with these simple shifts in your body language.

It doesn’t matter if you’re chatting with a hostess at a restaurant, a customer service agent at an airline check-in counter, or a clerk at the grocery store.

Together, all these little gestures can really disarm people.

Your 1st Second at the Door in D2D Roofing Sales: Two More Tactics

Here are a couple more tactics you can use at the door to get off to a great start:

  1. Blade your stance and leave some space between you and the door.
  2. Take a one-second breath. This is going to buy time and let the message you’re sending with your body language really sink in for homeowners. That can disarm them, create a sense of comfort, and get them to start trusting you before you even begin pitching.

What NOT to Do in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales: Recap & Example

Now, let’s see how everything works in both scenarios, first looking at the what-to-avoid scenario.

When we’re out knocking in door-to-door sales, the biggest mistakes we can make in that first second at the door are to:

  1. Square up our shoulders.
  2. Keep a straight face.
  3. Stand too close to the customer.
  4. Instantly start talking.

Here’s how that can look.

Mistakes to Avoid in D2D Roofing Sales

What to Do in Door-to-Door Roofing Sales: Recap & Example

Alternatively, let’s say I leave some space between me and the door and that I blade my stance. Then, when the door opens:

  • I smile.
  • I raise my chin.
  • I lift my brow with the eyebrow flash.
  • I take that one-second breath before I start talking.

D2D Roofing Sales Training, Scripts & Strategies

Do you see and feel the difference that can make in just one second?

It very well might feel like an eternity, but I promise you, it really isn’t. And what you’ve done in that single second is:

  • Disarm the customer
  • Create a sense of comfort and trust by giving them space and sending them the right signals

It happens completely unconsciously, and this stuff works like MAGIC. So, practice this on the very next door you hit. If you do, I promise it’s going to help you:

  1. Develop confidence
  2. Settle into the quiet nature
  3. Learn how to send the right body language signals to maximize your first and MOST important second at the door.

Get More Roofing Sales Strategies, Scripts, Tips & Videos

If you want more on any topic in roofing sales, you’ll find it in my all-in-one sales training, sales strategy, and sales system, the Roofing Sales Success Formula & Complete Sales Strategy.

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If you have questions, just call or text (303) 222-7133 for more info or a private demo.

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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.