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What’s Your Estimate? After All Your Help!

You do ALL of the work to meet the customer and help them find out their roof is damaged.

You get them to sign the contingency agreement, you meet with their adjuster, and you get their roof approved ONLY to have them turn on you and say, “What’s your estimate?”

And you think, WHAT?!?!

You may even start thinking they’re evil or horrible because you feel like they’re taking advantage of you. And you get really angry. Believe me, I’ve been there.

In fact, I worked on this project where I landed a deal in a neighborhood that I was just opening up. I had no competition. I’d done three or four roofs in the neighborhood, and then I get this one roof.

It was the biggest roof in the neighborhood on a giant U-shaped house. I was SO pumped. I got the contingency agreement signed, and I show up when the adjuster was going to be there.

Now, it’s 95° during the summer in Wisconsin, so there’s like 100% humidity. Two hours later, the adjuster rolls up. He was so large he couldn’t even get on the roof. So, he hands me his chalk and camera, telling me to go up, mark up the roof, and come on down.

So, I do the work, feeling like I had this one in the bag, and I bring it down. We go through the photos. He says, “Yep. I’m buying the roof.” He didn’t even go up to talk to the homeowner — I did. And as I’m telling the homeowner the good news that I got his roof approved:

  • He turns on me
  • He goes from relaxed, just shooting the breeze with me, to standoffish, with his arms crossed.
  • He says to me, “Great. I’ll wait for your estimate.”
  • He closes the door in my face, and I never got that deal.

This stuff SUCKS.

And the reason I’m sharing this now is that I’ve been hearing from folks reached who have been struggling with this exact thing. And it’s helped me learn one of the most valuable lessons of my life because communication became the problem. I realized that:

  1. I was at fault.
  2. I did not set clear expectations.
  3. I had thought about everything right, but my communications didn’t clearly express what I was trying to get across. That’s why that gentleman never became a customer.

So, I’m going to:

  1. Help you diagnose or pinpoint the exact reason why this has happened or will happen. 
  2. Show you a very simple way to keep this from happening ever again.

First want to say, thank you for joining me today and welcome or welcome back. My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist, and everything I do here — and on my YouTube channel and in 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.

Before we get into it, I have a freebie for you. If you haven’t already done it, get your FREE copy of my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library, sent right to your inbox. It’s a perfect starter track for new roofing sales reps, teams, owners, and managers looking for more training. It includes more than 300 videos, organized by category, for easy binging. You can get instant access now (by clicking on that link).

Now, let’s get to it.

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Why Ask for an Estimate After Approval? The Roofing Sales Communication Gap

It took me a really long time to crack the code to all of this, but it ALL comes down to a communication gap. And that communication gap goes as follows.

When you’re thinking, you have to process your thoughts into words, and then there’s what you say. At the same time, our customers will be hearing and processing something different.

So, there are a lot of different steps, involved:

  1. Thinking
  2. Saying
  3. Hearing

And how often have you misspoken, and someone corrects you? Like you think you’ve said something correctly, but you’ve actually mixed it up?

It happens to me too — like on one of my recent videos, I said, “There’s a pot for every lid,” and Sheena said, “You’re mixing it up. No one starts with a lid. They start with a pot. There’s a lid for every pot.” In mind my, it’s the same thing, though.

So, there’s a disconnect between what I was thinking and what I was saying. And I ended up sounding silly (and if you’ve seen that on my other videos, I apologize, Sheena caught it).

Now, this disconnect:

  • Breaks down expectations, making them unclear 
  • Creates problems 
  • Is probably your fault

I hate to say that it’s your fault. I know that’s bold — and you’re probably thinking, how can he say that it’s my fault?!?!

It’s only because I’ve served thousands of roofing sales reps, going through this process countless times and seeing every time someone’s trying to recover a deal, that it was all due to expectations.

So, I’m going to share:

  1. Two corrective action plans to help you avoid the communication gap, so you’re not losing the sale 
  2. A fallback option for the 5 to 10% of cases that aren’t an expectations problem — they’re the “slimy person” problem, like when a neighbor or friend is telling them they can get it done cheaper, pocket some money, or get a roofer to eat the deductible. When that stuff happens and you get the estimate objection, check out this video, Getting Past the “Give Me an Estimate” Objection, for more on how to overcome that.

Roofing Sales Corrective Action Plan #1: Roleplay

The number one MOST powerful fix to the communication gap is roleplay.

Why roleplay?

Because it can expose those communication gaps and really highlight:

  • What’s not being said
  • What’s actually going on in the home

So, if you keep losing sales after getting the work approved because the homeowner wants an estimate, I want you to:

  1. Pair up with a buddy on your team, an owner, or a manager.
  2. Do some roleplay, going through the contingency agreement and how you set expectations for your customers regarding how the process will unfold.

By the way, I know some people don’t use the contingency agreement (and I am a BIG fan of contingency agreements; if you’re on the fence about using them, I highly recommend you watch my video on the Contingency Agreement, Yes or No, in which I weigh out the pros and cons of these agreements).

So, whether you use a contingency or not:

  • It is ALL about those expectations.
  • Roleplay is by far the BEST way to get better at setting expectations: Again, roleplay is going to highlight where that problem is.
  • Film yourself (pro tip): If you don’t have someone to roleplay with, film yourself. Just grab your smartphone and film yourself going through everything. There’s something magical about watching yourself from a third-party perspective. You’ll see yourself in a totally different light, and you may even be able to pinpoint those moments of disconnect, like when you were feeling “in it” filming but where it doesn’t really make sense watching it back. So, film yourself.

Roofing Sales Corrective Action Plan #2: Summarize the Next Steps

Now, let’s break down the key action item to do in the home. So, here’s the in-home fix to the communication gap that can lose us sales.

Before signing the contingency agreement, summarize your next steps and your expectations.


  • Repetition is OKAY. 
  • People don’t always hear everything.

In my Closing Formula, I teach you how to:

  • Go through that contingency agreement.
  • Set clear expectations of what the contingency agreement means and how it applies to the homeowner.
  • Explain what’s going to happen next. And if you want help, I have an entire playlist on Using the Contingency Agreement as a Closing Tool. I highly recommend you pop into there if you’re using my Roofing Sales Success Formula and access my closing strategy where I walk you through everything in even more detail.

How to Explain the Next Steps: D2D Roofing Sales Script

Now, we have to summarize those next steps once we get the contingency agreement. And before we leave the home, we want to spell out exactly what’s going to happen. That’ll go something like this:

Mr. Homeowner, I am so excited to serve you. So, here’s, what’s going to happen next.

First, we’re going to have you contact your insurance carrier to file the claim.

Next, as soon as you find out the adjuster’s name and phone number, you’re going to call me with their name and number and the date that he or she will be arriving at your home.

Then, I’m going to meet them here, at your property, to make sure that I can assess everything, identify all the damage on your behalf, and work with them to get this approved.

Once we do that, we move on to the FUN part.

As we just went over in our contingency agreement, the insurance adjuster is going to put together their “loss summary” or their “scope of loss.” Some people call it an “estimate.”

Then, we’ll go through that together. And we’ll do everything that’s listed, as the contractor of choice to do the work.

All you have to do is the FUN part — pick the colors.

So, there you have it.

By setting the expectations, summarizing what you’ve agreed, and clearly explaining what will happen next, that homeowner has NO room to misinterpret anything after you get the deal signed.

Roofing Sales Pro Tip: Use Tie-Down Questions

Now, if you want to pour a little bit of gasoline on this fire, one tactic you can use is asking tie-down questions at the end to make sure they get it.

Here are some examples of tie-down questions:

  • Do you understand that I’ll be working with your insurance company on your behalf to identify damage with the adjuster? 
  • Do you understand that if we get this approved, we will become the contractor of choice to do the work? 
  • And you understand that the most challenging thing you’re going to need to do is pick colors, right?

“Yes,” is usually the answer you’ll hear when you ask tie-down questions like these. And you can have some fun with it.

So, again, these tie downs can pour gas on the fire if you really have a problem with homeowners asking about the estimate or if there’s a communication gap getting in your way.

Recap: How to Overcome the Communication Gap in D2D Roofing Sales

Now, you know the best ways to fix communication gaps that can happen in door-to-door roofing sales — and your mission is to:

  1. Practice: Use roleplay to practice going through your contingency agreement.
  2. Set clear expectations: Immediately after you get the to sign, go through everything again.
  3. Use those tie-down questions if you have this problem a lot: If you do, you can get verbal agreements to all of those expectations, and you can make sure there is absolutely NO question about what happens next.

Get More Roofing Sales Strategies, Scripts, Tips & Videos

If you want more on contingency agreements, overcoming objections, or any other 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.

This exclusive program covers everything from knock to close, with packages for individual roofing sales reps and entire teams. Many roofing sales companies LOVE this program because it’s a consistent process to train everybody on a relatable sales system that WORKS and that’s a lightning-fast way to get results.

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

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:

  • Scripts
  • Scheduling
  • 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.