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Why “Good, Better, Best” FAILS (& What to Do Instead)

Good, better, best roofing systems can cost you sales.

They can DESTROY closing rates.

And they can pretty much guarantee that if you’re not the cheapest company out there, you will NOT get the business.

Now, you might be thinking, Adam, those good, better, best, or multiple roof system packages are the BEST way to get people to choose the more expensive one. That’s the BEST way to get people to increase how much they spend!

I do NOT disagree with you there, but I am going to share one massively critical real-world mistake I see retail companies make using a good-better-best system.

In fact, I’ve learned about this during in-person trainings and speaking at events across the country, and I’ve had reps email me proposals and estimates with these mistakes in them.

When I see those mistakes, here’s what I tell the reps:

If you don’t make this change and you’re not the cheapest contractor (which I hope you’re not), you will NOT get the business.

Your team’s closing rate WILL suffer, and you’re going to lose deals left and right. I want to make all that stop.

Now, there’s one really simple fix to this mistake, and I’m going to teach that to you right here.

Before that, though, I want to say a quick welcome or welcome back. Adam Bensman, here, The Roof Strategist, and everything that I do is designed to help you and your team smash your income goal and give every customer an amazing experience.

And whether you’re a roofing salesperson, you’re running a team, or you’re a sales manager or owner, you can get more on this (and any other roofing sales topic) in my Pitch Like a Pro roofing sales training video library.

Simply text “FREE” to (303) 222-7133 to get a link and instant access to that library.

Now, it’s time to talk about good, better, best systems in roofing sales.

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A Closer Look at the “Good-Better-Best” System

Let’s get on the same page with the good-better-best systems, so you can experience this for yourself.

By nature, we humans are comparison creatures.

What does that mean?

Well, let’s imagine you go out to three steakhouses on vacation, visiting each one on a different. Then, on Sunday morning as you talk about your amazing trip, you look back and think:

  • That first restaurant had out-of-this-world service!
  • At that second restaurant, the steak was SO much better.
  • The third restaurant had unbelievable sides and amazing drinks.

So, you say to your partner or spouse, “Hey honey, if we ever come back, let’s go back to that first steakhouse again.”

THAT is a comparison. Here are a few mor examples:

  • You get two scoops of ice cream, comparing them to your favorite flavor.
  • You test drive a couple of trucks back to back, comparing their power, comfort, ride quality, and towing capacity.
  • You go to your favorite restaurant and order something new, comparing it to your go-to favorite dish from the same place.

Sometimes, we don’t even think about it — we’re automatically comparing everything because that’s just human nature.

So, how does this apply to roofing sales and the good-better-best systems?

It applies because of a phenomenon known as price anchoring.

Price Anchoring in Roofing Sales: What Is It & Why It Matters

As comparison creatures, we automatically and instantly compare and contrast different experiences to help us understand them — and that can influence our customers in roofing sales, especially when it comes to estimates and price anchoring.

Now, price anchoring is getting people to compare prices.

So, imagine I’m in the home, I’m not the cheapest roofing contractor out there, and:

  1. I come in with my estimate first.
  2. I show the homeowner the different good, better, best options (Usually, these have cutesy names like “bronze, silver, and platinum,” and these estimates will be presented with financing options; I’m leaving that out here to simplify this discussion).

In that situation, here’s what I’d say to the homeowner:

Mr. Homeowner. I’m going to share with you our three options for our good-better-best roofing system.

Our Essentials roof is $18,000.

At that point, the homeowner may turn to you, saying “$18,000! That’s $2,000 more than the other estimate we already got.”

When that happens, they have already done the comparison — they have already sized you up against the competition, and they now see you as MORE EXPENSIVE, meaning:

  • Everything, each option you go over from here on out, is going to be even more expensive.
  • If you do go through each option after the “essentials” or “good” option, you’re probably wasting your time.

Step into the Homeowner’s Shoes for the “Good-Better-Best System” Experience

Now, it’s time to sit in the homeowner’s seat, so you can experience what it’s like to encounter these systems — and so you can understand the homeowner’s perspective a little better.

Imagine you’re the homeowner, and I’m the roofing sales rep in your home, sharing the options like this:

Mr. Homeowner, beyond our essentials package, we also have our silver package, which is going to include upgraded colors, ridge caps, and warranties.

That’s $20,000 or $2,000 more than the “good” option.

And if you want the Cadillac of roofs with a lifetime warranty, so you never have to worry about your roof again, there’s the “best” option. This is even transferrable if you sell your home, and it’s going to run you $24,000. That’s $6,000 more than the “good” option.

Now, if I’m not the cheapest roofing contractor:

  1. That homeowner is anchoring their comparison against the $16,000 price.
  2. My lowest-priced option is already more expensive than $16,000, and the options just get pricier from there.
  3. That homeowner is NOT comfortable. In fact, they’re probably freaking out the whole time because they’re now comparing the prices of everything.

So, what if I approached that same exact customer KNOWING they had an estimate for $16,000? And what if I presented the MOST expensive option first?

That would go something like this:

Mr. Homeowner, our Cadillac of roofs is $24,000. Now, if that feels expensive, don’t worry — we have another option for you.

That’s our “better” roof. It’s very similar, but we’re going to peel back just a few things. And it’s going to run you $20,000.

“That’s still $4,000 more than my other estimate,” the homeowner could say at this point. If they do, here’s how to respond:

We also have our “essentials” package. That’s still protected by our 7-year labor warranty, and that roof is only $18,000.

Now, as you present the value:

  1. You show what you have to offer and provide.
  2. You’ve itemized that estimate.
  3. You’ve done a great job on the presentation.
  4. You’re only $2,000 more expensive than the other estimate, and that homeowner has anchored against that first bigger number you threw out there, comparing everything to that. This shift makes this lower-priced option seem A WHOLE LOT CHEAPER.

See how experiencing that for yourself, the nature of comparison, means that we’re ALWAYS going to compare any future prices against the largest one?

The same applies to financing terms too.

Recap: How to Use Price Anchoring in Good, Better, Best Roofing Systems

Summing everything up, the good-better-best route is usually not the best way to go here. I believe this should be best-better-good instead, so we can leverage human nature and use price anchoring to our advantage.

Lastly, I want to share two more things.

  1. Good-better-best systems are NOT for everyone: These systems can work really well in some markets and fall flat in others. It depends on the area. Personally, I enjoy these systems because they open up ways to upsell and offer specialty products, premium warranties, and/or premium colors. So, there’s no right or wrong here. Your process just has to align with your values while creating the experience you want with your customers.
  2. Good-better systems can work really well too: In other words, it’s OK to just have a good option and a better option, giving homeowners one less decision. If you do, you could make it easier for them to choose a path and move forward. Plus, if someone chooses the lower-priced option, you can still offer add-ons and upgrades — like premium colors, impact-resistant shingles, extended warranties, and underlay — to increase that cart value.

Finally, remember, if your lowest price out of the gate is already higher than the competition, you are probably out of luck because:

  1. You’re already more expensive.
  2. The homeowner has already anchored against the cheaper price, and everything after that just goes up.
  3. If you start with the highest-priced option and work your way down — instead of starting low and working your way up — you’re going to anchor that customer to the most expensive price point, with everything dropping from there.

So, that’s the BIG mistake that many reps make with good-better-best systems and how you can avoid it, take advantage of price anchoring, and close more.

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