If you are a small business owner or employee, part of your responsibility is to get in front of a homeowner and sell a job and the other part is actually doing the work. Larger companies may have separate sales people, but frequently the contractor is selling his own work. If you’re a contractor who’s more comfortable on the roof than inside a home, here are some tips to make sure you put your best foot forward when trying to sell a residential roofing job.
- Dress for success. We all love a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, but when meeting a potential customer, put on a polo shirt or, even better, a company uniform and a pair of khakis. It makes a good, professional impression and whether we like it or not, first impressions count. Also take a moment to shine your shoes. You would be surprised by how rarely these simple steps are embraced in our profession.
- Tend to your truck. Keep it neat by washing it, wrapping your logo on it, and putting away tools neatly. This also gives a good impression to a homeowner (and their neighbors) when they see the truck in their driveway. Does your truck wrap match your company uniform?
- Be punctual. It’s better to be early and sit outside in your truck gathering your materials than be late or come running in at the last minute. Remember that the customer is waiting for you to arrive. It is always a good idea to arrive early and wait in the truck for 2 or 3 minutes. It lets them know you are there and respectful of their time.
- Show you’re legit. Since you are now punctual, when you ring the doorbell, step back and have on a lanyard with your license or logo, photo, and name tag so a homeowner can see it clearly from the door’s peephole. Tip: Have your crews wear the same clip for easy identification.
- Freshen up. You may have just inhaled an onion-infused burger or have been sweating it out on the roof, but the homeowner doesn’t need to smell that. Have mints on hand and wash up if you’re just coming off a job. A touch of cologne in the truck is never a bad idea either.
- Respect the floor. Ask homeowners if they mind you walking in with your boots on or come with disposable booties that go over your shoes. Carry a piece of Deck-Armor™ or Tiger Paw™ to set your samples on so you don’t scratch the flooring with your shingle boards.
- Clean up after yourself. If you have to go in the attic or track a mess in the house, bring in a small portable cordless vac to clean up after yourself. A homeowner will appreciate your respect of their home.
- Be courteous. Even if you are dealing with an unpleasant homeowner, don’t get drawn into conflict. Be pleasant and appreciative of the opportunity even if you want to run the other way. “Who’s the toughest customer?” Practice with your team how to handle difficult situations.
- Put your phone away. The call or text can wait. Make the homeowner feel that they are important and deserve your attention. A good policy would be to turn your phone on silent (vibration off too) and leave it in your pocket unless you are accessing apps — such as the GAF Colors App — to help make the sale.
- Don’t forget to say thanks. Shake hands firmly and thank the homeowner for the opportunity to serve them. And don’t be afraid to go the extra mile – send a thank you post card. A simple handwritten note adds a touch of class and can make a huge difference.
These small gestures go a long way and can help you make a good impression to sell that next job.