Art and Science: A Story about Roofing


Mrs. Prospective Customer calls and needs a new roof. On the phone, you discover that your company is not the only one bidding on the job. Over the next few days, in a few conversations, you try to win the customer to your side. She has questions and reservations, but you are professional, patient, and persistent. Your efforts succeed: you get the job. Working on your customer's new roof requires science: you install the right products in the right places, and you end up with a well-built … [Read more...]

Sales Advice: Selling Aspirin and Crayons


Know what it is that you are selling. Different things are sold in different ways. The process by which cars are sold, for instance, is very different than the way a computer is sold. Are you selling aspirin or a crayon? Aspirin is something that solves a problem. It takes a pain away. A crayon is something colorful. It is all about how something looks. So in the roofing industry, which thing are you selling? Crayon or aspirin? Typically, you're selling aspirin. Your products and … [Read more...]

The Art of Shutting Up


Maybe you've heard this sales advice before. I didn't invent it. But maybe you'd benefit from a reminder... The advice is this: shut up. Rather, after you've made your pitch to the prospect, shut up. Let the prospect talk. Here's a quick example -- a conversation between the Salesman and the Prospect. Salesman: The price for the new roof would be $40,000. Prospect is thinking about that price. It's about in line with what she expected. The salesman interprets the silence as concern. … [Read more...]

Selling something? Try being enthusiastic about it.


A sale is is a transfer of enthusiasm. If you’re enthusiastic about what you’re selling, and you get the person you’re meeting with enthusiastic about it as well, then you’re most likely going to be successful and make the sale happen. I’ve heeded that advice now for close to 15 years . . . It’s absolutely true. I heard this advice on Mixergy, the best business podcast out there, in my opinion. These words were spoken by Brian Leventhal, owner of the Brooklyn Winery. I'm not a big wine … [Read more...]

Poker and How To Connect With People (Like Strangers, Prospective Customers, etc.)


Daniel Negreanu is one of the world's top poker player. He is one of the few players who uses talk as a tactic. He talks during the game to influence the other players' play, thinking, betting, etc. As part of his game, Daniel has studied how to connect with other people. In a recent interview (on the School of Greatness podcast), he shared some of his thoughts on how to make a connection. "Really it comes down to getting to know people. And the first step is just asking them quesitons … [Read more...]

But I have bids from other companies that are lower? (Use this!)


What do you say when you hear this... But I have bids from other companies that are lower? Anyone who has ever pitched a prospective customer has heard something like this before. Right? Here is something that I think people say when they hear this other bid objection: "Yeah, well we may be more a little expensive, but we are also better. You get what you pay for." I personally have said that to a customer before. Salespeople have said it to me, too. It's not a great reply. The … [Read more...]

Good-Better-Best Pricing


Good-Better-Best Pricing is when you offer your customer three options -- at three different price points. There are some sales benefits to offering "good better best" pricing. For one, you can transform the sales situation from "Are you going to hire us to re-do your roof or not?" into "Which product will you go with when you hire us?" Also, human nature often makes people choose the “middle” option. (See the beer experiment below.) I know this to be true about myself. If I'm in Best … [Read more...]

How to Talk About Your Competition

Roofing Tips and Advice

It happens: you're pitching a potential customer -- and the customer brings up one of your competitors. “I saw XYZ roofing doing a job down the street and I’ll be getting a bid from them as well. What do you think of them?” You should be doing this job, not one of your competitors. Right? So what do you say about the competition? Here's a suggestion: "XYZ Roofing? Yeah, I know them. They do bad work, they smell bad, and they’re losers." That's one idea. Or you could use what … [Read more...]

Price for Profit


This one is simple: when you estimate a job, figure out the profit you're going to make on it. (If you do this already, you pass. Good going. Probably no need to read the rest of this article.) Knowing the potential profit on a job gives you power. The profit tells you everything about a job. 1. It tells you if the job is worth doing or not. Would you work for 40 hours to pocket $40? Or $400? How about $4,000? Knowing the profit also helps you decide between different possible … [Read more...]