2018 Metal Roofing Summit Recap
Many thanks to those of you who joined us for the 2018 Metal Roofing Summit! We appreciate you making the time to attend and hope you left with as many new tools and resources as we did. We have scheduled our 2019 Summit for February 4 – 6, 2019 – mark your calendars!
For those of you who are new to residential metal roofing, or if you have hired a salesperson new to the industry, we have another training opportunity to help you hit the ground running and immediately capitalize on the opportunity in residential metal roofing! At our Mid-Year Training event, coming up May 7 – 9, 2018 here in Piqua, OH, we will dig into the nuts-and-bolts of the most successful companies across North American and their best practices for sales, marketing, and installation. You will leave with a clear grasp of what it takes to be successful and how we can serve you moving forward. Here are just a few items from the agenda:
- A full analysis and explanation of our proven and scripted In-Home Sales Process and Presentation, helping you increase your closing ratio dramatically and separate you from the competition!
- Our full attic inspection process, turning your salespeople into reliable experts that customers want to do business with!
- How to quote and install a project safely and profitably, with the confidence you will never return for future service calls.
- The wide variety of value-added services offered to you at no charge by Isaiah Industries. Go home with ways to save your company money and enhance your marketing efforts.
If this sounds like an event that could catapult you or your salespeople to greater success in 2018, you can learn more and register on the website. There is no cost to attend and we have special rates available at local hotels. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, I want to pass along a few of my key takeaways from the speakers at this year’s Metal Roofing Summit. Todd Miller, Dr. Stephen Julian, and Jeb Blount are experts in their respective fields and provided valuable content relevant to our industry. The below points will impact how I do business moving forward and believe you will find value in them, as well.
During his session, Isaiah Industries President, Todd Miller, reviewed the best practices and characteristics of the top residential metal roofing companies he has worked with in his 35+ years in the industry. These two practices really struck me:
- “Your professionalism must match your price tag.” – We are selling premium metal roofs that will cost homeowners $35,000 or more; our professionalism must provide an experience and satisfaction worthy of the price. This professionalism starts with the basics – presentable vehicle, clean appearance, etc. – but it also extends to your attention to their unique roof and circumstance, the level of detail in your sales presentation, your communication and care throughout the installation, and more. If we are asking homeowners to spend 3 – 4 times more than our competitors, our professionalism must provide an experience 3 – 4 times more enjoyable. Simply meeting the basics is not enough, as plenty of your competitors do the same.
- “Salespeople are taught how to sell their company and product, but they are LOUSY at selling themselves.” – How can we train salespeople to sell themselves and build true relationships with their customers? This begins with giving them the opportunity to tell homeowners why they have chosen to work for your company and sell residential metal roofing. They are never to dominate the conversation, but sharing their passions and heart will foster true relationships that will undoubtedly turn into business. One tool Todd suggested is using a Salesperson’s Personal Pledge – a document the salesperson presents to the homeowners as a commitment they will not disappear once the contract is signed, instead staying close throughout the project.
Dr. Stephen Julian
Dr. Stephen Julian, an expert on leadership and team dynamics, reviewed the realities of Millennials, their values and desires, and how we can best incorporate them into our organizations. We all have our preconceived ideas and notions, but, bottom line, we will need Millennials in order to accomplish all our goals. Here are a few key takeaways I left with:
- “Millennials are looking for coaches and mentors.” – Just as we have always discussed building relationships with our customers, Stephen stressed that, in order to hire and retain Millennials, we must engage them in relationship, learn their goals, and coach them to accomplishing them. Yes, this takes additional work and effort, but it breeds loyal, passionate team members. Otherwise, they will continue searching for employment opportunities where this is available.
- Micro-Learning – Millennials want to learn and improve, but they do not learn by getting “thrown into the deep end.” Stephen recommends building training systems into your business where there are defined stages of training and advancement, with the mastery of each stage reflected in the team member’s compensation.
- Purpose – Millennials are searching for meaning in their employment; financial incentive is not the sole motivator. There are, of course, plenty of exceptions, but many Millennials are looking for employment that satisfies a deep desire for meaning, purpose, and significance. How do you help them answer the question, “What do you do and why does it matter?” Here are just a few examples that came out of our group discussion: providing homeowners financial security; environmentally-friendly roofing saving landfill space and energy costs; beautiful projects that last a century; work for a company active in the community. If you help your millennials see and experience “why it matters,” they will become passionate, loyal, hard-working team members.
Jeb Blount, author of People Buy You and Sales EQ, led us through his Sales EQ workshop on how to manage and leverage the emotional dynamics of the sales process. We know every buying decision is an emotional buying decision. Top salespeople are successful, in part, due to their ability to use emotion to their advantage. Here are the key tactics I am working on right now:
- EQ = Self-Control – For salespeople, developing self-control is the first step to premier emotional intelligence. Those with a “high I” on the DiSC profile (the case for most salespeople) easily engage homeowners but, in the midst of the exciting conversation, can lose track of their sales process and primary objective. The purpose of the appointment is to help homeowners establish their roofing criteria and determine if a metal roof is the best solution for them. Doing this properly requires the self-control to ask good questions, remain quiet, and truly listen to their replies. Without this self-control, salespeople will never reach their full potential.
- Micro-Commitments – Jeb stressed the importance of micro-commitments during all stages of the sales process. Meeting with a salesperson does not elicit positive emotions in homeowners; they are stressed and tense knowing they will be asked to make a big decision. Micro-commitments break the decision into manageable chunks, slowly relieving stress and making room for the positive emotions we need. Jeb also discussed how micro-commitments – like homeowners confirming asphalt shingles do not meet their roofing criteria – engrain values that are difficult to ever violate, creating what’s called cognitive dissonance. So, achieving a micro-commitment on asphalt shingles, makes it all the more difficult for a homeowner to ever drop to asphalt.
These are just a few of my takeaways from the 2018 Metal Roofing Summit. I was grateful for the quality content presented by our speakers and for the opportunity to learn from all of you in attendance. For those of you not here, I hope you mark your calendars for 2019!
Please do not forget to check out our Mid-Year Training event and see if it might help you accomplish all your goals for this year!
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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