Lead Qualification: Qualify For Quality
Each week we hear from more contractors who are increasing their promotion of high-end residential metal roofing. Some are starting new divisions in their home improvement companies and others are ramping up existing divisions. It is a way to add profitability to their businesses while also adding value to their businesses by specializing in a unique product. We love hearing their stories and being of service whenever we can to anyone in the residential metal roofing industry.
In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we will look at how successful residential metal roofing contractors Qualify Their Leads. There are, of course, several theories on lead qualification and we will be discussing the ideas that we see which work the best. Before we cover this great topic though, here are four exciting things I want to mention:
- Through our ARS Metal Supply division, we have started a new “Outlet” website. This new site lists a variety of things such as bulk painted aluminum, painted steel, and copper coil, obsolete and “left-over” roofing, some “seconds”, house wrap, snow guards, and underlayment. Please visit our new ARS Outlet site and, if you find something that might work for you, complete the online form or give us a call. If you see something that is close to what you need but not exact, let us know – we may also have exactly what you need!
- Mark your calendar now! On Thursday, September 20, we’re holding a conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern featuring Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs and Metal Roofing Consultants. Frank has built a highly successful multi-million dollar business installing high end residential metal roofing and he will be sharing insights that lead to success. To be a part of the call, dial in to 857-232-0476 at 11 a.m. Eastern and enter the password 332616
- Metalcon is October 10-12 in Charlotte, NC. This is a great show to increase your knowledge of the metal roofing industry. Please contact us if you’d like a free pass to the show floor.
- The 2019 Metal Roofing Summit is scheduled for February 4-6 in Piqua, Ohio. Free online registration is available. Whether you are currently involved in the high-growth field of residential metal roofing or just thinking about it, this is your opportunity to be inspired and network with other successful contractors. Be sure to attend!
Now, on with our series regarding “What Does It Take To Be Successful?” Throughout 2018, we have been taking a look at core attributes of successful home improvement contractors. In previous issues, we have looked at Business Systemization, Professionalism, Commitment, Knowing Your Numbers, Marketing and Lead Generation, Referral Maximization, Gaining Local Expert Status, Total Industry Knowledge, and Leadership. In this issue, we will look at the important role of Lead Qualification.
There are several important components to Lead Qualification and the degree of Lead Qualification you employ should vary based upon your exact situation. For example, new salespeople need to get in front of anyone possible in order to hone their skills. They need practice and experience to gain a comfort level. Painful as this sounds, they may have as many as 20 appointments before their first sale! So, if you have newer salespeople on staff or if you are simply hard up for leads, you will qualify much less than you will at other times.
The strongest qualifier of a prospective metal roof customer, though, is someone who intends to stay in their home for at least 15 years. If your company sells asphalt shingles as well as metal, then I would suggest using the 15-year number as your qualifier on deciding whether to start the appointment with your metal presentation. This is done very easily during the appointment setting process with something like “Since you have told us that you intend to stay in your home for at least 15 years, we’d love to show you a product that is designed for homeowners just like you. We will bring the asphalt shingle samples you’ve asked for, of course, but would you be agreeable to looking at this other product as well?” In all likelihood, after this question, you have just flipped an asphalt shingle lead to a possible metal lead.
Next, someone who either has solar panels or is interested in solar panels in the future is also a great prospect for metal. For a variety of reasons, solar and metal go hand in hand so solar can be an excellent qualifier. A metal roof offers many of the same “green” benefits as solar and it also provides a very secure and lasting base for a solar installation. One issue with asphalt shingles beneath solar arrays is that the shingles will likely not last as long as the PV panels – what sense does that make? So, whether they have solar or may add solar in the future, they are a great prospect for metal.
In general, qualify a prospect based more upon their “pain” and what they would like to accomplish with their next roof than on price. Many companies try to qualify potential customers based on whether the prospect thinks they can afford it. This is a real problem because, as we all know, we make investments based upon what we expect them to accomplish for us. Opening a homeowner’s mind up to the benefits of metal roofing can be a huge paradigm shift in terms of what they now see as being their budget for a new roof. Once they understand what the roof will do for them, they are willing to pay more.
Here’s a good example – if a consumer needs a new car and they just had triplets and now have seven members in their family, their budget for a new car just shifted dramatically upwards from what it would be if they still had just four family members! You must always look for qualifiers that go beyond price. If you qualify only on price, you will ignore many potential customers! We have all seen it before – many customers have larger budgets than they initially think they do – once they understand the value of what they are buying!
Bottom line – price alone is never an appropriate or fair qualifier until the homeowner has been presented with your product and grasps the value of it.
Speaking of price, another great best practice for successful metal roofing contractors is to offer finance options to your customers. This can really open the door to additional prospects – especially if you do a great job with needs analysis and finding their “pain”.
As far as Lead Qualification … when setting the appointment, this should be done only by your Appointment Setter, never by your Sales Person. Appointment Setters can be objective and fair – they are looking for reasons to qualify someone for the appointment and give your sales person the opportunity to do what they do best, not to disqualify them so that your sales person gets to stay home that day! There’s a big difference!
Thanks again for being a loyal reader of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report. Please feel free to contact me anytime to talk about what’s working well in your business, or to kick around ideas on what could be better. Have a great couple of weeks until our next issue!
Here’s the reality – a consumer’s “budget” has nothing at all to do with their ability to pay – especially when new technologies are available that they have never seriously considered! Now, you are probably thinking, “Hold on, Todd. There’s a big difference between a flat screen and a truly big ticket item like a car, a house, a new kitchen, a premium metal roof, or a room addition.” And, to that, I have to ask you, “Really? Are you sure?” Even though the scale is higher with big ticket items, there is not a one of us who hasn’t bought one of those things and, in the end, invested far more than what our uneducated “budget” would have dictated!
As a marketing organization, you can do things like soft credit pulls to help gauge ability to pay but, above all, do not let your prospect’s pre-conceived budget be a qualifier that keeps you from visiting them! Your job is to show them how investing a higher amount is of benefit to them. That’s what sales people do.
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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