Selling the Benefit of Beauty
It’s so easy as business owners and leaders to get caught up working “in” our businesses but we know that, in reality, growth and advancement only come when we work “on” our businesses. The Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report is designed to give you solid information that you can put to use when working “on” your business … for continued growth and success.
In this issue of the Executive Report, we will continue our focus on how to best present the individual benefits of residential metal roofing to prospective customers. Two issues ago we looked at how to sell the Longevity of metal roofing. This issue, we will focus on the Beauty of metal roofing. I realize that we also looked at this subject in Issue 15 but it’s such a critical thing that I want to take another look (no pun intended) and dig a little deeper into it.
Most homeowners care deeply about the aesthetics of their homes. You can use this to your advantage. They want their homes to be beautiful, unique, and inviting. They see the looks of their home as a way in which they can add value to their home, as well. And they’re right. In even a bad real estate market, the more beautiful homes will be most attractive to potential buyers.
In selling the aesthetics of metal roofing, the durability of metal roofing also comes into play. It’s important to help homeowners understand that most roofing materials have two lives – a functional life and a cosmetic life. While the roof may technically function by keeping water out for 15 or even more years, streaks and stains and other wear will make it look like an old roof in as little as 5 years, detracting from the beauty and value of the home. So, while the functional life may be 15 years, the cosmetic life of most roofs is much less.
Metal roofs, on the other hand, typically have functional and aesthetic lives that both last a very, very long time.
One of the most successful metal roofing salespeople I have ever worked with used to say “I know that I have to get the homeowner to agree that they like the looks of my product before I go any further. If they aren’t convinced that my product will look great on their home and increase its value and beauty, then there’s no point in going further with the presentation.”
Now, I have known a time or two when homeowners purchased metal roofs and could not have cared less what they looked like because they were buying in order to achieve other criteria such as environmental benefits, but generally speaking, I agree with this salesperson. If the homeowner does not like the look of metal roofing – of the metal roof you’re selling – there’s no reason to go further.
So, I suggest that one of your very early questions in the sales process be “Is the outside appearance of your home something that you care about?”
In the unlikely event that they say “No,” then you can begin to ask them about other possible criteria that will drive their roof decision.
If they say “Yes,” then you want to cement aesthetics as a critical criteria in their roofing decision, and you want to make it emotional for them. If they say “Yes,” then you want to follow up with “Why is the outside appearance of your home something that you care about?”
This will lead them into a discussion of their home being a source of pride and enjoyment and a welcoming haven of comfort. It should also lead to things like increased home value and being one of the premier homes in their neighborhood. All of these things become emotional drivers that you can bring up later if the prospect tries to stray from their desire for a beautiful home and roof.
You also will want to point out things like what percentage of their home’s exterior is roof. The reality is that most people never really think about their roof as a way to personalize their home. Most homeowners use the same roofing material as all of their neighbors yet they avoid copying their neighbors’ siding or trim colors or even their landscaping. You must use this time to firmly plant the idea that their roof needs to be as unique as the rest of their home!
Once the prospect has agreed that the look of their roof is important to them, you need to show them some beauty shots of the product you sell and, preferably, of past jobs you have done. If at all possible, you want to pre-choose which jobs and photos you show them, in order to show homes that look a lot like their home. Many folks will have difficulty visualizing your product on their home but this can help a great deal. Additionally, if you have imaging software available to you, it’s great if you can show them images of their home with your product on it.
If you can get your prospect to the place of choosing a color and really getting emotionally invested in having your product on their home, there is an excellent chance that you will get the deal. This is where it really will benefit you to sell a unique looking product that not every contractor has access to. For years, we have promoted ourselves as having “the world’s most beautiful metal roofs” as that concept establishes our own personal space in the marketplace.
Even though once their roof has been installed many homeowners will say that what they love most about their new roof is how it looks, you still need to get them to appreciate what I call the “coffee pot” justification of why their metal roof was a good investment. By this, I mean that they probably will not stand around the coffee pot at work and tell folks that they paid extra for a metal roof “because it’s pretty.” All of the other product benefits come into play here and must also be re-enforced and appreciated by the homeowner. We will be covering those in future issues of the Executive Report so stay tuned!
Make sure that a key focus of your sales presentation is helping the prospect imagine the pride and extra home value they will enjoy when a beautiful metal roof is on their home. As said earlier, these are huge emotional drivers and you usually will not get the sale unless they are in place.
As always, Happy Selling! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever I might be of help.
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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