Selling The Investment
Before diving into this edition of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming training opportunity.
We will be conducting a Mid-Year Training May 22 – 24, 2017 here at our headquarters in Piqua, OH. This is an event we host every year for folks new to our products, or new to metal roofing altogether. Whereas we focused on over-arching principles that can be applied to any business at the Metal Roofing Summit, at the Mid-Year Training we dive into the “nuts-and-bolts” details of residential metal roofing, covering product features and benefits, in-home sales process, lead generation, installation, and more. You can view the complete agenda on the website.
This event is ideal for companies new to metal roofing, salespeople new to the industry, or anyone looking for a refresher course on proven tactics and techniques for success in residential metal roofing. There is no cost to attend and we have negotiated a special $89/night rate at a local hotel. I hope you consider joining us. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
If you missed them, be sure to look up Todd Miller’s last couple of issues on wind resistance and roofing warranties for powerful information to leverage in your sales presentations. In this issue of the Executive Report, we will discuss selling the investment of metal roofing.
I am sure most of you use the word “investment” somewhere in your marketing to softly help homeowners understand that metal roofing is more expensive than other options. When setting appointments, some confirm that homeowners are “looking for an investment-grade roofing solution,” to gauge the quality of the lead. Yet, despite promoting this investment opportunity, most salespeople fail to articulate and sell the investment when in the home.
For homeowners to begin considering their roof as a potential investment, they are going to expect the same level of explanation and detail they receive from their financial advisor or life insurance agent. Instead, most metal roofing salespeople show up with pretty samples, gloss over a few benefits, and expect the homeowners to spend two, three, or four times more than an asphalt roof – it usually doesn’t work! To truly sell an investment, the salesperson must approach the conversation as a consultant, digging deep into the homeowner’s unique situation, and clearly present the expected return on investment.
A homeowner’s ROI is most impacted by how many additional asphalt roofs will they purchase over their time in the home, how much energy will they save with a metal roof, and, if in a hail or fire prone area, what insurance discounts might be available. In order to maintain a consultative approach, the salesperson must determine each of these factors for the homeowner’s unique situation. We suggest starting this process in the opening survey so key information can be collected and leveraged later in the appointment. We ask how long they plan to stay in the home, their utility costs during cooling months, and questions regarding their ventilation and insulation to determine if we can increase their energy efficiency even more. Most salespeople will need a worksheet or guide to ensure the collection of this crucial information.
Through the presentation, we introduce all the factors to consider when calculating ROI – roofing costs double every 10 – 15 years, asphalt roofs only last 10 – 12 years on average in many areas, energy costs continue to increase, and more – supporting with third party verification as we can. Here is a nice article that addresses the life cycle of asphalt shingles, and here is testing and a case study that confirms the attic cooling benefits of metal shingles with reflective pigments and an integrated airspace.
Then, as the most important and final step, we teach a True Cost Analysis calculation to determine the homeowner’s expected ROI, catered to their exact circumstances. Here is our form. You cannot tell them the numbers though – homeowners buy in when you use their numbers, which will often trend toward the conservative side of the spectrum, and they still reveal an incredible ROI. They might not believe an asphalt roof will only last 10 years, but will likely state their next asphalt roof will not be replaced for another 15 years. They might not believe they will save 25% on their summer cooling costs, but do believe 15%. Regardless of their numbers, if the homeowner plans to stay in their home through at least one re-roofing cycle, the ROI will usually calculate in your favor.
When done properly, you are now truly selling an “investment-grade” roofing solution, transforming the decision and separating yourself from your competition. As a result, homeowners are blown away by the expected return, leaving only a question of whether or not they can afford the initial investment. I hope you evaluate your process and presentation to see how you might better sell the investment of residential metal roofing.
As always, thank you for participating in this conversation, and please do not ever hesitate to contact me through the information below. Do not forget to check out our upcoming Mid-Year Training event!
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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