What Does It Take To Be Successful? Professionalism.
Throughout 2018, amongst other topics designed to help you in the areas of leadership, sales, marketing, installation, and everything in between, we’re going to take an in-depth look at some key hallmarks of successful residential metal roofing contractors. In this issue, we will look at Professionalism. The word “professional” refers to someone who does something in a serious manner befitting of a career or occupation, not a hobby or a pastime. Professionalism is something we have all experienced at various times from businesses and individuals we have encountered and we’ve been attracted to it. We have also experienced the lack of professionalism, and usually run the other way.
Being a higher investment than many other roofing choices, homeowners will expect their metal roofing contractor to have a level of professionalism and attention to detail that reflects the level of investment they are being asked to make.
Think for a moment about buying a car or truck. We’ve all been there before when we just needed “cheap transportation” and we were willing to buy that $500 vehicle at the used car lot on the corner of Third and Sycamore. We were willing to put up with the cat on the office desk and the dog wandering around the lot. We were willing to put up with the bad tie the salesman was wearing, the coffee stain on his shirt, and the Girl Scout cookie crumbs clinging to the edge of his mustache. Because, after all, it wasn’t a huge investment and, the less we wanted to pay, to some degree, the less “overhead” we wanted the car lot to exhibit.
But then fast forward a few years and you’re in the market for that new Jeep, that new 4 x 4 truck, or maybe that new premium car for your spouse. Would you go back to the lot at Third and Sycamore for that? Would you put up with the cat and the dog and the cookie crumbs? Absolutely not. You are making a premium purchase and you need, and deserve, a premium experience at a nice place with top-notch care and service.
And so it goes with roofing as well. A homeowner is not going to plunk down $50,000 for a roof from a contractor who shows up in a filthy truck with McDonalds wrappers spilling out of it that leaks oil all over their driveway. They are not going to pay that kind of money to someone who shows up late, smells like a day-old burrito, and has an answering machine that sounds like it’s from 1974.
So, what are some requirements of Professionalism for a successful residential metal roofing contractor? Let’s look at a few:
- A well-done website that is helpful and educational, can easily be found, and is geared toward generating leads.
- A wonderful, kind, and personable individual answering the phone. Someone who already exhibits that your company cares about their needs, wants to know their needs, and wants to offer a solution.
- A general sense that the business is there to help them, not to help themselves.
- A detailed setting of expectations so that they know exactly what to expect during the visit from your salesperson including what they will look like, what they will be driving, and what will happen during their visit including how long it will take.
- A salesperson who shows up exactly on time, well-groomed and in a clean vehicle, parking on the street if possible.
- A salesperson who asks permission during each step of the sales process, is ultra-polite, and listens and takes notes far more than they speak.
- A realization that everyone within your organization “knows their stuff” and is able to answer questions and be helpful.
- A company that is thorough, and leaves no stone unturned when discovering the homeowner’s needs and desires.
- A review of your company’s Core Values and the salesperson’s Personal Pledge of Commitment.
- The provision of a formal contract and a written workmanship warranty, definitely not just a number penned onto the back of a business card and a warranty consisting of “give me a call if there are ever any problems.”
Attaining the top levels of Professionalism is a journey but you can do it by taking small steps over time, instituting the above as well as many other things that will differentiate your business from your competition and that will establish yours as a business that can always be trusted to do things right and well. No business ever makes it to the greatest levels of success without the highest Professionalism.
Please feel free to call me anytime at 1-800-543-8938, ext 201 or email me. I am always happy to learn more about you and your business and to brainstorm ideas with you that will help your company to ever-greater levels of success.
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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