Total Industry Knowledge

Issue #107 | August 6, 2018 | Todd Miller

I hope this finds you well and having a busy season. As always, we are seeing huge homeowner enthusiasm for the beauty, durability, and energy efficiency of metal roofing. Did you know that metal has about a 13% share of the residential roofing market – second only to asphalt shingles? Quite a huge change from just a few years ago!

In this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report we are looking at how critical it is for salespeople to have “Total Industry Knowledge” in order to maximize their closing ratios. You never want your salesperson to have to bluff their way through an answer – that will always come back to haunt you! Before we cover this great topic though, here are three quick things I need to mention.

  1. 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 browse to your heart’s content. If you find something that might work for you, complete the online form or give us a call so we can give you the details! Or, if you see something that is close to what you need but not exact, let us know that as well. The website is by no means an exhaustive list.
  2. On Thursday, August 9, 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. In this call, he will discuss the keys to success and the opportunities that abound in this high-growth industry. To be a part of the call, dial in to 857-232-0476 at 11 a.m. Eastern and then enter the password 332616.
  3. Our Mid-Year Training Event is scheduled for August 13-15 here in Piqua, Ohio. Free online registration is available. Whether you currently are involved in the high-growth field of residential metal roofing or just thinking about it, this is your opportunity to learn all about the in-home sales process. You will go home with an immediate plan to enhance your company’s marketing and sales efforts.

Now, on with our series regarding “What Does It Take To Be Successful?” Throughout 2018, we are 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, and Leadership In this issue, we will look at how to “know your stuff” and, in the process, close more deals with greater ease and speed.

A high-value sale such as an investment-grade metal roof requires a great deal of trust. I always liken it to buying a new car. In fact, it’s not at all unusual to see a pretty direct correlation between the value of a metal roof on top a home and the value of the car sitting inside the garage. (This is why I often say that the chief competitor of a quality metal roof often is a new car!) But, typically, you will not buy a car from a salesperson or dealership that you do not trust. And the same thing goes with a roof.

Homeowners will not make a high dollar purchase from someone they do not trust as knowing what they are doing!

A prime way of gaining and maintaining trust from a prospective customer is to be able to show your knowledge. With metal roofing, every salesperson who enters the home must not only know metal roofing “inside and out” but they must fully know all competing products as well. You never know what questions may be raised to the salesperson — they must be prepared! Not being able to answer questions, at best, delays the sale. At worst, though, it loses the sale through a loss of confidence and trust.

Gaining this knowledge is not easy but it is essential. Keep in mind, too, that it goes beyond just the salesperson — every individual in your organization may be a “salesperson” at different times as they interact with prospects and customers. This can include your team members who answer the phone, set appointments, deliver materials, and install the roof. Each step of the way, superior industry knowledge will serve your company well.

So, how do you gain industry knowledge? Read. Attend trade shows and manufacturer conferences (such as Mid-Year Training!). Pay attention to your competitors. Have your suppliers come in and provide training. Participate in conference calls and webinars they offer. And, if you’re the main person getting trained at your organization, bring that knowledge back and share it with your team in various training sessions.

Despite how much training you have, above all, if a homeowner asks you a question and you’re not 100% certain of the correct response, tell them that and get them the correct information as soon as you can. Do not bluff your way through it – probably with at least half of the “tough” questions you get, the homeowner already knows the answer from their online research. They just want to know what you will say!

As always, thank you 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, and also those areas where you may feel that improvement is necessary.

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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