Are you a commercial roofer looking to nail your next sales pitch?
Roofing sales expert, Adam Bensman, aka The Roof Strategist, is here to share his top 5 tips to nail your next sales pitch!
1. Avoid No-No Words In Your Pitch
Words create emotion and plant images in our minds. When we hear words:
- They trigger emotions.
- We visualize the story we hear.
Example: If I say the words, “stop sign,” you’re probably going to visualize a stop sign in your mind’s eye. You’re going to picture the red octagon with the with white lettering spelling out ‘STOP’ in the middle. Now, the emotion tied to a stop sign image is one of caution and fear. So, there’s emotion that comes in just from a simple word, like ‘stop’.
We paint that visual with our words, and the visual triggers the emotions. Sometimes, it goes the other way around too, like when we hear the word ‘sad’. We might feel sad and then have an image in our mind of someone frowning.
True artists in sales understand the emotions and the images that are tied to the words that they use. So, here are some of the words you should avoid using during your sales pitch.
Roofing Sales No-No Word: CONTRACT
What emotion does the word “contract” bring up? To me, “contract” sounds like handcuffs. I’m contractually obligated. It sounds scary, risky, and not fun. The image of a contract is fine print, legal terms, and feeling like you don’t really understand it. So, “contract” is not a very good word for us to use.
However, an agreement is a mutually beneficial arrangement. We’ve agreed to do something, so this is our agreement. After all, we have our “contingency agreement,” not a “contingency contract.” With agreements, we think of handshakes and getting along. It’s positive.
Roofing Sales No-No Word: PRICE & COST
We don’t want to use the words “price” or “cost” either, and some would even add the word “buy” to that list. Why? Because all of these bring a sense of losing something to mind.
In fact, here’s what I think when I hear each of these words:
- “Price” means it comes out of my pocket.
- “Cost” and “buy” mean I’m giving up money. Although I do get a reward, I’m losing my money in order to get it.
So, with price, cost, and buy, I have this feeling of loss, and I imagine:
- Handing over my credit card
- Forfeiting money
Plus, with “cost,” there may not even be an upside. There’s a purely a negative connotation to losing money. And, again, with “price,” I’m seeing a big-ticket item with a BIG red dollar sign.
Try replacing “cost” and “price” with “investments”. With investments, I put money in, and I get money out. Here, we’re playing into one of the strongest human motivators — greed. Of course, greed has its upsides and downsides, but ALL of us are looking for gain.
“Getting” something is positive while “buying” something is negative. Do you want to get the new phone, or do you want to go buy it? You want to GET it. Buying it gives me the idea that I’m forfeiting my money while getting creates a positive mindset that makes of think of becoming wealthier and having access or ownership to something. So, again, that positive spin creates positive emotions.
Roofing Sales No-No Word: SIGN
When someone says to you, “Hey, I just need you to sign here,” what comes to mind? Usually, there’s a resistance. That’s why we do NOT want to say “sign.” The word “sign” brings up the image of contract and, again, fear. After all, do you like signing things? No, and that’s probably because when you sign something:
- You’re usually giving up your rights.
- You’re acknowledging how something works.
- The deck is typically stacked in the other party’s favor (the party who’s asking you to sign something).
Try using the word “agree” instead of “sign.” It puts a positive spin on the arrangement, instead of a negative one.
Again, the words and images associated with these no-no words in roofing sales — contract, price, cost, buy, and sign — all share the common themes of negativity, sadness, fear, and loss. That’s why those are NOT good words to use in roofing sales. Whether your customer is aware of this or not, these words DO have an impact on how they feel, and those emotions matter when you’re trying to close a deal.
2. Tonality In Your Sales Pitch
The tone in which we speak will greatly impact:
- The message and how it’s received
- How the story feels
After all, our number one mission in roofing sales is to:
- Make our customers feel heard and understood
- Guide them to take the action that we know is best for them.
Tonality changes feelings like you wouldn’t believe.
Example: Think about how tonality shifts in the different TV shows. If you’re watching a true crime show, the narrator likely talks very slowly, with a super heavy cadence. That gives the show a very somber tonality, which is fitting because they’re talking about murder.
Meanwhile, if you jump over to cartoons, every character talks in a weird voice that’s typically happy, playful, and funny. Now, if you read the script word for word, there’s not much emotion behind it. But all that changes when it’s supercharged with the tonality.
When we learn to play with our tonality:
- We can use intonations.
- We can change our cadence.
- It can change the way our voice sounds.
All of that will change the meaning and how our message is heard and understood by our customer (or, hopefully, our soon-to-be customer).
So, by playing with tonality and using pauses, you’re going to draw people in. Plus, you’re going to be effective at transitioning from excitement and making people feel heard and understood to showing you’re an authority who can explain exactly what to do and how it’s going to go.
Everything can change just by changing our tone.
3. Body Language In Your Sales Pitch
Body language will impact how your customer feels about connecting with you, and a lot of this has to do with your gestures.
Ultimately, what comes across as confident is communicating clearly. You communicate with body language by:
- Having your hands in the right position
- Blading your stance to be non-threatening
- Using facial cues, like eyebrow flashes and chin raises, meaning you’re lifting your head up
- Using sweeping palm gestures to show you know what’s going on
As you communicate with people, you’ll notice how people who are calm and confident:
- Use these big, sweeping gestures
- Keep their hands clearly visible
- Don’t fidget with their hands
On the other hand, watch the squirrelly people. They just don’t seem trustworthy, and that’s often apparent in their body language.
So, when we become more aware of how people perceive us, we then have more control over the messages we send.
4. Filler Words In Your Sales Pitch
Filler words are the language of someone who lacks confidence. Like and um are a couple of the most common filler words folks use. When they do, they’re either using these filler words to:
- Buy time to think.
- Bridge the gap and fill space while trying to feel more comfortable and confident.
As these filler words get used over and over again, they become ingrained. So, as you’re speaking:
- You’re using these filler words, instead a natural pause.
- You end up looking nervous and insecure, like you lack confidence.
Then, customers feel like you’re deceitful and not trustworthy.
And what’s the first pillar we need to knock down in sales? It’s TRUST. After all, to win the sale, we need to:
- Develop trust.
- Create the need.
- Overcome the money issue.
So, trust is BIG, and using filler words is an instant credibility killer. By the way, we’re ALL guilty of this bad habit at some point.
5. Silence Your Phone
Answering calls or responding to texts while you’re with a customer should be an obvious no-no, but it’s a common bad habit in roofing sales.
I see people do this ALL the time. They:
- Hear their phone ding.
- Put that dreadful finger up in someone’s face.
- Ask for a moment to deal with someone else who’s on the phone.
It makes the customer feel like that salesperson thinks:
I am SO important. I have this phone call or text, and I have to answer it.
That tells someone else that they’re not as important as who’s on the phone. It becomes a trust killer, and people hate it.
So, NEVER do that. Instead, silence your phone before you walk in the meeting, and turn those notifications off.
By: Adam Bensman (The Roof Strategist)
About The Author
My name is Adam Bensman, The Roof Strategist. Everything I do on my blog, on my YouTube channel, on my podcast (on Apple and Spotify), and in my Roofing Sales Success Formula & Complete Sales Strategy program — is designed to help you and your team smash your income goals and give every customer an amazing experience.
Who Are We?
Castagra is a roof coating manufacturer dedicated to providing sustainable and high-performance coating solutions. Learn more about our products here, or contact our team today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you!