News, Sales

Confidence and Competence, the Key to a Successful Career in Roofing Sales

By:Jason Dark, National Sales Manager

I’ll start with a quick story. I was 24 years old and I knew nothing about roofing but I had an undying belief in the product I was selling: Duro-Last®. I was wrapping up a 20 minute plus conversation with a lady named Jude who lived in Israel but owned properties in the United States. At the end of the conversation she asked me if my family owned the company. I said, “I wish! But no.” I asked her why she thought that and she proceeded to tell me that she’d never talked to anyone at any company who was as enthusiastic and convincing in everything they were saying. I was confident.She followed that question up by asking how old I was. When she found out I was in my early 20’s, she quickly told me she didn’t believe a word I said! I had the confidence but the competence was in question. Don’t get me wrong…we closed the deal and put roofs on several of her properties since.

The moral of this story is that the key to successfully selling a product or service is all about confidence and competence.Without one or the other it’s difficult to make consistent and predictable progress. I’d like to offer some brief advice and tips that I’ve learned over the years to become a more confident and competent salesperson. Identify the 5 roadblocks that get in the way of making progress on a sale.

Identify the 5 road blocks that get in the way of making progress on a sale.

“I need to think about it…”

“We already have a contractor that we use…”

“It’s too expensive…”

“I’m getting additional quotes…”


Create your go-to strategy when these roadblocks come up so you can barrel through them.

“John, of course you need to think about it. If I may, what part of what I showed you is going to take up the most thought?”

This is just one response to keep them talking, and it will extract valuable information about the core of their needs.

“Sally, some of our customers have said the same thing and we have developed connections with them to provide recommendations and options without infringing on their core contractor relationships. What is the smartest way for us to start a similar relationship with you just to see how we stack up?”

This opens the door for them to entertain the idea of developing a relationship with you without threatening their current working relationships. 

“Need help? Call me at (your phone number). I’m here to answer any questions you have.”

Practice asking important questions. 
For years on my drives to and from wherever I’m going, I would turn my radio down and start talking to myself. “Rick, how long has it been leaking?” “What parts of your operations are being affected by it?” “Have you tried anything to remedy the situation?” “Who did you have out to fix it?” “What are you hoping to accomplish?” These questions are ridiculously simple, but so many people neglect to keep the conversation going and miss the opportunity to prove your competence – and more importantly extract a ton of useful information from the potential client. Show them you care and genuinely want to know how you can help, and they’ll tell you.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Practice makes perfect. Get comfortable with your pitch and make it your own. People connect with other people, not scripts, so give them the opportunity to hear what you have to say while finding out who you are and what value your relationship will bring to them.  

But, don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough! Perfect doesn’t exist. Know your core message, ask the important questions, and don’t worry about missing a beat or two as you adjust to the situation.

Listen. Pay attention and take note of what they’ve said in response to your questions. The most important thing a salesman can do is hearwhat the customer is really telling you.

Take action. Ask them to show you the problem so you can see it for yourself. Call them back to follow-up and share more information. Send them a thank you note for taking a meeting with you. Actions speak much louder than words.

You aren’t fooling anyone with weak language or indirect communication.

We are here to provide you our professional recommendation and to sell you our services!!!

You won’t say it quite like that, but save the buddy making for another time and get right down to business. “Mrs. Smith, let’s go look at the leak/issue/roof/gutter/etc. and see what’s going on.” Don’t talk about the office interior and how nice it is….or the fish on the wall….or the golf balls on the wall. GO SELL YOUR SERVICE!

These tips are really just scratching the surface, but they’re a great place to start. I encourage everyone to call me or anyone on the Duro-Last sales team at any time to discuss sales tactics and strategy. We’re here to support you in any way we can, from initial pitch to project completion.

Jason Dark
National Sales Manager