Hello. I have been roofing for almost 25 years now. I been in sales for probably 7-8 now on commission basis, I like to think I do ok at sales, mostly because of my knowledge of what I am trying to sale, plus I still do the work, so sales guy that is actually the guy doing the work gives me a small advantage over other companies in the area , I am in Northern Va. outside DC and do some work in DC. We also do remodeling, from kitchens and bath too full additions, etc etc.
I guess the reason I am this this to maybe get a few pointers from you guys in sales, at this point I try to have under 1 hour response time from when the calls or emails come in, I carry a laptop and a printer in the work truck with a sprint card, and a camera/video cam, when I get to the home if they can not make it home to meet me, I take pictures of the problems if they cannot see them, and write up estimates on laptop and email them estimate and pics as quick as possible, usually within 1 hour from them calling in the first place. That alone has proven to be a huge selling technique. If they are home I print out the estimate and show them the pictures on the laptop for visual all within 15 minutes upon arriving to the home. These ways have proven to me to raise my percentages of sales. I do little things like talk to the owner about their house and play with the kids and animals in order to make them feel more comfortable with me as a person not a salesman or worker, I am not the clean cut suit wearing salesman cause I am also doing the work. Even when I know I can do the job that day or the next day, I sometimes make calls to someone else that works for me trying to tell them I have to get materials now and things like that to show the owner I am willing to pull strings to get them taken care of as fast as possible, and at the least I will tarp there roof right now so it will buy some time till I can get there and do the work or have some one else do it.
Things I do not do are have set prices, like 180$ per square for some shingles I refuse to have a set price I have a mental “the least I will go” but in this area I am in between wealthy and poor and get calls from all. so I refuse to limit myself to a set price, I feel get as much as I can when I can, Customers say things like well this contractor will do it for this price I am like well when materials cost this and labor is going to cost this insurances and yadda yadda all add up too there is noway in hell I could this job for that. Go ahead and hire them and in 3 years when everything is all messed up and worse than it was in the first place I will charge you even more for doing correctly, We are Class A contractors with in-house workers don’t compare apples with oranges and will be here in business 20 years from now as we have been for the last 15.
Lately with the economy so messed up customers have been really weird, seems a very high percentage are just using me, picking my head<< they seem to be like hey this guy really knows what is going on and pick my head for everything it is worth, and then hire the cheapest guy. I will not be the cheapest guy cant do it , and every time I have tried to give a cheap price they end up being the worst customer standing over your shoulder type of people, I figure because they know it was too cheap and are trying to find what you are going to do wrong, where you are going to cut corners to make the price so cheap so I don’t and morally will not do that. if I cant do a job and make a legal and fair profit, I will not do it but shit i don’t want to starve either.
So I guess I am asking do you guys have any pointers you can send my way to help me deal with these people and help to get jobs locked in more and bring my sales up some, last week I think I ran like almost 20 calls for repairs and such and sold like 3 under 500$ jobs, pipe collars and such, which is quite pathetic if ya ask me, I can remember in the past selling damn near 50/50 and even higher when good damaging storms come through the area, again I am a roofer remodeler not a salesman been thinking of taking some classes or something which either way I probably will but I figured someone in the business all ready and is dealing with the same type of thing I do might help some as well.
Thanks you in advance