Whether you are a Roofer or another kind of contractor, there is a massive shift happening in the business.
The “old ways” still work but require ever more advanced tips and tricks. Door knocking requires extensive training, the young guys who are hitting the bricks today don’t know any other way. I used to do door to door sales, I sold Vacuum cleaners for Tri-Star.
Yes, I am going to hell. I once sold a $2800 vacuum to a blind woman on the Income for Severely Handicapped welfare plan. Back then you would knock on the door, jam your foot in the door and walk right in like you owned the place. People LET me do that, I am 6’2″ back then a stout 245 lbs and had to force myself to not have a pissed off look on my face.
All it took was a cheap $2 ‘Ginsu Knife Set’ to make them my friends and listen to my presentation. I would then hammer on them for HOURS in some cases about airplane grade steel, fancy vortex suction systems and there was even this dirty little trick. (pun intended) We would take our detachable vacuum head from suction. (this was one of those things with the standup unit and the little teardrop shaped vacuum thing you would pull behind you)
Put baking soda on the carpet and “Grind it into the carpet” with the power head.
Then we would go over the carpet with their vacuum cleaner like 25 times in the spot with the baking soda.
After we would FILL our vacuum to the top with sand, put another special filter in to trap all the new baking soda we would vacuum up. We would connect our powerhead to the suction, go over their carpet twice and voila… like a CUP of Baking Soda would be picked up by our vacuum. This ALWAYS made deals happen;
“Most homeowners would agree with your neighbors, if they COULD get rid of this dirt and dust from their home, they would. Right?” *nod head and smile*
Thing is…. the power head when disconnected from suction is actually designed to PICK UP the baking soda and it packs it into the brushes… so the baking soda isn’t being ground into the carpet really… it’s being packed into the head for the trick.
How many of you – as you were reading it – feel like that WOULDN’T have fooled you? You are probably right!
However, that might not have been the case BACK THEN. Peoples bullshit meters weren’t as good, in many cases they weren’t even turned on. People figured if they let you in the house and you were there, it must have been 100% above board. Slowly, I saw that industry change a little bit.
By that I mean We started getting chased out with the free knife sets.
So the industry adapted a bit, we started telemarketing to people telling them about an amazing new air purification system and how we wanted to demonstrate it as a market test, and for this, we would give them a free knife set. That worked a little better because at least people weren’t total strangers and they were sort of expecting us. But the girls in the office got paid per lead so they would occasionally mark down a;
“Go F%#K YOURSELF.” response as a “Qualified appointment for 3 o’ clock”
Those were always the most fun customers to deal with and you got an extra special pat on the back if you could close em.
This was back when peoples names, addresses and phone numbers were in this thing called a phone book. For you youngsters…. thats a big ACTUAL Yellow Book that you got ONCE A year. Imagine that… being at the top of “google” for an entire YEAR with ONE SINGLE DECISION! Want to hack it with 1999 SEO? Make your company name AA Roofing LTD. Until that other roofer figures out that A1 Roofing LTD actually comes before AA alphabetically.
Marketers ruin everything and Salesmen love a challenge. These guys that taught me were gangsters, and many of them dressed like it. Smoking cigarettes, leather jackets, gold rings and my Favourite was “GE-OFF..not jeff… with the hand tats.”
Now let’s look at the state of door knocking today.
Almost every door to door sales training starts out with the same basic tips.
Stand far away from the door, be freshly shaven that morning. Quit smoking, start vaping. Chew gum but toss it beforehand… but not on their lawn beause they have one of those videocamera door bells. Dress professionally, and remember stand away from the door after you knock. Don’t knock too loud like a cop, but don’t knock too quiet either. JUST the right amount of knock power.
Then as they open the door, stay back, smile, hold a clipboard with both hands so they know you don’t have a Gun or Rape kit behind your back. Do not approach unless they invite you closer to the door. NEVER touch the screen door, allow them to invite you in if they choose.
You have limited time, make sure you let them know RIGHT away that you are not there to sell them anything, but you want to climb on their house and see if they can get their roof fixed for free.
CLEARLY we can see that things have changed since my days of knocking on doors. But because the guys who once knocked on doors are now the bosses and they are romantic about the glory days of door knocking they do not want to see another way. In fact we live in a bubble where we think that the only time customers even do any work to their roof is when the storm comes through and people offer to do it for free. So now salesman are trained negotiators in loss claims because the insurance company makes roofing companies play a game of cat and mouse for Par Pricing.
Let me share something with you….. people are out there replacing their roofs because they want new ones. They are replacing them with beautiful class 4 or permanent roofing systems. They are paying top dollar to the Bob Villa in your city because they are sick and tired of having someone knock on their door every time the hail comes through, paying deductables, dealing with insurance companies and occasionally bad work done by the roofing crew that makes matters worse or doesn’t fix the problem.
Let me prove to you that I am a Gypsie with magic fortune telling powers…. You know what’s next?
“Alexa… turn down the lights and make the iRing Doorbell to say we aren’t home, so the salesman can F*%K OFF!”
“Ok Google…. call 3 roofers and let them know we need an estimate on our Roof”
I’m putting this here on the internet so in 10 years I can come back and laugh at all the comments over the years of people who doubt me.
Now let’s talk Facebook Ads. There are 1.3 Billion active daily users on facebook. 230,000,000 of them live in the US.
230,000,000 people are looking at facebook at least once a month. Most DAILY
Every time they are in line at the bank, waiting for a red light, taking a dump,
THERE ARE MARRIAGE COUNSELLORS and psychiatrists helping couples because their partners are checking their newsfeed mid-coitus!
I am Canadian so we are fascinated by American Politics and at the time of this post there is HUGE concern that Facebook is ruining America, destroying democracy, empowering Russian Hackers to influence elections, and creating a hugely divided population because of its algorithm for delivering content that the user wants to see… effectively trapping them in a bubble of a self fulfilling prophecy.
Governments accused Facebook of being a media company, trying to hold them responsible, and Facebook is so big, so powerful, so untouchable that they basically said “no we’re not”. Even though every way to define a media company describes Facebook.
But you or your boss is “holding off” on Facebook because you don’t think it can help your business?! Stating that It’s not worth the time and energy, because you can’t figure out the Return on Investment from getting a like on your page.
Let’s talk about RETURN ON INVESTMENT. (ROI for short)
What is the ROI of a Hitachi Roof Nailer to a 17 year old Ballerina? ZERO.
What’s the ROI in your deadly hands? Hundreds of thousands, even MILLIONS of dollars if you take care of it, right?
A businessman who was much smarter, richer, and savvier than you bought 500 horses the day Henry Ford launched his first mass-produced automobile. So don’t feel so bad.
Facebook is not going away, show me one time in history where we just moved the world backwards with technology… I am not talking about war zones… I am talking about a point in history where we as a society said;
“NOPE! We don’t want light… put it back in the bottle”
“Uh-uh… we don’t like refrigerators yet!”
And actually stopped them from being used for a generation? It has NEVER HAPPENED.
And it won’t happen with Facebook. So now that we know it is here to stay and hopefully you are on board with the fact that a passive app that people have to OPT IN to, has more power over peoples attention and decisions than a forceful knock on the door. What does it mean for you? Is now the time? Or can you hold off a little longer?
The short answer is NO!
The longer answer is HELL NO! See, 3-4 years ago I was recognized for being one of the first HIGH TICKET LOCAL SERVICE based businesses on the planet to generate consistent business gains with Facebook ads as a primary lead source.
However, at this time, the internet marketing TYRANTS like Rick Mulready, Pat Flynn, Gary Vee, Amy Porterfield already had a MASSIVE base of followers. The fastest and easiest way to make money on a new platform, is to figure out and teach how to make money on the new platform.
After those guys start teaching everybody online how to use the new platforms features, the next round of people take on a much harder task… getting people to buy actual stuff instead of financial dreams. So the next logical step is selling things people really love, or solving problems people really hate and can solve with a buy now button. Apps, Dog Toys, Weight Loss programs, Books, memberships, events, anything with a BUY NOW button and a reasonably low ticket price and wide audience.
Then we get the early adopter high ticket online sales from “already online” companies not looking to lose out on market share. Flights, Hotels, and the “BIG BUSINESSES”. Typically this happens when tracking is more powerful and scaling of the ads management platform is completely able to handle a much more robust advertiser with many more sku’s and higher lifetime value. This is like Nike and H&M.
Once we small business owners see the “big guys” on the platform, and more of the people we know, like and trust are on the platform it is now MAINSTREAM. At this point the masses rush in with the stuff without a BUY NOW button. Massage therapists, mortgage brokers, realtors, car salesman, Dentists, Restaraunts and Bars. These are usually people with crazy margins and high competition who have been conditioned to be looking for leads in new exciting places to get an edge. They usually have very strong sales ability or their services are in high demand, exciting to buy, and still considered a necessity. They do not need a “Buy Now” button, they need a heartbeat attached to a wallet and they will do the rest.
Finally…. you have your “late bloomers”. Sometimes never bloomers. These are the companies that see their industries change because of online behavior, globalization, and technology. Typically because they do a job nobody wants to do, they can survive on word of mouth and scarcity of competition. (Relative to car sales people and realtors) Such as Taxi Drivers, Factory Workers, Motels, Construction, Administration and Business to Business.
Empires rise and FALL in this category. Huge companies disappear… .small companies become National Powerhouses. The old boys club crumbles and a bunch of hipsters with laptops turn their knowledge of the shift, into a new dynasty.
I put my Roofing Company on the Facebook Ad Platform when nobody was teaching how to do it because nobody was asking about it. At least not about something as boring as roofing. Some people were getting interior decoration or sexy remodel work but nothing as unsexy and commoditized as roofing. I had to take courses that taught you how to give a “Free Lead Magnet” like a Mega Muscle Diet promising bigger shoulders in 30 days, and using the leads to advertise to them about a PAID online coaching and personal training membership site, with the workouts needed guarantee successfully acquiring much desired BOULDER SHOULDERS.
We figured out how to do it by teaching people online, with infographics and videos, about all the questions they asked during the roof estimating and sales process, and highlighting things we found they frequently didn’t think about when deciding on a contractor. Then that became our brand, we amplified it with paid ads and followed up with ads for estimates to our warm audience of people who have viewed our infographics – as they MUST be interested in a new roof someday…. for reasons other than insurance repairs.
Low and behond the same method used to sell a $89 Booty Blaster workout program could be used to sell $40,000 Cedar Roof Replacements!
When some people who taught me got word of that, they knew they had something on their hands… a testimonial for selling a facebook ads course to local service businesses, or a good headline for a podcast to roofers, looking to keep sponsors happy with monthy download numbers. So I got a bunch of attention, pinterviewstervies, and some clients and students….
….and I am not the only one. More and more early adopter roofers and contractors start popping up with success stories. Small companies that suddenly have HUGE presence in their local markets and are automating and simplifying their sales cycles. Increasing profits and closing rates and having a lot more fun!
We are now at the dawn of a new age. I did a study of 4000 roofing companies a little over a year ago. I paid a Virtual Assistant in the Phillipines $2 an hour to manually check many roofing companies in Canada and the US to see if there was a “Facebook Pixel” installed on their site. A good barometer if they are using facebook with any success. If you don’t know what the pixel is, it is step 2 of starting any facebook ad campaign and you only have to do it once. So if the pixel is not installed it means the person either doesn’t know what they are doing, or isn’t doing it at all! There are over 88,000 roofing companies in Canada and the USA with less than 10 employees so this was a decent sample size. Considering the way she found these roofing companies was with the instructions:
Google “Roofer in ______________” in the top 80 cities in the US, and the top 20 in Canada. Check the first 5 if they have the pixel.
This also would also allow me to make a fair assumption that they were paying for someone to handle their online marketing because they were on the first page of Google which you don’t achieve without wicked domain authority or a REALLY talented SEO team using every trick in the book.
The results were STAGGERING but very exciting for a guy who made a name for himself in successfully building his own company with Facebook ads, and looking to build a second income getting paid to do it for others. Less than 3% had the facebook pixel installed. I HAD TO investigate so I started calling them, There were two common reasons.
- The marketing company had present Facebook ads as an option but they weren’t interested. Ranging from factors like they thought it was an upsell, or they weren’t overly happy with the results they were getting from them as it was, why spend more? Sometimes they were afraid of the peoples ability to leave comments.
- The company or employee had suggested it and they really thought they were advertising on facebook. Some were told there was ads running, and there wasn’t. Some were being run by people that just had no idea what they were doing. (35% of the people who approach me after listening to a podcast I was interviewed on are marketers who have clients paying for facebook ads and they are trying to get results. Good for them for getting educated!!)
The construction market was largely ignored due to ignorance, lack of understanding of the platform on both sides, and communication problems. This became my mission, to highlight the incredible opportunity available to contractors OUTSIDE of my LOCAL Market. (my business partner wouldn’t like me teaching and managing our competitors facebook ads!)
It has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. Yes financially it’s nice but what is really cool is seeing other peoples success stories. Compared to selling Vacuums, Cars, Cutco Knife Sets, its a dream to sell someone something that I know is worth WAY more than the price. Even if you pay me $140,000 in a year to build your site, manage your ad spend, create your brand, and manufacture your lead generation funnel. That will generate 10X revenue, that following year… and with a much more affordable maintenance person; that online real estate could pay 10X dividends for years. Not to mention savings from not paying for 3rd party lead generators.
Just getting guys off Homeadvisor is a huge win for me. This is where they generate leads at wholesale prices (Because they know how and you dont… yet) and selling them to you at retail prices… and to your competitors. Then finally use that money to brutally out rank you on Google, and present a message that contractors are dangerous crooks that their site visitors need protection from. They suggest that you should NEVER hire a contractor from anywhere but Home Advisor. I HATE THAT. Look at this Quote on the main page of Home Advisor:
“HomeAdvisor is a secure way to find contractors.
It allows me to feel more comfortable bringing
someone into my home.”
This disgusts me that they communicate and spread the message that the majority of contractors would be UNSAFE for a woman to invite into her home. This is the power of Branding. Home Advisor = SAFE. You = Crooked Rapey Thief.
Oh and since they generate leads as hard and fast as they can, they can force you to CONSTANTLY compete with every contractor desperate to get the work. They log THOSE prices and use that to base their “True Cost” calculator that tells cusotmers what they should pay for your services based on the cut-throat market that home advisor creates. Which forces you and other contractors to cut corners and perpetuate the myth that good contractors are hard to find and home owners need to be protected from them. When the Home Advisor BUSINESS MODEL doesn’t work for the contractor and home owner as a “Win Win” project…. Home Advisor doesn’t take the fall. The contractor does in the form of a bad review and the home owner does in the form of a botched home project.
All because you are too lazy or lack the information on how to build your own brand and lead generation source that you OWN! However, contractors are getting the message. There are roofers and framers and electricians with THOUSANDS of followers. Guys who are becoming the Bob Vila of Concrete Driveway remodeling in the Front Range of Denver Colorado specializing in Golf Course homes. That is how narrow their focus can become and because they are a SPECIALIST with social proof, local authority and quality content they get to ask for more money. Other contractors want to work for them because they like consistency in the projects and getting paid a little better to be with a company that is well known for Quality. They like working for a “Local Hero” and getting to be a part of a construction company that is SPECIAL. This means that the company owner has a strong narrow skilled team that can complete jobs faster and better, which = profit.
So what is the ROI of Facebook Ads?
- Higher Profit Margins
- More Consistent Sales Cycles
- Better Referrals (from people who don’t open with “oh go with this guy he was good and cheap”)
- Less Employee Turnover (one of the best hidden discoveries I’ve found!)
- Fewer Estimates to Complete
- Better Closing Ratios
- Less Negotiation
- Ability to Turn Away the Customers you don’t like
- Ability to focus on the types of jobs you do like.
- CELEBRITY STATUS! (if you are into that kind of thing)
The 100% Most consistent response I get from Roofers that follow my instructions to the letter on implementing facebook ads is that the customers they are dealing with now are a “DREAM to DEAL WITH.” The customers are excited to meet them and want to be home for the estimates. They would be sad if you just dropped the estimate in the mailbox because you got there too early. People tell me the customers usually hand over the check bragging that they paid them more, and that it was because they knew they would be happy at the end. They genuinely feel appreciated by the clients when they get the impression that they are worth a little extra money. The customers generally agree to award the contract right there at the dinner table and feed them lunch during the job and beers at the end… and have a check ready at the end of the job.
It is OVERWHELMINGLY obvious to them that the efforts invested in this path are introducing them to a customer base they previously only seldom met, and considered rare. But in year two, they simply expect it.
Due to higher profits and growth, occasionally mistakes happen from accelerated sales. These customers seem to be less concerned because their first instinct isn’t;
“Oh now they are gonna screw us”
“Oh I am sure they will know what to do and take care of us.”
This is because they know, that you have a BRAND that you want to protect. Because you are charging higher prices, you SHOULD have the money to make it right. These become your best referrals and case studies, because anyone can look good when everything goes right. It’s when things go bad that we learn what people are made of, and this is the best testimonial you an ask for. So bad days, mistakes, screwups, and misunderstandings become marketing opportunities, learning experiences, rather than tense negotiations.
So, what did I miss? Are you ready to start Facebook Ads.
You should be, because in 5 years… you will be unheard of, and irrelevant in a sea of big companies that took all the little companies workers. And small niche pro’s that get all the referrals and social media attention. You have to decide do you want to be seen, or not seen in the place where all the eyeballs are?
You can keep telling yourself that the aging techniques of the past still work.
They sort of do, you used to advertise in the phonebook with a professional but cold advertisement. (Google)
You Knocked on doors, introduced yourself warmly and built rapport, and once you knew they liked you present them with an offer. (THAT IS FACEBOOK)
It’s just now people reside in their digital world more than the real world. They find dates in the digital world, the 21-year-olds today are using filters to communicate with their friends as augmented reality farm animals, with voice changers, on Snapchat. You can bet that this platform will be relevant in 10 years, or the competitor that steals snapchats user base will be. But either way… they will just tell the door knocker to leave a quote in the mailbox through the Video Camera Doorbell system connected to their Television.
If you would like to know more, reach out to me here, or on your favourite social media Channel.