Most everybody has a roof over their head, sure. But finding someone to help you car for that roof can be a little... tricky. Unlike other major, big ticket, services roofing is still marketed in a very old fashioned, yet effective way: door to door sales. If you live anywhere where you might find a house you've probably been approached by someone in khaki pants and polo wanting to climb up on your roof to give you a "free inspection" in the hopes of selling you on the idea that you need a new roof. Now. Or else.
There isn't anything inherently wrong with knocking doors to drum up some business. When it's done well it can be a pretty pleasant experience for everybody involved. Think about it: you have a problem that you've been putting off fixing. It keeps getting put off week after week then, one day, while you're chilling in your sweatpants catching up on your Netflix que, a polite, knowledgeable person comes to your door and fixes that problem for you without you having to even put your shoes on. All you have to do is wave your hand like Captain Picard ans say "engage". Sounds good, right? That's door to door sales.
The problem is trust
It's always trust. In a perfect world we'd all like to be able to trust the stranger that comes to our door with our credit card and social security number. But that is not the world we live in. We are inundated with scam after scam after scam... after... scam. It's easier to just not trust anybody and call the store directly. Some of these "field marketers" have really good deals and the best of intentions. Some will get you literally robbed. How can you tell the difference?
We talked to a legit roofing company to find out
We got on the phone with our friends at Jeff City Roofing for some help spotting potential scammers in the roofing business. Jeff City Roofing is a top-rated roofing contractor that serves Jefferson City and Holts Summit, Missouri. They have used all types of marketing in their area including D2D. There are pros and cons to any form of marketing but when it comes to offering roofs in person, Jeff City Roofing there are some things you must watch for to make sure you're dealing with a legitimate roofing contractor. What follows is a summary of the conversation and pro tips from the leadership team at Jeff City Roofing regarding sniffing out potential scammer. It's good to note: although we were talking about roofing specifically, these tips can apply to anyone selling something door to door.
Trust your gut to spot a scam
People do business with people they like and trust. That's pretty straightforward. It applies here, too. These tips are not going to advise you to never buy anything from a D2D salesperson. Often, they are very knowledgeable, will bend over backwards to win your business, and are quite up beat people. Just like any industry you're going to encounter an unscrupulous element every now and then. We hope that this information will help avoid those types of people and make you feel more comfortable doing business with the good ones.
Trust your gut. If something seems off it probably is. Body language is a huge indicator os a person's intentions. I don't expect anybody to take a Master Class on being a human lie detector but look out for simple things: eye contact, posture, nervousness. If they are fidgety, can't answer questions without looking you in the eye that is a definite red flag.
Do you like them? Personally, if someone comes off as rude, it's a no from me. I don't care what you have to offer. Is the person you are dealing with polite, respectful, "normal"? If they can't crack a joke or make me feel at ease, I'm not very excited to continue the conversation. The logic behind this is if they are not comfortable at the door they are either new or not trained properly before being sent out on their own which means, whatever company they represent, there is a high turnover and honest, quality people don't stick around long enough to get good at their job.
Credentials If you're specific neighborhood has a specific lanyard or solicitors permit that someone has to get to pitch on your street it's a good bet that nobody will be able to produce one. They are silly, don't accomplish anything other than fund a bureaucracy, and can be easily faked. The credentials you should ask for are:
(a little) Pressure doesn't mean they're shady. When you know you need a product or service and you are ready to buy you call a company and ask for them to serve you. That's totally fine and how it should be. If you don't need a service and someone comes to your house unannounced to offer it to you, that doesn't change the fact that you don't need it. Door to door salespeople are there to find the people that know they need the service but just haven't gotten around to finding the company they want to use. If that's you, cool! If not, it's no big deal. The "pressure" that people claim to feel when in a sales situation with a D2D marketer is often just the salesperson asking them to identify which group they're in. The salesperson is trying to get a yes or a no. That's important to note: a yes or a no. If they are professionals seeking to serve you to the best of their ability they will nudge you to make a decision. They would definitely prefer a yes but the good ones are just fine with a "no" so that they can move on to someone who does need what they have.
Where you should draw the line is when it gets pushy, rude, or hostile. There is absolutely no need for that and any company that cares so little about their reputation to treat you that way probably won't have any problem screwing you over either.