Standing tall in a market of roofers who want to be just like you.

Last week I took a phone call from a building owner telling me that his building was leaking with IB Roof Systems material on it. He told me the material was 2 years old and was falling apart. He also told me that the contractor, Shoddy Roofing Inc. *(names have been changed), was the installer. He then asked me how soon IB Roof Systems was going to replace the roof and all of the damaged interior contents. Calls like this is why I love my job! Truly, I really do love my job!
I love these kinds of phone calls, because I know that they aren’t true. I know that in my conversations with other sales reps from other manufacturers, I sleep better than most of them knowing that my customers and their customers are truly getting the best roof system and installation they can get. I’m not afraid to answer my phone in fear of angry or upset customers from failing products. These kinds of phone calls just add to my testimony of IB products. Back to the story though, the building owner is truly dealing with a leak and damaged interior contents, but he doesn’t have an IB Roof Systems roof and Shoddy Roofing Inc. is not an approved IB Roof Systems installer. Lastly, I can’t remember the last time in my 12 years selling IB products that I dealt with a membrane failure. In fact, I expect to see Halley’s Comet in 2061 before I could potentially see an IB Roof Systems membrane concern in the future. After having an approved IB Roof Systems contractor inspect the roof, it was determined: Shoddy Roofing Inc., showed the building owner a legitimate sample of IB Roof Systems PVC membrane. This contractor even stated in the contract that IB products were to be used and installed. TPO was actually installed, and had actually failed. No warranty was issued to the building owner. No calls were being returned from Shoddy Roofing Inc. I have taken other phone calls from approved IB Roof Systems contractors where former employees have either been terminated or voluntarily left their company to become an unethical competitor. This not a new scenario, and is quite often the quiet fear of all business owners as they train employees- that they are simply training their future competition. Sometimes this is an amicable separation as both parties will continue to speak well of each other and show high levels of integrity and ethics towards each other. However, the norm is more cutthroat and unpleasant as the former employee tries to build credibility with potential customers by dishing lies and half-truths about their former employer. Finally, we kind of knew increased competition was coming. Whenever the demand goes up, so does the cost, and the wait times. So when friends and family complain to those around them how expensive roofing has gotten and how long the backlog is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that eventually someone is going to say “Hey, I got a truck and a ladder. I could put your roof this week, and I can do it for less money”.
So, what can an upstanding approved IB Roof Systems installer do about “roofing wanna-be’s”? The best ways to compete against these fake roofers is to educate your customers. Just remember though, that some customers will still make the wrong choices, but many will make the right decision of choosing quality approved installers when they have the tools needed to weed out the fake roofers. I had the opportunity to discover two powerful tools that customers can use to weed the fake roofers a few years ago. This was from a contractor in Northern California that sold a stone coated roofing product against asphalt shingles. With his product sometimes doubling the cost of his competition, he still had an amazing closing ratio. Though, these two tools were not the only items in his sales bag, more on that in future newsletters
(or, if you let me take you to lunch, I will share them all with you).
He would give his potential customers these two forms to be used when interviewing roofing contractors: Questions To Ask A Roofing Company, and Questions To Ask Before You Sign A Contract With A Roofing Company. As you read the questions below, you will see that it will make most fake roofers squirm and run looking for the next easy target. I suggest that you make a form with your logo on it and get it to your customer as soon as possible.
IF I was running a roofing company, I would email them these forms as soon as the appointment was set on the phone. This was they could use them if they were getting bids from other roofers before my appointment, and it would set the tone of what my company would offer and provide for them.
Questions To Ask A Roofing Company: Does the roofing company have a Contractor’s License in good standing? How long have they been operating under that specific license number? How long have they been operating under that specific license and name? Roofers will often tell you they have been around for years, yet have relatively new licenses, or they file a “DBA” (Doing Business As) and use someone else’s existing license to start a new company. Will the company sales representative leave you with an address list of all houses they have roofed under their current contractors license and name? Has the company or owner ever been sued by a customer or supplier under this or any other license number? Some roofers may direct you to the License Board saying they have a clean record. The License Board is not in charge of lawsuits, make them answer your specific question. Has the owner of the roofing company ever filed bankruptcy under any other contractors license? Does the roofing company have Workers Compensation? Is the policy in good standing? Are Installers on your roof experienced and trained by the manufacturer specifically? Does the roofing company pull the building permits? Can you pay the supply company directly for materials? This helps prevent lien problems on your home. Make sure the roofing contractor provides you with a lien release from the material supplier, before you give them final payment. The best judge of the roofers work is the homeowner who has experienced what you are now considering.
Check References!!
Questions To Ask Before You Sign A Contract With A Roofing Company: Will your company pay workers compensation premiums on each and every person installing my new roof? Will your company pay payroll taxes on each and every person installing my new roof? Will your company be re-classifying any currently 1099 person or subcontractor as an employee to bypass my desire for employees only? Are you A sales representative and employee of this company that you represent today?  Independent contractor/salesperson of this company that you represent today? Do you, as a representative of this company, state your above answers are true under penalty of perjury? As an approved contractor for IB Roof Systems, you made it your mission to be different from the rest of the competition. For many of you, that is why you reached out to me in the beginning. You wanted to offer a better value to your customer and needed a manufacturer to support and stand behind you.
Always remember: IB Roof Systems does not sell to the open public. IB Roof Systems has a process that is followed when bringing on new contractors. For me, this doesn’t include “Chuck and truck with one project to do”. I don’t want to ever receive phone calls from building owners about the poor workmanship of one my contractors, so I choose the contractors that do quality work that prevent those kinds calls from ever happening. We are here to support you and your efforts to build and protect your market share. We have been supporting quality approved installers since 1978. p.s. The lunch offer is real…it will tell me how many are reading the newsletters.
  Authored by:
Shawn Stockford, Sales Representative IB Roof Systems