October 20, 2022 at 2:45 p.m.

Editor’s note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Jon Gardner of Owens Corning and Adam Bensman of Roof Strategist. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, and I am here today, actually virtually tripping across the country to visit with well, some of my favorite people. I have to tell you, Jon Gardner with Owens Corning is here today. he’s been on the podcast before, and they are doing such amazing things. And so the other day Jon said, “Hey, I want you to meet Adam Bensman, the Roof Strategist, and we need to get you all together,” so here we are.

Jon Gardner:

Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And we’re going to find out all about it. Welcome to the show.

Jon Gardner:

Well, thank you, thank you, thank you. And good to hear you, and virtually see you there-

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yes.

Jon Gardner:

Heidi.

Adam Bensman:

Heidi, thanks for having me on. I’m just super excited to connect. I’ve been involved with RoofersCoffeeShop as one of my first touchpoints coming into the industry well over a decade ago now.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That just makes-

Adam Bensman:

It’s super cool to be connecting here.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That just makes me so happy, Adam. I’m like “Yes.” That’s so cool because we have been around for 20 years so it’s nice when we hear people are finding us coming into the industry.

Jon Gardner:

Heidi, just a quick just piece on that. I remember RoofersCoffeeShop, it was … Obviously, it was in print format at the time, right-

Heidi Ellsworth:

Oh, yeah, Roofers Exchange.

Jon Gardner:

In the beginning. I do remember the noise that RoofersCoffeeShop brought to the industry. And I remember, “What is this publication?” It just took hold because it was so grassroots. It had some real good content in there that people just flocked to. I have the memories of when it first hit.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow.

Jon Gardner:

And here we are today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s awesome. 20 years. And I have to shout out to my business partner Vickie Sharples, who has retired, but she-

Jon Gardner:

Rockstar.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Rockstar. And she was there. So, Adam, that’s who you were talking to when you first came in and Jon, she did Roofers Exchange. Well, okay. I want everyone to get to know both of you who maybe don’t. I know a lot of people already do. But let’s start with introduction. So Jon, maybe can you introduce yourself? Tell us a little about Owens Corning and what you do.

Jon Gardner:

Sure. Jon Gardner and I am with Owens Corning as you mentioned. I head up our training and development platform for our contractors here at Owens Corning. I’m part of the contractor team, and our entire goal is 100% focused on our contractors and the industry, in general. I’ll talk a little bit about our training platform that’s built within the contractor program is focused on some simple premises which is to be as easy as possible to do business with and help our contractors grow. That focus takes on a lot of different meanings. At the end of the day, if we’re super easy to do business with and our content is strong and it provides vehicles for our contractors to grow, then it’s a win.

So I’ve been with Owens Corning for about 10 years. I’ve been in the industry since the ’90s, as I mentioned, Heidi, at the very beginnings of the RoofersCoffeeShop. And for the last four years or so, as I mentioned, I head up our training and development program and platform for our contractors under the name of Owens Corning University. And it’s there where we have an opportunity to provide our contractors with content to help them with their businesses whether it’s online, whether it’s live in the field, or at our plants, in all sorts of different locations. Big picture. Live training, on-demand training, and content that’s available for the industry, in general, through our hub. We’re really excited about it. And I have to say that over the years we’ve learned so much from our contractors that in many cases we listen to them very carefully and understand that there’s something there, let’s bring that to the industry. And Adam, you see that all the time, and you’ve brought your skillset. So psyched to be talking to you today here, Adam, with that. It’s very similar with regard to how generally we help our contractors.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Well, that continued education and getting in front of contractors is so important, and Adam, you’ve been doing that a lot. So please introduce yourself, introduce the Roof Strategist. I’m excited for everybody to hear what you’re doing.

Adam Bensman:

Thank you. Again, Heidi, it’s such a joy to be here. Jon really has been just such a pleasure working with you and the whole team at OC. By the way, shameless plug that I was not paid to say. Owens Corning has just been far and away the most enjoyable team to work with. Being on the road with everyone there has just been a blast. But anyway. My name is Adam Bensman, my company The Roof Strategist. I fell into the business the way a lot of people do being broke. With not knowing anything about sales, not knowing anything about roofing, but just saying, “Hey, I found this opportunity it can do well.” And so I went from massage therapist earning 1,600 bucks a month who couldn’t afford gas to go visit my family, to finding out about roofing sales from my stepdad, to going all in and getting the classic training. Here’s 3-tab, here’s dimensional, go do it. I was like, “How do I get up on a roof? Do I need a ladder?”

And from that point, getting my teeth kicked in learning sales in the trenches because there was no resources, there was no really roof-specific training. There was general sales training, some home improvement stuff, but nothing really dialed for the roofing space which left all these gaps in sales of how do we communicate really clearly with customers regarding the industry relevant specific objections or scenarios, whether that’s selling storm damage or retail groups. After figuring that stuff out, I totally changed my life. What was it? 7X to my income in about eight months. Made my first six figures, my life was changed. I worked my up to chief operating officer of that organization. We operated in five states and six cities.

I left the day-to-day because my passion was really … It wasn’t as much on the business ops side, I handled our legal affairs, our hiring, recruiting, marketing, ops, personnel issues, customer issues. And I said, “My real passion, what drives me every day, is communication and teaching salespeople that were in my shoes, coming into the industry, the skillsets they need that they can apply in the field to transform their life.” That’s what I love about the roofing industry is it is a level playing field regardless of your age, regardless of your sex, regardless of your background, your education, how much money you’ve earned or are earning. The minute we’re out there on our own, it is a equal opportunity. And I love that the low barrier of entry just provides a springboard for folks.

Today, what I do to fulfill that mission of helping sales reps smash their income goal and give every customer an amazing experience is two ways. One, by running The Roof Strategist YouTube channel and podcasts. At the moment, the most followed roofing sales training platform in our industry. And I’ve also developed an all-in-one sales training, sales strategy, and sales system currently being used by thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people. We’re in every state in the US, Canada, and Australia. From itty-bitty companies to quite a few of the top hundred roofing companies in America. And now I’m honored to work with Owens Corning and many of their contractors, which is how we met, to help them do the same thing because I believe growth is from the bottom up meaning, investing in the individual success of the salespeople on the team. So I’ve got blinders on in my business and they’re the folks that I focus on is helping salespeople change their lives.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. I love that focus. And I got to just go back and say, “I agree with you,” the folks at Owens Corning are amazing. They’re amazing to work with, they’re fun and so progressive doing new things all the time.

Jon Gardner:

You guys are awesome.

Adam Bensman:

You guys are.

Jon Gardner:

Thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth:

What you’re doing, Adam, is coming in and really seeing the needs in there and helping people just have a successful life that’s so rewarding too. I love how you focus in on that, that is really cool.

Jon Gardner:

Now, Heidi, one of the things that’s bubbling up in this conversation is really the mindset of what our training platform is all about. So Adam talked about a few things. And this is really across the board with our content, particularly with the folks that are working with us and partnering with us for training events across the United States like Adam. Adam, you talked about some psychology, you talked about your background. And that’s really what I’m focused on here for a second is that you look at our platform of partners, experts, that train in all different areas of business is the one singular element that is with all of them is that there’s some practicality and some understanding specifically of the roofing industry.

Adam, you were brought up into it, you’re working for a multi-state business. And if you look at many of our other partners and experts that are part of OCU, they have that similar background, and that’s super important. Whether it’s Adam or any of our other experts, that piece of it is the difference between theory and we’ve been through this, we understand it, and through the years and years of training and listening, we continue to … And Adam, great example of continue to modify what you’re bringing to the market because things change. Homeowners preferences change. The way that they behave and what they’re interested in. What our contractors need to do to be able to level up to get to that place where homeowners can identify with them.

What’s super important for Owens Corning is the theory’s great, listening to some psychology around it is really good too, but when you mix that with practicality, and you bring in real-life experiences, a couple things happen. One is, the resistance to change is less because contractors say, “Well if Adam did it. If others have done it and they’re successful, then let me just take it a chance on that, even if I’m just really skeptical about this”. I just wanted to bring that up. It is super important. And if you listen to all of our sales folks, our sales leaders, the stories and reflections of contractors that have really shared in the development of the industry itself is just really important so I wanted to bring that up.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It really is. Jon, I think that’s such a great point because it’s so important that people … A little side note here. But we always say this about marketing. If you’re going to go hire somebody to do your marketing, hire somebody who knows roofing, right, otherwise you’re spending half of your budget teaching them. It’s exactly the same thing, Adam, with what you’re doing. Hire somebody who knows roofing sales. Or work with somebody who knows that. Watch and learn from somebody who knows that. Jon, I think that’s great. And a lot of people get lost in that.

Jon Gardner:

And one last piece to that, Heidi, is that practical experience was super important, but we only want the best of the best when it comes to training and experts helping to support our contractor’s growth. That’s super important too. What are the best practices? Who’s leading the industry with regard to helping contractors take you to the next level? In this case, sales, sales process, management within sales, those are important pieces too because there’s a lot of confusion out there with contractors in terms of what place do I go. Where do I go? Who do I trust? Part of our job in the development of the content and the partnerships that we create is doing a real deep dive into our partner organizations and making sure that is a very clean connection and works very well in terms of having that expert level and next level content to help contractors really stay ahead of the curve.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Jon, how did you meet Adam? How did you guys find each other? Going on that trail.

Jon Gardner:

We were in Hawaii. No.

Adam Bensman:

Wouldn’t that be nice.

Jon Gardner:

I’d love to create a super, super interesting background of that, but it just goes to what I was just talking about. We have some folks in our sales organization that, obviously, are … We take pride in our sales group, right? Their entire focus is just what we just talked about. How can I help you? How can I help you with your business? And the knowledge base from our sales team’s perspective is just as important as what we’re talking about here. The understanding of it, what needs base questions, and understanding where the pain points are for our contractors. During that process, sometimes we unearth, and find, and locate the content and the experts that really do take it to the next level. And over the last two years, both The Roof Strategist, Adam, and Owens Corning have been working on what we see here today with the relationship.

And so it really started with Bill Schmidt from our sales organization, many of our ASMs saying, “Hey, we’ve been working with Adam at a local level and there’s a really strong connection here”. And so we started to foster that relationship and get a better understanding of both organizations, and companies, and making sure that hey, this was a good fit. As with any of our other experts, we take quite a bit of time to really thoroughly investigate that part. Practical experience in the market, meeting with our sales team, meeting with a variety of contractors, and doing the tough work to understand, all right, is this a good fit? Number two is, what’s the most important content with respect to being a good fit? And then three is, how do we integrate that into the Owens Corning methodology and more importantly the resources that we have available so that Adam’s methodology can be really effective? All that being said is, that’s really where it started from, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it.

Jon Gardner:

So we’ve been able to groom from there and here we are today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Adam, it’s funny because it sounds like you had a similar experience that I did. I started working with Molly Quinn, who’s a sales manager, regional manager, I’m not sure what her title is, but she’s just amazing, and that’s how I got to know Jon and got involved. I love this working locally with an Owens Corning rep. How did that go? And then what you’re doing today with the program with Owens Corning?

Adam Bensman:

And I got to tell you, I got to pinch myself, this is really a dream come true. I mean, it’s amazing to be here. I didn’t set out to say, “I’m going to become a partner with Owens Corning.” Which I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but as soon as Owens Corning got on my radar I was like “I want to be a partner of Owens Corning.” The first introduction was via a OC contractor in Minneapolis who was bringing me in for a training and that’s when I met Bill. Bill flew up to see how things went with me there and super fun. Bill and I ended up connecting. Later was on a road trip, coincidentally other OC contractors down in Texas, and they met up with Bill Schmidt again, literally just for dinner. He’s like “Hey if you ever find yourself in Dallas-Fort Worth.” And one week or two weeks later I’m like “Hey, I’m driving through Dallas-Fort Worth, do you want to do dinner”. The relationship evolved. And I’ve been being tested, so to speak, behind the scenes for about 18, 20 months prior to our relationship taking this more official level.

What I do in this relationship is really simple. Help salespeople feel more confident, have skillsets they can use in the field, and make more deals, sell more deals. It’s very simple. And doing so in a way that’s easy to follow, encourages each and every person to be their authentic self so I don’t do word-for-word scripts because … And if we get into the psychology today, which we may or may not, there’s a reason I don’t do scripts. In roofing sales, for storm, we’ve got four scenarios and seven mindsets on retail. There’s four different reasons people replace their retail roof. Word for word does not apply, it just won’t.

A good process or the way I teach in formulas is very easy to remember, it’s very easy to execute. Anyone, regardless of your background and your experience, whether you have sales background or not, whether you know anything about roofing or not, can very quickly integrate this formulaic approach to sales that I teach that can help people, especially companies who put a place a high value on the culture of their organization. So I’m talking companies that say, “You know What? We’re not the let’s throw mud at the wall. We’re not the group hire of bringing 50 people in and put guys and gals out on the streets. There’s nothing in it for us so who cares if we’re jeopardizing their livelihood? Let’s just see who sticks and then that’ll be our team.” I know that works, I know it works for some.

It doesn’t align with me because I began to see firsthand from having this philosophy of well, there’s really nothing to lose, right, well, let’s just see if they make sales, then they make sales. We end up playing with people’s livelihood and sometimes people aren’t cut out for this industry. It’s high stakes, it’s high pressure. It is very simple but it is not easy.

I like to encourage companies who place a high value on their personnel to say, “Listen, we want to hire good people who are quote-unquote good with people,” right? They are strong communicators, they have a high desire to do what’s right by homeowners. They’re really more of a driven by a servant’s heart. And those types of people do really well with my training philosophy to take quote-unquote good with people, people who often talk themselves out of sales, and allow them to channel that natural skillset in a way that coincides with the psychological digestion of the information we deliver in a sales process that knocks down the right dominoes in the right order in order to get the sale.

With Owens Corning, we’re doing these live in-person events, very, very hands-on. I mean, it’s training, this isn’t just … I’m not going out there to talk, there’s no commercials here, we’re out there to train and have fun. I’ve also recently both designed and built, with Jon’s help, and Megan, and Julie, and some great team members at OC, a training center that’s now living inside Owens Corning University as well-

Heidi Ellsworth:

Oh, nice.

Adam Bensman:

To lay the foundation for everybody. So if they’re not in a position to attend a live event, maybe we’re not in your city yet, the Owens Corning University would be a really good place to pop in, and check out, and just get a taste for the style and the philosophy, and get that foundation laid, that strong sales foundation for both owners and leaders as well as individual sales reps. The scope of involvement is very simple. Listen, help teams succeed, and custom tailor every single training for the unique needs of the contractors in the region that we’re in.

Heidi Ellsworth:

That’s excellent. I love that. I think that’s so cool. You’ve seen a lot that has happened. And I mean, obviously, over the last couple years we’ve had a lot happen there. And Jon, like myself, we’ve been in this industry for a long time. Let’s talk just a little bit about the importance of continuing education. How have sales changed? And so Adam, I’d love to start with you. Since you started 10 years or so ago to today, what have you seen change around the sales efforts?

Adam Bensman:

A very good question. I got into the business in 2011. And I’m going on the resources that I knew were available, so please, if I give the wrong information just know it’s ignorance, I didn’t know what was there. When I fell into it, I think there wasn’t any formalized roofing training systems. There was people teaching sales and stuff but it was a very … I’m going to say a dated approach. The very aggressive angle where there’s two ways out of the house. The homeowners call the police on you to get you out of the house finally or you leave with a deal. This was the mentality, right?

You’re in this house, and there was a very broey vibe to sales at that point. It was very aggressive, it was very masculine, and it was very forceful. Now, I believe that consumers are smarter than ever before, more discerning than ever before, and more frustrated with the increase of options than ever before. I believe it was 1984 when Jack Trout and Al Ries wrote the book Positioning, which is one of the most iconic marketing books in history about taglines and positioning. In 1984, the average human saw 300 marketing messages a day. Now, bear in mind, this was before social media. Okay. Now if you look on your phone I want you to count. If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, it’s generally about every five to six posts until an ad. You see how many times people scroll, that’s how many impressions. That’s how many times we are in the attention. Attention is the most valuable commodity in today’s time, and it wasn’t like that before, not to the same degree.

So homeowners are just bombarded. Everyone is trying to grab your attention, reach through the screen, grab you by the throat and shake you until your wallet falls out, and then grabs your money, right? Homeowners are wiser than ever before, right? They see through what used to be powerful sales tactics are now viewed as sales gimmicks, and homeowners don’t like it. There’s more resistance to a quote-unquote sales experience. That’s the biggest shift that I’ve seen is shifting from a more salesy type experience to a consultative and educational sales experience, but not giving up sales psychology. Being able to marry the two in a way that says, “We’re going to deliver an amazing experience in the home on the foundation of education and helping that homeowner make an informed decision, but pairing that educational experience with the right psychological approach.” Going through the right information in the right order, positioning the questions the right way to guide that homeowner to saying yes.

And the reason that I share this is I often open my trainings, and I did this last one, I said, “Who in the room believes that you are the best person, the best contractor to win your customer’s business and do the roof?” And everyone’s hand goes up. And I always tell folks, “If your hand doesn’t go up get out of the business” because it means you don’t believe in what you’re doing. No, I mean it. If you don’t believe that you’re the best at what you do you need to get out because it’s just a cash grab for you and that’s not going to be of service.

So when everyone raises their hand and I say, “Okay, so you believe you’re the best person to win that job. Now, therefore, it is now your ethical responsibility to learn how to communicate that message clearly to a homeowner to earn their business.” So when we take this approach with deep meaning, we are the best person to win the job, we’re going to take care of this customer, we now just have to say, “I have to learn this, I have no choice, but to do the very best I can if I truly believe I’m the best to win their business.”

Pairing this educational approach with the psychology, and doing so in a way that differentiates from other people is, in my opinion, quote-unquote the new way to sell. And I do believe it will continue to evolve. I have my own predictions about where this thing’s going. In general, that’s what I see is homeowners having a different taste. Just like food, trends go in and out, and you don’t see many fondue restaurants anymore these days. Same with sales techniques and processes go in and out just like food preferences and style or fashion, it’s like this.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Although aways that base on science to it, which I love, or philosophy. Jon, taking this, I mean, this is what Adam is saying and these changes, you’ve seen a lot of that through working with your contractors. What are some of your thoughts on the changes and exactly what Adam just said?

Jon Gardner:

Well, it certainly has changed. Everybody’s reasons for buying something and deciding in their own mind, in their own heart that they’re going to purchase it, that’s the same thing that’s been happening since before television. The noise and the capabilities, to Adam’s point, of homeowners or prospects being able to figure out who you are before you even get there, it’s supercharged now. Boy, what’s it going to look like in 10 years? I can’t even imagine.

With all that being said, is then you couple that with … When I started in the industry, boy, there was this big run of trying to get away from the roofing industry to be a commodity product. Prior to that, there wasn’t a lot of marketing or efforts to really … I mean, there was but really pump it up to say, “This is nowhere near a commodity product, it’s one of the most important decisions you’re ever going to make.” And so with that, you have to be able to support that with the system. The worst case scenario is for a salesperson and a roofing company to walk in and have an empty suitcase when it comes to, “I’m an awesome contractor and I’m going to sell you something, but I really don’t have all the goods inside to sell it to you.” What I’m getting at is, technology in the industry, and Owens Corning is on the forefront of this.

Supporting what Adam is talking about, and what homeowners want, and what contractors are really focused on is the marriage of amazing technology to support a roofing system in the home coupled with the … Really what you think about 10 years ago, the homeowner’s mindset and their understanding of what that contractor’s going to be walking into the home with, right, you got to be really prepared. And then three is, the different type of buyer that there is today. They want it served up in a different way. I guess what I’m saying Heidi is, it’s completely different.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It is.

Jon Gardner:

The only thing that’s the same is there’s a roof of some sort that’s going on somebody’s home. The game has totally changed. I love what Adam had to say with that. What went to my mind when you were speaking Adam was, think about the thousands of contractors that are knocking on doors and selling roofs in the magnitude of 10 to 15 to $20,000, whatever the dollar amount is, and homeowners are saying, “I’m in”. Those contractors, they’re the forefront of sales and really take it the next step. When you think about the homeowners in today’s world, when they open up that door, man, you better be ready because you have a half a second to make it happen. And that is the critical element that our resources with Owens Corning University are trying to help support, amongst many other things.

And so when you think about Adam, you think about Anna on the marketing side with Art Unlimited … We talk about Adam but we have another sales trainer within Owens Corning University, his name is Rodney. Rodney’s been with Owens Corning for what? Well over 10 years. And he has been a huge powerhouse in the industry, and we’re so thankful that he’s part of our program as well. All of them speak the same language with regard to what I just mentioned.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And that continuing education in sales, I think that’s one of the keys of why it’s so important. We’re talking now about the changing mindset of the homeowners, and Jon, you started to touch on it. There’s also going to be a total change in the types of homeowners. There’s this traditional thought of this is how it looks but that’s changing. And technology is also overlaying all of that and changing how you want that delivered. I think getting your sales team out there to get continuing education, to really look at the new ways of doing. I mean, I know I say this too often but I’m one of those weird ones that, don’t come to my home, I’ll just talk to you over Zoom. When you’re ready to check out the roof that’s great. That’s going to happen more and more with the millennials. So how do we work that? So, Adam, I’m excited that you’re bringing a lot of that new philosophy and how they want to consume this sales experience, I think it’s so important.

Adam Bensman:

Heidi, you bring up some good points about the changing needs in the sales side of homeowners seeing me on Zoom. I’ve worked with companies who are selling exclusively on Zoom. In my training system, I have a little bonus training on how to run a virtual presentation. So here’s the sales system and how to do this when you have to do it online. There’s two things I wanted to address if I may. One is what Jon said about people view roofing as a commodity. We’re in a commoditization time. Cars. Remember car sales that used to be a thing? Now it’s like make, model, mileage, I’m shopping on price, I’m dialing, it’ll get delivered. It is now a commodity. Homeowners often look at roofing as a commodity.

And one of the trainings we actually just did in Columbus on our last OC event was about how to break that mindset for homeowners and share that it is not a commodity. Learning lessons from world-renowned copywriters like Joseph Sugarman who had record-breaking sales for a smoke detector, a commodity item, by figuring out how to position it properly. We’ve successfully applied that principle in the roofing space time and time again with folks that will often reach out and say, “Hey, I did what you showed us, and I watched as the homeowner sold themselves.” And the most common response, most common feedback I hear is, “Adam, the customer chose to work with us, and then sent me a text right after because they were so excited about their buying decision.” It’s always the same language. Now, it might not be this exact word for word but the same theme is, I chose you because you took the time to explain everything to me.

It’s amazing how, when we take this approach, we can reconstruct the whole internal narrative in our customer’s mind from roofs are a commodity give me the cheapest price to roofing’s not a commodity to holy smokes, this is way more valuable. And that’s, I guess, more clearly articulating that difference of the modern consumer. And again, learning how to adapt with technology and doing that over Zoom because we lose a lot. Heidi, I don’t know, you’re reading your email right now because you’re on Zoom.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I’m actually not.

Adam Bensman:

I know, but we’ve all done this, right? We’ve all been on a Zoom your eyes wander. We lose a lot on Zoom. Getting back on track, Heidi, to what you asked about the importance of continuing education. I am a total book nerd. These are my notes from the book I’m currently listening to on my morning walks. And this gentleman says today … And his name’s Alex Hormozi. He says, “Information is the most valuable thing in the world because it buys you time.” I want to add to that it. Thank you, Alex Hormozi. Phenomenal quote, but I also know that our greatest threat and our greatest opportunity is the exact same thing, it’s what we don’t know. What we don’t know is what gets us in trouble, and what we don’t know yet is where all of our big opportunities are.

And I’ve worked with so many salespeople that with continuing education, especially in sales … When a salesperson learns to change what they say, they can write themselves 5, 10, 15, $20,000 per month bonus checks every month because those results just multiply. Hey, now I learned that skillset to have easier conversations at the door, which means I’m going to get on more roofs. Now I learned how to guide the homeowner through this process to get to yes. My close rate goes from this to this, right? From 50 to 76%, whatever the number is. I only say that because I have a 21-year-old sales rep with no experience who’s closing 76% right now on retail, and we helped just a couple of tweaks. And I don’t care who you invest with, the point is, this continuing education is the equivalent of recruiting a professional team of athletes.

The final thing I’m going to say on this is, so many salespeople fall into this, and I was equally as guilty. I said, “You know what? I’m good at sales.” So what do I do? I just show up and sell. And that’s no different than an NFL athlete saying, “Coach, I got drafted I’m pro now, see you game day,” and that’s it. It doesn’t happen. Professional athletes train harder. Professional athletes train more frequently. Professional athletes practice the fundamentals. Kobe Bryant woke up and squeezed in a third practice every day. When everyone else had two he says, “I’m going to do more.” He did the same footwork all the time. They have a team of dedicated coaches from strength training to conditioning to a massage therapist, to an offensive coach, an assistant coach. All these different coaches to help you fine-tune those skills. So I viewed like the zero to hero, this is your fundamental training. This is where you see the biggest gains.

But for long-term growth and wild growth is when your team begins to optimize and just move the needle compounding. And we’re actually doing it in our company, I have it written down. A 3% challenge. There it is. Our 3% challenge. We’re identifying certain metrics within our company, and everyone’s in charge of one KPI, and we’re uniting together to just move 3% per month, which by the way is about a 40% roughly if we can target 36, 40% compounding annual growth from just dialing in. That’s my spiel on continuing education wherever you find it, and tap into the resources that are in front of you, and use the snot out of them.I know I’ve said the final thing but I promise this will be it. “You don’t need to like someone to learn from them.” A quote from Dan Henry, by the way. And I really liked it because I’ve resisted certain people that I just don’t jive with. I’m like “You know what? I’m going to hear them out because I’m sure there’s a golden nugget.” One of my friends and partners, his name is Cody, he goes, “Follow the teachings, not the teacher.” And that really at the end of the day, you just got to find the teachings that resonate with you, your company, your culture, your philosophy, your mission. Forget who they are, check your ego at the door, and just grab the little nuggets because everyone’s going to have one or two things that can help you grow.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow. I love it.

Jon Gardner:

I love that. Said the same thing there, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I know, we were thinking the same. So Jon, how do contractors get involved so that they can work, go to some of these in-person classes with Adam, get involved, getting onto the OCU to see the courses there? I always like to end these podcasts with, how do you get involved? What’s the next step?

Jon Gardner:

how do you do it? Well, first if I could just follow up on what Adam just shared? There’s something in there that I think all of us understand. At the end of the day, the homeowners are going to decide to do business with us because of what? Because something inside of them says, “Okay, I’ll do it.” And then you have those homeowners that it’s like “Oh man, I think I made a bad decision” and they pull out and others don’t. In any case, there’s a level of, I just feel good with you. Another way of putting it is, they trust the contractor. And so there’s so much that goes into that.

One of the things that we’ve done with Owens Corning University is to try to amplify that. For example, just talking about sales and in-home sales. As much as what Adam’s talking about, which is huge, it’s foundational, it’s point at which you’re going to be successful in the home or not be successful by putting in a process. Super important. When you think about the decision-making homeowners are going to make, we want to be able to provide our contractors with all the various assets that are going to be taking place in that home. All of the various elements that are going to be taking into their home, right? From the physical meaning showcasing to technology. Being able to help the homeowner understand that this is a pretty big decision. To leading-edge science to be able to provide homeowners with the best roofing system.

You asked the question, how can contractors get involved in Owens Corning University? What I mentioned there is really in part what’s in Owens Corning University. If you take what Adam spoke about and ask, what else could I add to that to be really successful in the home and give myself the best opportunity? If I have a sales process in place, if I understand the psychology of color, psychology of how color works, and how to have great conversations with homeowners with regard to color. If I can share with homeowners the difference between roof system A and roof system B and why Owens Corning invests the amount of capital and resources to the technology. If I can understand the basic elements of what that homeowner is going through, and really give them the sense that I totally understand where they’re coming from and being able to answer the questions in the right way.

When you pile all that together and put it together in a process that allows a contractor to have a really meaningful conversation and develop trust at the highest level, it means I’m going to close the deal. It means I’m going to sell it at the margins that I’m comfortable with. It means I’m going to get the reviews that I want. It means my employee’s going to be very happy with success which means that there are opportunity for growth within the organization. It means the contractor has an opportunity to take their business to the next level, which is what we started out today about.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Right, right, exactly.

Jon Gardner:

And so Owens Corning University is really trying to supply that holistic approach to whether it’s sales, marketing, production, et cetera. How can our contractors get involved in Owens Corning University? First of all, any of our contractors in our network have access to OCU through OCConnect so simply take the next step. If you’re an OCConnect, click on Owens Corning University, and off you go. If you’re not part of our network and you want to take a taste of what’s available as far as training content, then I invite you to go to Owenscorning.com/hub, H-U-B and check out our eLearning hub that’s available to anybody in the industry with regard to great content. And that will provide you directions as well as the content to how you might be become part of the Owens Corning Contractor network and some instructions on how to do that.

All that being said is, whether you’re in network or outside of network, whether you’re live or online, or you’re interested in webinars, we take a practical approach to providing content for learning and development. And that content is going to be available in ways which is most meaningful and effective for our contractors. Live, online, on-demand, webinars, podcasts-

Heidi Ellsworth:

Podcasts.

Jon Gardner:

We’ve got it. Thanks for allowing me to go through that part. It’s one of the things that we’re really proud of is the association with folks like with Adam and our approach to it. Like we said, at the end of the day, our success is measured on the success of our contractors. We measure that every day at a local level and at the highest level with our company.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love that. It is all about getting back to the contractors and enabling them to have very successful businesses and extremely happy customers, and so that all goes together. Gentlemen, thank you. This has been delightful. Adam, so great to spend some time with you. Thank you for being on the show, I really … I just so am excited to watch everything that’s going to happen here with all of your presentations and everything on Owens Corning.

Adam Bensman:

Awesome. Heidi, thank you so much, it’s joy to be here, I really mean it. Thank you for asking such fun questions and keeping us engaged, and hopefully bringing some insights to everybody tuning in.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It’s always lively.

Jon Gardner:

No kidding. And Heidi, thanks for doing all the things that you do for the roofing industry. Just a rockstar. Thank you for all of that, that you do.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Well, back at you, Jon, and thank you. Thank you for being here today, and thank you for introducing me to Adam.

Jon Gardner:

You got it.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It was great. And thank all of you for listening. These podcasts are all about bringing this information to you. How to grow your business, how to make it better. And all of it, of course, can be found on Rooferscoffeeshop.com. You can find information about Adam and The Roof Strategist on the Owens Corning directory, and also, we’re going to have some great new stuff coming on. You’re going to be seeing a lot out there with Owens Corning, and Adam, and the Roof Strategists. And also, be sure to listen to all of our podcasts. On roofersCoffeeshop.com under the read list and watch navigation, check out all the Roofing Road Trip episodes, or, on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and hit those notifications so you don’t miss a single episode. We will be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.

Speaker 1:

Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.





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