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Jealous Petty Roofers

Jealousy runs deep in some corners of the roofing business.

This guy hates that guy; that guy hates this guy. It can be vicious...petty...and stupid.

There's usually a few people texting the local manufacturer's rep on any given day throwing another guy under the bus. It's like kindergarten tattling. Bottom line, they want their competitor kicked out of the club -- their certification status threatened, revoked or lowered.

Here's my take...

If you live by your manufacturer's certification, you'll die by your manufacturer's certification.

When your company brand is subservient to the manufacturer's brand, you're not much more than a share cropper -- working for the company store. In other words, they own you.

You should own them!

Yes, being certified is a good thing. You should know what you're doing on a roof. Expert training is valuable because it sets you apart from the competition. I'm not going to cram on certifications because I believe in them greatly. What I am going to do is cram on roofers having an unhealthy understanding of certifications.


Nothing happens until somebody sells something and you're the one doing all the selling.

Your brand moves their product, not the other way around. Granted, some manufacturers have their shingle brand better positioned than others, but those shingles don't sell themselves.

You make the sale, not the shingle.

If you're worried about getting kicked out of a certification program, you're worried about things far below your full potential. If the only sales you can make are the sales where you convince the prospect to buy based on your certification, you're missing a lot of sales


When a big box like Lowe's or Home Depot ditches one shingle manufacturer for the other, they don't worry about the change hurting their business because they know their own brand is more powerful than the brands they carry.

Sure, they'll lose some business here, and pick up more business there, but they don't have much of a business if changing brands can take down their entire professional contractor business, do they?

Likewise, you are in a leveraged position because you are the final distribution channel for the manufacturer's roofing products. The supply house only carries the products you, the final distribution channel, continues to buy. You quit buying the product, they quit selling it. Therefore, you own distribution!

Most importantly, you are the brand your prospect is buying.

Very seldom will a prospect buy your product before they've bought you first.

Who you are is more valuable than what you sell. Be the best you and sell whatever you like.


If you get kicked out of a certification program because of some childish back-biting, join another one, but don't sweat it because the only people who really care are the folks who owe their soul to the company store and are living far below their full potential in this business.

Like a Home Depot or Lowe's, you can never allow your brand to be controlled by the brand you sell. The value of your business is in who you are, not what you sell. When you get that reversed, you're in trouble.

The value of any certification program is determined by the buyer, not the seller. In other words, if your certification is not important to your buyer, though it probably should be, it's not important.

The buyer always has the final say on what moves their own money out of their bank account and over into your bank account. You don't get to choose what's important to your buyer; the buyer gets to decide.

Certification is one of many variables a prospect will consider before making a decision. For many buyers, it's important for their roofer to be certified, but it's not the deciding factor in most cases because almost everybody has some type of certification. Remember, whenever something is alike or similar, it gets ignored.

"You're certified. They're certified. So what! Show me something I care about!"
- Every Prospect On The Planet

Being certified is a check mark on a list of qualifications, like being licensed or insured or a member of the BBB. All important to a degree, but again, seldom the deciding factor.

If you're going to get certified, get the best certification you can get, but don't expect prospects to camp out at your office waiting to sign a contract because you're certified. I don't care what certification you get, you're still going to have to sell those deals one at a time.

✌ Mike
P.S. I'm an independent business strategy consultant. The manufacturers don't tell me what to say and I wouldn't listen if they tried. Thankfully, they've never tried to shape what I say. When they fly me out to speak, they want me to tell the truth -- what it really takes to make money in roofing. For that, I respect them greatly.
When I do accept a speaking engagement, like the one I did for GAF in Wisconsin with Joe Hughes and Travis Herritz, I keep things real because none of us have time for theory. We have bills to pay in the real world. What I tell you has to work; we can't afford to waste time.  
P.P.S. Lowe's, Home Depot, and GAF are all registered trademarks of their respective brands. I couldn't find the little registered trademark symbol on my keyboard so I made this note at the bottom to protect my rear.

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