Editor's note: the following is a transcription from the RCS partner webinar with TAMKO's Kim Eckerman and Melissa Dunson.
Heidi Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to this special webinar from RoofersCoffeeShop with TAMKO. Heidi Ellsworth, RoofersCoffeeShop partner. But I am really excited to introduce Melissa Dunson and Kim Eckerman with TAMKO, leading authorities on what is happening out there right now in the roofing contracting world with selling. Today, I'm so excited for this conversation and to learn about what's going on with remote selling. It's more important than ever. Kim and Melissa, welcome.
Kim Eckerman: Hello.
Melissa Dunson: Thanks for having us.
Kim Eckerman: Yes. Glad to be here.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love the fact that we have video. This is great. Hopefully, everybody out there is seeing us working in our home offices which is all part of what's going on with remote selling and working remotely. We have a lot to talk about and I would love it. Melissa, if you would start us off and really talk about what's going. The times are changing. Everything's being accelerated. What are you seeing?
Melissa Dunson: Yeah, thank you, Heidi. I'll say it's a crazy time in the industry but there are so many things that are staying the same. Selling is still extremely important... It's the bread and butter. We have to do it. We have to get better at it. Remote selling, why is this topic so important? It's always been important. It's just that right now it's top of mind for so many people because roofers are not able to go face to face knocking on doors, putting up door hangers… it’s not a great option right now. So they have to get better at this stuff. Many of the traditional ways that roofers have found new business and communicated with homeowners, closed deals, that all has to change right now. I'm going to give a couple stats on the slide here. There have been a number of different groups in the roofing industry that have done some surveys recently and what they're finding is pretty similar across the board. In one of the surveys, nearly 60% of the people surveyed indicated that they'd seen a slowdown in normal bid activity and 45% of those people said they had experienced job cancellations, 43% of the respondents had already faced financial difficulties due to coronavirus. The majority of respondents said that they were still using traditional methods. Phone was the winner by far 67%. But thankfully, email marketing and social media are really coming up 51% and 36%. A lot of different people said that they were changing their ads to communicate that, "Hey, we're still open and we're still operating." Bottom line, it's time to evolve.
Heidi Ellsworth: It really is. I think what I've seen, what the two of you have been doing, is you've been preparing for this for quite a while. I know working with you on all the different things that we do, this isn't something that just all suddenly went, "Oh, we’ve got to do this." Everyone knew it was coming and selling is still about the people and we need to be able to be in front of them. Kim, maybe talk to us a little bit more about those principles. Like I said, this isn't anything new.
Kim Eckerman: No, it isn't new. I think that's a good point that it is time to evolve the traditional marketing landscapes and selling methods. We're at a point now where we've got to figure out how we navigate through this new normal. Yes, very valid point. The selling is still about the people. While the principles of selling haven't changed. Again, it's the methods. We're no longer in that face-to-face contact, but communication is still so key in this. It's paramount to what we're doing. I think close to 90% of communication is nonverbal. It's still important that we are able to see each other like we are right now through this virtual technology. This is a huge part of that. It’s important to just remember though that the social-psychological aspects of it are still some of the most important and powerful things that you can understand when it comes to selling. I have a story and that's how I'm going to present myself to you and how I'm going to relay my information and connect with you. Those are still important aspects of it. It's just determining how are you going to reach those people. On that third point there, educating first and selling second. Particularly right now, I wouldn't suggest leading with a sell message. Nobody really wants to be sold on anything at the moment. I want to know that you have compassion, that you're caring about me. And then secondly, you can show me how your products can make an impact on my life. How can they make things better for me? How can you help me with something in a safe way to get the job done here? And then, on our final point there, looking at selling the solution. That's the evolution of what I was just discussing, moving into how the products and the services are about the customer. How am I going to help you solve the issues that you're having here?
Heidi Ellsworth: Kim, I love that psychology because really what it's about, as we all know from communications, is knowing your audience. Taking time to have that relationship whether it's digital or in-person really doesn't matter.
Kim Eckerman: No, absolutely. Knowing your audience is key. Before you launch into any messaging or any connection point, determining who you're talking to is first and foremost the important thing that you're looking at. How are they going to connect with the message that I'm relaying? How do I relay that to them in a meaningful way? Know your audience and then think about what the target is. What is the ultimate goal that I'm trying to reach here? But if I don't know the audience, the goal really doesn't matter.
Heidi Ellsworth: If you don't understand their pain or what they need, how can you share your story?
Kim Eckerman: Exactly.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think one of the things that we're finding is that technology is allowing us to understand our audience better than ever and really be able to. None of us can remember everything. We need to have those points. Using technology with a really good customer relations management system, a CRM, is more critical than ever today. Melissa, why don't you share a little bit about this? I know you've been doing a lot with TAMKO to really offer this kind of service. Why is it so important?
Melissa Dunson: It's so important because really so many of the touchpoints that contractors previously had with homeowners are just not there right now. CRMs were important before coronavirus. They're going to be important afterward, but I think that this moment in time is really helping our industry see the importance of it. What CRMs can do is they can help streamline that process. They can even help automate some of those customer touchpoints, but in a way that doesn't feel impersonal. There's a lot of good ones out there. We have a great relationship with JobNimbus and our pros get a special discount through them. Salesforce is a huge CRM in the industry. HubSpot is another. Besides being a place that you can put your customer information, give yourself to dos, ping your customers, you can also send bids and invoices electronically, which is more important than ever right now. You can allow customers and homeowners to sign electronically. You can see into the progression of a job. You can automate email marketing with your past and potential customers. Some of these CRMs, like JobNimbus, have integrations with supplier so you can order materials through the platform. One of my favorite things is that once the customer has made it all the way through their project, you can automate the acquisition of reviews, which is such a crucially important thing as right now people are going online more than ever when they're choosing the roofing contract for their projects.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think when you really look at that... I know you've been doing some excellent educational webinars with JobNimbus. I think having contractors really take that time to watch some of these webinars and figure out what's best for their business, is great. That's a big part of technology: finding out what's going to work and incorporating it into your business. As I'm talking to contractors across the country, I tell them, "Talk to your manufacturers," because they usually have opportunities to really educate yourself and to provide some great financial benefits to your business also.
Melissa Dunson: I think one of the things about CRMs is people aren't that familiar with them, or maybe they're familiar with just a tiny piece of what they can do, and they'll think, "I don't need that," or "I don't need that enough to have to pay for that service." But unless you really get into a CRM and see all the capabilities that it has, you don’t really understand the benefit. There are so many ways that these kinds of services and this kind of technology can help your business which is why it's fantastic to request a demo or attend one of the trainings like the webinars that we've been hosting. We have these trainings to watch on-demand as well. Because, unless you've really seen all the capabilities of these, it's hard to imagine in your mind how you're going to apply it to your business, but the functionality of it's amazing.
Kim Eckerman: I'll just add to that, too. Speaking of the benefits, I think JobNimbus estimates that they save on average, per employee that you save you about eight hours of work a week. That's a tremendous amount of effort that you’re not having to relay. You’re able to turn those hours and that effort into other items. I think that's really good to keep in mind.
Heidi Ellsworth: Not even to mention duplicate data entry. All the mistakes that can be made along the way. I think one of the things I truly love about CRMs is really being able to have that information about your customers so that you really stay on top of it and I think that companies like JobNimbus do such a great job in helping you track your projects. Let's talk a little bit about how to work with your existing leads. Hopefully, they should all be in the CRM right now and if you don't have one, you know where to go now. What are you recommending, Kim, on doing that?
Kim Eckerman: Yeah, that's cute. Hopefully, you have some existing leads. Where are they? Determining where your current and potential customers are. Are they working from home? Are they still working sometimes? How are you engaging with them? How can you connect with them the best way? Moving through that point, even if they're working versus if they're not working, (potentially having to take some time off). What is the best way to engage with those leads? To that point, people like Melissa, myself, you, Heidi, we are working from home. We talked about how our new coworkers are our children or our dogs, or our husbands. What does a person’s situation look like? Trying to find the best time to connect with those people is also key and thinking through their experiences and what they're dealing with potentially. And then just to be consistent and looking forward to engaging those leads and asking ourselves, “how do we be consistent in those communications?” and thenkeeping track of what that looks like. I want to make sure I’m not hitting you up too often. But, also that I'm not pulling back too much. I want to keep you engaged and give you the right content at the right time to try and continue to nurture that lead. Also, remaining informative with those communications to keep them interested. We don't just want to be communicating for the sake of communicating. It needs to be effective and it needs to be helpful, and once again, engaging. And then I think, another big key point within all of that, if you have existing leads, let them know you're open for business. We've probably all seen some of these forms of advertisements or marketing efforts where people are reminding you that they're in business right now. I think that's a key point is that people are questioning who they can turn to or who may be able to actually help them. That's a good one. Then, continuing to rely on referrals from your past customers is key right now too. Let that past work speak for itself that these people have something great to say about your business and the work you've done for them. I think that's another key in trying to work with existing leads that you have.
Melissa Dunson: I think the CRM plays a huge part in this because if you have been using one of these tools, all of that information about your past customers should be in there and very quickly, you should be able to pull that list and shoot an email to those customers saying, "Hey, we're still in business. We're still open. We're still operating right now." Or you could go and request reviews from those folks that you already have an email list for, because you've already done work for them. Or say, "Hey, do you know anybody who needs a new roof right now?" And really work that customer list that you already have.
Heidi Ellsworth: Again, it goes back to knowing your customer but if they are working at home as we all know, they're probably going to have more time outside, more time that they're looking at the roof, or they're looking up at the ceiling and maybe seeing things that they didn't see before. By staying in front of them with, "Oh, if you have a water stain on your ceiling, something, you probably should have somebody come out and look at it." I think those are the things that we all take for granted. But now people are looking at things they just didn't see before.
Melissa Dunson: Some of these areas have been really hit by storms lately. If you had an existing customer list, even if you put that person's roof on a year or two years ago, there's a good chance right now that they might need a new one based on some of the hail that we've gotten recently.
Kim Eckerman: That storm damage. Yes, potential for that.
Heidi Ellsworth: Talking about that, Melissa, that leads right into... I've been thinking about this. Okay, as storm hit, hail hits, how are you getting in front of all these new customers? How are you getting new leads whether there's a storm or not? I know you have some thoughts on that.
Melissa Dunson: Yeah. People are stuck at home right now and so the place that people are going to go to find businesses, it's online. They're going either to social media and searching for businesses there. Or, they're going and they're looking for a website. The point is: people have to be able to find you without ever having to go to your brick and mortar because it's not a good idea to go knocking on doors right now. It's not a good idea to go leave door hangers. That time will come, again, it's just not now. My biggest point is if you don't have a website, get a website. This is the perfect moment in time to get a website and there are some fantastic tools that make it really easy to build a website. They have templates there and these are built for people who are not web developers to be able to go in and build a site. Some of these options have pre baked templates and color schemes. Along with that, you really need to have a social media presence. I'd say start with Facebook, which is really becoming a place that people are going to research businesses. Even if somebody has a website and you go look for them and they don't have a Facebook page that's dedicated to their business, it's like, "Are these guys for real?" f you do have a site, I would say, today is a great time to go in and do some maintenance on it. Make sure that your site is going to show up for the keywords that people are searching for. One of the ways you can do that is by making sure that you're using “roofing” or “residential roofing” or “storm repair” or whatever those terms are that you want to show up for when people are searching for roofing contractors on Google. You want your site to come up for those things people are searching for, “roofing contractors in New York,” Or whatever those terms are for your business. You need to make sure you have those keywords in important places in your site if you want to show up for them. And then, one of the suggestions we've heard from a number of different people, it's fantastic idea, is to add a little banner to the top of your website that just says, "Hey, we're open for business." "We're operating." "We're available. Please call us if you have a need." Also, you have to be a little more tech savvy, but if you have the opportunity to add some kind of an automated chat feature onto your website, there are some inexpensive options. People who are maybe not far enough down the funnel to be interested in calling you, they're not quite ready yet, may be willing to have a chat with this robot and ask questions like, "Tell me about your business." Or, "What is an average roof cost?" Or whatever that is, being able to have that feature on there can help get them further down that funnel.
Heidi Ellsworth: Good. Kim?
Kim Eckerman: Melissa was mentioning updating your website with messaging of, "Here I am. I'm still in business." I think it's key thinking through the tonality of the messaging that you are sending out right now. Make sure that it's tone appropriate and that it is taking considerations for the situations that people are in. Approaching this with compassion and kindness first. Like we were discussing earlier, that's a key point.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think that's so true. Really thinking through what are the needs, what's happening, and communicating that in a way that reaches out to people through digital. I know we have some key points for SEO, search engine optimization, and I just want to say the same thing, Melissa, that you're talking about and you're going to go through some more points on that. But really think outside your box. I always tell people to go look at what your competitors are doing. Go type in “roof in New York” or “roofing” and see which who comes up and see what's happening. Because, especially in this time, you might have some people who have time to do a little research that can really can go a long way in making a strategy for your SEO.
Melissa Dunson: During the last slide, we covered a few of these points. But, one of the things would be to create content that's based on questions. Think about how voice search capabilities have changed the way that you as a person are asking questions online. It used to be, "I want to look for roofing shingles." Now it's, "What are the best roofing shingles made?" Just even making sure that when you're creating content for your blog or for your website, that you're framing that content in a way that answers that question because people more than ever are not searching for things, they're searching for answers. It's a behavioral change and something that SEO people are grappling with: How do you actually take existing content and turn it in a way that answers questions instead of just providing information. If you don't have a blog, it's easy to do and you should do it. If you want to check out something, we have a new blog at TAMKO. You should check out the new TAMKO blog and just get some ideas. To Heidi's point, don't just think roofing. If you’re going to create content for your website that answers questions that people have, branch outside of just roofing because sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for And right now, they're stuck at home and they may be thinking about doing home improvement more than normal. Roofing may not be top of mind. It might be top of house, but it's not top of mind for them. They're thinking about their siding, they're thinking about their porch. If you write more general home improvement type articles, but make sure that there's roofing mentioned in there, you could actually show up in search results that you're not expecting to, and get customers calling, potential customers that didn't even know that were maybe interested in a roof enough that they could even search for it, but they were searching for home improvement.
Kim Eckerman: I think key to that too is relevant SEO content. While you're looking to show up for these certain words, it's the context around those words are so important too. We came from a previous time, and Melissa's very familiar with this too, where it used to be that SEO content was just really text heavy and it didn't maybe necessarily relate to what people were actually looking for. It took you down a rabbit hole that didn't give you the information you were looking for. It's really key now that not only does it contain the words that people are looking for, but that it has the content that they need because we're very well versed as people who utilize the internet often to search for things, and can quickly know whether a piece of content is relevant to us or whether it's someone just fishing to get their product in front of us.
Heidi Ellsworth: What I hear from roofing contractors on this too is they're like, "I don't know what to write." To Melissa's point, I always put it back on what are your customers asking? Ask your salespeople for the top 10 questions that they hear on the phone or your front desk or whoever's qualifying the leads, asked for those questions and then type those in and see what other people are saying out there. I think going to TAMKO's blog and RoofersCoffeeShop, we have so many articles like that that answer questions and help explain the different parts of the roofing systems. I think roofing contractors get a little stymied and they don't need to because there's so many resources out there to help them through this.
Melissa Dunson: And just because someone else has written about it doesn't mean that you can't write about it as well. Everybody has their own take on it. And, if that's what people are searching for, don't you want a piece of that web traffic. Just because someone else has answered the question, go ahead and answer it too if it's one of the top questions that homeowners are asking pertaining to roofing. They shouldn't be afraid of the number of responses. Type in, "How big does a hailstorm have to be to damage my roof?" Write your answer to that based on your specific knowledge of that regardless of how many other people have already tried to answer that question.
Heidi Ellsworth: Reference all the great sites out there, NRCA, RoofersCoffeeShop, all these different places, your manufacturers, TAMKO, that you really can show, "This is the answer." Because the people in your area, your local area, may not see all the other things that are out there. They just want to know from you as an expert. That leads to reviews. It's kind of the same thing... It's not the same thing, but reviews and referrals are so important on your website to really help with that SEO and validation. Kim, talk a little bit about that.
Kim Eckerman: Yeah, absolutely. Right now, we've just been saying people are at home right now. They're stuck at home. What better time than to be going out and searching and trying to gather up reviews for your business? Maybe the contractor themselves are in an area where their work has either slowed or maybe they’re not necessarily able to put roofs on right now. What better time to be thinking about how can you come out of this when this pandemic lifts, how can you come out of this and be stronger as a company? A really great way to do that is to be going out and gathering up reviews from people. You can do that digitally. You can be reaching out to people by phone or text or through Facebook Messenger even, and asking them to leave you a review. Like we were talking about, you've got your email list from your existing leads, and it’s a great time to be reaching out to customers in that fashion and asking them for reviews. Running a quick survey with them or pointing them to a site that you rely on for reviews listings. Even something like Google reviews are great. There are a lot of email platforms you can use for reaching out to that customer list that you may have. There are a few listed that are some of the bigger ones in the industry and some of those offer free subscriptions as well to their services, Mailchimp or Constant Contact, HubSpot is another one as well. It’s just a great time to be going out and trying to gather those up and elevate your business in front of those potential customers.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think this is an awesome time too to be a bit bold. If you think about it, there are so many delivery services out there DoorDash and all these different places, Grubhub, I don't have them, of course, where I live, but I hear they're awesome. As a contractor, you can use those gift certificates to ask people, "Hey, can you give me a review? Referrals?" You can share some wealth. Right now, people are probably going to be so thrilled to do something and to get a special delivery. They're at home. Any kind of interaction is excitement when the doorbell rings. I think when it comes to getting reviews and referrals, this is a great time to think outside the box of how to interact with your customers.
Kim Eckerman: Yes, agree.
Heidi Ellsworth: Once you have these reviews, there is a great opportunity to share them and to share them out on your social. I even say in your advertising, put your reviews in there, share them if it's okay of course with that homeowner or customer. But Melissa talk a little bit about social ads and advertising in general.
Melissa Dunson: Let's think about the reasons that people need a roof. They either had some kind of storm damage, sometimes it wasn't even that recently. They may not even be aware that they had storm damage. Also just based on roof age, you can target businesses on social media. Do you need a new roof for your business so that you're ready when the coronavirus situation changes? Right now will be a great time to have some ads that are reminding homeowners about spring maintenance. How did your roof handle the winter? All those ads are getting in front of people and getting them to start thinking about something that may not be top of find. Maybe the roof's not leaking. Maybe they're not thinking about it, but if you plant that question into their mind, it's like, "I don't knowMaybe I do need maintenance. Maybe I do need repairs. We did have a couple storms." That's a real thing. That's one of the great things about ads. It's like my kids, let's be real. You're watching TV. The commercial comes on for a restaurant and then miraculously moments later, they're like, "I'm so hungry. What if we had burgers," and I’m like, you’re falling for it and also, I love that. Business owners need to be ready for business to come back. You can also go ahead and don't just think residential. Those small businesses are also getting ready for the end of all this, and you can help them think about what do they need to do to their buildings so that they're ready. I would also say, social ads are great because you can so specifically target groups of people in such a fantastic way, and really get your message in front of the right customers, and it's inexpensive. Also,right now, with people being home so much, local TV could be a great option as well because people are home. People can't leave. Not in the same way. We've read some stuff about how people are watching a lot more TV. Local TV could be a great option for contractors to advertise right now.
Heidi Ellsworth: I saw a great thing on our Portland channel and they're doing these special spotlights on businesses that are open for business because we're talking so much about everything being closed. They wanted to spotlight the businesses that were open. I love that idea and really talking to your vendors. Going out there talking to your TV stations, your radio, whoever it is your media buys and see what special things they have going on because the TV stations are trying to keep it fresh, too. Everyone's tired of the conversations. I love that thing... Just one last comment because I get so excited about this stuff.I think I would really challenge roofing contractors to think down the road three to six months, too. What are you putting in your ads right now that is going to stay with them? I'm looking at this beautiful green roof which is one of my most favorite colors when it comes to shingles.
Melissa Dunson: I have this roof on my house, by the way.
Heidi Ellsworth: You do? I love it.
Melissa Dunson: I love it. Yeah, it's beautiful.
Heidi Ellsworth: Even getting out there on Pinterest, getting out there on Facebook, getting out there... Being a bit bold right now and leave that mark in the minds of your consumers. Because, even if it doesn't pay off right now, it will as we go. I think those who are bold right now are the ones who are going to see the biggest returns afterwards.
Melissa Dunson: We've definitely seen that people have to be marketed too more than once. How many times do you have to see an ad before you actually take action on it? But every one of those touches matters.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. It really does. Speaking of touches, this is one of the things I've been saying since the beginning when they started the first part of March is pick up the phone. Let's talk about that. The phone is so important right now.
Kim Eckerman: Yes. I grew up with a landline.I never could have imagined that I would be carrying something in my purse or in my pocket that was a computer that was better than any computer that was introduced to me as a young child. I think people forget about that connection and speaking over the phone. It is still a great option. It's a really wonderful way to connect with a person. When is the last time that you actually picked up the phone and called someone? Don't be afraid to text. It is a great option particularly if you need to relay something quickly and if someone isn't answering the phone, they probably want you to just text them. I think we all missed that too. But it's a fantastic way to still be making those connections. Just hearing someone's voice can make a difference. Just a proactive way in reaching out and approaching your customers in a way that they're probably not being necessarily reached out to right now. I think that's a key to keep in mind.
Heidi Ellsworth: I've been doing that. I can actually say, I think you both know this, but from the very beginning, I was like, "Okay, I'm just going to pick up the phone and talk to people." I think everybody wants to talk right now. We need that outlet. But you're right. I love that. If it doesn't work on the phone, text. If it doesn't text, email and then start over again.
Melissa Dunson: And then target them with social ads.
Heidi Ellsworth: Some people are just so incredibly busy and other people have plenty of time to chat so you never know and you’ve got to be a little tenacious right now with all these different methods.
Kim Eckerman: Melissa was mentioning that it takes multiple times to get people to make that connection or sometimes to engage. I think science tells us it's about seven times I have to see something before I want to actually act on it. Whatever those touch points may be. Just don't pester people. If you've been told no, you've been told no. But it's always worth trying again in a different way to make that connection.
Heidi Ellsworth: If they haven't said no, let them say no. Give them that opportunity. Going into that, Melissa, let's talk about homeowner communications. Because I know I'm being a little flip here and you have to have a lot of respect for people right now.
Melissa Dunson: There's a lot of concern right now. People are concerned about social distancing. We talked about this a little bit on our podcast with you, but roofing contractors are seeing people cancel jobs. Partly that's because homeowners are maybe not sure that it's possible to complete that project and still maintain social distancing. I think it’s important to show people that this is a possibility. Be confident and let them know youknow how to do social distancing and complete these projects. I think having some of these tools in your pocket and then being knowledgeable enough about them that you can speak to them is part of that, that you can speak to them about the parts of the roofing job that can be done remotely. You can't put on a person's roof remotely. But, at this point, it may be the only part that you can't do remotely. You can help homeowners pick the color and the style of a roof that's best for their home without ever having to leave your home. With technology, you can do accurate estimating and bidding of the project. With those CRMs we talked about, you can get signatures, you can communicate bids. You can do all those different things without ever having to come face to face with that person. Through integrations, you can order product without ever having to go to the dealer and you could have them deliver it to the jobsite. Really, at this point, the only part that you can't do remotely is just the actual roof installation.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think we should have changed this title because really in homeowner communications right now, you can't have that one on one personal touch, but it’s still about wowing them, about really grabbing their attention. As you're communicating, doing it in ways that... Because for years, we've talked about don't just email a bid, that's bad. But I think roofing contractors need to find ways that really capture the excitement and the attention. I know that you both have something that's doing that. Let's show them how to wow those homeowners.
Melissa Dunson: We've just announced recently a new tool on our website. It's a part of our existing shingle styles visualizer but it is a very cool upgrade that allows you to get accurate 3D measurements. I clicked in there. This is on the TAMKO website and you'll go to the visualizer and you'll have some different options here. A couple different options, I won't walk through all of them. This was an existing option that allows you to take an image of a sample home. We have a wide selection of sample homes that people could say, "Hey, my home kind of looks like that," and easily apply a variety of different kinds of TAMKO products to that sample home. There's also a DIY tool that people can upload their own photo or they can go in there and select a Google Streetview of their home and they can go in and they will have to do a little bit of design work and masking work but they can apply a variety of different kinds of TAMKO shingles right to the actual photo of their home. And so this, this is the new portion of the tool. It's a new roof measurement and design tool. We're going to click into this. So here's our roof measurement and design services. What you're going to do is you're going to enter in an address...
Heidi Ellsworth: This really gives the homeowners that feel for their house and for what's real. When you show them this real stuff, I think they're pretty impressed.
Melissa Dunson: Absolutely. Once you select your address, you're going to have the choice between doing a realistic visualization of the home, which is the actual home with basically mapped into the system and then you can go in there and play with it and put whatever products you want on it. That's a $25 report, buut this one is what we're going to do right here. This is the roof measurements with a 3D model and this is powered by EagleView technology.
Heidi Ellsworth: I know those guys.
Melissa Dunson: They are an industry standard around here. Not going to enter in all my information right here for all the world to see, but I am going to bring up a report. Once you pay for your report, within a short amount of time, you will get an email that will have your report in it. You can go in there and select it. I'm going to go in here and add in my zip code so I'm only going to see the shingle colors that are available to me in my region and here is an accurate 3D model of that home that I can then go in. I can decide that I want to add... Let's see. Let's put that rustic evergreen that I like so much. The 3D modeling, you can try as many different TAMKO products on it as you want. Here's your little measuring tape right here. Click on that. It's going to give you accurate 3D measurements on this model. One of the things I think would be really great is to do a screen share with a homeowner and walk them through this and you could be helping them pick their shingle color while you're on the phone with them. You're going to have all of the information that you need and then you can go ahead and you can just export this as a PDF. It'll have an easy report that you can then use to bid the job, to order materials, to do whatever it is you need to do.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's great. Now that homeowner is pretty engaged on that Zoom meeting. Because look, they're looking and they're going, "Really? Wow"
Melissa Dunson: That's their house.
Heidi Ellsworth: It has different colors.
Kim Eckerman: Yeah, a whole different way of relating with them.
Heidi Ellsworth: We talked about this when I was at EagleView. To see you both and obviously the team of EagleView and Renoworks and everyone who works with you, putting this together is just pretty phenomenal for the homeowners and for our contractors.
Melissa Dunson: Thank you. We've had a lot of really good feedback from contractors who were excited about using this. We're so glad to have this added functionality to this tool.
Kim Eckerman: And the fact that it's built right in there to the website, too. Not requiring them to have some type of subscription or service or anything necessarily which I think that that's an added benefit for them too.
Heidi Ellsworth: I do too. We're going to definitely have to talk to some of the contractors to utilize this down the road and get some of their reviews onto the CoffeeShop talking about how they use this
Melissa Dunson: Yeah. That would be fantastic.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I'm excited to see it. I know contractors have been really trying to figure out how to bring all this together and to see it in one place, it just works. Now, as we talk about that, let's talk about how do you take that report, how do you take that information, and how do you really put that forward to them through a video conference?
Melissa Dunson: I have to be honest, so video conferencing technology, the advancement of it and people's adoption of it is one of my favorite results of people having to work from home. Because people who are like, "Oh, I don't like that. I don't feel comfortable with that." It's the only option now so you have to get comfortable with it. But video technology, where it's come from, it's amazing. There are a lot of companies that have even responded to this situation by making their video conferencing software free or expanding the free version. Microsoft Teams, which is our personal favorite, they recently did that. It's such a phenomenal tool and because of this situation, they've expanded the capability of its free version of Teams for six months. We think it's a fantastic tool. We really love it. You can see everybody's faces up on screen at the same time. You can have chats going on at same time. You can schedule meetings. You have the capability to invite other people who don't use Teams to attend your Team's meeting. It's not stuck within that little world of just if you're using Teams. And then really the old school, if you have an iPhone and you're talking to somebody else who has an iPhone, FaceTime is a fantastic option. Most people at this point with an iPhone feel comfortable using that. Zoom is an option that's really popular right now but there have been growing security concerns about it. We're throwing it out there. It is very popular but there are some concerns about it. And then join.me, GoToMeeting, Skype, it's another Microsoft product. It has a lot of legitimacy and it's Microsoft's recommended tool to use for video conferencing for personal use. And then, Facebook Messenger has a video chat option that I use pretty extensively on a personal level, but it could be a really good tool because the majority of people are on Facebook. Facebook Messenger is a very popular tool. People already have a level of comfort and familiarity with it. All of these are fantastic ways to actually see somebody face to face, take advantage of the technology. What Kim was talking about so much of communication is nonverbal and on the phone, somebody's not answering, they're sitting there in silence and if you don't have a face to go along with that you're not exactly sure why they're not answering you. If you can see somebody's face, you can see they're thinking about it or they're upset by what you just said or they've lost interest. It's really powerful to be able to see someone's face while you're having a conversation with them.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think you have to be aware of that too because you're not used to having this. Usually, you're on the phone so people can't see your face and I tend to be very expressive. I've had people say, "Oh, you don't like that?" I'm like, "How did they know that? Oh, I'm on camera."
Kim Eckerman: Yeah, don't forget you’re on video.
Melissa Dunson: Don't be picking your nose. Not a good look at a professional level.
Kim Eckerman: That leads well into our next one there. There are things to remember.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yes, it does. It leads right into... You know what? Before we go into things to remember, one thing I do want to caution roofing contractors about is don't get caught up in the hype. I think that's what you're saying about Zoom. Everybody was... I had so many people tell me, "Quit using join.me." "Quit using GoToMeeting." "You’ve got to use Zoom. It's the only thing to do." I held my ground because I knew what I knew and it was easier and that it's worked out. I think don't get too caught up in that hype and really use where the comfort level is for you and your company and your business. What are some of the things to remember when you are on video so you don't do something embarrassing?
Kim Eckerman: Yes, there's so many things. I think we've talked about a few of them. Just remember... People in general, we have a shorter attention span now. In a virtual meeting, you want to keep things brief. You want to be concise and you want to be prepared. Sometimes in an in person meeting, maybe you're not practicing ahead of time per se. You have an idea of what your pitch may be but it's really important in these virtual meetings to just be prepared, have your agenda in line, get in, get out. Give people their time back. Always best to be under time than overtime. We can never get enough of the gift of time. I think that's important and key to remember. Being prepared is a big key to that. Melissa, made a good point about being presentable. Make sure that not only are you prepared but you're presentable. For instance, I'm in a swivel chair and I will tell you the amount of times I've had to think about not doing this as I'm talking. It's shocking. Try to remember maybe it's best to have yourself in a stationary chair or maybe you're better at standing and that gives you more energy when you're talking and that relays better to the person. Having an awareness of those key things can really help you in that moment. There's a few more here that I think Melissa would like to talk through as well. But those are some of the key things that I think are important to remember. It's a person on the other end. Regardless of whether I'm connecting with you through a camera or not, there is someone else on the receiving end of that so try to drop the thought around being on camera and being shy or being scared of how you may come across. Just be you as much as you can. A polished version is typically better for most of us to be presentable. I think those are some of the key things that I would remind people to remember.
Melissa Dunson: One of my favorite things is in Teams. One of the reasons I love that tool is because it has an option to blur your background. In GoToWebinar, you do not have the option to blur your background. And so everyone-
Kim Eckerman: No, you do not.
Melissa Dunson: Right? One of the points is you need to make sure that you are aware of your background. In my background right now, you will see a giant feed tub that's filled with baby chicks. Maybe not your best choice if you're going to be on a video call with a customer. I should make better choices about my life.
Heidi Ellsworth: I think it's a great discussion point. I love it.
Melissa Dunson: You can't hear them cheeping because of the headset. That was intentional. It was a choice.
Kim Eckerman: Sometimes it could be children making their way across the background. Maybe we can't control it. These things happen.
Melissa Dunson: We've all had some situations. We've all seen some situations online, some viral videos of people who are not maybe fully clothed running through the background because they didn't realize it was a video meeting and everyone's at home. Let's just try to avoid all of that. Just be really aware of your background or choose Teams and blur your background and feel way better about your choices. But I'll also say know your pitch. To go to Kim's point earlier on, people have a shorter attention span in virtual meetings. They've just found that to be true. Know your pitch and knowing your pitch is going to help you be more confident which is going to translate better in the meeting. You’ve got to be confident if you're going to have a virtual meeting. Especially if you're leading a virtual meeting, you have to be confident so know your pitch, have rehearsed it, feel confident, and knowing your material. Knowing your business's worth, have an elevator pitch and then have a great presentation to not just have a face to face but also share your screen a little bit like we were and you can be able to show people, "This is what I'm talking about." So they're not just looking at your face the whole time. And then make sure you provide opportunities for feedback. Don't just say all the things and then, "And now we're done." Make sure that periodically you're checking with people, their facial expressions, leaving space for people to have feedback, to ask questions. Maybe they didn't quite hear you. Maybe your audio was glitching out. Just pay attention to that and then like we said, pay attention to body language on calls. Don't just be looking at your picture on the screen which is... It's super tempting. You're just like, "I'm mesmerized by watching myself talk on a screen." Don't do it. Look at the other people. They can tell if you're not looking at them. My favorite point is that because so many people are working from home right now and their kids are out of school. There's a real good chance that children are going to run in, that there's going to be noise in the background, that dogs are going to be barking and I would just encourage you as a professional, don't be bothered by that. Don't get put off by that and help put other people at ease by just letting them know it's not a big deal. It's not a big deal. Have a laugh about it together. It's going to endear you to those customers who are already maybe feeling a little stretched, a little stressed about the fact that they are working from home and they do have kids at home with them and pets and it's just not the way it used to be.
Kim Eckerman: Use it as a connection point. How can I relate to you on that front? And how can I show you compassion and patience in that moment too. We all want to interact with a person who can be the best version of themselves.
Heidi Ellsworth: To put it through, I think really when you look at these kind of things, I love these points and it's exactly... People need to take... Contractors need to take this back to their teams too. Share this webinar, share this information because we're all doing it whether you're in accounting... You might be doing video meetings on for collections. You just don't know. There's going to be all kinds of things and so you need to look at these. But more than anything I love, I think this really sums it all up is like we said be true to your customers, be kind, understand what's going on. You're there to help them, to protect their living space... All their treasures. Just being a real person I think is one of the best things that you can do in a presentable fashion.
Kim Eckerman: Yep. Agree. I'll just add in there a key too is working with a manufacturer and a brand that you can believe in, that you have faith in. At TAMKO, we say that we're the name you can trust. We honestly believe in that. Seventy five years or more of our history behind us. I think that that's why we wanted to be here today to share these tips with you that we think will be helpful as you have to navigate these waters and turn into this virtual selling world. We keep saying this is temporary and we know that it is but I do think that this is going to change things moving forward for a lot of us. A lot of people are going to come to realize that there are easier ways to go about doing things and so picking up and learning these things now can be key to carrying you forward not only through this crisis and this pandemic but into the future.
Heidi Ellsworth: We have accelerated technology. People are going to be using it and they're going to be expecting it. So to do the sell, we're going to have to bring on that. I want to say thank you. Thank you for what both of you do for all of your amazing wisdom and for really constantly looking progressively on how to help your TAMKO contractors and the roofing industry and roofing contractors overall. I think that's what it's all about. You too just do it amazingly well. So thank you so much.
Melissa Dunson: You are so kind. Thank you. We respect and appreciate you and we love our RoofersCoffeeShop. Thank you so much.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you
Kim Eckerman: Thank you so much, Heidi. Appreciate it.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you, Kim. I love you, guys. Love TAMKO and everything you're doing. For everyone who's listening and watching this today, thank you. You're going to find this on RoofersCoffeeShop. We're going to be having it on the TAMKO directory under webinars. We'll probably have it in a couple different blogs and other areas and ads too. Be sure to share it. We want to share this with everyone in the industry so they can hear this wisdom and really understand how to take their business into the new normal. Thank you again for being here today and we'll see you next time on our special webinars.
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