Those just starting out in the metal roofing industry have a wealth of resources and best practices to follow in order to grow their business and succeed in their market. Following the right path when it comes to marketing, lead generation, and networking will go a long way in helping new metal roofing businesses grow.
For help with marketing to lead generation, resources like the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) offer new businesses support ranging from marketing materials and industry data, to technical support and educational tools. The MRA provides tools like customizable literature, yard signs, and table tents for new businesses to use to get the word out.
“We exist to grow the use of metal roofing in the residential roofing market and generate leads,” says Renee Ramey, MRA Executive Director. “Think of MRA as your extended marketing team, your industry resource and a primary information hub for consumers who are considering a new roof for their home.”
Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries, says it’s critical to establish a solid website before starting any additional marketing expenditures.
Frank Farmer, president of American Metal Roofs, also notes that a website should be more than just an online brochure. He says the ultimate goal when a prospective customer visits your website is to have them fill out a form or contact you via phone. Once that form is filled out or a call is made, Farmer says it’s important to make sure you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system that collects and tracks customer data, and alerts you to new leads.
“The most successful companies are responding to leads in less than one minute,” Farmer says. “If you do not, your chances of talking to that person greatly diminishes each passing hour. You must keep in mind they are contacting several companies.”
Ramey says having a solid CRM system is a must, along with having quality employees who can effectively speak to consumers and guide them through the decision process.
A CRM system will help you keep track of leads, as it keeps customer contact details up to date, tracks every customer interaction, and manages customer accounts.
Miller stresses the importance of referrals, which he says can equal up to about 30 percent of a metal roofing contractor’s business. He recommends businesses use part of their standard advertising budget to get creative on how to promote and generate maximum referrals.
“For example, put up job signs five, 10, 15, 20 years down the road, pointing up to your roof project and describing how great it still looks,” he says. “Reach out to past customers during prime roofing lead season—spring, fall, and after storms and weather events.
Farmer says home shows are also important, as they allow potential customers to learn more about your business and see metal panels and examples of your work in person. When someone comes to your booth, he recommends asking if they plan to replace their roof in the next five years. If so, show them what you have.
“Know who your target customer is and do not wait for them to come to your booth,” Farmer says. “Interact with them in the aisle and hand them something of value.”
Miller also recommends sending a monthly e-newsletter to all past, present, and prospective customers. Since many homeowners start their roofing research years in advance, it’s important to connect with them early and stay in touch.
For more information on metal roofing business resources, visit www.metalroofing.com.