7 Tips on How to Sell a Cool Roof with a White Coating

The best way to sell white roof coatings is by selling the two primary values to the customer: energy savings and the extension of the roof life.

A roof consultant or salesman with experience and training in this subject can provide a valuable service to a building owner by selecting the right coating for a given roof and ensuring that it is properly installed and maintained, but the first step is to sell the service in the process. Here are seven tips that will help.

Sell the value – White roof coatings protect roof membranes with a chemical barrier to prevent leaks and reflect sunlight, which both saves money on cooling costs, but also protects the life of the roof by protecting the surface from ultraviolet (UV) damage. Savings will be greatest in states like California and other southwestern states that enjoy more sunny days and more intense sunlight than other regions of the country, but savings can also be realized in northern climates during the summer.

Show the math – Various models exist for computing energy savings based on various climates.  Use online calculators to estimate the energy savings from reflective roofs have been developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Cool Roof Calculator and Cadmus Group’s Roofing Comparison Calculator.

Dispel bad information – For those wondering if a reflective roof causes increased heating costs in the winter, studies by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory indicate that in most U.S. climates, summer air-conditioning energy savings significantly exceed any winter penalty, so there is little or no concern that energy costs will increase with a cool roof. Moreover, temperatures can soar in temperate climates as well.

Save on hardware costs – More than the ongoing energy savings is the up-front savings on air conditioning systems, which are often based on requirements for the hottest days. The total cost of not having a cool roof, including cooling systems and insulation, could be considerably higher than the immediate cost of energy for running the air-conditioning systems.

Use a metaphor – Lower energy use is not the only benefit that accrues from the use of white surfaces. Just as the main reason for using sunscreen is to prevent burns, white roof coatings not only prevent large energy bills in the summer, but can extend the life expectancy of many different types of commercial roofing systems simply by avoiding the high roof temperatures and associated with exposure to the sun.

Reduced roof replacement costs – Most people appreciate that white surfaces result in savings on cooling costs, but enhanced roof longevity, especially in northern states, can be another major benefit that results in at least as much savings.

It can waterproof – Many white coatings are waterproof, but some are not. The property of permeability (perm rating) to liquid water, water vapor, and gases varies greatly, depending on the type of coating. Acrylic coatings are breathable, which means they have a high moisture vapor transmission rate or permeability. Silicone coatings, as well as many urethanes, are also classified as breathable types. Butyl rubbers, Hypalons, and Neoprenes have a very low permeability (i.e., they are highly resistant to moisture transmission). The same applies to asphalt-extended, moisture-cure polyurethanes and SEBSmodified, cut-back, asphalt coatings. The perm rating should not be confused with weatherability or resistance to weathering. A coating with low permeability still may require a protective topcoat to ensure satisfactory weathering resistance

More Information

The White Coatings Council of the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association (RCMA) serves the producers and suppliers of acrylic or elastomeric (non-bituminous) coatings. The council has implemented an industry promotional program and is actively planning programs to respond to targeted governmental and regulatory issues, technical matters and activities, and membership services and programs. The White Coatings Council focuses on describing and promoting the benefits of white coatings in terms that directly and positively motivate targeted end users through a plan to increase awareness and product promotion. The council now has 18 members who are committed to promoting to commercial building owners and designers that white coatings are easy to understand, easy to
apply, and cost-effective. For more information, call RCMA at 202-207-0919.

Email Pitches

I wanted to share with you some things I learned at the Blog Indiana 2011 conference about email pitches. I think it will be helpful for you in the future. I learned them from Casey Mullins, who is a successful mommy blogger in Indiana.

First, tell them what you can do for them, then how it will benefit them. Be humble and concise. Explain what you wish to get out of the communication and how they can contact you. This is kind of like the old saying, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Today for them, tomorrow for you.

Next, it’s best to greet each contact personally, but if you do send out a mass email, use the BCC line instead to protect the privacy of your email list. Also, attachments may cause your email to get filtered out as spam so its best to send those in a follow up email or send links instead.

If you are just starting out, you might find Guy Kawasaki’s book, The Art of the Start, useful. If you buy the book through that link, I’ll get a percent of the purchase price of that and anything else you buy at Amazon.com as a commission, but another good resource is Startup Marketing or Seth Godin’s Blog.

Studying Success

Successes can motivate you and give you ideas on what to do differently.  My wife has pushed me to use my personality and blend it with what I enjoy doing.  Find something to do that you would normally do for free and start charging others for your services.  Then you will succeed, at least that is what my brother taught me.  This blog post shares a little bit about my family and what my brother has shared with me about how he decided to start his own business.

Most people don’t like to mow their lawns.  My brother has never complained about mowing.  He finds it peaceful and rewarding when he turns around and sees the straight lines and clean cut grass.  Then he started noticing all the horribly installed fences.  He wanted to install straight, neat and top-quality wooden privacy fences.  He then built his first privacy fence on his property and have critiqued it over and over again in his own mind.  Through those trials he learned what works and started his own fencing contractor business.

Here is a story my brother tells about learning how to sell:

I knocked on the door next to a new mowing customer I got two weeks ago because their lawn was worse than the one I was mowing.  When the lady answered she was not prepared to talk to me.  I asked her if I could give her a quote for mowing and she said she had a 13 year old.  Ok I left a business card anyways and said if she changed her mind to call me.  3 days later I got an e-mail from them.  No phone call, just an email.  I was driving to St. Louis on Wednesday when they wrote the email.  I did not check my email until Friday morning while waiting for a colleague in the hotel lobby on a free computer.  Shocked that they even responded and I was now 3 days later to respond, I quickly gave them a call, scheduled a time to meet.  emailed them the estimate at night, they next day they called with the good news that we got the bid and 50% down.

A Delay is Not a Denial

Just because someone does not return your message right away or come to a conclusion right away, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.  A delay is not a denial.