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System Selling Is Key
Selling all parts of the system—and pointing out the benefits of each—has grown in popularity as all parties recognize the value of using products that work in harmony. “A system or solution approach is key,” says Metal Sales’ Davidson. “The market segments are much more sophisticated and have multiple factors to take into consideration. Ventilation, underlayment, insulation, soffit, gutters are all key components.”

More customers understand the benefits and buy complete roofing systems, agrees DaVinci’s Hansen. “Some companies provide an added warranty if all the products are from their brand, which encourages those purchases. But the homeowner wants everything to be high quality regardless of the company that makes it.”

Manufacturers try to meet that need even when they don’t make all the products. “We sell an underlayment product and partner with other companies to provide quality products for other parts of the roofing system,” says EDCO’s Doucet. “We want to serve as a one-stop shop for all roofing products, either through us or our partners.”

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Enviroshake-Quality-Engineering-RoofingEnviroShake Quality Engineering Roofing is one of three roofing manufacturers acquired in late 2015 by the Headwaters Roofing Group. The subsidiary makes three profiles, EnviroShake, EnviroShingle and EnviroSlate, all consisting of 95% recycled materials. The products are backed by lifetime limited warranties transferable for 50 years on residential structures.

Convincing the contractor is a key ingredient. “Consumers are more educated and manufacturers are putting more information online for them to review,” says DaVinci’s Hanson. “Customers have a better idea of what they want today. Even so, the recommendation of the contractor is trusted. The contractor can guide their preferences and open their expectations to things that might not be appropriate or available in their area. The knowledge the customer has helps upsell them to a premium product that offers more value.”

That trust is a key reason Owens Corning promotes its system heavily to contractors and has refined its approach. “We’ve spent time simplifying the message and organizing the key points to help contractors explain it better and faster to their customers,” Kasprzak says. “It gathers the key pieces into easy-to-understand points.”

The system aids contractors in many ways, from selling to installing, adds Sue Burkett, marketing leader at Owens Corning. “The system approach is important to contractors, and they are spending more time explaining the parts to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. They are going head-to-head with other experienced contractors, and they need every edge to stand out. Explaining the benefits of each product and the advantages of upgrades can make a difference.”

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To some extent, this mindset doesn’t change the products they use, she notes. “In many cases, contractors historically have been using these products all along, but they didn’t take the time to inform the homeowner or explain why. That part of the presentation wasn’t important. Now the homeowners are researching, and they became aware of these products, so they’re familiar with them. And it’s not just about the ‘sale,’ contractors actually believe in these components and prefer to install them. They truly understand the benefits of each part of the system.”

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