5 Common Phrases & Mistakes D2D Reps Need to Avoid

In door-to-door (D2D) storm sales, the first impression is everything. It’s important to say the right things, but you should also consider what you shouldn’t say.

man being rejected

In door-to-door (D2D) storm sales, the first impression is everything. It’s important to say the right things, but you should also consider what you shouldn’t say. Here is my list of commonly used statements or questions at the door that you should avoid like the plague!

I’m an Account Executive with Albi, an all-in-one restoration platform. Before Albi, I was a top producer in one of the largest residential roofing companies in my area. When I first started knocking on doors, I would say, “I was just canvassing your area” (which I cover below) , and it did not get me deals. In fact, it got the door slammed in my face.

In my five years of door-to-door (D2D) storm restoration, I sold about $7 million dollars in roofs, siding, and gutters. I accomplished this by avoiding commonly used phrases that burn the sale at the door. I was always shocked at how many competitors would use these phrases, only for me to come in behind them to scoop up the sale.

Remember! Your pitch should not sound robotic. This is meant to be used as a guide, not as a script. Candidates will always be able to tell if you are being genuine or not. Don’t make the mistake of getting too scripted or sounding robotic.

Do’s and Don’ts of These Overused Phrases

  • “I was just in your area.” | “I’m in your neighborhood today.” | “I am canvassing the area.”
    • Why is this bad? You do not want to appear as if you are casting a “wide net” across the entire neighborhood. It makes people feel like they got “caught” by you to hold them hostage with a sales pitch. It does not make people feel like they are getting in.                                                            
    • What should I do instead? Identifying specific features of their home and saying things like: “I stopped by your house specifically because…” +“I noticed your roof looks like it might be older” or “I noticed you have some missing shingles.”Prospects want to feel important, and telling them that you stopped by their house specifically can make them feel that way.
  • “Free Inspection”
    • Why is this bad? It’s a tough habit to break for many, as “Free Inspection” is one of the main features of almost all marketing material that storm restoration companies put out. This is part of why you shouldn’t be saying it at the door! They already know it’s free in many cases. The other reason is that by emphasizing that your inspection is free, you will likely get people who never plan to actually award you the work/claim using you for that “Free Inspection”.
    • What should I do instead? Instead of highlighting the cost of the inspection (free), highlight the value by saying something like, “I am a trained hail damage expert, and it’s worth a look to see if you sustained damage from the storm. Hail damage is often missed by the untrained eye.” Additionally, you should be talking about the next steps of the process before you even do your inspection rather than focusing on its cost by saying something like, “If I find damage, the next steps are the following.”
  • “I can see damage from the street.”
    • Why is this bad? This sounds sketchy and in most cases, will alarm a homeowner. Most of the time, you cannot actually see the damage from the street. If you are saying this because it’s true, that is different than why most say it. Most D2D reps use this to create panic in the homeowner; this tactic makes you look weak. Remember, while that panic may get you the signature, it often results in cancellations after the fact.
    • What should I do instead? Tell them that hail damage and storm damage is more about how it feels than how it looks and that a physical inspection is often necessary to see if it makes sense to move forward with a claim. It does not make sense for you to file a claim if there is no damage. Explain that to the homeowner, by saying something like, “I don’t want to waste your time or mine if there isn’t damage on your property.”
  • “Your insurance doesn’t have your best interests in mind/are bad.”
    • Why is this bad? Do not make assumptions about how your prospective client might feel about their insurance. A lot of homeowners have a close relationship with their insurance agent and if you start the conversation off by insulting them, it can go south quickly. Insurance companies have done a great job of making it feel “wrong” to file a claim. As such, you need to be delicate in presenting the idea to some people.
    • What should I do instead? Explain the value of filing a claim vs the amount they spend in premiums every year by saying something like, “Think of your insurance premiums like a bank account and the only way you’ll ever be able to access that money is by filing a claim.” In many states, storm damage claims are protected by state law and a homeowner is protected from rate hikes for filing such a claim. Before you make such a statement, be sure to double-check your state’s insurance code.
  • Making absolute statements about being approved by insurance.
    • Why is this bad? You cannot guarantee that the insurance will pay for any claim because you do not represent the insurance’s interests. This may seem obvious, but this mistake has been repeated over and over by many reps at many companies. If you promise that the insurance will pay and they don’t guess who they will be mad at? That’s right, you.
    • What should I do instead? Explain that although you cannot guarantee the insurance will pay for anything, you can guarantee that you will be there to advocate for them in the event of pushback. Make sure that the damage present is matching up with other claims getting paid for in the area, and explain that to the homeowner by saying something like, “The damage I am seeing on your property is consistent with what my company has been getting paid for in the area.”

If sales reps don’t learn from the mistakes of their previous pitches or their colleagues, they are doomed to repeat them. If they keep repeating this process without any improvement they are likely to get discouraged, miss quota, and cost your business valuable revenue. I hope you and your reps find this guide helpful. Happy knocking!