Contractor Marketing: Asking Questions

Expand Success with Immediate Testimonials

by Heidi J. Ellsworth, owner, HJE Consulting

(Editor’s Note: Heidi J. Ellsworth, a graduate of the University of Portland, has been working in the roofing industry since 1993. Having held positions with EagleView® Technology Corporation, Carlisle® Construction Materials, Eco-Star™, and Malarkey Roofing Products®, Ellsworth is now the founder of the roofing-focused marketing firm, HJE Consulting Group. She is also the author of “Sales and Marketing for Roofing Contractors,” a guide for small businesses in the roofing industry.)


With the rise in interest rates, it is more important than ever to gain the trust of new customers. Contractors and sales teams are finding it a bit harder, now that communication has expanded to so many channels including phone calls, text, or zoom meetings. Future customers need to know that your company will not only provide a roof that will protect their family and business but also be safe during the process of deciding on and installing a new roof.

Many roofing contractors are shy about asking for reviews or feel that it is not professional. It is professional but only when done the right way with the right questions. In fact, if your sales team are currently completing their sales cycle correctly, it should be very easy to get testimonials or at the very least feedback on every job.

One of the most important parts of a roofing installation is the final inspection, which is the perfect time to ask how the company did and how the customer feels about the overall roofing installation. Sales teams need to ask and be ready to deal with positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback needs to be recorded and turned into testimonials. Negative feedback needs to be dealt with, corrected and then the sales team needs to ask again. There are five key pieces of advice to use when asking for testimonials.

Ask Immediately

When the roof is done and looks great, ask for the testimonial during the final inspection. The longer the salesperson or roofing company owner waits to confirm satisfaction with the customer the more danger of losing the new roof glow.

Record It

Make it easy for the customer. While on the final inspection and everything looks great, ask them if it is ok to record their testimonial and take pictures of them on the completed roof. Any smart phone can record comments or video the conversation or testimonial. Be sure to include hand washing stations, masks, and other safety measures in the photos to show that care is being taken to keep everyone safe.

Write it for The Customer

Audio or video can be transcribed, and testimonials easily pulled from the text. If they don’t want to be recorded, write down what they say instead. Be sure to be prepared with the selling points you want to make to future customers and include them in the questions. By writing or recording what they say during the final inspection and sending it back to the customer for approval, you have the chance to make the points you want, and you make it easy for the customer.

Questions to Ask for a Testimonial

Ask questions that run the life of the sale including how they found you if they are new, how the estimating experience was, if they felt like they had all the information needed to make an informed decision, and how do they like the final product? Did they feel safe? Have them talk about how both the sales team and installation crew kept their safety as the highest priority. Do not be scared to ask customers how to do things better in the future. That is where you will get stronger testimonials and the opportunity for overall improvement.

Start With a Compliment

If the owner, for some reason, is not at the final inspection, call them immediately and ask for their feedback. Be sure to lead with how much you appreciate their business and willingness to provide a testimonial. Share how much you respect their review of the job and then proceed with the interview.

Be sure to check out new technology that will help your sales teams obtain the referrals and testimonials. There are a number of software solutions that automate the process. After reviewing the job, getting their feedback and testimonials, do not forget to ask about future work and what else they may need. It is also the perfect time to ask for referrals. Be sure that they are sharing with their network the steps you have taken to keep their family, business, and possessions safe on the job by minimizing virus exposure on the ground or exhibiting top-notch safety on the roof. It is the best time to go over these requests when they are happy with their brand-new roof. Not only can they provide a testimonial, but they can also spread the word through the neighborhood, on social media, and through their business network.