How To Sell Big Roofs With The "Dream 1,000"

If you’ve decided to read this article, you are more than likely in the commercial roofing business.

Max Reznich

CEO, RoofEngine
How To Sell Big Roofs With The "Dream 1,000"

I decided to write this guide because this one single strategy I’m about to share with you has the potential to dramatically change your commercial roofing business and your life.

If you want to land the highly-lucrative monster commercial roofing projects, you’re going to need a strategy. Luckily, I have a 5-step method that you can implement in your business without needing to rely on lead generators.

No, I didn’t invent it. I wish I did, but this is something I picked up from one of my mentors and have used successfully over and over again.

Here it is in a quick snapshot:

Step 1: Get A List - Find 1,000 commercial properties in your area with Reonomy.

Step 2: Create Your Dream 1,000 - Identify the 1,000 “dream jobs” in that list, and remove everything else.

Step 3: Create Your “Foot On The Roof” Offer - Craft an irresistible offer that a building owner would feel absolutely stupid saying no to.

Step 4: Send A Shock & Awe Package - Send your Dream 1,000 an attention-commanding package with your irresistible Foot On The Roof offer.

Step 5: Follow Up With Warm Calling - Call your Dream 1,000 and ask if they received your package and attempt to schedule a visit. When pairing Shock & Awe with Warm Calling you can achieve a 1% - 3% response rate. Normal response rates are 0% to .5% when sending post cards or flyers.

Let’s start at Step 1.

Step 1: Get A List

You’re going to want to start with a list of the commercial properties in the area that you service. You can find this list from many sources, but Reonomy is my go-to when I need commercial building owner lists. It’s $500/month and well worth it. The data is  clean and they even provide you with the contact info of the building owners. No PO Boxes and dead-end office numbers. Real addresses and real phone numbers. Powerful data if you know what to do with it.

You can sort and filter the commercial properties by building size, building type, building age, and much more. This is very helpful because it allows you to hyper-target. For example, with Reonomy it only takes 30 seconds to pull a list of every storage facility built within 1999-2005 that’s over 50,000 square feet in your state.

Step 2: Create Your Dream 1,000

Your next step will be to examine that list and start sorting it by either roof size, building age, property type, or whatever you prefer. The objective is for you to hyper-target 20% of that list, and throw away the remaining 80%. This is critical. This comes from The Pareto Principle, coined by Wilfredo Pareto in the 1880s. Wilfredo Pareto was a botanist who discovered that 80% of his pea plants came from just 20% of his plants.

And it just so happens that 80/20 applies to all facets of life.

80% of the water flows through just 20% of the rivers.

80% of the traffic is on 20% of the roads.

Nothing is rarely equally distributed in life.

For you, this means that about 80% of the roof squares in your area are on 20% of the roofs.

80% of the buildings in your area could be ignored if you only focused on the 20% of the largest or most appealing to you.

This concept is incredibly powerful if you want to be good at business in the long term. It really comes down to knowing what you want, what you don’t want, and having the courage to cut out 80% of your options in favor of directing all of your energy, capitol, power, and effort behind the 20% that REALLY matters.

What does this look like in commercial roofing?

Many commercial roofing contractors, when doing direct mail, will mail 5,000 pieces to 5,000 building owners, spending anywhere from $.40 to $.80 each if it’s a postcard or a flyer.

At first glance, this makes sense and it does work. But are all of those 5,000 buildings really equal?

Are there not some jobs that are worth 3x to 4x more than others at minimum in that list?

Looking at this marketing campaign through the lens of 80/20…

You would ask yourself the question…

“If I could only reach 1,000 of these and ignore the remaining 4,000, what criteria would I use to make my selection?”

Chances are good that you’d go after a particular size roof or particular type of property.

Let’s say your “sweet spot” is 20,000 sq ft metal roofs.

If that’s the case, you would then simply only target the metal roofs above 20,000 sq ft.

The idea is that you want to cut your initial list to about 20%…

The power is in deciding not to spend money one place so you can spend it elsewhere for a higher upside.

So you’ve got your Dream 1,000 list, great!

So what do you do next?

Do you send them the same exact cheap post card or flyer you were going to send to the whole 5,000?

No sir, that won’t move the needle as much as we want to move it.

If you can gross $500,000 from one roof… you can likely afford to spend a whole lot more than just $.50.piece to get a lead. If your initial mailing was going to cost you $5,000 for 5,000 pieces at $1….You can bump your budget per piece to $5 each - since you’re only sending 1,000.

Let’s slow down and think about this. Would you rather send 5,000 building owners a piece of junk mail that they get 15 of every day? Or would you prefer to send 1,000 of the “Sweet spot” Roof building owners an impressive small package with a letter?

You could even go a step further. If you cut it down to 10% leaving you with just 500 building owners… now you can spend $10 per building owner to get yourself up on that roof.

What does a $5 direct mailer look like even?

This is my favorite type of marketing.

It’s called Shock And Awe Marketing.

The aim of a Shock & Awe Marketing Campaign is to leave your highly-targeted and pre-qualified prospect in a state of shock and pure awe as they receive your marketing piece. This isn’t hard to do, it just takes a bit of creativity.

If your solution can help them save money….

Why not send them a letter with a $2 bill stabled to the top. A headline could read...

“Here Is The 1st $2 Of The $100,000+ I Will Save You By Restoring Your Building’s Roof…”

What type of reaction would you have if you opened a hand-addressed letter and found yourself starting a $2 bill from someone you don’t even know. Now that’s a first impression. The goal here is to be remarkable. The rule of thumb is this…

Whatever you send should be interesting enough for the recipient to want to show it to at least 2 other people in the office.

It has to be a conversation piece. The more shocking you can be, the better you will do when it comes to part 2.


Good marketing is just 3 things combined. The right market, the right message, and the right media. So far you’ve got your market narrowed down to a fraction of what it was, and you’ve got a great message media (direct Mail Shock & Awe style) to get their attention.

You’re just missing the MESSAGE - also known as the offer. This is where creativity and being able to differentiate yourself come into the picture. A great offer is one that the prospect would feel absolutely stupid saying no to. The burden is on you to make that offer.

Some that have worked well in the past include:

Free Aerial Drone Inspection

Free 21-Point Flat Roof Survey

7-Point Commercial Roof Tune-Up

Below you´ll find the 7 Point Commercial Roof TuneUp Offer that you can swipe for your own letter.

The 7-Point Commercial Roof Tune-Up - [$497]
Decrease your risk by addressing concerns before the emergency!
Prevent repair-related disruptions and shutdowns:

  1. Full roof inspection and report with life-cycle analysis
  2. Repair 20 linear feet of seams
  3. Repair 1 pipe boot or penetration
  4. Repair 5 linear feet of curbs or parapet walls
  5. Clean 2 roof drains and surrounding radius to prevent clogging
  6. Clean 10 square feet of roof surface to avoid degradation and swelling
  7. Clean 50 linear feet of gutters and downspouts

Your offer should be strong, compelling, and ultimately leave the building owner holding the longer stick. A great offer like this does one job, it gets your Foot On The Roof.

This is how you break the ice and build the relationship with a commercial building owner.

The Offer should be perfectly aligned and designed for your hyper-targeted list. If you’re targeting storage facilities above 500 squares, then consider a “Free Storage Facility Thermal Imaging & Leak Detection Program”.

Again, the goal is to get the building owner to think “How can I lose? I’ll give these guys a call and see what this is about.”

On the other hand, an offer that can be made to anyone will resonate strongly with no one. This is not the time and place for wide brush strokes, wide open targeting, and being a generalist who can’t decide which segment of the market he can SERVE BEST and get PAID BEST.

So… be specific. Your business and your quality of life depend on it.

Figure out what it would look like if you were the brain surgeon or heart surgeon of commercial roofing in your market.

What would you have to offer and who would you have to offer it to if you wanted to command and receive the big bucks?

If you can’t think of an answer on the spot, that’s to be expected. If it were that easy this wouldn’t work as well as it does.

Thankfully 99% of your competitors won’t think like this.

Let them play that game, while you play yours.

Why is a free estimate/inspection not good enough of an offer?

The reason is simple, a good offer is supposed to act like a “signal” cutting through all of the clutter and noise that’s bombarding your prospect at all times. To do this effectively, it has to stand out and be different from what what your competitors’ offers. It does no one any good to look just like everyone else and be indistinguishable.

Good offers take effort, time, and testing to come up with. It’s well worth it though, a good offer is like a master key that can open any door. It is the secret to you getting in front of more building owners than ever before.

The Money Is In The Follow-Up Process

Direct mail has been consistently improved upon over the last 120 years. Dan Kennedy, a marketing pioneer, taught that any direct mail campaign in which the results matter to you MUST be followed by a phone call follow-up campaign. Proper follow-up, which is rarely done, can easily add a 1%, 2%, or 3% bump in conversions to your overall campaign.

If you´re mailing your Dream 1,000…. Making 1,000 phone calls after the mailing to follow-up on it with a warm friendly caller can mean the difference between receiving 5 leads and 25 leads. There is simply no good reason to NOT follow up your mailings with phone calls.

Welcome To Warm Calling

This last step of the process is what I like to call Warm Calling. Since you’ve already broken the ice with a Shock & Awe package, made your offer in a noticeable way, and hopefully made a semi-memorable impression… you are not doing any cold-calling. Cold implies they have zero idea who you are as it’s your first contact with them.

Since you´ve already sent them something memorable in the mail, your callers can use that as an ice breaker when doing the follow-up calls.

Here is an example of a script that your callers can test:

“Hi, this is Jennifer with Apex Commercial Roofing, my boss Rick sent you package last week regarding our [OFFER NAME] and he just wanted me to personally reach out and see you had any thoughts on it? ¨

It can be as simple as that.

Like anything meaningful in life that matters, this has a pattern and must be cyclical.

Step 1: Send Shock & Awe Package

Step 2: Phone Call Follow-Up

Step 3: Email Follow-Up

Wait 1 month and repeat the process all over again. Each time you contact your Dream 1,000 you are building more trust and familiarity. Results will only increase over time as your Dream 1,000 sees your persistency and consistency.

This strategy has compounding returns over time because you’re sending attention grabbing marketing to a very highly targeted list of building owners. Over time, they will get to be very familiar with your company and your style. You will easily stand out from the other roofing companies who treat them as 1/5000 random building owners.

I encourage you to break away from the “the blind leading the blind” marketing practices in business. Marketing is easy when you stop doing what your competition has been doing.

So what do you have to lose?

Get your list, cut it down to 20% it’s original size, come up with your Foot On The Roof Offer, send your Shock & Awe package, and follow-up with a Warm Call.

Want some help growing your commercial roofing business?

Book a call with my team to discover how our proven marketing frameworks and campaigns can help you generate an extra 15 to 12 commercial roofing leads per month. The call only takes 30 to 45 minutes, and worst case scenario, you will walk away with a clear action plan for how you can generate commercial leads yourself.

To your growth and success,
Max Reznich
CEO, RoofEngine

Max Reznich

CEO, RoofEngine

Max Reznich founded RoofEngine in 2016 after growing two roofing companies with inbound marketing. His mission is to educate, inspire, and enable every roofing contractor to build the business of their dreams using proven frameworks and marketing campaigns that have worked all over the United States since 2016.

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