More and more it seems like I come across roofing salesmen that say they install “the best” roof specification that is better than all others.  If this is something you've said, I WROTE THIS FOR YOU!
Fact: There are 8-10 major groups of roof systems.  Combine this with eight additional standard insulation boards and factor in the several different attachment strategies and you will soon realize that you have thousands of options to choose from!
IF there was a "best" system, wouldn't everyone be installing it?  Just imagine how much easier your roof sales would be if you only had to propose one system!
Your customers are not ignorant, so stop treating them like that's the case.  The most appropriate specification is one that addresses your prospect's needs and wants.  Partner with the prospect in constructing a roof specification that is perfect for their situation.  You'll find that when you tailor-make designs in conjunction with (not for) your customers, you become the premier authority and your competition becomes just a formality.
Here are 4 crucial areas to place emphasis on when working together with your customer is constructing the appropriate roofing system:
1. Physical address - Where is the prospect at?
The geographic location of the building can be critical in determining the roof system is installed.  Anytime you are studying the location, pay special attention to: wind uplift requirements, temperature variation, snow capacity, UV exposure and other weather-related factors.
2. Inside Operations - What's happening inside?
Operations inside the facility are all too often disregarded when "professionals" design a roofing specification to be bid.  Ensure that you to walk the interior of the place with the customer and ask about: heating/cooling needs, type of structural decking, internal cranes, lighting conditions, sensitivity of production, internal protection and other situations where the construction process might become unpleasant.
3. Rooftop Issues - More than just square footage
A meticulous roof  inspection needs to identify much more than the square footage.  Be conscious of all rooftop activity like: current roof system, # and type of units, penetrations, amount the roof is walked on, external contaminants, expansion joints, oils/grease, appearance, surrounding buildings, perimeter design, pitch, drainage and all other items that could have an impact on the potential roof system and/or materials.
4. The Workers - Have people's needs and safety been considered?
Be sure to be aware of the Business's most indispensable asset - the employees!  Definitely account for issues that are going to effect the workers at the facility like: issues with smell, sound requirements, employee parking, dumpster placement, potential construction hours, safety hazards and other things which directly impact the workers.  The employees MUST not be ignored (or you will hear about it)!
By handling these few significant areas you will instantly distance your company from any competitors! The more you are able to customize the roof system, the greater the belief the prospect will instill in you (and your company)
Note well - Customizing doesn't mean over-specifying!  In-depth qualification, coupled with your roof inspection, will allow you to create the perfect system design.
Always listen to the customer!  Far too many Project Managers ask questions because just because their boss told them to.  You must ask open-ended questions because you care about the answer!
Listen to understand, not to respond.  It's a good sign when you hear your prospect say, “Actually, you are the first person to bring that up.”  It's an even better sign when you start seeing an increase in roof sales!
Obviously there are several other items that should be discussed when creating a roof system for the prospect.  What factors have been critical to your success?  What sort of roof sales training do you think is neccessary to teach up-and-commers the importance of proper system design?
Stay Dry,
Detailed roof inspections are necessary to customize solutions for your customer