Becoming a Roofing Sales Manager
Becoming a Roofing Sales Manager

In the previous post I wrote about getting married and having our baby.  I skipped an important detail in that post because I got swept away in writing that story. The detail is about the transition from being a sales representative to being a sales manager and supporting a small sales team. 

After dating Annie for about a year and working hard for the company I decided that I wanted to move up.  I approached Brian, the owner of the company, about a raise and a promotion.  I already had a plan for my promotion which involved me recruiting representatives myself, training them, and supporting their sales efforts. I would earn a commission from their sales revenues. I also planned on working directly with customers as well as supporting the team. This plan involved little risk to Brian since we would all be 100% commission based and the success of the plan would rest on my shoulders. 

Brian didn’t feel that I was ready for this promotion and he didn’t want to give me the raise. I didn’t want to argue with him and I respected his opinion but I did get to work on seeking a different company to work with. I began the process again like I did a few years earlier of scouring the Craigslist job ads and looking for a good company to work with. I interviewed several companies and I found one who was willing to offer me the opportunity that I was looking for. 

It was a challenging transition because I was scared to lose the commissions from jobs that I had already sold with Brian’s company. I approached the situation all wrong. Looking back I should have been upfront and given Brian notice. Instead, I worked for the other company in secret.  I had removed Rocky Mountains decals from my vehicle and I was using the new company’s car magnet on my car to show people that I worked for them now. 

Looking back, I see now that I should have let Brian know that I was going to leave his company if he didn’t want to give me the promotion or the raise. I should have been more transparent and let him know that the promotion was important to me and that I had found a company willing to give it to me. Doing this would have given him the opportunity to change his mind and make me an offer that would allow to continue working with him. 

One day I was outside in the parking lot sitting in my car and I had forgotten that the magnets were on my car! Brian happened to be coming outside and I saw him rush to my car. He asked me why I had these magnets on my car and I told him the situation. He hastily offered to match their pay but it was too late. I was already selling jobs for them and I had made up my mind. He was not happy that afternoon he told me that I was making a mistake.  

Changing companies in this industry comes with a host of challenges.  The biggest challenge is having to get used to a new process.  I had been struggling with the new company’s process and I was having regrets about my decision to change companies.  There was no looking back at this point so I forge ahead. 

After about a month I got a call from Brian out of the blue.  He proceeded to tell me that the company needed me.  He apologized for being rude when I left and offered to increase my pay from what I was getting now. I know that was a difficult call for him to make. He had to humble himself and admit that he had made a mistake and that can be enormously challenging to any leader. 

I was happy to get the call because i was already regretting my decision to leave his company.  I still negotiated my pay and I was able to get one of the best pay plans in the industry. 

This time I did things correctly and I gave the new company proper notice.  They didn’t want to see me leave and I let them know what they could do to keep me (change their business process) but they just let me go instead. 

I quickly started recruiting new people to work for us and within a month I had my first recruit.  I had another recruit a couple months later and within about six months I had two more recruits. I was locked and loaded and ready for the new hail season to begin.