Laura Viskovich: Hello and welcome to the Professional Business Connections. Today, we have such an amazing guest, Lance Witkamp. Now, Lance has built this amazing roofing company and he generates his leads a different ‒ a little bit different to the norm. So, hey, Lance, welcome to the show.
Lance Witkamp: Thanks for having me.
Laura Viskovich: Any time. So, Lance, give me a little bit of your backstory on how you became the famous roofer.
Lance Witkamp: So, we’re a relatively new company, but I have a background in construction, in the construction most of my life. And so, I’ve seen a lot of the process on how homes are built, remodeled, and so on. And we ‒ I started working for a solar company a few years ago and we saw a need to fulfill roofs that needed to be replaced before the installation of solar panels.
So, we have been giving all this work away to the other companies and there was quite an amount of work and we realized, kind of a like light bulb went off, and we realized, “Hey, why don’t we do this ourselves and facilitate the work in-house?” So, a few of us have been working together and essentially, we started a roofing company and that’s how it was born.
Laura Viskovich: Yeah, fantastic. So, Lance, I know you have a beautiful family. Are you a family-run business?
Lance Witkamp: It was a few friends that got together to start it. My wife helps sometimes with the books and things, and our wives are incredibly supportive, and our families tolerate sometimes, the long, crazy hours. It certainly feels like a family though.
Laura Viskovich: That’s lovely. So, I know that when we had a bit of a chat the other day, there’s quite a lot involved in roofing. Can you just walk us through what it takes to become a professional roofing guy?
Lance Witkamp: Yeah. So, there really is kind of a system with roofing and it consists of a number of different layers in the process in which a home needs to be addressed. And so, the most ‒ most of our work comes from existing homes if the roof needs to be replaced. And so, we’ve got a pretty stringent process in place and steps that we follow to ensure that the customers are getting the product they discussed with the sales guy, to ensure they’re getting what’s best for them, their home, the financial position they’re in.
So, a sales man will go out to the house to discuss with the ‒ with the customer some options. Typically, we will tear off the roof down to the deck. We’ll perform an inspection of all the wood to make sure everything’s in good shape, make sure they have adequate ventilation, what climate in the attic, and check the trusses and just the structural condition. And then, we’ll put on all of these layers that are required for a warranty and also to meet code to ensure that the customer can basically just forget about their roof and not have to worry about it for 30, 40, or 50 years, whatever that may be.
Laura Viskovich: Wow. That’s a long time.
Lance Witkamp: Yeah.
Laura Viskovich: So, you definitely want to get your roofing right.
Lance Witkamp: Yes.
Laura Viskovich: Wonderful. So, Lance, I know that you’ve been in your business for a year-and-a-half. Now, I’m dying to know how do you generate new business into your business?
Lance Witkamp: So, a lot of our business referral comes from word-of-mouth. So, we can advertise in the radio. We can do TV commercials. But a lot of it is word-of-mouth. And so, the best way to get people talking is to take care of a customer because naturally, when people are happy, they kind of become excited. They feel like they can go tell their neighbours, “Yeah, here’s who did our roof. They did a great job.” and the neighbours can see that.
And so, a lot of times, neighbours will really be watching the neighbour’s house, their roof getting redone. And the wait until after, because they want to see did they do a good job and how does it look. And so, that’s kind of the interview process we have, if you will, with somebody’s neighbours. And so, they’ll see their neighbour’s roof get done and then they’ll approach us and say, “Hey, we want to our roof done. Can you come give us a number?” And so, a lot of it really is word-of-mouth.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. Now, I hear down the great vine that an associate with you is also in the roofing and he had some major success which kind of changed your journey to a specific group. So please walk us through that.
Lance Witkamp: Yeah, it definitely changed our approach. So his name is Chase, my lead sales guy, he’s been in a BNI chapter in Farmington. And he’s had an incredible amount of success in a relatively short period of time, in networking and working with the folks out there.
And so we had him in there, and then he calls me and he said, “Hey, you really have to jump in this too.” And I oversee outside operations in business development, so I thought, “Great idea, let’s do it.”
And so we had another lady in the chapter who knew Chase, my sales guy in the southern BNI chapter, and see wanted to be our sponsor and welcomed us into the group. So we came and had an interview from the minute I was there, I loved everybody in the room, super good atmosphere, really comfortable. Just a great team, and it really is kind of a team to work with. So I joined immediately the Generosity BNI chapter for us, and it’s – since just exploded in a supersede curve, so it’s been a wild ride.
Laura Viskovich: Great, so Generosity is in BNI Utah North. I’ve heard great things. That’s fantastic. So tell me – you’ve been in BNI for how long?
Lance Witkamp: About six weeks now.
Laura Viskovich: Great. Congratulations.
Lance Witkamp: Thank you.
Laura Viskovich: So what’s the secret sauce on why go each week and what you do? Like for you, what’s the best thing that you take out each week?
Lance Witkamp: So it’s pretty fascinating for me, and with this whole BNI thing, because I’ve never had any involvement with it before, I knew nothing about it. And it’s kind of like that little gold nugget that you find, that because you show and there’s people that every – we meet weekly, and you show up, and there’s people with a positive attitude all in their own industries, but we really are able to complement each other and work together.
So we’ve got realtors in the group, we’ve got guys in construction that do remodels, loan officers, HVAC folks. And once you really start to think about it, all of these traits have more in common, and we can help each other a lot more than you think, kind of on the surface.
And so it really has just kind of expanded my mind to another type learning and working together with people. You know, realtors, their looking at homes, any roofs to be to be replaced. HVAC guys, people complain that their systems won’t keep up, all of that kinds of ties in. And at some point, we can either help each other, refer each other, it’s always good to be able to have a recommendation of somebody you know that you can refer when we’re out doing somebody’s roof, and they say, [0:06:12] [indiscernible] cooler on the roof, and they’ll say, “Oh we want to get AC.” And you say, “You know what, I happen to know guy who I met every week with, who is very trustworthy, and vice versa.”
So that’s really opened the door to having other opportunities and other avenues to not only gain more business for us, but also to return the favor in helping these other folks, these realtors, these HVAC guys, these contractors, in turn to help them to come up with what we’re going to do.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So building those relationships each week really sort of fills the sales funnel, if you will?
Lance Witkamp: Absolutely.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So does your top sales guy, does he have any sort of stats that he’s generated?
Lance Witkamp: Yeah. So he’s keeping track. I don’t know exactly what his numbers are in the past. So we had hailstorm go through kind of [0:07:04] [indiscernible] county about a month ago. And whether your roof is new or old, you get severe hail damage like that, at least it needs to be inspected. So and that’s one thing we do is we will grant to form inspection. So he had five referrals from his BNI group all in one day for folks in kind of the Kaysville area that where the hailstorm went through. And they said, “Will you please come just come look at our roof? We want to –” Because the roof is obviously important because it covers everything in the home. So if you’re not covered there, then that’s when you’re susceptible to water damage and we know how that is with drywall, paint and everything.
And so, anyways, he goes up to inspect these homes and all five referrals, he came in under budget for what the insurance companies were allowing, because they’re insurance companies. And so he went and sold five groups in one day, all under the insurance claim network.
And so, super excited for him, exciting for the customers and then also exciting for the folks that were in his BNI chapter. They were able to, in confidence refer Chase to their friends, family, neighbors and know that he would take care of them. So he’s just had amazing success and hasn’t even been there, maybe six months, maybe.
Laura Viskovich: Wow.
Lance Witkamp: So he’s pretty new to it as well.
Laura Viskovich: Yeah.
Lance Witkamp: So –
Laura Viskovich: That’s sensational.
Lance Witkamp: That’s been awesome.
Laura Viskovich: So Lance, you’ve had a great journey from hearing about BNI to being referred to a specific group and you’ve had such a great experience. Now if there’s anyone out there looking to visit a group, is there any tips and tricks from Lance that you’d like to share?
Lance Witkamp: Yeah. So actually my first day in the group, I came and visited twice. And then on the third week, which is my first official day being there, I brought a brother-in-law, who does filming and things. And I said, “You got to come and check this group out, you know, this is super cool. I think this would be beneficial to you.” And really what it’s about for me and he’s a big people person too.
So for me, it’s really about people. Because if I can meet somebody, gain their trust and see that they’re trustworthy as well, I think that’s kind of the fundamental core there and then to be able to build on that, to have that confidence to refer somebody, to throw work their way. I think that’s kind of the biggest thing is, is being a people person and being able to step to credibility, trust in those relationships.
Laura Viskovich: Yeah, fantastic. We love those words, trust, relationship, building, fantastic. So if anyone out there is – is wanting to get some tips on networking, what’s your being your huge giveaway – takeaway from the trainings that you’ve received in BNI?
Lance Witkamp: So on the trainings, similarly along those lines is putting yourself out there. Because it’s kind of funny when I only think about it and this is a little bit better around about where to get to it, but because we all have a lot of friends, it seems like – and we have a lot friends in different industries and I know multiple realtors, I know multiple HVAC guys. But there’s kind of just a – there’s a different attitude and a different kind of feeling when you come to BNI because you know that everybody’s there for similar reason.
And one of those – and – or I guess a couple of main reasons are to build your business, but also to help in turn others build their business. And so, just coming to the meetings and being able to feel, like how excited, how pumped up people are, how motivated they are, already it’s like, man people are taking this seriously.
Laura Viskovich: Mm-hmm.
Lance Witkamp: So, when I see that other people take that seriously, it makes me more motivated to also want to take seriously their customers, their referrals, my work because I’ve committed to be someone who they can trust and rely on, so in kind of the trainings that they talk about being able to – to be that person, to gain trust. Because, you know, if you come and you’re not excited, you’re not motivated, you don’t put forth the effort, people see that.
But in our group, it’s – I can’t find anybody like that. So it’s been – that’s one thing I learned in the training and that I really noticed is to put yourself out there, be trustworthy, do what you say you’re going to do and just watch it grow from there.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. Thank you for coming on to the show today. So everyone, thank you for your time. That’s Lance Witkamp from Climb Roofing. What an amazing story, like, give us really do gain. And that is the Professional Business Connections. I’ll see you on the next show.