Episode 5 - Never Judge a Book By Its Cover with Rick Selby

Every sales professional has that one story that's almost too wild to believe, and let me tell you, Rick's tales from the trenches of sales don't disappoint. With a journey as dynamic as the landscape of sales itself, Rick shares the ins and outs of his career evolution, from his hands-on beginnings to his rise in the post-2008 financial crash world. In the latest episode, we unpack Rick's move from the health club's busy floor to his home turf in the home improvement industry. It's a ride through the ups and downs of sales that proves no matter where you start, the right mix of grit and integrity can land you success.

We recount one of the most bizarre sales encounters with "Bill," who prefers to go by "Lonnie," and the lesson it taught us about never prejudging a client. This episode covers the chess game that is a sales strategy, highlighting the importance of persistence and the art of sealing the deal with a personal touch. This episode isn't just about crazy stories; it's a masterclass in the sales strategies that can either break or make a client relationship.

Key Moments:

  • -Rick’s dynamic background in many facets of the sales industry.
  • -A crazy sales story that proves the “never judge a book by its cover” theory.
  • -Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • -The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method that Rick lives by.

One of the things that I absolutely love about sales is the ability to meet and work alongside such interesting individuals. One of the things I've seen, especially in your industry, Rick, is meeting people you know. You go out, and you knock on doors, and you recruit all kinds of different folks. Knowing the owner of your company and his story, about who I'm excited about bringing Kenny the show in the future. But let's talk about you, man. How did you get into sales in your life? What was it that drove you to sales in the first place?


Yeah, man, it's actually a hilarious story that I ended up in the Home Improvement space again because I was always kind of a blue-collar guy growing up. You know, I started in the electrical industry and did carpet for a while. My dad and I had a general contracting company where we were doing investment flips and got crushed in 2008. So then, after that, I actually ended up in sales at the health club I was working at, believe it or not. I was promised a great opportunity, man. I was out marketing, and you know, it was funny 'cause the guys I was working with, like, they go out marketing for two hours, go to the house and throw their fliers in the trash can. And I was the one that was out there actually doing the door hangers and knocking on the doors.


So it was kind of fun back then. But then the check came in, and I was like, "Man, this is not what I was told it was going to be," and I was crushing it, you know? So luckily, I had a buddy down there who was in the car business. He had invited me over for an interview. He was the GM, actually. And, you know, I wasn't interviewing with him; he had just kind of set me up with the sales manager. And I actually had an unfortunate taste in my mouth about sales at that point, like, I did not want a sales job when I went to the car dealership. You know what I mean? So he had actually told me, he was like, "Listen, I see it in you, you know what I mean? I've hung out, we've hung out a couple of times, like, we had some mutual friends there."


And he was like, "You know, I'm just going to introduce you to Don," who was the manager at that point. And, you know, I sat and talked with Don, and I told him the story, like, "Hey, listen, you know, I chased the dangled carrot over there and thought it was going to be what it is." And he was like, "Listen, man, he's like, you come over here, I'm going to help you out. He was like, I'll make sure everything you were told over there, you'll get here." So, you know, it ended up being a really great experience. I actually had a Lotus dealership, a luxury car dealership, and I really had a lot of fun there; I got to drive some cars I never thought I'd be able to drive, you know?

Long story short, it ended up in the car business for quite a while. 


COVID hit, which was actually really great for the car business for a long time, you know? We were. I was at a Ford dealership. We were selling F250s, you know, 15, 20 grand over MSRP and getting paid 25% gross. It was amazing. But then it ended up drying, right? Like, we just didn't have any inventory after that. So, you know, I just ended up with another buddy who was at another Remodeling Company in a sales position.


So, I was able to combine, you know, really my first true love with what I had been doing for so long and get into the remodeling sales space, which once that kind of came about, Drew, it was like the perfect marriage. You know what I mean? Like, I always knew I was going to be a blue-collar guy, but now I had the sales experience, and I was able to put those two together, and I've loved it ever since, man. I absolutely love that story, Rick, because one of the things that I know, especially in my life and for almost every sales professional I've ever met, you don't really choose sales, you get pushed into sales.


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Evolution Business Sales: A Personal Journey


And it's like, cool, this is what you're going to go and do because this is what's going to write the check. I love the story of hey, I had to go, and I walked in, and I had zero taste for sales. I hated it like I didn't want to do it, and then you found that love. I'm the same way. It's funny. I remember when I was younger, uh, I had gone to I was in sales working retail, and I had gone to a dealership with my wife now fiancé at the time, and we were looking at cars, and the sales guy's like just one of them typical sales sleazy guys, and he was like oh man well you know I know your boss and I can make one call and I can have you fired, and I'm just like to get the shit out of so I always had a distaste for it. And then when I'm in the position now, and I look at all the sales guys I've worked with and all the job opportunities I've had, it's that confidence in yourself to show up and get shit done is what allows you to really make a difference, man.


And when you take a job like that, you got to do what you got to do. The ability that you had to go from, you know, learning this industry of sales to going back into the blue-collar trades. Like I used to swing a hammer. I used to throw mud I know this inside and out so I can tell you exactly what to expect, what to expect on the back end of that job, right cuz my father-in-law is in remodeling, too, so the same thing, it's always it looks good on the surface until you peel the walls back and then it gets to be an absolute shit show.


I always like to ask though, one of my favorite parts of sales is the crazy ass stories. If you could give me one crazy call the damn lead story, what would it be, man I'll never forget it. It was something that I commented on when we originally spoke, but um I would say it was probably about 3 years ago, and um I was heading out to a lead it was in Western Maryland like out past Frederick, it was almost like the West Virginia area just way out outside of Western Maryland and as sales guys professionals.


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Evolution of Business Sales: Overcoming Preconceptions and Embracing Opportunity

Of course, you know, you get the lead. You look up the address, you look at the house. You want to be prepared when you get there. So, I did all that. And when I tell you this place was a shack, dreary, this place was a shack, brother. Like, I was like, man, I must have pissed somebody off for them to send me this lead, right? Like, that's really how I felt. And you know, I always say, like, you know, we used to, in the car business, we used to call it plate glassing. Where you don't plate glass, you know, you don't look out the window, you don't judge the lead or whatever. But we all have that in us at some point. You know what I mean? Like, there's a little bit of no matter how professional you are, like, there's a little bit of that in everybody, right?


So, man, I get out there, in the lead. It said to call the guy 20 minutes before you get there. So, I called him 20 minutes before I got there and let him know I was almost to the house. He's like, "Alright, well, I'm leaving the American Legion now. I'll be there in a couple of minutes." So, you know, retired military guy, which of course, you know, we're all grateful for, old army guy. You know, I get there, I pull up, the grass is probably up to my knees. It's wintertime, so I'm out there, you know, walking around.

So, in the remodeling space, the way we do our measurements is by 3D imaging. We shoot what's called a hover, where you walk around and take a picture of each corner of the house. So, I'm outside, I'm like, "Alright, well, I'm going to go ahead and shoot my measurements."


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Evolution of Business Sales Amid Unconventional Encounters

While I was waiting there, I was outside shooting my hover. I got to the back of the house, and I saw underlayment and shingles lying on the back deck. I'm like, this guy called me out here to do a roof, but I'm looking at shingles and underlayment, right? So I'm like, what the hell's going on? Finish my measurements, guy pulls up, he's driving this like 1989 minivan. It was, I mean, just like you could tell the guy couldn't have driven more than five miles, like you didn't think it was going to make it that far, right?

Guy gets out, he's smoking a bowl on his way into the house from the car. I introduced myself, of course. I grabbed my roofing kid out of the car, we walked in. Inside, D, we walk inside, droy, there is shit everywhere, right? So the guy, like, I came inside, there was no kitchen table, like, you know, we had Kenny has the kitchen table podcast, like business is done at. There was no kitchen table, like there was just shit everywhere.


So the dude's furniture in his living room consisted of two white plastic lawn chairs, you know, like the cheap ones you get from Walmart, and the third-row seat from his minivan. So I come in, and he's like, go and have a seat, and I'm like, have a seat where? He's like, either on the chairs or the seat on the floor like I Drewie, I swear Brother, like this was his damn furniture.


So I get in there, I'm talking to the guy, you know, and um, like I said, he's smoking, he's high as shit, and you know, like, um, he asked me if I want a beer, he's got like tall boy Natty lights, they're not even in the fridge, they're just like sitting in the kitchen on the table, right now. I will say Drewie, I was a little different salesman back then, you know, I did have a little Natty light with my guy. But you know, I started pitching the roof to him, and what's that, whatever it takes, Brother, whatever it takes.


So, you know, I started pitching to the roof to him and, believe it or not, like talking to the guy, man, we had a ton of fun. We really did. You know, he's like, "Listen, I was working for a company at the time, and you know, just like we are at the pic, we were, um, you know, Platinum preferred to Owens Corning. We had a lifetime labor warranty, like, we were not your cheapest roofer, you know?" So, first off, I asked him about the roofing material on the back, and I was like, "What's going on with that?"

And he's like, "Oh, I have a roommate that lives here. He's a handyman, and you know, he will do the roof on my shed. 


I don't care about the shed, but I really don't want him to do the roof of the house, which I understood, right? Like, I get it." So he's like, "Well, I got another quote from a guy local here, and it's about 8 grand." And I said, "Sir, I said you, I'm going to be honest, sir, we're not going to be eight grand, you know what I mean? Like, we are not 8 grand." He, you know, he's like, "Well, well, go ahead and just give me your price." And I was like, "Well, let me walk you through the materials. Like, I know all about underpayment, I know all about Owens Corning. I just want the price." So I'm like, "So I ended up really like doing it. You know what I mean? I was like, listen, like this the way this is going."


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Evolution of Business Sales: From Negotiation to Connection

I'm just going to give the guy a price. So, uh, ended up laying off the price. We're like 12750. I think they're almost five grand higher. And, uh, he's like, "Listen, Rick, I've had a couple other people come in here. They were real pushy." He's like, "I appreciate the conversation." He's like, "I'm going to sign your contract."


He said, "But first, you got to make me one promise." He said, "You're going to go downstairs with me and listen to me play a song on the drums. And then, after I sign your contract, we're going to go to the legion and have a drink." And I'm like, "Listen, you know, I D dude, this shit was like an hour and a half from the office, right?" So I get out there. I'm like, "Brother, whatever it takes. Like, I'll listen to you play the drums. I'll go down there and have a little vodka with you. You know what I mean?"


Talking to the guy, he ends up signing the contract. And he's like, "Oh, he's like, I forgot I wanted to tell you one thing." I was like, "What's up?" He's like, "What kind of financing do you guys offer? I need to finance." And now I'm thinking like, "Oh shit, right?" Like, this dude doesn't have any furniture. The grass is up to my knees. There is no way this guy's getting approved for financing, man. I filled this guy out 9.99% for 120 months, JY.


It approved over 800 auto approvals. I was like, "There is no way." Like, we always talk about never judging a book by the cover, right? Like automatic approval came back. And he's like, "Listen, he's like, you know, I have credit cards out there that I don't use." He's like, "You know, he's like I know I live like this little, you know, like small town life." He was like, "But you know, I'm actually very Financially stable." The guy put like three grand down on the roof and financed it. And, long story short, man, I ended up in the basement listening to the guy play the drums.


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Evolution of Business Sales: Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

Believe it or not, he killed it. I was shocked, bro. Like, he was a good drummer, man. And then, not only that, I went down to the legion and had a drink with him. So then, oh, it was Veterans Day. That was his whole thing about going down to the legion. It was actually Veterans Day, so we went down to the Legion. And I'll never forget, I get down there, you know, of course, the place is packed out on Veterans Day, like everybody's down there taking shots and shit. I'm like, I got to drive an hour and a half home, brother, like. I'll have my little drink, and I'll scoot.


You know, there's a guy in there; he's got a pit bull, and I'm a big dog guy, man. I love dogs. So, you know, I start going over there, I'm messing with his dog and stuff, and he's like, you know, H, how are you here? Like, what branch were you in? And I was like, you know, I actually didn't serve. My grandfather served, but I'm over here with Bill. The guy's name was Bill, and uh, he was like, who's Bill? I was like, the guy over here in the corner. He's like, you mean Lonnie? And I was like, Lonnie? I was like, that's Bill. He's like, no, that's Lonnie. And I was like, okay, Lonnie. I'm here with Lonnie, right?


So I go back over there, and I'm like, Bill, I was like, I was talking to your buddy with the dog, he said, you know, you're here with Lonnie. And he was like, yeah, he's like, I tell all these guys my name is Lonnie. I don't want them to know my real name. He's like, they really know it's Bill, but they all just call me Lonnie.

And I'm like, man, I gotta get out of here. I was like, I don't know what the hell is going on, like, you know, this guy shocked the shit out of me. I'm getting the deal done, I get my little drink. I'm like, man, I got to get on the road. So it was just one of those things. Like, if you ever thought a deal was going to go sideways and it was just not going to be anything and auto-approval, man, the guy didn't even use email, right? So I actually did his F, his uh, docs on the iPad.


I had to go back to the office and print them out. And then the next week, drive back to his house and have him do a wet signature and then mail them, uh, to the damn finance company. So that is definitely my craziest sales story as far as the roofing industry goes, man. Like, it's just one of those things. Like, that was the day that I really learned you never judge a book by its cover ever.


I think that might have to be the title of this episode, Rick because, like, there's so much to that story that I absolutely love, first and foremost. I also have driven an hour to a contract or to a, you know, a quote and sat down in a room that I'm like, I got to get the shit out of here. Like, what am I doing with my life, man? Like, for now, to be honest, when I was selling mine, it was for like a $25 or $30 commission.


Yours probably was a better Commission in the roofing industry than that. But yes, the fact that you were looking at this going, I don't know, man, but you still had the confidence to go all in. You are still willing to make the pitch and go for it because you can't judge a book by its cover, man. Like, I've had this conversation so many times, and I really appreciate you sharing that story because I know there have been countless times in my life, and anyone who's listening to this has been in sales.


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Evolution of Business Sales: The Power of Going Above and Beyond

For any length of time when you've looked at someone walking in and gone, ain't no way in hell, and they walked out of there having surprised you, dropping one of the biggest checks that you saw, or just like you said, hey man, the guy could look homeless. Still, he's got 850 credits, and he's got a pension that he's been living on, like you just don't know. So Rick, holy shit, is that a wild story but also so, so valuable for the listener, because, man, there's so much that you can take from that, and I appreciate you taking the time to share it because I know that that's just one of many wild stories that you have.


I always like to ask, though, you know, with this with the crazy stories in sales, I'd like to make sure everybody can have some good tactical takeaways from this, and above, don't judge a book by its cover. Besides that, that's fantastic. But if you could say, think of one strategy in your Arsenal sales that you would consider your secret weapon, what would that be? I would really say, Drew, is, you know, going for one, you know, um, underpromising and over-delivering, and then just going the extra mile to get the deal done.


You know, I've worked with a lot of people in both the car business and in roofing where, you know, like as soon as something gets a little bit tough, they kind of, you know, walk away from it or they put the push the deal to the side, but you know, you never know what, you know, who that client is. I mean, you know, let's say this guy, for instance, it's like if I just rode him off and left him an estimate and walked out the door for one.

I would never have gotten that commission, which ended up being, you know, between 2500 and three grand. Like, that's a good day. But then also think about if that guy has two or three friends down the road. I mean, they live in a little Podunk town, and you know, he um they probably don't have many roofers out there. They don't have much access to really anything. So what if that guy has three or four friends, and he's like, hey, you know, Rick drove all the way out here, he took perfect care of me. He also drove back another time to have me sign the finance docs because I don't use email. 


You guys have to call him, and he'll take care of you. You know what I mean? So I would say really just going above and beyond to complete every deal. Like, you know, if something gets a little tough, if you need steps, you need paperwork, and it's, you know, something outside the normal scope of getting a deal done, go the extra mile. You never know how it's going to benefit you. That is such a fantastic strategy, and really, it's one that's underutilized because so many people really are thinking about the right now and not the long term, right? I've seen so many sales professionals, and I've worked with so many. It's like all they care about is getting it in now and not what it could be in the future.


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Evolution of Business Sales: Lessons Learned and Advice


I will never forget I had one deal. There was a guy, he was, you know. We were working on a program I wanted to be a part of, and it was $225,000 to join which 25 Grand is no small chunk of change. It's not like a crazy amount of money, but it's no small chunk of change, right?

So I'm talking to the guy, and I'm going, well, hey man, I'm definitely interested. We are not in a position to move forward until 3 weeks, like 3 weeks from now. We can set it up; we can be locked in three weeks from now. I'll swipe the car for 25, and we can move forward and get it done. Then the kid God loves him. He's like, well, hey man why don't we just take three right now, so we can get this locked in, and then we'll take the rest later, and I said, well, because I don't have the three right now either I'm telling you that like I will be ready to pay in full in 3 weeks, and he just kept pushing and kept pushing, and I'm like you know what man you know what I don't need this that bad never mind.

I got a call from his boss and all these things, and I'm like, just be honest with you, man, like I really did want it until he made me not want it anymore and so like, while I appreciate it on principle, I'm just not going to do business with you, because that's, not who I'd want to do business with either, and they're just like oh what

I don't know what happened to the kid. Hopefully, they did some good leadership, and they didn't just fire his ass because he was a nice guy. Still, he didn't have that empathy, that understanding of willingness to sit through the conversation and hear what I had to say and then say, cool, well if this is what I need to do to get the job done, that's within my morals, my ethics, my legal ability to do things like let's make that happen. Heck yeah, that's so good, Rick, so thank you for sharing that story, man. Thank you for being here with me and for really taking the time to pour in at the end of this.

I always like to ask if there are sales professionals who are just getting into the game, and there are sales professionals who have been here for a decade or more. If someone's just getting into sales, what's the best piece of advice you would give them to be successful in this industry? I'll never forget it, man. My first, uh, my first sales manager always told me the, uh, acronym KISS, and it was "keep it simple, stupid," and that was really it, man. 


I tell everybody when they're coming into, uh, our industry because we do, obviously, you know, mostly Insurance restoration. I always say there are only two ways you can fail in what we do: you're either not sticking to the process, or you're not doing the work. That's it. If you follow the process and you do the work, it's, it's fail-proof. You know what I mean? So I'll never forget it, man. I tell all of our new reps when they come in, KISS: keep it simple, stupid, because when you start thinking that you know what you're doing, you start skipping steps in the process. Everybody gets, you know, I've always kind of called it the sophomore slump where you get in, you do pretty well for three or four months, and then five months, your sales start to dip. That's because now you think you know what you're doing, and you're veering off the process, right? You're getting away from the process.


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Evolution Business Sales: A Conversation with Rick from PCR Roofing

So that's always my thing, man. Kiss, that's it, Rick. What a heck of a conversation we had today. I'm so honored and grateful that you took some time to be here with us. I know we've just started getting to know each other, but man, it looks like there's so much more that we can bring on and talk about in the future. So, I just wanted to personally thank you for taking the time to be here. Listen, if you guys are listening to this episode, you're enjoying what you're hearing, and you're up in the Maryland Patomic area, these guys are always looking for hustlers. They're always looking for folks who are willing to learn, buy into the core values and the mission, and help you be successful. That's the greatest thing, and I love Rick and Kenny and all the guys at PCR. They truly care about their team, and they want everyone to win.


So, Rick, what's the best way for them to find you, to reach out if they're in the area or they want to know more about how they can work with you or get to know what you guys have going on up there? Yeah, absolutely. So, the company is PIC Custom Modeling. Uh, we all know it's PCR Roofing as well. We both have domain names. PCR Roofing is a little shorter. Um, you know, of course, I work directly with Kenny Bayen here at, uh, Atomic. So, um, you know, you can find me online anywhere. I am Ricky the Roofer, Instagram, Facebook, you know, that's my handle there. So, Drewie, I really appreciate you having me on, man. It's been great, great to meet you and get to know you a little bit. And again, you know, like you, I'm looking forward to doing some more with you in the future.


So I uh appreciate the invite, man, great conversation, and I look forward to talking to you soon, brother. Heck yeah, man! And for those of you who are here with us today and you have a crazy ass-sale story, I want to share it; bring it on, and let's tell it right! The best thing we can do in this industry is share the cool stuff, the crazy stories, and know that there's some little nugget of wisdom we can take out of this. So make sure you follow Rick, go hit up PCR Roofing, hit those guys, and let them know how much you appreciate Rick taking the time to be here. And if you want to share your story, head over to callthedamnleads.com. SLP podcast, I've got all the information; submit it, and tell me what you have going on. I'd love to bring you on and share it.


And if you like this show, share it with your friends, hit subscribe, let people know, man, put us in their stories, and tag us at call the damn leads. We're so dang excited to keep bringing the fun and the value, and we'll see you guys in the next one. You know what to do, go call those damn leads, you all.

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Connect with Rick

Rick Selby, known as Ricky the Roofer, is a Baltimore, Maryland, resident and a native of the DMV area. With about 8 years in the blue-collar sector, Rick has experienced every level of the industry, from installer to owner. He is currently employed by Potomac Custom Remodeling, under the leadership of owner and personal coach, Kenny Baden. Specializing in insurance restoration roofing, solar, and all exterior remodeling, Potomac Custom Remodeling serves areas throughout Maryland, D.C., Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. In addition to aiding PCR's growth, Rick is also exploring opportunities in the speaking, consulting, and coaching spheres. You can follow Rick on all social media platforms at @iamrickytheroofer.

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/rickselby410 

IG: https://www.instagram.com/iamrickytheroofer/

Connect with Drewbie

Your Host, Drewbie Wilson:

With over $15 million in online sales, Drewbie's vast experience spans multiple industries. His journey from a 300-pound weight loss to becoming a sales powerhouse has shaped his perspective on life and success.

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