In the world of contracting, it feels like customers are notoriously price sensitive.
“Is that your best price?”
“Can you do better?”
“I’m shopping around for the lowest price.”
“Ouch, that is more expensive than the other quotes I’ve received.”
Have you heard any of these? Chances are, if you’ve worked as a contractor for any length of time, you probably have heard some or even all of these.
In the world of contracting, it feels like customers are notoriously price sensitive. Contractors work hard to give their customers good value and a safer, more comfortable home; so you’d think that this industry should be the least price sensitive of them all! (After all, how often do your customers complain about the price of a Big Mac, which his comparatively more expensive than making their own burger at home?!?)
But, for some reason, customers are indeed highly sensitive to the price and may push back on any price that they feel is costlier than they were expecting.
The problem is further compounded when you are selling against other quotes and estimates by low-ball contractors… the customer may not be comparing the quality of work but rather just the bottom-line price.
So, what can you do about it?
Well, you could stick to your guns and tell them: “You get what you pay for” and let the chips fall where they may. (After all, if they hire a cheaper contractor with poor workmanship, you may end up being hired in the future to repair that work.)
Or, you could lower your price, which is the pressure that a lot of contractors feel daily. Some will say, “Let me see what I can do” and they squeeze their profit margins to razor thin amounts. (Don’t do this! You deserve to get paid what you are worth!)
These feel like the only two options that you have available. Fortunately, there’s a third way that you may not be aware of that can instantly change the conversation you have with a customer and help you charge the right price (with the right amount of profit) without worrying about low-ball offers.
If you’re writing a list of the value that the customer gets from you and you think, “Surely this list is long enough”… you’re just getting started.
It’s called “Value-Stacking” and it will change the game for you.
Value-Stacking is simply this: when you create your quote, estimate, or written consultation, stack the value. Keep identifying things that the customer gets from you—stacking one item on another—until the offer seems like a no-brainer.
How much value should you stack? Let me put it this way: If you’re writing a list of the value that the customer gets from you and you think, “Surely this list is long enough”… you’re just getting started. Keep going.
Here are some ideas to Value-Stack your next quote:
- Start by offering and delivering great products and services. Identify those pieces to your customer. If you deliver a new product and haul away the old, used one, write that down as two separate things. Both are important things you do and should be noted!
- Provide additional services at no extra charge. For example, if you’re walking through the customer’s home and you see a loose doorknob, just fix it really quickly. It takes no time at all for you but it speaks volumes to the customer.
- Be an expert. Provide a confident expertise that advises customers, rather than taking the approach that the customer is in charge. You can be kind, serving, and helpful but also the in-charge expert who knows best. (And guess what: experts get paid more!)
- Give free stuff. Give LOTS of free stuff! From pens to magnets to flashlights; these don’t have to cost a lot but the amount of stuff customers get can have a big impact.
- Provide tons of free information in the form of articles, reports, and even printed books.
- Then, on top of all of that, stack testimonials and reviews from other happy customers.
You should be doing all of these… and A LOT of each of them… but the most important is the first one. Whether you are installing a new HVAC system or building a new fence, break out each of your activities into its own service and show the customer how valuable that service is.
Then sit back and watch the customer. You’ll see the difference right away.
They’ll look at the hastily written quote from the cheaper contractor that has one sentence scrawled across it and a bottom-line price, and they’ll look at your estimate, which could stretch on for a couple of pages, and your higher priced estimate will seem higher value because you’ve been Value-Stacking. They’ll see all the little things you’ve done to help them already, like fix that doorknob. They’ll see how you are an expert who advises. They’ll look at the mountain of branded gadgets and freebies you’ve given. They’ll see all the articles, reports, and books you’ve provided. And they’ll see that many other customers have hired you.
Those things add up when you stack one upon the other. They show that your (slightly higher) price has loads of value. And, just like buying a Big Mac some cheaper option, they’ll more likely choose you.
As contractors, we face the problem daily of dealing with price sensitive customers. It comes with the territory! However, you can turn price sensitivity into a no-brainer “YES! I’ll buy from you!” when you apply Value-Stacking to your written estimates.
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See the full article on ContractorMag HERE
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