As a builder or remodeler you’re probably faced with quite a bit of competition. And this stiff competition will often lead to bidding wars over a new client or project.
But what if you could earn more business without having to lower your prices? What if you could stop simply competing on labor and materials plus? After all, if you’re competing against someone willing to reduce that “plus” to zero then you’re in a race to see who goes out of business first.
While the numbers vary depending on the specific research study, the general consensus is that buyers make their decision based on price only about 35-40% of the time. That means that roughly 60% of consumers use other “buying triggers” when making purchasing decisions. This means that, given the right approach, you should never have to compete on price again. Or at least far less often.
But if the only thing that you allow your prospects to compare IS price then that’s where it will fall.
Let’s take a broad example of the housing market. If price was the only factor then high-end custom homes wouldn’t even exist. Plain and simple.
But as a builder or remodeler, how do you earn more sales without having to constantly compete on price?
Here are 5 “Buying Triggers” that you can use to help sway more business your way.
Quality of the “shopping” experience – make sure that every encounter with a prospective buyer is as positive as possible. This means training everybody in your company how to interact with clients. From the first point of phone contact through to the bidding process and all the way to post-project activities, you need to make sure that the client is treated with respect. That being said, you don’t need to be a doormat and if that’s the way a prospective client treats you or anyone on your team then perhaps this isn’t an ideal client.
Reputation of the contractor – it’s more important today than ever to manage your reputation online. A survey conducted by BrightLocal revealed some pretty interesting facts:
1) 88% of respondents said that they’ve read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
2) 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
3) 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.You can’t assume that because you haven’t heard any negative feedback that it’s not taking place. The first thing to do is to take a proactive (rather than reactive) approach to your online reviews. Use a reputation management service like Grade.us to help take control of your reviews and get in the habit of asking for reviews on a regular basis.
Guarantees on workmanship – making guarantees can be a pretty scary proposition. This is exactly why utilizing a strong guarantee can put you into a category of ONE when bidding on projects. The reality is that most of your competitors won’t go beyond offering a very standard guarantee. You can set yourself apart by firmly standing behind your product.
On-going workmanship inspection – this is a strategy that can actually make it easier to stomach offering a strong workmanship guarantee. Offer to have someone from your company inspect your past jobs on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. For example, if you’re a deck builder you can inspect for popped nails, split timber, water-proofing, etc. In all likelihood this will be a short visit, but the benefit to the home-owner is a peace of mind that your competitors just aren’t offering.
Brand awareness – the more people see your name the more likely they are to trust that you’re here to stay. The last thing someone wants is to hire a fly-by-night contractor who’s ready to take the money and run. (NOTE: I was able to reference songs by Rush and The Steve Miller Band in a single sentence without straying off topic ;-)In general, consumers want to buy from people or companies that they know, like and trust. The first trick is to get known. This doesn’t mean throwing away money on billboards and Yellow Pages ads. There are more cost-effective methods that also have the ability to track your return on investment such as quarterly online press releases, writing informative blog articles, taking a proactive approach to your online reviews and even creating Youtube videos.