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The Secret to Winning More Building Quotes

The Secret to Winning More Building QuotesMany builders tell me that they don’t understand why they missed winning a particular building quote. It appeared they were the preferred builder and their client seemed positive until it came to the crunch – and then chose another contractor.

At the very least, losing building quotes or estimates is frustrating. At most it spells the demise of a building contractor.

But it need not be so when you understand the secret to winning more building quotes. The secret…

Find your client’s biggest need and solve it

The thing is, your clients don’t buy the best building quote, but what they believe to be the best building quote.

And it doesn’t matter what you say or believe. If it’s not what your client says or believes, it’s not true – not for them anyway.

You see, from your client’s perspective, you have a vested interest in selling your service, so your word is at best biased and at worst lies. Everyone knows that “you can’t trust a salesperson.” And whatever you might say, at this stage of the process, you are a salesperson – not their builder – and your word can’t be trusted.

So, simply put, the winning building quote is the one that provides the solution to your client’s biggest need – even if it is not the cheapest.

So, if your sales process does not focus on locating your client’s biggest need, your quote will never be accepted!

But, can a “simple” builder discover a client’s deepest need without being a psychologist?

Tony (I’ve changed his name for privacy purposes) specialises in building above average individually designed homes for wealthy professionals. Recently a professional in another city invited him to tender on building a holiday home. Sure it was individually designed with several unique features, but nothing outside Tony’s skill and experience.

However, the tendering process dragged out over several months with the client requesting numerous detailed explanations of how the process would work and how Tony would ensure he would do a particular part – things no other client had ever asked. At one stage a very frustrated Tony was about to withdraw his tender.

But when Tony started using a set of simple need-uncovering questions, he discovered that his client – a lawyer, professionally aware of how contracts could be misconstrued – was petrified he might be disadvantaged because of distance. He needed precise, clear, and completely unambiguous explanations and plans for the most simple matter – something no other client had ever requested. And he needed them to satisfy his deepest need – security against exploitation.

Tony changed his approach and went out of his way to supply detail and evidence of how and why he would approach certain parts of the building project, the precise outcome at each stage, and how he would supervise every subcontractor coming on site. He’d hit the jack-pot. He’d met his client’s biggest need. His set of need-uncovering questions had provided the key. Needless to say…

In summary, your clients will always want to buy from the person who meets their deepest needs. So centre your sales process on locating their toughest challenges (their biggest needs) and direct your quotation to solving them.

Got further ideas on winning building quotes? Do you have a set of need-uncovering questions in your sales process? Or did any interesting thoughts or questions come up as you read this article? I’d love to hear from you. Just comment below.

2 Responses to The Secret to Winning More Building Quotes

  1. Joe Hughes November 12, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Graeme, I love this article. It touches on some of the psychology involved in selling in any service-based business. I particularly like this sentence:

    “So, simply put, the winning building quote is the one that provides the solution to your client’s biggest need – even if it is not the cheapest.”

    Too often, builders perceive the clients’ biggest need to be saving money or lowest price. Often, especially at the higher end of the market, as in your example, this is not the #1 need. Also, while many homeowners are focused on getting the most beautiful home for the best value, many more are prevention-focused. That is, they want to eliminate the risk of making the wrong decision (choosing the wrong contractor). For these homeowners, the ability to build a relationship and establish trust helps to minimize the homeowners perceived risk that he/she will make a bad decision.

    • Graeme November 12, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks for the additional comment.

      I think you are so right. Because a home buyer may only engage a contractor to build them a new home once, removing the risk of making a wrong choice has to be a major priority.

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