So you are a great builder. You know your stuff. But, when it comes to winning jobs you lose out – to a better looking or better presented company. Yet, their finished product is no better than yours (in some cases it’s not as good), and your price is about right.
So why do they win the jobs? Do customers really get taken in by appearances and presentation?
As do you! …and I can prove it. Imagine you are purchasing a truck and choosing between two that are identical in every way except that one is covered in mud and the other is spotlessly clean. Which would you choose? Guarantee you’d choose the bright and shiny one – even though both have the same performance characteristics. Am I right …or am I right?
There is no doubt. Appearances have a huge impact on purchasing decisions.
The truth is, we believe more of what we see than what we hear!
So, to help you even the odds, here are five things you can do to morph into that “bright and shiny” builder from whom your customers will happily purchase.
1 Your Vehicle
Your vehicle doesn’t need to be new to create a good impression (in some areas a new vehicle may even give the wrong impression). But it does need to be clean, tidy and in good repair.
You see, your vehicle may be the first thing your prospect sees.
So, take a look at it now. Does it show you care? That you pay attention to detail? Or does it indicate indifference? Are bits missing? Are there dents unrepaired? [Now, of course, if your prospect is an off roading fan, turning up in a dusty, battered and mean 4X4 may be just the thing!]
So, make it a weekly habit to clean and check your vehicles.
If you work mainly on the tools then you probably think of yourself as a builder. And you are – when you are on the tools.
But when you are in conversation with your prospect, prior to starting any building work, they need you to be someone else!
You see at this stage they do not need a builder. What they need is someone who will help them ask the right questions, and locate the right solutions. They need an advisor.
Moreover, because you are probably discussing their largest financial asset, they need to know you can be trusted! That you are a professional advisor.
So if you talk like an advisor, but you look like a tradesman, they may not believe you. Your appearance could be getting in the way! If the clothing you are wearing gives the wrong impression it can undo everything you say.
So, how do you present? How does a professional advisor dress?
3 Sales Materials
The only way your prospect can come to believe that you will do a quality job for them then (ie. in the future) is by observing the quality of the experience they have with you now – during your first meetings.
Your sales materials can say a whole lot about what they can expect. Poor quality materials could suggest that you might be happy to accept a lower quality standard of workmanship. Whereas, excellent quality materials suggest a higher quality standard of workmanship.
So, check out your brochures and forms. Do you feel proud of them?
Some inexperienced building company owners talk far too much about their company and its services. They think that this will convince their prospects to purchase. But…experienced building company owners simply ask a series of carefully thought out questions, that lead to a clearly defined problem for which a solution can then be found.
Question >> Problem >> Solution
The thing is, good questions unlock imagination, and imagination is best expressed visually.
When you have asked good questions you can produce a visual rendition of some possible solutions. This is much more powerful than simply taking notes and verbalising the solution.
Whereas if you do not visualise, then your idea of the solution may be quite different to what your prospect imagined. You may think you have heard them clearly, but until you produce a visual representation you will never really know.
So, ask and sketch, ask and sketch until you start finding your prospect saying, “Yes.” This way you will be being experienced by your prospect as a problem solver.
Here are some questions you can ask that open up the visual?
“Is this what you had in mind?”
“Does something like that look about right?”
“Can you picture this plan working?”
“If we could build something along these lines would that achieve your vision?
There is nothing that dents your prospect’s opinion of you more than having them stare at their watch, waiting for you to turn up. Or having them wait while you finish with someone else, or (worse still) talk on the phone!
In western culture it’s courteous to be a couple of minutes late, but it is rude to be much longer.
So, how do you ensure you are on time for meetings?
Remember …one of the main ways your prospect will learn about how you will treat them as a customer (during the project build) is how you treat them as a prospect (during the sales process). How you act now shows them that you are likely to act then.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready….here are 3 ways I can help you grow your building business:
1. Grab a copy of my free book
It’s a road map of a successful 15 minute sales call that’s guaranteed to increase your conversion rate. http://thesuccessfulbuilder.com/book-15-min-sales-call/
2. Join Trade Mates and connect with builders who are scaling too.
It’s our new Facebook community where smart builders learn to get more income, time and freedom. View our free business resources for builders. Ask questions of like minded business owners and business coaches. Give your knowledge and expertise to help others. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TradeMates/
3. Join Loft Members
If you’d like help to get off the tools, make more money and get your life back…just message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “LOFT MEMBERS” in the subject…tell me a little about your business and I’ll get you all the details.