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Level Up • Winning work with a little psychology • Andrew Houston

January 10, 2017 | By Andrew Houston

February 1, 2017 – “I want to thank you for your time today. We’ll let you know our decision as soon as possible. We have two other contractors coming by to price the job this week. We want to ensure we get the right contractor at the best price. I’m sure you understand.” Sound familiar?

This scenario happens to contractors daily. Whether the prospect says it out loud or not, it’s likely you have competition waiting just around the corner to snatch the job you just quoted.

Fast-forward to next week and you discover you didn’t win the job. What does that mean for you, your team and your company? Time wasted when you could’ve been doing 100 other tasks? Or could this mean your guys don’t get paid for the next month?

The question I get asked the most is: “How do you beat the competition, beyond just price? What factors can influence prospects to choose me?”


It’s amazing what a few small tweaks made to your quoting process can do. Sometimes you just need to implement a little psychology.

TIP #1
Be the last contractor to quote the job

Think about it: when prospects review three contractors, on average, over the span of a week or two, who are they most likely to remember? When you’re the first or second contractor to show up at their door, they’re not going to hire you on the spot; they’ve already committed to seeing all three to compare price and fit.

I’ll bet you they will remember the last one they met, so that’s who you want to be. Being last also gives you leverage as to what the other guys were quoting— some prospects will open up just enough to give you insight and an upper hand to position yourself beyond price.

TIP #2
Help the prospect choose you
Set yourself up for success—leverage your credentials and experience to wow the prospect. Give them a checklist for finding the perfect contractor. Not only does this impress the prospect, it also showcases your confidence, too. It gets the client to rate your competition against you such that you’re the guaranteed winner—especially when you’re the contractor who can answer “Yes” to all of the questions you picked for them. Some example questions:

• Is the contractor licensed?
• Is the contractor insured?
• Are all employees bondable?
• Does the contractor have references?
• Does the contractor have a quality guarantee?
• Does the contractor promise cleanliness?
• Is the contractor rated well by the Better Business Bureau?

TIP #3
Be open to questions

You want to showcase your knowledge and let prospects know you’re there to help. Ask about their concerns, wants and desired outcome. Be sure to connect on a personal level so they see you as someone who wants to do the job and do it well.

Make a good, lasting impression
You’ll notice none of the tips above have involved price, yet their impact can be huge.

Now Rewind to your last quote: what would you do differently? Would you be more confident in landing the job now that you have some methods for beating the competition, beyond just price?

Let’s pretend we can redo the scenario from the beginning. You visit a couple’s home. You’ve ensured you booked the last possible date to come by and quote. You connect with them on a personal level; you’re friendly, courteous and understand their needs. You convince them you care. And, before you go, you hand them your “How to Choose a Contractor” checklist, along with your quote and some information about your company.

Once the prospect reviews your documents, they’ll be wowed by your thoughtfulness and ability to go the extra mile. The amount of effort required to win jobs this way is minimal—just print out the checklist, be on time, be friendly, and make a great impression.

Some contractors have doubled their conversion rates and simultaneously increased their profits with a “How to Choose a Contractor” checklist. Visit how-to-beat-the-competition.gr8.com to download a checklist version created for you by Profit for Contractors.

Andrew Houston is the owner and founder of Profit for Contractors. He has been consulting to trades business owners for nearly a decade, helping them improve their business skills so they can achieve their personal and business goals. A graduate of George Brown College, Andrew achieved Industrial Controls Licensed Electrician as well as Electronics Engineering Technologist. Visit www.profitforcontractors.com.

— Don’t forget to check out Andrew’s other Tradie Tip videos, located on our YouTube Channel, and CLICK HERE to check out some of our energetic webinars with Andrew. This column is also appearing in the February 2017 edition of Electrical Business.

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