By Terry Begue
How do you land the job when you’re the highest bidder? This is the one question I’m asked more than any other. In order to justify paying a higher price for your service, your customers need to see that you and your company are better than the competition.
The expression “Hey, it’s just business – there’s nothing personal” is nonsense. Every sale is emotional, and every sale is personal. Before people select your business, they must first buy you. That’s the very core of selling.
Here are three things that will give you plenty of business without cutting your price.
1. Be present
This means to be physically and psychologically present to your customers. Many customers hire me because I take the time to discuss the job. I tell them what we’ll do, why we’ll do it, and what products we’ll use.
Technology and impersonal communication have replaced face-to-face meetings. But that a mistake. If I just drop off the bid and don’t follow up, I get about two out of every 10 jobs. But when I meet with my prospects, build rapport, and answer their questions, I get about seven out of 10 jobs! There’s no substitute for human interaction.
2. Understand buyer motives
When you’re on a sales call, you’re “on stage.” Your prospects are looking for evidence of your integrity. You’re being judged and you must be able to answer the one big question that’s on every prospect’s mind: Is this person really going to deliver what is promised?
Three simple things that give clues that speak to your character and can have a huge effect on your potential customers:
- Return calls promptly
- Be on time or call if you’re late
- Spend twice the time listening as you do talking
These small gestures say, “You are important to me.” Remember that you are in the relationship business first. Any gesture that tells customers they’re important has the potential to convince them to hire you.
3. Believe in yourself
If prospects don’t know anything about you or your company, choosing to hire you is a risk. Prospects must believe in you, but you must first believe in yourself. You must be completely convinced that your services provide 10 times the value of your fee. Develop and project an unshakable confidence that you will deliver your promises. If you don’t believe it, why should they?
When I started my painting business, I lacked confidence and didn’t like selling. Crafting a sale just felt manipulative or sleazy. But my business went from awful to awesome when I started looking at selling in a different way.
I began thinking of it as simply knowing what customers want and believing I could deliver a service better than anyone. That was the year I quadrupled my income!
When your customers like you and trust you, they’ll hire you. They will use you again and also provide references. But the best part? They’ll pay your price! The real benefit is that you won’t feel like you’re selling and that they’ll be completely satisfied.
This article was written by Terry Begue, a professional painting contractor based in Ohio. It was originally published in PPC magazine. Visit the Sherwin-Williams contractor website or swlatino.com for more information on products, application techniques, pro discounts and building your painting business.