The 1 Thing You Should Never Do As A Contractor

By: Julie Crisara

Simplicity is good, and although the home contracting industry has its complexities, here is one very simple rule to go by. If you had to boil down all of the tricks, tips and rules of running a successful home contracting business, there is one cardinal rule that rises above all the rest. In the same way that you don’t touch the electrified third rail in a subway, Don’t fail to give your customers options! In other words, always be offering them options!

A WORLD WITHOUT CHOICES?!

Imagine you walk into a super hardware store, you know, a giant, airplane hangar sized place with 20 aisles, each one way over your head and absolutely jammed with stuff. There’s electrical, plumbing, hand tools, power tools, wires, cables, lumber, gardening, siding, etc. etc, you name it. And an employee in an orange vest comes up and nudges you over to a checkout station, throws a couple 2×4’s, a claw hammer and a pack of chamois cloths on the conveyor belt and says “That’ll be $23.95”. “Huh?” you’d be thinking.

You just walked in to the store to choose from the thousands of items and this employee comes along and tells you exactly what you’re getting at exactly what price. That sounds like an eastern European country during the Cold War- not like the good old US of A, where we have choices and freedom, especially when it comes to our goods and services!

Neither you nor anyone you know would go back to a hardware store that operated even remotely similar to that.

So why do some people in the home contracting industry think it’s okay to similarly offer customers no choice?

If you don’t offer any options, choices or alternatives to your customers, it comes across as if you’re issuing a demand on them, laying down the gauntlet, putting them in a corner. People don’t like that feeling. You might think that they appreciate being told exactly what to do and not having to make up their mind, but a lot of people are so used to having choices that it seems crude and impolite to not be offered a variety of options for their products and services.

3 REALLY GOOD REASONS TO OFFER YOUR CUSTOMERS CHOICES

  • Offering choices allows customers who have greater needs, higher standards, or more disposable funds for home contracting services to choose an increased level of work and product quality, rather than just sticking with the minimum.
  • By choosing the level of service from a menu of different options, the customer can decide how long the work is guaranteed for and is likely to last and so forth.
  • By offering options, your company’s revenue and profits can only go up! No one can choose anything lower than when you offered one thing. But if offer options, they have the ability to choose a more premium solution at a higher price. Which means your sales can only go up, not down, and up they will go!

WORLD CLASS SERVICE STARTS WITH OPTIONS

If you were told that the platinum standard in home contracting (whether it’s plumbing, electrical or HVAC or any industry) is called ‘world class service,’ you would certainly aspire to offer that, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.

World class service truly starts with offering your customers options, because its part of what we call “Pure Motive Service”. That means putting the customer’s time and wellbeing first. It means going above and beyond with your research, your communication and your expertise. It means offering more than the home contractor who just skates by on the bare minimum. If that was you before, say sayonara!

CHOICES DON’T HURT, THEY HELP

By offering a customer options you are actually saying: “There are some different ways I can fix this problem for you. I will outline the different methods and parts that I can use. They are all valid fixes, but they also offer different levels of service. Whatever you choose, it’s 100% your choice.”

You see, that’s honest and generous. It’s not coercive or pushy. Everything is completely real and on the table. Customers like that and they respect it. Because you’re not assuming they want the most expensive option or the least expensive option. You know they are unique and special, but you’re not presuming to know exactly which level of service they want. Offer and they will let you know!

THE 3 TYPES OF CUSTOMERS

If we have to simplify and generalize about the customers you run across in the home contracting industry, we can say that there are 3 types. And it helps to understand this at the outset.

You have your economy people. You have your middle-of-the-road folks. And you have your premium consumers. That’s 3 distinct levels. When these people walk into a supermarket, an electronics store, or go to book a hotel – they gravitate toward their preferred level where they feel comfortable. If you only offer 1 out of the 3 general levels, then you risk having 2 out of the 3 types of customers “walk out” of your store, so to speak.

OFFERING THE RIGHT MIX OF CHOICES

Here’s a curveball: What if you offer 3 choices, an economy, a mid-level and a premium. But what if the specific, detailed choice you offer a customer at his or her level for some reason bothers them? They like the price point, but they just don’t like the actual fix and/or part you’re offering. It would be like if you went to a market and they had 3 kinds of cookies- economy, mid-level and premium cookies, but you hated the flavor or the type of cookie offered in your preferred price range.

So, what’s the solution you ask? Offer 6 options!

That’s right a half dozen options. Experts have analyzed this down to the most detailed science and found that 6 options, with 2 economy, 2 mid-level and 2 premium, achieves the sweet spot of satisfying the overwhelming majority of your customer base, whether it’s home contracting or any other industry.

THESE NUMBERS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND – AND EXCITE YOUR WALLET

We at ContractorSelling.com ran our own study a few years back, and used real customers, querying them about which service choice out of 6 they would use, showing them 6 different price points. Now remember, every single option would fix their problem- be it a leaky pipe, frayed wire or burned out condenser. The price points for the 6 different levels of service ran from $200 at the lowest to $1,500 at the highest and asked 100 people. Here are the total stats on what people chose…

  • 7% choose a $1500 option
  • 8% choose a $1200 option
  • 28% choose a $800 option
  • 46% choose a $600 option
  • 9% choose a $400 option
  • 2% choose a $200 option

That’s pretty incredible and should make you feel incredibly GOOD about offering 6 options to your customers. You will look more thorough, professional and confident. The best part is you will make a LOT MORE REVENUE.

According to these statistics, the total amount of revenue generated equals $74,100. If you only offered one option at the lowest level you net only $20,000. Even if your only price offered was $400, your total would be $40,000. The numbers here don’t lie. Trust customers with options and you will be pleasantly surprised at what they choose.

In addition, a much higher percentage of customers who’ve been offered 6 options will report absolute satisfaction with the process and they’re more likely to give positive reviews and spread great word of mouth.

SO HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR OPTIONS?

It does take experience, research and trial-and-error to determine the 6 perfect price points for your home contracting business services. We don’t expect you to be able to just wing it and make up numbers out of thin air. That won’t work!

The price points are very calibrated to what’s out there, what others are charging, etc. Luckily ContractorSelling.com is here to help you with that! Ask us for our previous article which reveals the science for figuring out your own price point options like a pro. Also, we’ve created an invaluable tool called Jobi, which helps you make these option sheets in a matter of seconds. Try a 7-day free trial of this awesome field service software, but visiting www.jobi.pro/trial.

Now that you understand the ultimate importance of offering your customers a variety of solid options (6, to be exact), a door has been opened to your home contracting business. Accomplishing this important step will create happier customers, greater revenue, and the pride that comes with giving world class service.