Don’t Lose a Job Because You’re Not the Cheapest!


Times are tough out there. It seems like every man and his dog are running their own operation and undercutting you. What do you do? Do you lower your prices, devaluing your abilities and reducing your profit, or do you stick to your guns and show people why you’re worth the higher price?

If you choose the latter, here is how to do it.

Be on time!

This means if the meeting starts at 8:30 am, get there a tad earlier! If this means going through the drive-through, instead of having brekkie at McDonald’s, so be it!

For a lot of clients, punctuality will be a massive determining factor in who they pick for the job. An easy way to win instant brownie points is by being on time and getting things completed by the time you said. Whether it’s turning up to a meeting, sending out a quote or invoice, or simply sticking to schedule, make sure you stick to your word.

Ultimately, this all boils down to your professionalism and mindset. If this means, you need to do a complete 180 and change how you operate, do it! Competition is tight these days, so being tardy is no longer acceptable.

Build a relationship

We all love a good yarn and as tradies, most of us can talk under water. So use this to your advantage. One of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competition is by building a strong relationship with the clients.

People prefer to hire tradies they trust and who they have a good relationship with. So from your very first encounter, take the time to foster this. Funnily enough, the best way to create this is similar to what your mum told you as a kid.

Be polite and respectful when you meet the client. First impressions are everything, so answer the phone in a professional manner, show genuine interest and enthusiasm in the project and the client’s needs and try not to drop too many f-bombs.

Secondly, respect the worksite, especially if it’s someone’s home. Take your boots off at the door, watch out for kids and clean-up as you go.

Lastly, look the part! If you’re showing up to inspect the site and provide a quote, try not to rock up in a dirty work shirt or in stubbies. If this means keeping a spare shirt and pants in the truck, it’s worth it.

Do you know exactly what the client wants?

This is key, take the time to fully understand what the client wants to achieve and the motives behind it. Not only, will this help you get a complete picture of the project but it will also help to build trust.

In order to do this, make sure you listen and are fully engaged when you’re scoping the project. Make sure you ask the client, what their biggest priorities are and what the pressure points are.

Having a complete understanding of the client’s needs and wants will allow you to come up with a plan that will produce the outcome they desire.

So take the time to ask, what’s most important, is it the quality? What is their budget? What is the timeframe for the job?

From this, you will be able to gauge what you can push back on and what is non-negotiable. From your point-of-view, it will also help you understand if the job is worth taking or not.  

Educate and explain the job

As part of the inspection and consultation period, make sure you outline exactly what will go into the job.

Remember you are the expert, chances are the closest they have got to being a builder is replacing the light bulbs or going to Bunnings for a snag. So provide your expert advice, even if you don’t believe you’ll get the job or their wishes are unachievable.

A good way to do this is to sit down with the client after you have inspected the job or provided a quote. At this point, it’s a good opportunity to talk about the finer details, what you are thinking and any additional information.

View this as a chance to strengthen your relationship, the client will appreciate your input and should value your expert opinion. Also if you don’t win the job and shit hits the fan, you’ll be the first person they call.

In today’s climate, competition is tough. In any given niche there are countless businesses, who are all vying for limited work. In order to be successful and keep the work rolling in, you will need to sell, not only your business’ abilities but also yourself.

Another extra little tip is to have a good company presence on social media. A lot of people will use social media sites, like Facebook, to check out tradies before giving them a call. So make sure you use your social pages to highlight your excellent work, testimonials or another value-adding piece of content and not your Saturday’s at the pub!

For a lot of people, the price is the biggest pressure point, however, there are ways around that. If the prospective client is shopping around, and you are not the cheapest options, you will need to show them why you are worth the extra couple bucks. So why should they choose you?

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