In the past 3 weeks, I’ve heard from six different remodelers who are very concerned because clients are accepting proposals that are priced significantly lower than their own. It can be devastating to one’s morale to have worked for weeks on a detailed remodeling project proposal only to be told that they’re giving the project to the lowest bidder.
This is almost always a bad decision. I’ll bet every one of you can tell a story about a client who did the same thing only to find that change orders were rampant, customer service was nil, and the entire experience was a nightmare. Clients that choose the lowest price rarely get the “deal” they expect.
A reporter for a midwest publication recently called me to comment on this trend and I told him something I don’t think he expected: “Haven’t these homeowners ever heard of the saying — If it looks too good to be true, it probably is? The homeowners are causing a great deal of the problem because they’re pushing remodelers to cut so much that they can’t deliver the experience that they know clients expect.”
I mean really, what do homeowners expect when they accept a proposal that is tens of thousands of dollars lower than the next?- in many cases, that amount is lower than the legitimate costs of remodeling professionals. Do they really think that the costs for these jobs vary that much from company to company? Seeing significantly lower numbers should be a huge red flag to the consumer. But in many cases, they see the projected savings and all reason goes to the side.
So, one important tactic to overcome this trend is to become an outstanding sales person — someone who knows how to communicate the value of the job, the value of a great customer experience, and the value of working with an established, knowledgable company.
What have you done to improve your selling skills lately? Our Remodelers Advantage members are sharing information, listening to sales training teleseminars, participating in webinars, and searching out the information they need to really ramp up the effectiveness of their sales ability. Many are participating in Sandler Sales Training or other professional sales training programs. At Remodelers Advantage, we’re putting more and more emphasis on marketing, and sales throughout our community.
Improving sales skills is not a silver bullet and it’s not going to have an impact overnight, but it’s time to realize that selling skills (not aggressive, hard selling techniques, but consultative, relationship-building tactics) are going to be your strongest tool to overcome the bad apples who are consistently underpricing the market. That is, until they go out of business.