RCS Influencer Alison LaValley shares great tips from NRCA contactor members on how they sell at higher prices.
Often, the impediment to selling at higher prices is the perception of value. The question is … what do YOU do to justify the higher price that your customers perceive as something worth paying more to obtain?
A sampling of NRCA contractor members were asked just that: What is the one thing that allows you to successfully sell at a higher price that your competition? And, at the center of every conversation, was the perception of providing greater value … on every job, including these 10 Tips:
- Insist on having an opportunity to present to the decision makers; otherwise, you’re just in the commodity business competing on price.
- Be knowledgeable and honest. Your reputation and history will help you up-sell to customers who want a quality job, done on time, within budget, safely, with little interruption.
- Offer a good, better and best approach. Most of your competitors will be caught up in the good or better scenarios and this will allow you to offer something they might not have thought of.
- Be the first or last to deliver your quote. If you’re first, you can set the expectation of your customer by being professional and detailed in your proposal. Discuss items touched upon in your pre-quote conversation. If you’re last, you have an opportunity to have an open conversation about the other bids and what makes you different and better.
- Go above and beyond. On residential jobs, in addition to cleaning and raking up around the house in the Fall months, consider raking the customer’s entire yard, if daylight permits. You will get a lot of compliments when the homeowner comes home to a new roof and a raked, leaf-free lawn.
- Provide complementary inspections accompanied by thorough professional reports with photos detailing deficiencies and expected longevity. These reports routinely lead to orders for the associated repairs.
- Bundle services. Offer your roof quote with a roof maintenance plan or quarterly inspections; this keeps you in front of your customer after the sale and positions you best for their next need.
- Ask whom you are bidding against. This tells you the validity of the bid. If you are bidding against other “good” contractors in your area, this means you may need to check your bid to make sure there were no mistakes made, or you will have to negotiate with the customer to obtain the work.
- Don’t badmouth your competitors; however, if you are unfamiliar with the contractor who has submitted the lowest price, mention that fact to the customer. It puts doubt in their mind about the quality of the competing bid.
- Understand the consequences of taking work with low margins. Do you really need the work to keep crews busy or are you just trying to pump up revenue numbers to make you look better on paper? There is a big difference between those two perspectives.
Although you will always encounter customers who may be “penny-wise and pound foolish,” it’s up to you to differentiate yourself and offer something they perceive as greater value for which it makes sense to them to pay for.
Alison L. LaValley, CAE, serves as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Development for the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), as well as Executive Director for the National Roofing Legal Resource Center (RNRLC). See her full bio here.