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A question came in recently:

I realize that many folks “look for quotes” – in fact, most of the places that provide such advice advise homeowners to do just that. I also realize that I should be focused on my business and how it relates to the homeowner, and not be concerned with “the competition”.

As a relatively new contractor, how do I learn to win over prospects that are “looking for quotes”… or do I just move on to the next one?

This is an opportunity most contractors blow. When the customer lets it be known that they are going to get 2 or more quotes, they blow the potential customers away.

There is a better way. When a customer says to you, “We are getting three bids”, consider it an invitation to put on your sales hat and set your company as the standard to which all others are compared.

Ask this question:

You: “You are getting other quotes?”

C: “Yes, it’s good business.” or, “Yes, we are actually getting quotes from a number of companies.”

You: “What is your criteria for picking your contractor?”

Their answers may vary here, but most will come up with two, maybe three things they are looking for, such as “We are looking for a company that will build us a good job at a fair price.”

Now, set yourself as the standard of measure.

You: “Do you want a company that will start and complete your job on time, get the inspections in a timely manner so you can finish your job and move on with your life?”

Make sure you ask at least three, preferably four or five questions like this one to get them thinking about what they want from their contractor. You want to get about 3 to 5 “yes” answers to your questions in a row. It not only helps you become the standard, but it also gets your customer used to telling you yes. Then tie it all together:

You: “Mr./ Mrs. Customer, all these things I have just mentioned are but a few of the benefits you will get by selecting us as your contractor of choice. We guarantee your satisfaction with our people, our work and your job when it is done. If that is the kind of company you are looking for, rest assured we do all these things, and we do them very well. We have as many references as you may wish to call, and if you want to go and see some of our jobs, that can be arranged very quickly. That is the kind of company you are looking for, isn’t it?”

This is a powerful sales tool if used correctly, and you will know if you have done it right when the talk about getting three bids goes away.

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