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Most contractors I talk to believe that sales in their neck of the woods is different. They believe their potential clients are more difficult to sell to than anywhere else in the country. This is seldom the case.

Many of them fall into the trap of letting the potential client qualify them. Instead, they should be qualifying the client.

When the potential client is qualifying you, they are asking the questions. They perceive you as being one of a group of people who can all do the same job, so their goal is to ask questions to find out if your price is the lowest. If you have not distinguished yourself from all the other companies they have called in, then they will naturally base their decision on price. It’s what anyone of us would do.

If you are on top of your sales game, you qualify the clients. You are soft and gentle about it but you ask the questions. You direct the customer through a series of steps to get the four basic questions answered. You show the customer at each step the difference between you and your company and the rest of the shade tree mechanics that might show up. You are not part of a group of people who can all do the same job – you become their contractor of choice. You set yourself as the standard that your potential client compares everyone else to. I cover this in our book, Profitable Sales, A Contractor’s Guide.

Want to know whether you are qualifying your clients or if they are qualifying you? The next time you leave a sales call, ask yourself, “Who asked the questions?” If they asked me a question, did I answer it or did I have a corresponding question that I asked them?

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