A Guaranteed PriceBy Michael Stone
When selling construction services, quoting a guaranteed price protects homeowners from the price increases that happen with a too low price.
Educating on QualityBy Michael Stone
Home and building owners need to know that hiring the least expensive contractor often means compromising on quality.
Sales: Setting Ground RulesBy Michael Stone
Michael shares a few situations you’ll run into when selling construction-related services that provide the opportunity to set ground rules for the relationship.
Sales Issues: Leaving Your PaperworkBy Michael Stone
When a prospective client “wants to think about it,” should you leave your paperwork? What can you do to close the sale?
Sales: Are You There to Help?By Michael Stone
When selling, are youhere to find out how much money you can make, or to provide a service and help?
Doing Things RightBy Michael Stone
Michael shares a valuable tool that will improve both your sales and your relationships.
Should I Change My Markup If I’m Not Making Sales?By Michael Stone
Should you change your markup method if you aren’t making sales? Don’t spend hours fiddling with numbers; invest the time in your sales skills.
It’s All About Sales: Gaining a CommitmentBy Michael Stone
Can delayed job starts impact material prices and profitability? Not if you gain a commitment first. It’s all about the sales process.
Beliefs That Limit Your ProfitBy Michael Stone
Owning and operating a construction business requires a strong will and self-direction, but those qualities can also lead you to hold on to beliefs that limit your profit.
Paying a Salesperson: Commission on Sales, not ProfitBy Michael Stone
If you employ a salesperson to help you sell something, you need to pay them for their services. I am a firm believer in paying sales people by commission
Price Proposal DeadlinesBy Michael Stone
All price proposals need a deadline because you never know when material and labor costs will increase rapidly.
Construction Sales: Make Time CountBy Michael Stone
Construction sales take time and your time is valuable. Avoid these common time-wasters when selling construction services.
Design Agreements and the BudgetBy Michael Stone
The purpose of a design agreement is to get a commitment from your client to design the project so you don’t have to do the design for free. How do you keep the design within the budget?
Construction Websites that Generate LeadsBy Michael Stone
A construction website should be a lead generating asset. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if it doesn’t generate leads it’s a waste of time and effort.
Lowball Pricing in ConstructionBy Michael Stone
It’s not unusual to find a contractor who sells by deliberately underpricing or underbidding jobs and making up the difference with change work orders.
Remodeling Sales: Setting the BudgetBy Michael Stone
A business owner in the UK asked a question that illustrates that remodeling sales challenges are the same regardless of your location.
You Have Better Things to Do than EstimateBy Michael Stone
Getting a commitment from potential clients is critical if you want to save yourself a ton of time and work putting together an estimate that won’t go anywhere. You have better things to do with your time.
The Sales Call: Budget and DesignBy Michael Stone
Budget doesn’t need to be a major worry during the design and build of a project if you handle it properly during the sales call.
Four Diamonds of CommunicationBy Michael Stone
Sales is about communicating and interacting positively with others. Those skills make life easier in any delicate conversation.
Borrowing JacksBy Michael Stone
I recently had to face what I thought would be an uncomfortable personal conversation. I fussed all morning, then went to visit the person involved.
Clear Sales Communication; It’s Your ResponsibilityBy Michael Stone
I want to share a recent phone conversation with a contractor concerning a problem they were having with a client.
Hiring a SalespersonBy Michael Stone
I’m a firm believer in treating salespeople well. When they’re treated well, they’ll sell. When they sell, you win.
Let’s Discuss an Acceptable Hourly Rate . . .By Michael Stone
This note is a painfully perfect example of why you shouldn’t provide details on your pricing.
Words from an Expert on Hiring ContractorsBy Michael Stone
A contractor sent us an online article written by a real estate investor with the purpose of educating you on “how to develop a fair relationship with your contractor.”
Insurance Quotes – Getting PaidBy Michael Stone
Insurance work can be good business, but it can also waste your time if the insurance company is playing the three bids game.
On Politely & Confidently Qualifying LeadsBy Todd Milton
A guest article: How do you avoid going out on sales calls to look at jobs for folks who obviously do not qualify to purchase from your company?
Missing the SaleBy Michael Stone
Is there anything you can do about the sales you miss?
Promoting Your Business: The County FairBy Michael Stone
It’s summer, and that means community gatherings for people wanting to have fun. In our area, the main event is the county fair. I’m confident there is a similar event in your area.
Focusing On PriceBy Michael Stone
“The #1 reason I lose jobs is ‘your price is too high.’ What am I doing wrong?”
Spare TopicsBy Michael Stone
It’s time to catch up on some spare topics I have lying around. These aren’t earth shaking but they can and will impact your bottom line.
Sales: Have Options ReadyBy Michael Stone
Give clients options when you quote the work they want done.
Transparency and PartnershipsBy Michael Stone
What do you do when your partner is listening to someone who knows nothing about construction, but still thinks they knows what’s best?
First Time Homeowner, Uncommunicative BuilderBy Michael Stone
We’re aware that homeowners also visit our website. This letter is from a first-time homeowner who’s ready to buy, but his builder isn’t cooperating.
Design Agreement FeesBy Michael Stone
The last thing I want to do is cause a family problem, but apparently I did with one family.
Homeowner Advice: Some Misguided, Some CorrectBy Michael Stone
Flaky contractors make us all look bad. But not all advice given to homeowners to protect themselves from fraud is good advice.
Marketing Your BusinessBy Brian Javeline
Don’t come up with excuses to not be marketing your business. Eventually you will be in the worst position of all, and that is when you say “I need quick help to get my phone to ring”.
You Can’t Ask Too Many QuestionsBy Michael Stone
When something seems amiss, don’t stop asking questions. A contractor shares his experience on a recent sales call.
Give Them What They Need to Make a DecisionBy Michael Stone
Clients are changing, and if you want to stay in the game and make something more than a living, you’ll need to change with them.
Design Agreements Gone AwryBy Michael Stone
We discussed design agreements last week; today we’re going to look at them from another angle. The first step is setting the budget with the client.
Protecting Design WorkBy Michael Stone
A contractor who has designed projects asked how to protect his design work.
Training an ArchitectBy Michael Stone
A contractor we’ve known and worked with for many years sent us a note about his experience working with a new architect. Ideally, the architect would have been working with the contractor from the beginning so he could have educated the client as well.
Share Your CardsBy Michael Stone
Business cards are a simple, inexpensive way to provide everyone you come in contact with the information they need to reach you.
Avoiding a Potential Pain in the AssetsBy Michael Stone
A good guy we know was recently working with a potential client when he ran into some concerns.
Canvassing: Connect with the NeighborhoodBy Michael Stone
One of the more unpopular things I recommend is canvassing the neighborhood around your jobs. It’s unpopular because it’s misunderstood.
Avoiding Jobs That Don’t FitBy Michael Stone
It’s smart to specialize on the work that makes you the most money. It’s even better if you know contractors who can pick up the leads outside your specialty.
Getting the CommitmentBy Michael Stone
A contractor in Hawaii sent in a note asking about a few sales issues.
Unrealistic Price ExpectationsBy Michael Stone
If they called you, doesn’t that mean they need or want the work done?
Family FightsBy Michael Stone
The topic is uncomfortable but if you’re involved in residential sales, you’ll see family disagreements. It helps to know what to do.
Make Every Possession CountBy Michael Stone
Many contractors who write us are having a problem with their business, and in many cases, it’s because the contractor has lost focus on what’s important.
Clients Working on Their JobBy Michael Stone
Should you let a client work on the job they’ve hired you and your company to build?