“Hi. We’re going to start a project and we were hoping you could come over and give us a quote.”
Everyone gets this call. You probably have two of these voicemails on your phone right now.
What you may not realize is that this is your prospect’s attempt at setting the terms.
They are *gasp* acting in their own interests. But, are their interests what’s best for your business?
Everyone acts in their own interests
Since we all act in our own self-interest it shouldn’t surprise us when a customer calls and wants to dictate the rules.
If you’re a keyboard contractor on social media, you undoubtedly will refuse to negotiate or stray from your terms under any circumstances.
Then you let everyone on Facebook know just how devout you are to your own rules.
But real contractors operate real businesses in the real world. How can you handle this?
The main way that we get ourselves in trouble is that we haven’t prepared a response.
They catch you awkwardly and you stumble through your words only to end up doing whatever they say.
But there’s really no excuse for this because you are the professional and you do this all of the time.
So, you need to be prepared for what the customer/prospect throws at you.
Here are some common situations that a customer may want to control:
- Collecting the down payment
- Setting a payment schedule and terms
- Getting a contract signed
- Determining who buys what and when
- The work hours
And, “yes, can you please drop what you are doing and give me a bid?”
Be prepared! Obviously, you already have your list of qualifying questions that you ask when they call for the first time, right?
Figure out how you are going to handle these scenarios then do it every time.
When you deliver a written estimate, attach a payment schedule to it that includes the down payment.
This way, you are striking first and setting the terms.
Then they know that to get on your schedule they need to pay the down payment.
If you don’t have a system, you default to your customer’s system
Now, what do you do when they push back?
When they don’t want to pay $X amount up front how will you respond? Hopefully, you’ve practiced some questioning strategies at a minimum.
If you aren’t prepared then you are going to do what they want which is what’s best for them.
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes
For example, just last week I saw that someone posted in the Tile Money Facebook group that their customer didn’t want to pay an 80% down payment.
Now, if the payment schedule pitched by the contractor had a more fair distribution of the money this objection may not have come up at all.
Set your terms so that they are fair. You’re less likely to receive objections if they are viewed as fair for both parties.
The plan of action is:
- Figure out which common scenarios you run into where your customer wants to dictate the terms
- Have your own system set up and implement it for every customer
- Be ready to defend your system when you get pushback
Then find something to do with all that money you are raking in as a result of having a system and dictating the terms.