10 Tips to Help Contractors Build Trust with Wary Renovators

Article contributed by our friends at BuildDirect.com – these tips will give well prepared contractors the edge they need to secure projects

As a contractor, you know how difficult it can be to impress a novice renovator who isn’t knowledgeable about the project, and is uncomfortable as a result. It’s an unfortunate reality of life: you’re a stranger in their home, and in their mind, that means they could be overpriced for the job you do – purely because they’re not sure how you’re going to do it.

Wary renovators are just another hurdle to navigate on the road to sustained, successful business, and the ten tips below will go a long way towards ensuring your pitching process is as simple and hassle-free as possible. When you follow these steps, potential customers will understand and recognize the fact that you are serious about their renovation, respect their home and are interested in completing the job in a timely and satisfactory manner. They are the best way to establish yourself in the marketplace as a good operator.

1. Bring a portfolio

Either online examples or pictures will do. When a potential customer can reference your work with specific past examples, it’s going to put you in a strong position to secure their business. It will prove you know what you’re doing, and that you’re confident of getting the job done right.

2. Give references

Ask satisfied customers for reference approval, and use this with future customers. References prove not only that you’re able to do your job effectively, but also that you’re personable, friendly and courteous in a stranger’s home, and adhere to strict working conditions. For some people, this is the paramount concern, so ensure you mention it, even if it doesn’t come up in conversation.

3. Bring your license

Most states require a license for renovation jobs costing over $500, so let the customer see yours. This may not seem like a big deal to them at the time and a mere formality to you, but if you don’t offer proof when you first meet the customer, question marks can begin to take shape in their mind. You want to avoid this scenario.

4. Reassure the customer that you are insured

If you bring up liability insurance and workers’ compensation unprompted, this will put a customer at ease. They will know that, regardless of unforeseen issues, both their home, and you and your team, are covered.

5. Take the customer through a detailed quote and payment process

Ensure they are well informed and comfortable with what you are proposing in writing. You don’t want a situation where you are being blamed for extra charges – this will doubtless lead to a negative review and an uncomfortable working experience.

6. Prove your association membership

This will show the customer that you are serious about keeping up with industry trends and accountable. If you’re in touch with the market and willing to take responsibility for the work you do, this will fill a customer with confidence, and encourage both repeat business and referrals.

7. Address potential challenges upfront

Let the customer know about any issues with the project and outline the cost, if any, of these. Just because the customer hasn’t identified any issues doesn’t mean you should keep quiet about them in an attempt to keep them happy. Be firm and clear about what needs to be done.

8. If you have a rating or ranking in your region, let the customer know – with proof

This will copper-fasten your reputation as a good operator. Create a profile with feedback on popular review sites so customers can find you e.g. Yelp.com, Pro.com, TopInstallers.com. This will show that you’re up to date and reliable.

9. Qualify your customer

Not every customer will be the same, so approach a novice in a different manner to a seasoned DIYer or renovator. Some customers will need information on, and visibility of, products while others will not be receptive to being lectured about a product. Ensure you qualify your customer.

10. Show you care

Empathy is the key to good communication, so let the customer know that you truly care about them and their project, and that you want to help them make it the best it can be. This is a crucial component of the job, and a true reflection of your worth as a professional.

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