My husband and I are having a new roof put on our house, and we called a few roofing contractors to get quotes.
The first two guys that came were young, maybe in their mid-20's. They were nice guys but seemed kind of non-chalant and relaxed about the whole thing, like we asked them to cut our lawn for $20. They gave vague answers to my questions, and their "quote" consisted of a few scrawled lines on a sheet of notebook paper. The price we got from them was the highest of all the contractors: $12,500
If I had to come up with a company slogan for them based on our interaction, it would be: Just give us the money and we'll slap something up there for ya!
The next contractor was a bit older and seemed more professional at first glance. But the more I talked with him, the more I got the distinct impression that he liked to cut corners as much as possible.
He started by saying that he didn't have to strip off the first layer of roofing, and that would save us 50% of the cost. This immediately raised a red flag in my mind because the roof on our house is 35 years old and extremely worn. In many areas, the plywood is warped and damaged and needs to be replaced. Yet this guy is willing to just "cover up" the problem with a new layer of shingles? That turned me off immediately.
And like the first two guys, this guy also left many of my questions unanswered, or tried to discourage me from having things done by saying, "OHHHHH no, that would cost a LOT of money, that's a LOT of work, you don't want to have that done..." In other words, HE didn't want to put in that much effort. His quote: $9,000
His company slogan: I will give you the fastest and cheapest roof you've ever had!
Next up was a man who obviously had an issue dealing with women. LOL :-)) Whenever I would ask a question, he would direct the answer to my husband. I mean, he wouldn't even LOOK at me! He seemed to think that home improvement projects only take place in Man World - No Women Allowed. In addition he seemed to be in a hurry to get out of there while we talked to him, like we were taking up his valuable time. His quote: $8,000
His slogan: Don't waste my time, especially if you are a woman.
Last but not least, we had one additional quote done.
Now pay close attention to the differences here:
This guy was probably between 40-50 years old, and has been in the roofing and remodeling business for 20+ years. He was organized, punctual, and professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about, and answered my questions directly. He even answered a few questions I had BEFORE I had a chance to ask them!
His quote was extremely detailed and also included a few extra things that the other companies didn't, like cleaning out our gutters and cutting some bigger vents in the overhang all around the house.
Everything about his attitude and demeanor suggested that he was a professional all the way. He also insisted that he needed to rip off the first layer of roofing because some of the plywood was damaged and it needed to be replaced. (THANK YOU! Someone who actually cares about quality!) He also said that since our roof was so worn and definitely needs to be replaced before it gets damaged much further, he would make our job a high priority and get it done within 2 weeks from the time we sign the contract. His quote: $9,850
Slogan: Professional, fast, high-quality work at fair prices.
Can you guess which company got our business?
I should also mention that this last company also had another bonus on their side: SOCIAL PROOF
Just a few months ago they replaced the roof on my brother's house, and he had nothing but good things to say about them. They showed up and did the work when they were supposed to, did a fantastic job, and completely cleaned up after themselves when they were done. But even without that personal endorsement I still would have been most impressed by them simply because of the way the owner conducted himself.
This whole experience has made me think twice about my business. How do my customers really see me? Am I inspiring confidence in them? Do I answer their questions before they ask them? Am I REALLY focused on serving their needs, or do I sometimes get too focused on convincing them that I have what they want?
It's not always about offering the lowest price or piling on a bunch of bonuses to increase the perceived value of your offer. It's about inspiring confidence in your customers that you (and your products) can meet their needs.
If you can do that successfully, you'll have no shortage of customers that are happy to give you their business!