You are a legitimate and honest contractor who follows the rules. You carry the right insurance, you are licensed, you pay your employees legally, you hire legal citizens, you pull permits, you stand behind your work, you pay your taxes and your bills, you are part of a contractor organization and you are active in the community. All evidence points to the fact that you are a quality residential construction company.
A residential home owner calls you to assess and estimate a kitchen renovation project. You set up the appointment, show up on time and begin to ask some questions about the project. The homeowner greets you at the door with the arms folded. He leads you into the kitchen and says here it is. You ask some questions and try to find some common ground. You begin to sense that the owner is guarded. Their answers are cordial yet short and to the point. You try to ask questions that will allow you to understand exactly what they want before you can begin to recommend solutions. You feel like you're at the dentist pulling teeth and the owner is holding back. So the owner says please give me a price and let me know when you can start. You respond I have more questions and will need to know how you want to use the space, and of course what is your budget range. The home owner is reluctant to share. Why do home owners put up walls when contractors ask them questions relative to their projects? Why does it appear that they don't really trust contractors?
A possible explanation of this scenario can be found in the study of the how consumers view the reputation of service industries in the United States. According to the Consumer Federation of America The industries with the most complaints from consumers are home improvements and automotive services. Contractors and used car salesman types have been the most commonly complained about industries going back 10 years. So when a contractor shows up to see a homeowner he is viewed as a contractor and a salesman in one body. So what can a contractor who sells his own work do to earn the trust and confidence of the home owner?
The solution to this dilemma is solved by learning and using a consultative sales process. Professional sales training teaches contractors how to develop and ask questions to earn the trust and confidence of the potential customer.
Many contractors are good at building things but have not been exposed to the basic necessary training that is needed to win business from today's savvy and careful consumer. Contractors who learn how to use systems and best practices, consistent with the most successful contractor companies will earn the trust and confidence of the home owner. Professional consultative sales training will teach the contractor how to neutralize the home owner's distrust of the industry so that there is a mutual exchange of information between service provider and consumer.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership