Contractors get a bad rap because so many don’t show up to jobs on time…..or at all. Luckily, you can set yourself and your company apart by placing importance on establishing trust with your customers from the first time you meet with them. This is an extremely important part of building a successful business in any industry.
1, Explain your price points when questioned.
Nothing is more aggravating than having a potential customer call your pricing into question. However, rather than becoming defensive, you can turn this into an opportunity to establish trust and professionalism by explaining to your potential clients exactly why your prices are what they are. Discuss the quality of the materials that you use, and the value of your craftsmanship. Show them testimonials from satisfied customers.
If a potential client doesn’t budge after this or they continue to insist that they can get another contractor to install their floors for a cheaper price, it is usually best to simply walk away––it’s usually not worth it to work with clients like this because they will likely lead to problems down the line.
2. Put things in writing. Create contracts.
Contracts protect you and also give you more authenticity in the eyes of your customers because then you must commit to actually completing the work you have set out to do.
Contracts place more value on the services you provide. A contract will give you legal recourse if your clients decide not to pay you. It can also help you establish a sense of trust with your customers, because they know that they are protected as well and can rest assured that you’re not going to run off with their money.
3. Manage expectations and educate your customers.
It is much better to manage expectations up front than to apologize (although owning up to your mistakes is also on this list because it’s an important part of running an honest business.)
Set reasonable expectations up front to minimize callbacks and establish the fact that you are an honest contractor in the eyes of your clients. Don’t overextend yourself or promise things that you cannot actually do, or set unreasonable timelines for yourself––you will only set yourself up for failure, which will diminish your trustworthiness.
Setting reasonable expectations could involve letting your customers know that there may be gaps in their flooring during the winter, and telling them how they could minimize these gaps by maintaining proper humidity levels. It also involves letting your clients know how to correctly clean their floors and setting the expectation that they will have to have their floors refinished after a certain amount of time.
4. Have company uniforms made up for yourself and your employees.
Uniforms help you build a more professional image. Having yourself and your employees show up to give estimates and to work on projects in uniforms will reinforce the professionalism of your brand and create a stronger brand identity. Uniforms help to create a much more trustworthy image than having your subcontractors and employees look like they’ve just rolled out of bed.
5. Apologize when you make mistakes. Be open and accountable.
Mistakes happen, and the worst thing you can do as a business professional is to become defensive when it comes to things like installation mistakes or underestimating the actual cost of the job.
Apologizing sincerely will reinforce your professionalism and may even help you turn a disaster into a success story.