Building Trust – Tips to Win Jobs and Close a Tough Sale

Written by | Business Insights

“Building trust is about helping homeowners overcome their fears.”

Our good friends at HomeAdvisor Pro know what it takes to make the most of every lead.  They recently published a blog post entitled How to Close a Tough Sale: Build Trust by Alleviating Customers’ Three Biggest Fears, which outlines the key steps to help homeowners “take that leap” to move forward with a job with you at the helm.  Below we build on how to overcome the top homeowner fears HomeAdvisor has identified:

They won’t get what they want

They won’t be charged a fair price

The job will take longer than promised or expected

If you help alleviate these fears and build a mutual trust, you are likely to win not just this job but any job they need done for years to come:

FEAR #1:  They won’t get what they want

As is the case with just about any new relationship, both you and the homeowner come to each other with “baggage”.  You have had experiences with difficult homeowners or have had jobs fall through.  The homeowner has worked with other service professionals, and chances are they’ve had situations that have run the gamut from fantastic to abysmal.  So coming into an initial meeting with you and your team, a homeowner may already be on the defensive.  They’re also often nervous–many homeowners have their own ideas about how the job can go but also know they don’t have all of the wisdom and experience a professional does.


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The first step is to listen to the homeowner.  Even if you’ve done similar jobs hundreds of times, listen for and note the differences in this one.  Document them so you won’t forget them.  Assuming you can deliver on what the homeowner has requested (or provide something that’s even better!), then make that clear in your estimate by itemizing the work that will be done and materials that will be used.

It also helps build trust if you can demonstrate that you’ve done similar jobs before, either through a gallery, customer quotes or a list of references the lead can call.

FEAR #2:  They won’t be charged a fair price

After you have clarified and agreed on the scope and particulars of the job, often the next point of discussion is price.  Very few homeowners have an unlimited budget, and many of them don’t do their research in advance.  Their fears of the cost of a job may be founded, or they may be completely off base.

In order to build trust in this situation, you can present the data to them.  There are tools that provide local market data on pricing like HomeAdvisor’s own True Cost Guide–not only can you base your pricing on what is within the competitive range for your market, you can also be transparent and share this data with the homeowner.


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By being transparent about your pricing, the homeowner knows that you are dealing with them in a fair manner and are trustworthy.

FEAR #3:  The job will take longer than promised

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.” –Jim Rohn

It’s true–time is the one truly irreplaceable resource, and your homeowners hold it sacred.  While they may be really eager to get work completed on their home, they’re probably equally worried that the job will stretch on for months and make their lives miserable.


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You can combat concerns about timing by providing references from previous customers, where you delivered on time or early.  And provide a detailed project plan as to how the project will be completed, with time estimates for each portion of the job.  For jobs that can be more variable, provide a range based on previous jobs.  By increasing clarity around timeframe, you also increase the trust your potential customer places in you.

Trust is the bedrock of many relationships and the service professional-homeowner bond is no different.  By generating trust in every interaction with a homeowner, you increase your chances of winning their business.

Last modified: March 3, 2017

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