The most expensive contractor (part 4 of 4)

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This is the last of a 4-part series on pricing from Mike Gorman. It costs more to deliver quality work. If it costs more, you should charge more.

How Does This Fit Together?

A lot of homeowners are open to understanding the costs and benefits of a higher-quality job, but only if we are willing and able to inform them. Depending on whose research you read, as few as 10%–15% of consumers use price as their primary deciding factor. I would like to propose that most people will rely on price as the deciding factor only when they lack other ‘information’ that would help them to decide which contractor they trust with their expectations. If we could educate or inform prospects to understand what goes into a good furnace or A/C system, a good window or insulation installation, they would know what to look for should they undertake the burden of collecting bids. At the same time, they might be less inclined to do so. How do we do that? Read on.

Ten Steps to the Dotted Line

  1. Return the phone call promptly.
  2. Spend some time with the prospects on the phone and use a script of carefully crafted conversation points.
  3. Make an appointment with all the decision-makers when possible (but only after getting a commitment from to pay for testing if appropriate).
  4. Keep the appointment to the minute, go to the kitchen table and be a good guest.
  5. Build trust and rapport before you do anything else, then turn the conversation to the project at hand.
  6. Spend time listening to the homeowner to learn what is important to them – feel their pain!
  7. Explore the house with great interest and take copious notes as you demonstrate how the home functions as a system and inform them of possible solutions.
  8. Estimate the price of the best solution and create your proposal on the spot, exceeding the prospects’ expectations.
  9. Deliver the price (or budget) being sure to emphasize how your solution resolves those important issues your learned about by listening (see #6).
  10. Collect a deposit and cement the sale by assuring the customer that he or she has made some wise choices.

To summarize, if you follow these steps, using some of the techniques described previously, your path to the ink on the contract will be as efficient as the work you perform to install the job—and as efficient as you intend your client’s home to be (in the case of the Performance contractor).

If you don’t present a proposal and ask for the order you can’t possibly win the job. To be more certain of winning the job, the proposal must be delivered person to person with all of the decision-makers present. Contractors who ask for the order on the first visit win more jobs! Understand that you don’t want every job, only the job that creates a happy customer and a profit for the you.

It’s not impossible to be the most expensive contractor. Think of this as a process and work on it continuously. Someone has to be the most expensive, it might as well be you! After years of experience and observation, I have observed that contractors who charge more have happier customers. Go figure!

Part 1, Efficient Estimating
Part 2, “Determine a Fair Price
Part 3, “Building Your Estimate

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About the Author:

Mike Gorman delivers seminars and provides telephone and on-site coaching with clients ranging from government agencies, to Fortune 500 companies and individual contractors regarding his training system; The P Process. Contact Mike by email at:, call 1-800-218-5149 or visit his web site at

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