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Professional Contractor Resource: Addressing Customer Fears

by Guest Post on Jan 31, 2011

It is important to consider the psychology behind how prospective customers select a contractor. If you have a better understanding of your potential clients and how they approach the decision making process, you are better equipped to attract their business. My research in this area points to an over-arching theme of consumer fear. The prospects are anxious because, to them, a home remodel is a really big deal. If you are selected, they will pay you a lot of money to do some pretty scary things (well, it’s scary to them) to their largest personal asset. Find ways to address this fear, and you will provide them with a sense of comfort and attract more business. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

  • Be patient and answer questions. Question dodging is a clear sign to the buyer that something’s not right.
  • Be knowledgeable about the process and give them a realistic cost job breakdown.
  • Provide glowing references.
  • Be insured and licensed (when appropriate) and be ready to present relevant certifications upon request.
  • Be punctual to appointments. When you are late, the customer may get that sinking feeling that something’s not “right”. A little bit of doubt can quickly snowball into full-blown distrust.
  • Do not use high-pressure sales tactics. This will trigger the buyers' fight or flight instinct… Either way, you lose. It is best to present yourself as a knowledgeable ally. Act as though you don’t have to sell hard because your reputation speaks for itself.
  • You are a professional, act the part. Be polite and have a tidy appearance. Demonstrate that you have an attention to detail by taking good care of your tools and vehicle.
  • Provide the right paperwork, execute change orders, and return client calls promptly. Long delays in any of these activities will trigger client anxiety.
  • Leave the job site clean after each work day.
  • Take care of your power tools.
  • Have good communication. Provide a detailed overview of the work to be completed and address the “who, what, when, where, and why” of all main aspects of the project, including the important milestones. Always let the client know when utilities will be down.

The bottom line, your potential clients are afraid and they do not trust you. You can earn that trust through certain behaviors and tactics. If you can accomplish that, the business will roll in.

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