The adage “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” may be more true in business now than it ever was. Knowing what your competitors charge for the same project can give you the edge you need to inch ahead. Rest assured they already have done their homework on what your prices are, making it more imperative than ever that you do yours.Getting a quote from the competition may seem underhanded at first but it can actually work to make you a better contractor as you will see the areas where you are lacking. In the contracting world, price is one of the major determining factors to why you are losing business and customers. If your competitor is able to produce the same quality work at a fraction of the cost, there may be something wrong with your business model.Maybe they are using cheaper supplies or cutting corners, where you don’t see the need to. Evaluating your competitor can work to make your business stronger, helping you to focus on the areas you need to change and improve. By obtaining your competitors’ quotes, you will have an inside look on how someone else in the same industry conducts business and find out why your customers are choosing them over you.Here’s what you will gain by getting your hands on your competitors’ quotes:
One of the first steps in getting the information you need on your competitor is to talk to your own customers. Find out what their opinion of your competitors are? What have they heard or do they know about them? Why did they choose you over them? What makes them stay with you and what can you do to ensure they do? Knowing the answer to these vital questions can help evaluate what you are doing right for your business and the factors that you should absolutely not change at the risk of losing customers. This can help you draw the line between what you should adjust and what will impact your business.While it is relatively simple to get a quote from your competitors by posing as a homeowner in need of work, as they have most likely have done the same to you without you even knowing it, what you do with the information once you receive it is what’s valuable to you.
During the process of meeting with your competition, use this time to evaluate their customer service. How do they respond to questions? What is their follow-up time? What is their approach? Does it match yours? You may be surprised at how your competitors interact with customers. This may be the sole reason why they are scoring customers that you are not. They may be more personable and have all the answers a homeowner is looking for.Use this opportunity to find areas of customer service that you can approve upon and add the techniques you were most impressed with to your own business. Maybe all you need is a more personal touch with customers and a friendly personality to take you over the top.
When you finally obtain the estimates from your competitors, don’t immediately jump to conclusions and accusations. Review it thoroughly and find the areas that make them unique. Maybe they charge for cleanup and you don’t. Make a point to tell customers this at every appointment. You need to find the areas that your business excels at and a quote can provide you this information.If the price of the quote is considerably less than what you offer your customers, think about the reasons why your prices don’t match and what you can do about it. Maybe you offer a superior product but are not fully promoting this with your clients. Any area that sets you apart needs to be used to your advantage and pointed out to customers as your competition is no doubt doing the same about your business.
Ignoring that you have competition can put your business at a disadvantage. You are not operating in a bubble and customers know they have multiple options when it comes to contractors. By being proactive and taking the necessary steps to adjust your business so that it competes cost effectively and professionally will garner you more customers in the end. You can’t sit on your laurels and wait for customers to choose you. You need to be assertive in your business promotion and let customers know what sets you apart and why they would be remiss in going with your competition. A little effort in this area can take your contracting business to new heights.Don’t be afraid to get your competitors’ quotes as this is part of doing business and your company’s success depends upon it. You can use this information to greatly improve your business and focus on what sets you apart to create more revenue for your business.