Do You Even Want This Job?
"Tell me why I should hire you to do this job."
That's what I was asked one time. A few times. What should I have said? What would you say? Because I'm the cheapest? Well, I'm definitely not. Because I'll get it done faster than anyone else in town? I probably won't. Because I'm the best block layer this side of the Mississippi? I'm good, but the best? Nah.
So, why then? Why hire me?
First off, I'm not into talking people into things they might not need. I tried selling insurance and then consumer electronics when I first got out of the Air Force, back in the 80's. I was a terrible salesman. Unpersuasive, to say the least. What was I good at? Identifying people who not only didn't need what I was selling, but identifying people who would be worse off if they bought what I was selling. Needless to say, I sold not a lot of life insurance and didn't win any sales awards selling home stereo equipment. I don't like talking people into things they don't need. But I do seem to like trying to talk people out of things they don't need. A great recipe for sales success, 'eh?
Lucky for me, as a masonry contractor, I don't feel and pressure to persuade anyone to do anything. It's not my job to talk people into things. My goal in that first conversation with a client is to determine a fit between the client's needs and what I can supply. Then, and only then, do I move on to the next step. Sometimes, the proper next step is to say "nice to have met you," and send them to another contractor who is better able to serve them. Sometimes the next step is describe what I can do for them and the likely cost.
In most instances, the client and I can determine, on the phone, if there's a fit. I try to quickly look for reasons that I'm not the right guy for the job. There's no reason to get deep into details if the work isn't my specialty or if I'm too expensive or if we can't accommodate one another's schedules. The sooner we get to anything that is a deal breaker, the better or both of us, right?
If I offer a proposal and you agree, the next step is an on-site visit to make final assessments, put all the details on the contract, add signatures on the contract and collect the deposit. Once the payment is received, work begins!