It Is Our Part To Educate Our Potential Clients
I would have to say, this time of the season has to be the absolute worst for a snow contract sales person! Getting contract “decision makers” on the phone, getting property managers to think snow in May when it’s not exactly on the forefront of our thinking is quite the task.
Are we pricing our properties correctly? Are we too expensive? Are we too cheap? Does this property manager really want the service we provide? Can they “get by” with another contractor who’s not so professional in order to save a buck? Well the answer to all these questions, in my mind, and many other questions like these is an astounding “maybe?”
This year I’ve heard more horror stories about other contractors than ever before. Was it worth the buck they saved last season when we had so much snow the contractors simply stopped showing up, or refused to come and repair damaged they caused and things of that nature. You see, there are many different views on value, or “perceived value”. To each individual the idea of value or what someone is willing to pay in exchange for a service is very different. The best part is when the decision on the service for the site is made from 4 states away. I love that one.
Not to mention we are already behind the eight ball because those who work in the snow & ice management industry are, for the most part, already thought of as one of those “anyone with a truck and a plow can do it” type of services. Unfortunately for most, that couldn’t be further from the truth and along with our public “sue first – ask questions later” mentality, proper, or professional snow & ice management services is a necessity now more than ever before.
So why is it so hard to get these properties contracted? How do you set yourself apart from other contractors who are offering the same service at a cheaper price? The bottom line is – they are not. Each contractor is not offering up the same service for a cheaper price. It’s really the perceived value that the property manager is looking at when their decision is being made. I would be willing to bet nine out of ten times the property manager doesn’t even know they are doing this when they are making their decision on which contractor to contract the service to.
This couldn’t be truer when you hear they “went with the low bid”, or “we were too much”, or “our price was too high”. All that really means to me is we didn’t explain our value to the client properly. We, and all contractors, are essentially an insurance policy; we mitigate the risk the client has on their property. We provide a service that they, the client, are going to need. Whether or not you provide that service to the client is up to you.
Granted someone’s always going to know someone else personally, or the property manager’s third cousin on his mother’s side owns an excavating company and I owe him a favor….. that kind of stuff. But for the most part it is our job, as snow and ice professionals, to explain our value to the potential client, to reduce their risk and provide a much needed professional service to their properties, all the while being compensated for providing that professional service.