Don't Cheapen Your Brand

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Jul 1, 2010

In this econ­o­my, many con­trac­tors are becom­ing des­per­ate, that is…if they are still in busi­ness. Instead of think­ing smart about their busi­ness, they are doing the first thing that comes to their mind: low­er­ing their price. Who can blame them? I’ve been there plen­ty of times myself. You go into a sales sit­u­a­tion, bond and rap­port with a home­own­er, dis­cuss their project and then get down to the price. All of a sud­den, your not their friend any­more. They say, Oh wow…that is way too much. The oth­er guy” will do it for half!” I’d sure like to meet the oth­er guy” some­day. I’ve heard about him, and he does not have a good rep­u­ta­tion. So, what’s a con­trac­tor to do when he hears those words? Cut his price or cre­ate some­thing new and dif­fer­ent for his clients? My sug­ges­tion would be to not cheap­en your brand but pro­vide a solu­tion to your poten­tial clients that is new, dif­fer­ent and might cost less. So for exam­ple, instead of try­ing to sell a com­plete exte­ri­or paint job or inte­ri­or ren­o­va­tion, try giv­ing the prospect some­thing tan­gi­ble for less. I recent­ly talked to a painter who cre­at­ed a curb­side spe­cial” pack­age and sold it for a flat price. He told home­own­ers that they could fresh­en up their fas­cia, shut­ters and entry wood trim for less than a thou­sand dol­lars. The paint­ing own­er came up with this idea for a few com­mu­ni­ties with sim­i­lar look­ing homes. He knew he would not loose mon­ey as well. The ben­e­fit to the home­own­er was it would tie them over for the next few years until they were ready for a com­plete paint job. Anoth­er exam­ple is my dad, Mike Chism, cre­at­ed a Painter for a Day dur­ing the mid and late 1990s to offer small paint­ing projects to his clients. Dur­ing this slow­ing econ­o­my, his Painter For a Day con­cept has worked quite well. In fact, dozens of oth­er painters are using a sim­i­lar pro­gram to pro­mote their ser­vices. A Painter for a Day real­ly is a great way for clients to sam­ple one’s ser­vices before com­mit­ting to a larg­er project. My dad tried hard not to dis­count the work as well, because the val­ue to the client was obvi­ous: he did small jobs. Many times, cus­tomers began to add more than just one day of paint­ing. He even had a cus­tomer hire his com­pa­ny to paint the entire inside of the house, which start­ed with a Painter for a Day dai­ly rate. It was tangible…and easy for cus­tomers to swal­low. Cre­at­ing val­ue and new pro­grams for your cus­tomers is far bet­ter than just low­er­ing your price. Now is the time to real­ly get your cre­ative juice going and try dif­fer­ent ways to con­nect with home­own­ers. If you don’t know what to do, ask them. Call up your exist­ing clients and talk to them about some of your ideas of mar­ket­ing your business.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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