A key to making sales is knowing your audience. Understanding how potential clients think and what they’re looking for is going to make it easier to pitch services to them. We’ll be able to approach them from their perspective.
Stepping into their shoes will help us reach them and respond to their questions – spoken and unspoken – more easily and completely. And that, of course, leads to more happy clients and a more successful business.
From our own experience and from online research about what clients should look for, we’ve tried to summarize what the top expectations are when a client seeks out a contractor.
Clients Expect You To Be Knowledgeable
You know what you’re doing, and most clients are going to expect that as well as respect it. They want you to understand the project they want done and be able to implement it.
Of course that includes telling them what won’t work and making suggestions for improvements.They might not have an immediate positive reaction if you say “That won’t work.” But it’s important to be able to express what does and doesn’t make for a successful project. In the long run, that will keep them happier and more like to come back to you or recommend you to others..
While they expect you to know your stuff, they might also test you as part of feeling you out. They might not be experts, but the internet is right here for them to do research.
It’s important not to feel threatened or angry about questions and concerns. The client is spending their hard-earned money on your services, and they have a right to ask. It can be frustrating at times, but being able to give them an explanation of what you’re doing and why is pretty fair.
One part of your knowledge base that you should always make sure they understand is the time involved in the project. That means not just your work, but also the period needed for the cement to fully dry. That’s important so they make appropriate plans to avoid full use of the surface while it’s still drying!
Clients Want To Know You’re Licensed, Certified, and Insured
A natural outgrowth of demonstrating your knowledge is showing that you’ve met the local requirements to practice to your trade.
Not every client is going to directly ask for the paperwork that backs you up. But they could ask, and do expect these things to be in place. It helps support the fact that you are experienced and knowledgeable. And in case something goes wrong, they’ll also know they’re protected by your insurance.
Most clients will also likely expect you to make sure all necessary building permits are in place.
They Want To Know – And See – Your Experience
It’s a natural expectation that more experience allows you to do a better job. So many clients are going to prefer someone who’s been working in the field for a while.
This can be tough if you’re just starting out. Stick at it and eventually you can add your experience as a draw. In the meantime, make up for it by building a portfolio and a reputation.
Speaking of a portfolio, that’s an excellent way to off your skill. At one time it might have been with a photo album. Today, more likely it’s on your website. But it’s a great chance to show off work you’ve done.
With experience also comes the formation of your reputation. Whether it’s relying on online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google or just through old-fashioned word-of-mouth, people are going to depend on what others say about you. So always put your best foot forward.
They’ll Want To Know What Services You Offer
Anyone seeking to hire you is looking for a specific service and hoping that you can provide it. It’s important to let them know what you can provide for them. That starts even before you meet them with your advertising, but continues throughout the time you work with them. Let them know what you’re able to do to help them reach their goals for their home or business.
Part of this can be trying to “upsell” your services, too. They may ask for a plain concrete patio but you can suggest stamped concrete. They might want simple stairs repaired out front but you can offer something more decorative as well as functional.
Not every client is going to bite on the upsell, of course. But some will. And some of the rest might come back to you later for more work once they have the budget for it.
They’ll Want A Written Concrete
Most clients are going to expect you to put everything down in writing in the form of a contract. Obviously, this protects them but it also protects you if there’s a dispute later on.
Never see it as offensive when a client doesn’t want to just take your word for it. As we mentioned above, they’ve chosen to spend their money on your business; a contract serves as assurance that the work will be completed as they expect.
The written concrete helps make sure all the details of the project are in order for both you and the client. It gives you a guide to follow to make sure you fulfill what they’ve asked for. And it’s a reassurance for all involved in case of questions.
Clients Want Value
Above all, clients want value. That means they expect you to provide them with a quality product that’s worth the price. It’s ok to charge a bit more as long as your work is worth it. The people who hire you will understand that. They work hard, too, and know that better work requires better pay.
You don’t have to be the cheapest to get clients. In fact, racing to the lowest prices might even be a turn-off for some people.
If you charge a fair price, clients will respect that. If you’re higher than average, be prepared to explain why. What is it that your service includes that’s better than the rest?
There are always those who want the least expensive no matter what, of course. But they also have to understand that when you go cheap, you get cheap. Most, though, understand that you get what you pay for.
At the same time, they’re probably going to shop around to find what they’re looking for. That might be both in terms of price and their comfort level with the contractors they meet.
Client expectations have a huge impact on how successful we end up as contractors. Of course, we know how we want to run our business and what we’re able to provide. But being aware of what the client expects will help us be one step ahead and allow us to provide them with a more satisfying service. Being aware of their expectations means that we’ll be able to build a bigger, more successful business for ourselves!