by Katherine Gifford of Moraware
When you stack yourself up to other fabricators in your area, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it’s the price. If you don’t have the best price in town, you’re toast, right? Well, not really.
We believe the number one myth in the fabrication world is that you must have the best price in order to win over the most customers. It’s just not true, and we’ll show you why.
Price Isn’t Everything
When a potential customer is considering new countertops for their kitchen, price is definitely a consideration. But it’s just one!
Here’s a brief list of everything a customer is looking for in a great countertop install besides the price:
- You show up when you say you will
- You’re friendly
- You look professional
- You do a great job of educating the client on different materials, styles, etc.
- Your quote looks professional
- You sent your quote in a timely manner
- You have quality materials
- You do an incredible job on the countertop installation
- You finish when you say you’ll finish
There’s more where that came from, but as you can see, people care about all of these factors.
They’re simply weighted differently for everyone. Some people are on a time crunch. Perhaps they bought a new home and they have to move in within 2 weeks or they’ll be homeless. For them, hitting a deadline and working quickly is the most important.
Others have all the time in the world, but they have no idea what they want. For them, a salesperson that will take the time to educate, provide samples, and answer questions is the most important. A showroom also doesn’t hurt.
And then there are people who will sacrifice timeliness and professionalism for a cheap job. But in reality, are those really the customers you want to attract? These individuals are more likely to complain, cause problems, and drive you up the wall before the job is ever finished.
Don’t Be the “Cheap Guy”
If you advertise your dirt cheap prices, you’ll become known as the “cheap guy” in town. That’s not a reputation you want!
We’ve been around countertop operations for long enough to notice a clear trend: the most successful shops are the ones that charge what they’re worth. People are willing to pay for quality materials and a great experience.
How Should I Set Prices Then?
If you’re not competing to be the lowest price in town, how then do you set your prices? We’ve written about this subject before, but here are a few tips:
- Don’t try to calculate costs down to the penny – it’s a lost cause
- Think twice about listing each and every item on your quote – sometimes, it’s TMI
- Do some research about pricing in your area, and aim to be within a competitive range
We’re shifting our focus from competing on price to competing on service. Once you’ve pinned down what makes your shop unique, you can stop obsessing over the price and start demanding a higher price tag.
If price isn’t everything – and I hope we’ve proven here that it’s not – it’s time to figure out where you shine the most.
What Sets Your Shop Apart?
Since we’re not worried about competing on price, it’s time to figure out what sets your shop apart. What can you offer that makes your work more valuable? What sets you apart from the other fabricators in town?
Do you have a unique:
- Benefit, result, or outcome
- Track record
- Level of customization
- Level of quality
- Environment or presentation
- Method or mechanism
- Experience of doing, using, or attending
- Price or payment plan
Other things you might consider include a unique time frame – are you able to finish the job faster than the other shops in town? What about a gutsy guarantee – can you offer a warranty or free repairs for a certain amount of time?
Once you pin down what makes you unique – and valuable – you can start advertising that and stop focusing on price.
Learn more about creating your Unique Selling Proposition here: How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition for Your Countertop Shop
Add Software to Your Shop
Professionalism, timeliness, organization – several factors that customers appreciate – can be enhanced or fixed by software solutions.
Are your quotes scribbled on a scrap sheet of paper? Do they take a week to put together? Customers want a professional-looking quote, and they want it fast.
CounterGo, our countertop quoting software, can fix that problem. It helps you make a great first impression, which can often be enough to score you the job. No more hand drawing or scattered estimates.
When customers call in for a status update, are they put on hold? Does the receptionist have to make several calls to find out? Customers want a quick answer, and they want the job to be finished in a timely manner.
Systemize, our scheduling software, can also fix that problem. It helps you organize and plan out your installation and templating schedule, which can be enough to wow a customer and bring in referrals. No more whiteboards or post-it notes.
Fabrication software has a ton of other benefits, including:
- Better organization
- You can go paperless
- You don’t have to be in your office to access the information you need
- You can improve pricing consistency between salespeople
- You can improve your accuracy
- You can do slab layouts
- You can track leftover stock
- You’re better equipped to handle growth
- You can keep better records
- You can run reports, allowing to make better business decisions
- More home time
Software like CounterGo and Systemize not only provides more value to your customers, but it helps you run your shop more efficiently.
Don’t Believe the Myth!
If anyone tells you that price is everything, don’t believe them.
You’re worth more than the cheapest guy in town; you just need to clearly define why, and make sure you’re spreading that message.