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I have been amazed at all of the people that have asked me if I have work. They know that I am in the construction field and run my own business. At first I started telling them that we were surviving. To them this is good news. I guess it is good news to me to. But when I started to think about how I come across when I say that I am surviving I realized it sounded on the negative side.

So Now when people ask how I am doing I tell them that business is good. This has helped keep me focused on being more positive and I think it come across better when I am talking to people.

I know that I am rambling a bit here but my point is that in these hard times you have to do whatever you can to keep yourself positive and motivated to go out there and keep finding work. We will get through this and we will be much stronger because of it.

Mark
 

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I hear myself saying; "hangin' in there" too often, ... I was just thinking about this the other day, I wanted to say what I used to say which is; "Fantastic!" but when I do, some have said "really!?!" and then I feel like I have to explain that I'm optimistic and that business could really be better ...

I wish people would just mind their own business...
 

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Don't miss this as a marketing opportunity... previous customers ask me this question often (I tend to work in neighborhoods where I have more than one customer, and they stop by). Be honest with them, if you say you're busy as hel1 you just cut off another possible lead.
 

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I stay busy and usually say we are even if the schedule is only a few weeks out . I don't like giving the customer the upper hand . In my experience a lot of people who ask this question are the one's looking for a deal on price . It gets a little dicey sometimes as we all want the security of work months down the road . A lot of people are looking for rock bottom prices these days . I didn't properly qualify a potential customer the other day and it was a waste of my time . He was looking for price . I was high compared to two others and explained why . I probably won't get the job due to price , but you never know . Another bid just got back with a yes which surprised me . I was mid to high on that one . I might be a better salesmen than I thought or just lucky , who knows ! I guess the old saying "I would rather be lucky than good " works for me .
 

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I am always straight up with people when it comes to this question. In most cases I just say things are steady, which it is. If it's slow I do say things are a bit soft but consistant. I find that clients and potential clients take it all in stride, and in most cases people are more curious and sometimes they are just trying to feel their way through selecting a contractor. You know that if you go to see someone unknown and the bad vibe sensor kicks in you always keep it short with simple "doing well, how may I help you".
 

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As I read through these posts, I began to think about the "elevator speech" and how it relates to this topic. The concept behind the elevator speech is to put an attractive spin on your answer when someone asks "what do you do?"

Why not do the same thing with "So how's biz?"? For example...

"Well, you know the recession has changed business for everyone. Some people look at it as a huge problem, others look at it as opportunity. In our case, we just used the so-called recession as an opportunity to renegotiate relationships with our suppliers and WOW! are we getting better deals that we pass on to the customer! Plus, we can find all the great installers we need. So, as you can imagine, with our prices down and our capacity up, people are really excited about doing business with us now, more than ever. For us, and our customer's the recession has turned out to be a win-win... they get a great deal and we get more business. What project are you thinking about next?"

You can add specifics in your segment of the industry like 30% (up to $1500) energy credit, 30% unlimited renewable energy credit, and etc. Whatever you can do to put a positive spin on what people perceive as ugly, and ask them for business in the same breath.
 

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As I read through these posts, I began to think about the "elevator speech" and how it relates to this topic. The concept behind the elevator speech is to put an attractive spin on your answer when someone asks "what do you do?"

Why not do the same thing with "So how's biz?"? For example...

"Well, you know the recession has changed business for everyone. Some people look at it as a huge problem, others look at it as opportunity. In our case, we just used the so-called recession as an opportunity to renegotiate relationships with our suppliers and WOW! are we getting better deals that we pass on to the customer! Plus, we can find all the great installers we need. So, as you can imagine, with our prices down and our capacity up, people are really excited about doing business with us now, more than ever. For us, and our customer's the recession has turned out to be a win-win... they get a great deal and we get more business. What project are you thinking about next?"

You can add specifics in your segment of the industry like 30% (up to $1500) energy credit, 30% unlimited renewable energy credit, and etc. Whatever you can do to put a positive spin on what people perceive as ugly, and ask them for business in the same breath.


Sounds to me like you are setting yourself up to be the low bid. If you tell the customer what a great deal you made with your suppliers, then don't come in low they will think you are ripping them off.

I have a good relationship with my suppliers but prices have not fallen, in fact many have gone up.
 

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Sounds to me like you are setting yourself up to be the low bid. If you tell the customer what a great deal you made with your suppliers, then don't come in low they will think you are ripping them off.

I have a good relationship with my suppliers but prices have not fallen, in fact many have gone up.
You may have a point if you are selling a commodity, I try not to let my products or services become a commodity. I guess it's whatever you make it out to be.
 

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I think that in the type of economic climate that we are currently in people tend to look at our industry as a kind of benchmark.
When people ask me, and they have been asking alot over the last couple of years, they ask in a sincere, inquisitive type of way.
 

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Quite a few of my repeat customers ask , when its been a while since I have talked to them. I usually tell them straight up how it is. I see no point in saying something other than the truth. For me it hasnt been a bad year but not a banner year either
 

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When I talk to friends I tell them it's been rough starting out but since I do good work at good prices it's only a matter of time before things get cooking.

If a client or potential customer asks this question I tell them business has been steady and picking up each day.
 
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