When Price Is Not the Deciding Factor

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Contractors often wonder how much pricing matters in the evaluation of project quotes. For example, how important is the quote itself? Findings from our survey might surprise you.

To help painting contractors better understand the process of finding new clients, Sherwin-Williams conducted a survey of more than 1,700 homeowners to determine when they hire a painting contractor, where they look for professionals and what drives the selection process.

This is the third in a series of articles offering insights on where pricing stands on the priority list when a customer is reviewing your project bid.

Price Isn’t Always the Deciding Factor
Our survey found that price isn’t the biggest driver when people are evaluating project quotes. Rather, homeowners are looking to ensure a first-rate, finished project and a quality experience before they even consider price.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that the lowest price doesn’t always win the business. The top two things that consumers look for when hiring a contractor are reputation and professionalism, with price rounding out the list at number three.

Homeowners say they are willing to pay a little bit more when they think the project will be easily handled by a reputable, professional painter. Therefore, as a best practice, don’t underbid hoping that price alone will get you the job. Instead, put extra effort into delivering excellent customer service through timely communications and a professional appearance. Additionally, stay in touch with former clients who can confirm your expertise and workmanship.

The One-Quote or No-Quote Customer
Another proof point that reputation and professionalism weigh more heavily than price in the project bidding process is that 28 percent of our respondents did not receive a quote prior to hiring a contractor and 29 percent received only one quote.

When people feel confident about a contractor’s ability and experience in delivering quality work, they are sometimes willing to cut steps in the hiring process, which can save you time and money during the bidding process. To impress homeowners from the very first conversation, leverage previous clients’ testimonials of your work and demonstrate confidence in your abilities and service level.

Top-Notch Customer Service
Other important traits that rose to the top for homeowners in the quoting process were responsiveness and the availability to start when needed. This proves that white-glove customer service and going above-and-beyond to deliver an effortless client experience can go a long way.

Consistent communications throughout the process from the quote to the completion of the job can help create a positive experience, minimizing the need for a full quoting process and driving more new business your way. Demonstrating that the customer is always top-of-mind, even before they become a client, will help you bring on new clients.

The next article in this series will discuss how social media plays a role in how homeowners search for new clients. 

About the Author
Jeff  A. Winter is the director of marketing, Residential Repaint at Sherwin-Williams.

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