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Lost a job over price? Here's why

From my perspective, price alone isn't the main reason most jobs are lost. If a job is lost on price, it's because the contractor did not create any value in anything other than price.

I am tired of hearing from contractors about losing jobs on price all the time.  Price, price, price is what I hear. Sure, homeowners want a good price. But they don’t want crappy workmanship either. There aren’t many Canadian Contractor readers out there that do crappy work, but some contractors still use price as the single biggest reason that they lost a job.

From my perspective, price alone isn’t the main reason most jobs are lost. If a job is lost on price, it’s because the contractor did not create any value in anything other than price. If there is nothing else but price that differentiates one contractor from the other, then price is the only thing a homeowner can use to make a decision.

So, the next time a homeowner wants a price, look for why they want to renovate and ask them how important safety, warranty, job site cleanliness, experience, follow-up service, security and the like are to them. Ask them to list all of the factors that are important to them and rank them from most to least important. If nothing else matters to them other than price, you might want walk away and let the other contractors fight over price unless you are confident that you can make money. There is no point in doing work and not making a profit.

Go find a homeowner and sell to the other needs of that homeowner. Don’t get me wrong, price is important. And, you have to be competitive withthe rest of the market. However, if you can’t sell enough benefits to justify 5 to 10 per cent more price than your competitors, then you have zero competitive advantage and differentiation. You better go to work on your strategy and Unique Selling Proposition, because you are not likely to ever make much money!

Mike Draper

Mike Draper

Mike Draper is a Master Coach with Renovantage. Renovantage is a first-of-its-kind business group for home renovators in Canada. (
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1 Comment » for Lost a job over price? Here's why
  1. Keith Brooke says:

    I agree with Mike Drapers article from September 12th re: “Lost a job over price” When we negotiate a project with a client and submit our proposal, we always submit a business card. We ask the client to read the back of our business card also, where we include the following:

    “The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the Sweetness of low price”

    We have been awarded many projects even though we were not the low bidder.

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