Monday, June 20, 2016

"Well Done Is Better Than Well Said"

They say that actions speak louder than words. So let’s make sure that we are doing more than just talking a good game. As Ben Franklin once said, “Well done is better than well said.” 

There are two words that are used so often in the sales and marketing of homes and renovations that they essentially have lost any special meaning or significance - “quality” and “value.”

Virtually every builder, contractor, or remodeler claims to sells quality – and why not? Consumers are looking for it. Who would admit to building just an average or substandard product? No one!

Consumers can recognize quality workmanship when they see it. Most people don’t shop solely for the lowest price and ignore how well something is made or how well it works. Everyone enjoys a bargain, but who likes a product that breaks or wears out prematurely or fails to perform as expected?

Especially for a universally designed new home or a specifically created aging-in-place solution, consumers are looking for and expecting to see top notch workmanship and attention to detail as an indication of what type of value they are getting for their money.

Regardless of the product or the solution, consumers really don’t want to see or spend their money on poor or average workmanship. Yet there are far too many instances of walls that are not plumb, joints that are not caulked properly, closet and other interior doors that are not adjusted properly, drawers that don’t open and close easily, flooring or stair treads that squeak, railings that are loose or wobble, surfaces that are uneven where two types of flooring meet, paint drips and overspray, nail heads that aren't set and caulked, cracked or uneven tiles, and similar issues that belie claims of quality construction and value.

Just proclaiming that we offer a “quality” product or produce that type of solution doesn’t mean that it exists.  No one wants to miss out on stating that they build “quality” or that they offer “value,” but these attributes need to be more than just slogans. 

Talk is cheap. Give consumers some credit. They are capable of determining  a quality product when we describe it or show them how we use quality components and materials - and that we pay attention to detail. Then they will know that we are a quality contractor because of what they see and not just because of what we might tell them or declare in an ad.

The same is true of value. Often good workmanship and name brand materials will translate into good value for our customers. If we happen to offer solutions or products for less than our competitor, great, but value is not always measured just in dollars and cents or price per square foot.

Find out what’s important to our customers and show them how we meet their needs or expectations. Then show them how we can exceed their expectations or surpass what they have seen elsewhere in your marketplace or online. Let them understand that our approach to their issues will give them years of service and comfort. That’s how to sell quality and value - by letting our efforts and results speak for us. 

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.