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Price Vs Risk Episode 2 – The Building Game (Sales Process Not Just For Builders)


Click on the video to watch it (Runtime 6 minutes).

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If you’d rather read the transcript it’s here below.


‘The Building Game’

It’s a video about Price and Risk (you could call it Episode 2 if you like).

I spoke last week about how price and risk are very intricately related for your customers. A cheap builder or a cheap trade for a project comes with a lot more risk than a more expensive trade –  one who’s included everything, who you can trust and rely, and comes with longevity and all those other things.

I’m not going to dig into that too much now, (it was in the other video). I do want to point out that I don’t necessarily mean that all expensive things are better than all cheap things, because that’s very clearly not true. But there is a correlation in our minds about price and value, and that risk of something being significantly cheaper is very high.

Also, it’s your job to point out the risk that people take when they buy something cheaper. You can’t prove that the other guy is rubbish, but you should be educating your customers about what to look for so they can meaningfully compare the cheaper solution with your somewhat better solution, or offering, or package. And that’s your job in your sales process.

So today, I want to talk about the ‘Game’. And like I said, it’s not just for builders. It’s for all trades, and it’s known as cheap things aren’t always as cheap as they seemed at first.

The Building Game

This is a slightly unscrupulous trades business who presents to the customer that they’re the less expensive solution and it looks like it includes all the stuff that your more honest quote includes. It looks like a fixed price quote and it looks like it includes all the same things but sneakily (perhaps with some weasel wording) it doesn’t necessarily really cover the same stuff.

The customer, of course, being uneducated in such matters:

  • Can’t tell the difference between their quote and yours
  • Chooses the cheaper one because if they’re the same, cheap is better
  • And then has an unhappy experience throughout the job when the other trade starts trying to recover (if that’s really what’s going on), the costs he lost when they were being cheap
  • Pricey variations
  • Things that you might have assumed would be included, you suddenly realize aren’t

That kind of thing. We all know this occurs.

Has it happened to you? And I don’t mean have you been a victim of it so much as have you lost business to somebody else playing this game? I bet you have.

Recommended Reading: Price Vs Risk – Choosing  Between Cheap Tradies And Expensive Tradies

I believe it’s relatively common. And one of the difficult things about it, from your perspective anyway, is that of course, a customer stuck in that slightly unpleasant experience hasn’t got the first builder, the good guy, to check with. He’s running now, talking to the builder he’s stuck with, and the customer is having a poor experience, probably a damaged relationship, and quite possibly ends up paying more than they would have if they’d chosen the more honest tradesperson or trades business in the first place.

So all over, it’s a big shit, apart from the unscrupulous guy who’s making his money at someone’s expense.

So what should you do as the honest builder? I’m assuming I’m talking to honest builders and honest trades businesses working with consumers or businesses or even corporations and you want to prevent them from making the wrong choice of not choosing you, and getting caught by this building game and ending up with a poor experience. And of course, you get to win by winning more customers.

There’s only one thing to do. I’ve written it down just here.

How do you counter it?

The real answer is to educate your customer early. Educate them that this is a thing that goes on. Educate them that if they choose the cheap person and they don’t get the same inclusions in that cheaper price, they might regret it later and they might end up paying more later.

Educate them:

  • That there’s a game
  • That it doesn’t happen when they choose you
  • How not to get caught in the game

So at least, they have a choice to make. They can take this other guy and risk that he’s playing the game or they can work with you and not have that risk.

You might teach them:

  • How to compare apple to apples
  • How to look at a quote for a project like this and understand about what’s included and what’s not
  • That if something is not explicitly included in a quote, it’s not included at all.I
    • if it’s not written down as included, no matter how obvious it might seem that it should be included, it probably isn’t.


And of course, you need to make sure that your quotes explicitly include everything that is included and is written properly, and appropriately and reassuringly.

Of course, that doesn’t sound like an easy silver bullet and not many of the things I teach are easy silver bullets. I don’t think there are many of those things around. If it was all easy, everybody would be doing it and it would be lovely. But business isn’t easy. There is work involved and a bit of thinking.

So what do you need to do?

  1. Put this into your sales process.
  2. Put it into your sales proposal documentation.

*Note: I say your sales process and your proposal documentation, not your quote. You should be writing a proposal, not a quote.

That’s a topic for another day.

You need to be educating your customers. You need to document this stuff in your proposal. You might give them paperwork to take away and read so that they can go back and look at it and have this proper understanding of how to compare trades businesses.

Now, if you want help with that, of course, you’re in the right place. I’m the person who can help you and if you do want me to help you, there’s a link below.

Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me and explore whether this is something I can help you within your business, with my coaching because, of course, that’s what I do.

It’s Jon signing off. See you later!

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About the Author

Jon Dale

Jon likes helping business owners and especially owners of trades businesses. Life can be a bit frustrating when you run a business and a trade business can be even more so. Jon reckons this stuff is fixable and that you can fix it by making some fairly simple changes to the way you do things. In fact, he runs a free monthly webinar to help explain the process further of moving your business from manual to scalable.

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