You can probably imagine that, "Hi Rick, How's the house coming?" has been a very common question over the past several months. It's not unusual that the question leads to a conversation especially if the person has built a house themself. Recently, somebody asked the question and when I answered they replied that they felt controlled and manipulated when they built their house a few years ago. They have a nice house. When I asked why they felt that way, they whined that the builder kept asking questions and they were always trying to manipulate me into spending more money. I asked, "Why, didn't you already have a price?" Yes, but that was for builder grade. Nobody told me that builder grade was junk and that to get anything decent, I'd wind up doubling the price. Then they added:
"By the end of the process, I stopped talking to the builder. I couldn't take the manipulation. Every question got a text saying, just use builder grade. Get it done. So, I don't have to deal with you anymore. I'll never refer him. I don't return his calls. Our lawyer finished the process."
Now, this isn't the first time I've heard this from this person. If you disagree, have a different perspective, make a suggestion or ask a question, they feel that you are trying to control and manipulate them. Even if they ask for your input, they don't really want it. What they want is for you to tell them that what they're doing is exactly right. It makes them feel smart and they can blame you if it goes wrong.
If the builder were my client, I would offer three suggestions.
- Run away. Run away fast. This person takes every suggestion and question as a personal affront and won't change. They'll put you through hell and make you wish you never met them. Don't start. Find a good one.
- Learn how to identify a customer's process for deciding, shopping, buying, doing. It's important to know where their 'buttons' are and for you to decide whether you want to deal with them.
- Some people buy off the shelf builder's grade and expect to be able to modify, upgrade and customize at will with little or no upcharge. Do a better job explaining and showing the differences between builder's grade, top of the line and where they might end up. Give multiple examples and make them start choosing from the examples. It develops a decision process so that you both can decide if you can deal with each other. It also gives you both an idea whether the choices tend to good, better or best and you as the builder will be able to tell the prospect good would be $350K. Best would be closer to $1M. If you keep picking like you're picking, you'll be around $700K.
I made this about building houses, but anyone in any industry can do it. At Unbound Growth, we ask a lot of questions about goals, past issues, current obstacles, sacred cow beliefs, etc. When we're done, if we don't run away, we'll typically say something like, "We work with some people for a month. It costs them a couple of thousand dollars. They get their own personal sales evaluation. We coach them 1:1 on a dozen-ish opportunities. They make some sales. Learn a few things and move on. We give each of these jumpstarters the opportunity to continue through month 2 and 3. Total cost for the three months is usually $6,000. 8, 10, 12 weeks in, something clicks. You've overcome many of your obstacles and self-limiting beliefs and you realize, I got it! (Ask the people that I've worked with.) The answers come more easily, naturally and painlessly and they're yours, not mine. You realize that it worked and you've made it.
A few, very few want more. They realize that yes, they become better salespeople, but they also realize that we're affecting other parts of their life and they want more. Some of those people stay on as clients for several months, but become much more after the formal client/coach relationship ends.
That's what we live for.
If we've never spoken and you want to learn more about Unbound Growth and how you can use it to grow your business, download the Road Map for Unbound Growth and when Carole asks if you've read it, schedule a call.
If we've already spoken and we didn't work with you, but you want to try again, schedule a call and be real.