February 1, 2013 by Jeff Lowen
I grew up in the construction trades, so I know the value of a skill – especially when it’s coupled with the ability to be punctual, do what you say and throw in a little bedside manor and you’ve got a recipe for success! However, the topic on how a contractor is valued when they’re giving free estimates without restriction; as opposed to charging for their time on an estimate or bid for repair.
In our world presently, we all want something for free. The economy is tight, we like to save for a rainy day, whatever the reasoning; amidst a purchase we make, if something gets tossed in, gratis, then we walk away feeling a little better about the transaction, don’t we?
So, let’s examine how you would value such a skilled trade, or any profession for that matter that would in some respect be considered professional. I truly believe that if you call someone up and they are eager to show up at your door free of charge, to offer advice, give an estimate for repair, perform an exorcism, or whatever, subconsciously, we de-value the individual. Which stands to reason… You get what you pay for, right? On the other hand, a similar scenario, that same contractor tells you on the phone he’s glad to come out and spend an hour with you, dive into the details of your needs and create an on the spot professional plan for solving your problem. Alas, his hourly rate of $xx.xx will have to be paid on the spot as well. Perhaps he’ll throw in that if you have him do the work, he’ll reimburse some or all of what you spend today. This guy (or gal) is definitely worth more in terms of the value they bring to the table and I would gladly listen more intently of their advice and although I may not be excited about paying their fee, even knowing there’s a hundred of ’em that would do it for free, I’d value their services far beyond the former example.
Why you ask? Why do I spend $5 on a cup of coffee when I could go across the street and pay 70% less?
Value. Ask yourself if you’re bringing that to the table.