EPISODE 45 – Educate, Don’t Qualify
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
In fact, episode 45, won’t be too long before we’re having a 50 or episode 50 celebration. Have no idea of what we’re going to do but we’ll do something, it’ll be exciting might do a giveaway or something.
So if you haven’t participated, engaged, watch, or listen to one of these podcasts previously, it’s really all focused on the common and often costly problems that most builders experience running a building business.
And if you haven’t heard me talk about it before builders business black belt is is all about, I guess, we’re we’re on a mission to, to change how builders are seen.
I find that I believe the builders are a major contributor to every family and family’s experiences and memories and all of that sort of stuff. And I don’t believe that they’re held in the high regard that they should be. Now, part of that is caused by how builders run their business.
Like if we are to be respected, we’ve got to do things in a way to become respected and deserve that respect.
And so that’s a lot of what we’re talking about in these podcasts, is how you can change how you do your business so you attract better quality clients, your business becomes more profitable, you end up with more choice through better financial performance, but also better time, freedom, performance, and so on and so forth.
So that’s what we’re talking about. And I need to help you to understand that this isn’t just theory that we’re talking about in Builder’s Business Black Belt we get together every single day and we discuss as a group, the wins, the lessons.
Everybody moves faster and doesn’t have to make the same mistakes or everyone doesn’t have to make their individual mistakes I should say.
And that causes you to move faster and further with a lot less effort and a lot less cost. So everything that we talk about in this podcast isn’t theory, it’s it’s stuff that’s been put into practice by real builders all over the country in regional areas, in major cities.
So the, the environment kind of doesn’t make much difference but this stuff works. So this is the stuff we want to share with you and we’d love to get your feedback to that end because we’re also going live into the Builder’s Business Success forum, the free Facebook group for for builders, specifically for builders.
If you want to participate in the, the podcast, all you need to do is jump into the Builders Business Success forum, the free Facebook group, and at 10:00 AM every Tuesday morning, you can listen to this live. You can jump on, ask questions, make comments. Also what we’ve been doing for the last, I’m not sure half dozen episodes or so now, is we’re writing a new book and it’s containing everything from soup to nuts, from end to end of what we teach and what we discuss and what we cover in Builder’s Business Black Belt.
And if there’s anything addition, additional that you want to go in that book all you need to do is jump on the live or or jump into the Facebook group, make some comments, ask some questions, and make some suggestions as to what you would like covered and it will potentially end up in the book, which is pretty cool.
What are we covering today? We’ve got our three normal segments.
The first segment is talking about educate and offer or educate, don’t qualify. And it’s all about the qualification process in Black Belt we call it the quality client pathway and it literally is a pathway that you take clients down to turn them into a better quality client.
So, don’t think that you need to find good quality clients and you can’t seem to find them. What we’ve found is most people are really good quality clients. It’s just that they’ve been educated, perhaps bludgeoned into submission by their experience through building in the past.
And simply by giving them a better experience, a different experience, a much different way of experiencing their building project, and their interaction with their builder. They turn into really good quality clients.
It’s not about finding good quality clients, it’s about a process where you educate, give them control, so they become good quality clients. Makes things much, much easier.
Of course, we’re going to have the standard Q and A as well. The question that we’re going to cover today is how do you compete with the Cowboys and the volume builders?
How, how can we compete with those guys? The Cowboys don’t have the expenses, the volume builders have volume.
And then of course, we’re going to give you a personal productivity hack as well.
*Transcription of the show*
So let’s fly into this. What we’re talking about today is qualify, or sorry let me start again, what we’re talking about today is educate, don’t qualify.
And I say that because we talk about the quality client pathway or sometimes we call it the qualified process, a lot in social media, a lot in my conversations with builders every day, and often I get a response from builders to say, I qualify my clients pretty hard or I’ve already got a qualification process.
And that’s great because that’s significantly better than just letting anybody into your business.
The big lion’s share of problems builders experience is because they just let anybody into their business and the prospects and clients take control. They run the show and that just, that doesn’t work. They shouldn’t be running the show.
They, you should be working together as a team, respecting each other’s expectations and priorities and concerns, work together as a team, you will get a significantly better outcome. So many builders say they already have a qualification process, or like they qualify hard.
And I think that that mindset of of qualifying, meaning that you’re making the decision whether you’re in or you’re out, without setting up significantly better value for your prospect means that you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunity, you’re going to waste a lot of time, you’re going to get quite frustrated.
So what I suggest is that you create an education process. We do call it the qualified process or the quality client pathway, as I’ve said but it’s based on education. So I want to run you through that in this episode.
By qualifying hard, I think it can easily either cause low job flow because you not creating the value and therefore you you kind of don’t get on and you might do the, quite particularly if you’re still stuck doing free quotes, you’ll waste a lot of time, energy and effort, and it’ll cost you a lot of money doing a free quote and you won’t get the job.
And as I say, I think you’re missing out on opportunities for, for better quality and much better, much more profitable projects as well as enjoying the experience of working with better quality clients. If you haven’t got a qualified process that’s based on education.
Now, this what I’m about to say, may fly in the face of what you think I’ve said in the past but the key is to allow the prospects to maintain control over their own decisions.
And, and I’ve said in the past that the real qualified process is, is about changing roles where you are the judge, you’re the Simon Cowell sitting behind the judges panel, and the prospect is the talent. And you kind of go, okay show us what you’ve got. And then you decide will you take them to the next round or not. Now you still have that control because you can say no without saying no at any time through this process, in fact, the process is designed so you don’t have to say no. And so I’ll explain that as we go through.
The reason that I want to encourage you to make sure that your prospect feels like that they are making the decisions, because they are, is because a prospect being told, no, no we’re too busy, no we won’t be able to get there for six months, no we’re full up.
All of those sorts of things is giving the prospect a very negative experience. So we’ve got to be able to help them somehow helping them may turn up in the form of, of referring them to somebody else, but giving them some sort of support, guidance, and direction to help them.
You might not be opening the doors to your business to that prospect, but you still help them anyway. But through this, this process it’s really important to allow the prospects to main maintain control over their decisions.
So that also means being salesy, and, and I know that that most builders aren’t salesy they’re the opposite of that, they don’t apply any pressure at all, like they just get pushed around and and kicked around and you come and do this quote for free.
And then I might call you back. I mean, you’re getting pushed around, if that’s your situation. I don’t want you to be pushed around anymore.
I want you to be able to build really good quality relationships with your prospects and potentially clients in the future.
But being salesy like a lot of the volume builders are they they employ salespeople and they apply pressure, I don’t think that’s a good thing.
And as I said, you know, saying no to them because you’re really busy or haven’t got time, or this that and the other, takes the control away from them.
So they don’t have a good experience. So the qualified process that we talk about and and constantly refine and improving builders business black belt is made up of what we call behavioral hurdles.
And this is the key to it, because if you get really, really clear on the priorities and the concerns, so in other words, the fears, frustrations, wants and aspirin of your ideal client, you start to understand what they will do and what they won’t do.
Because you understand what their priorities are, You understand what their concerns are, and you start to understand what will cause them to take action and, and not.
And so the other side of that coin is you need to understand very, very intimately who you don’t want in your business. In black belt, we call it the anti avatar.
So the avatar is like a digital representation, it’s like a Frankenstein’s monster of all of the best qualities that a client could have, That’s who you want to attract but for your particular business. But you also need to have clarity on the anti avatar. And that is the person that you just absolutely don’t want. Why do we need to understand them?
Why do we need to understand their motivations and their priorities? Because we need to put hurdles in our process that they won’t jump over. Okay? And, and in the quality client pathway we have a series of hurdles.
We’re going to unpack those in future episodes, so don’t worry about it We won’t be covering it in this episode, but but know that they exist. And you have a small hurdle in the beginning, it’s not a deal breaker.
It’s just a small hurdle to potentially raise a red flag if this person may not be the right person, and then you take them to the next step and there’s a slightly higher hurdle. There’s basically four hurdles in the full qualify process or quality client pathway.
And they get slightly higher as you go. But the secret to this is that if you can imagine a hurdle being, you know the hurdle that they have in the Olympics, where you, you jump up and you run over it in the sprints.
If you and I ran up to one of those, we’d probably stop and walk around it because we’re not that flexible and can’t jump over those hurdles.
But if there was a step there to, to get over it that might make it a little bit easier. So if there’s a step halfway up the hurdle, we’d probably, you know, be able to put our foot on the step and jump over.
So it makes it a little easier for us to jump over. And if we’re the right type of person we want to get to the other side, we will use the step and jump over. And what that step represents is education.
And what education basically is is helping your prospect to understand the what’s in it for them. Remember the old what’s WIIFM, you know, that stands for What’s In It For Me, that’s, that’s a lot to do with how people make their decisions.
They aren’t interested in you, your experience, all of the things that builders put on their websites to promote themselves, your prospects aren’t interested in it. So stop doing it.
They are interested in themselves and solving their problems, and they get very, very attracted to someone who understands their problems from their perspective as well as they do.
So if you put a hurdle in front of someone who wants that solution and you give them the education, you show them the benefits and what what’s in it for them by jumping over this hurdle, every single time they will jump over this hurdle.
But when you’re designing these hurdles, if you design them in such a way that you know that your anti avatar the other person, that you don’t want in your business won’t jump over the hurdle, then you will save a whole lot of time. And guess what?
You don’t have to say no, you say “we’d love to help you all you need to do, the first step is this and the benefits for doing this first step are this, this, this, and this where do you want to go from here?” And that’s something that we, again, we talk about it pretty much every day in Builders Business Black Belt.
Our coach, my coach Taki Moore has taught us this thing called the three question loop. Which is just, it’s absolutely brilliant. And fundamentally what we do is we create a pathway for a reasonable person.
So the pathway for the reasonable person is jumping over this hurdle and we give them education.
We give them all of the reasons, the benefits, the what’s in it for them to go that pathway, jumping over that hurdle.
Then of course, there’s another pathway and that’s the pathway of not jumping over the hurdle.
And if you give the pathway, if you create a pathway for a reasonable person that’s the person you want in your business, and you create a pathway for the unreasonable person your anti avatar, the person you don’t want in your business, you then give them the choice.
And how Taki has taught us to do this is using this three question loop.
He says, first question is, does that make sense? Okay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. This is what you need to do, this is why, or this is the benefit for you. Does that make sense? And you wait for the answer.
Second question in the three question loop is are you a hundred percent comfortable with everything that I’ve talked about? And the third question is In your mind, where do you want to go from here?
I’ve just given them the control. They can go to the pathway for the reasonable person or the pathway for the unreasonable person.
I’m being helpful and I’m not sure putting any pressure on them because they have control. And guess what happens, folks?
The reasonable person jumps over the hurdle and the hurdles in the quality client pathway get bigger as they go and the final hurdle in the quality client pathway that we use is investing in a professionally prepared proposal.
So we don’t even call it a quote, we separate it. We, we presented in a very different light than a quote. It is, it is two different things.
And a quote represents this, which isn’t a whole lot of value to the prospect and a professionally prepared proposal, all the piece it’s quite hard to say 10 times really fast, represent something very different to the right person.
It represents a lot of value, and that’s why our Black Belt Members are forever feeding back to us they are so surprised when they say it’s X amount of thousands of dollars to put this proposal together.
They get no resistance. They get no resistance. In fact, more often than not, they get told this is great.
This is a much better way than what I thought or what I’ve been used to. They prefer it. But how that happens is that there’s a little hurdle followed by another little hurdle followed by another little hurdle.
And throughout this whole process your prospect really gets to feel and know that you understand their problems, their frustrations, their fears, as well if not better than they do themselves. And that is massive. And that’s what this process does.
So you follow the, you create the pathways you you follow up with with the three question loop. You wait for the yes or no. So if they go, you go “does that make sense?”
They go “no,” you go “okay, how can I help you? You know, what, what do you need to know?” And you get more data. You get further into the discussion you get deeper into the discussion.
They feel like you’re really listening instead of just plowing through your process and not listening to them. If they say yes, after you said, does that make sense?
And then they, they, the next question is are you a hundred percent comfortable with everything I’ve said, they go “no.” “Cool, what is it that you’re not comfortable with?” And we get into a deeper discussion. Again, it’s good either way, whether they say yes or no, it’s good either way.
And then when you say “in your mind, where do you think we should go from here?” If they give you the go ahead to keep going in your process, great. If they go, well I don’t think, you know, you’re the right fit, or I’m not going to do this, or I’m not going to do that.
They’ve just chosen to qualify themselves out of the process. And from there on, you’ve just saved a ton of time.
And you’ve probably dodged the bullet because everybody, if you’ve been around the building business more than five minutes, you will have had a client that you’d taken on and wished you hadn’t.
You’ve got partway or most of the way through the project, and you go wow I wish I didn’t take this on. So this process is going to save a whole lot of time and, and pain.
Now, the last thing I want to share with you with this process, and it’s a bit of a skill, and it’s a bit of a challenge is, is when you ask the question, particularly that last question, in your mind where do you think we should go from here? Shut up.
You’ve got to shut up because what is happening, and, and it took me a long time to learn this, but what is happening is that they’re going “should I, shouldn’t I” They’re weighing things up and and going back over the benefits and weighing up their time and their money and the trust and the rapport. And do they feel understood?
They’re weighing up all of this sort of stuff and they are getting their mine and you keep bloody interrupting because you’re uncomfortable with the silence.
Well, get comfortable with the silence, put your most stupid dumb grin on your face, and just sit there and stare, but do not say anything. Let them make the decision, allow them the time and the space.
And yes, it will be uncomfortable, but at least you’re allowing them to process everything and they will get to their logical conclusion which will be pathway of the reasonable person or the pathway of the unreasonable person. Either way, whatever they choose you win. You got to give them the space to do it.
To wrap this up, with I guess the skill to make this work properly, there is a reason, folks, why you’ve got two eyes, two ears and one mouth, use them in that ratio, pay attention to what’s going on with your eyes and your ears and use your mouth about half as much as what you do now.
Like ask questions, shut up, listen, feed it back. So what I’m getting from you is you feel this about that, like feedback the feeling, the emotion, with which they’re delivering their content.
It’s a powerful, powerful skill. If you want to learn more about that, in fact, go get yourself a copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Go straight to habit five first, seek to understand then to be understood. You can learn a very, very powerful skill that will help you with your qualify or quality client pathway in the future.
So I hope that is helpful. Now, if you want to learn a little bit more about that all you need to do is, depending on where you listening to us, I’m going to put a link in the comment section.
If you’re watching us live, click that, and you can you fill out a little form. It tells us a little bit about your business and we can jump on a call and point you in the right direction. Okay?
It will be a worthwhile call, I can guarantee it, no matter what happens, you’ll be pointed in the right direction for what you need and what you want right now.
No need to bring any credit cards. There’s nothing to buy. It’s simply a conversation to point you in the right direction to get you what you feel you need right now, save you whole bunch of time.
There’s so many resources in the Facebook group and all that in our website and so forth.
We just need to find out what you need for you and point you in the right direction. So jump on, make that call real fast. You can select a time and a date that that kind of suits you, but don’t do it in a week’s time.
It’s literally a 7 to 10 minute call and you can make a lot of progress in 7 to 10 minutes. So jump on that. If you’re watching it, watching this on the website there’s a button underneath the video.
If you’re listening to us through Spotify or Apple, all you need to do is navigate to builderbusinessblackbelt.com.au the schedule a call button’s everywhere and you’ll be able to do that.
Q & A
So let’s get into the Q and A. Before we do that, I need to remind you if you are watching us live I want you to put the hashtag live in the comments in the Builder’s Business Success forum.
If you’re watching the replay, just put hashtag replay. That’s just for the people who are in the Builder’s Business Success forum group.
I noticed a couple of people have been watching it on our website and finding a pop-up box somewhere to put some comments in and they’ve been putting hashtag replay in there, which really confused me.
I didn’t know where it came from or what was going on.
So this is just for the people watching us on Facebook through the Builder’s Business Success forum put in hashtag live or hashtag replay, depending on whether you’re watching us live or replay. So the Q and A, Q and A time.
The question we get asked quite often is how do we compete with Cowboys and volume builders?
And I’ve had the conversation many times, you know, when the volume builder moved into town it really affected us.
And that is because you are competing with them more than likely on price. And most volume builders are all about competing on price.
They can do that because of the volumes. It still doesn’t represent great value to the prospects but if you’re going to compete with them on price you’re going to lose every time.
And competing on price, you’ve got to agree, it’s just a bloody race to the bottom. Nobody wins, not even the client. They don’t win because they miss out on so much because the focus is always on price.
So stop competing on price. Now, Cowboys can’t and won’t offer value. They don’t know how to do it. They’re working out of the back of the Ute.
They’re probably, you know, they don’t have the insurances, they don’t do all of this sort of stuff. They’re not, they don’t have the, the they’re not compliant. So they don’t have the cost of compliance that you do.
And so it’s going to be cheap and cheerful. And, and if that’s their mindset, you know what sort of experience they’re going to give their clients.
So don’t even know bother competing with that. What you need to do is represent massive value. How do you do that?
We just talked about it a little while ago by understanding your prospect’s fears, frustrations, wants and aspirations, being able to have them feel that you understand them, at least as well if not better than they understand the problems themselves.
That represents massive value. And I was watching undercover billionaire the other night and you will all have heard of Grant Cardone, he’s on this show and they have to build a million dollar business in 90 days, starting with a hundred bucks, in a city that they’ve never been in before, a phone, and an old second-hand car.
And one of the things that he said when he lost the deal was he didn’t lose the deal on price because he says it’s almost never about price. And we need to understand that.
So please don’t try to compete with the Cowboys on price. Volume builders don’t prioritize the relationship. They’re very, very salesy and they treat them their prospects and clients like numbers.
And a massive part of the value that you can deliver is after the build or throughout the build is that your clients really have a positive and memorable experience for all the right reasons.
I’ve talked about it a gazillion times after handover, a year after handover, someone says what was it like building?
They don’t talk to their friend about the quality of your workmanship. They talked to them about the experience. The builder was like this, the builder was great. The builder was horrible. The builder didn’t listen.
The builder didn’t turn up on time. It was about their experience. It’s not about the quality of your workmanship. So, you don’t compete against the volume builders with efficiency and salesiness and all of that sort of stuff.
You do it by creating a relationship with your clients that the volume builders just won’t do. They could, but they wont, and the Cowboys they don’t either but it’s all about price and no value.
So all you need to do is learn how to understand the prospect’s priorities and concerns and understand that they feel understood. And one quick point there, don’t assume you do.
Go get yourself a copy of The Seven Habits, go straight to habit five, and learn this skill to ensure that you know how to go through this process and have your prospects and clients know that you understand, don’t you you assume that you understand and stop there.
There’s a bit more to be done. And as I said, it’s never, or almost never about the money. Unless there’s an absence of value, but we’re talking about you guys learning how to deliver that value.
So again, if you want a hand learning how to do this, we’ve got processes all over the place to support you and guide you and teach you how to do this sort of stuff really, really quickly.
And this might be appropriate for you, it might not, but the best way to find out is just quickly jump on a call Hit the link in the comments, if you’re watching on Facebook.
Hit the button underneath the video, if you’re on the website or go to our website it was buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au and just schedule a call. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.
And just a quick reminder, if you’re watching this live hitting in the comments hashtag live and hashtag replay, depending on whether you are watching live or replay. It’s sort of fairly self-explanatory.
Personal Productivity Hack
So, personal productivity hack time, this is simple, very rarely used, and incredibly powerful.
And I was just talking to the man behind the camera here about it just before we started. And it’s about the diary system that you use, making sure that the diary system that you use has a thing called a month at a glance.
The month at a glance is where you place all of your time bound obligations. So your meetings, your time blocks, all of that sort of thing. You don’t put your to-do list in there that’s in another place in your system.
But it’s really important to have a month at a glance, so you can start to, particularly if you’re smart about it and you start to use little codes or color codes or whatever.
So there’s, there’s a bit of personal development, there’s a bit of professional development, there’s another one for meetings, another bit for travel, on site. You can start the color code all of this and you can look back.
You can step back from you your month at a glance and you can start to see where the lion’s share of your time is going. You can start to see sometimes when you’re out of balance.
And let me explain what I mean by balance, because I’m not a believer anymore, I used to teach it, but I don’t even believe that it’s possible anymore of getting a work-life balance in the traditional sense, but it is important to make sure you have a balance of things.
So the thing that really make the big difference is refining your philosophy, blocking out time to learn new skills, new mindset skills, new communication skills, building processes and procedures, and effectiveness skills. And you need to block out time to do that.
And with a month at a glance, you can see, hang on all I’m doing is doing the work work. I’m not doing any of this stuff. No wonder I’m not making progress.
So having a month at a glance is very, very powerful for that purpose, but it’s also really powerful to look at like scheduling meetings and all of that sort of stuff because you can see where you’re going to be at any different time or day or in the month.
And you can plan geographically intelligently, you know, instead of driving all the way over here and then driving all the way over there. Well, if you waited a day you could group things together over in that spot.
I know that sounds fairly simplistic but it was an absolute game changer for me. I, you know, when I had no idea what I was doing back in the days when I was selling life insurance, it’s a dream job by the way, everyone should try it.
I used to travel up to upwards of 500 kilometers a day because I was useless because I didn’t think to plan things in a smart way geographically. So there’s a lot of benefits for this month at a glance, make sure in your system you have some sort of month at a glance.
So I hope that’s helpful if you’ve got any questions you know what to do, bang them in the comments, if you’re watching live.
Or reach out to us by the website or what have you and ask questions so we can help you out.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
What’s the takeaway from this particular episode, episode 45?
From everything that I’ve said or everything I’ve talked about. I think that the takeaway is don’t fly by the bloody seat of your pants.
Stop flying by the seat of your pants and making it up as you go along. Have a process for your quality client pathway, have a process for the management of your days, weeks and months.
Okay? Have a process to block time out, so you become better. Somebody told me many, many years ago, don’t wish for the problems to go away, wish for you to be better.
And the cool thing about that is you don’t have to wish for you to be better because you’ve got complete control over it. You’ve got complete control over your choices to whether you put time aside to learn stuff or not.
So stop flying by the seat of your pants, build processes, measure, and refine those processes, and make sure you time block to improve and learn your skills of communication and other things.
Because even if we just talk about communication, it’s so powerful inside of your business, outside of your business, and in your personal life as well, super important. So I hope this episode was worthwhile for you. I hope we covered some stuff that’s going to make a big difference.
As I said, at the start of the podcast loved to talk to you. There’s so many things that we can help you with. We just need to get in touch with you and point you in the right direction.
To do that, all you need to do is book a call.
There’s a link in the comments. If you’re watching it on the website, there’s a button underneath the video, just hit that, fill out a little form. It tells us a little bit about you.
So we’re a bit more prepared for when we have the conversation. And then we’ll just jump on a real quick call, find out what the best course of action is for you.
Point you in that right direction wind you up and off you go and it’ll make it a big difference Short time on the phone can make a big difference to your business.
One last reminder, if you’ve watched this live put live in the comment, if you’ve watched the replay in the Facebook group put hashtag replay in the comments, really appreciate it.
So that is it for this episode 45 of Builder’s Business Success podcast. We’ll be back again, live in the Builders Business Success forum Facebook group for builders 10:00 AM every Tuesday morning.
That’s Sydney time, Eastern seaboard, whatever it is, Eastern time, Eastern, East coast Non daylight savings time, you know what I mean.
So whatever time it is in Sydney, if it’s 10 o’clock we’ll be live and hope you catch up with us then and all the best.
I’m Mick Hawes, Builder’s Business Black Belt. That’s it for this episode. Bye for now.