EPISODE 47 | The Meeting to Decide it All!
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
If this is your first time welcome. The sorts of things that we cover, all of the, the common and often costly issues that most builders experience with, with marketing with managing their team, with managing their prospects and their clients and managing the money and managing your mindset and all of the things that it takes to make a successful building business.
In this particular episode, I’m gonna be covering what we call the initial meeting.
So I’m gonna be unpacking the initial meeting and it’s part of our process that we call the quality client pathway.
And it’s a series of steps that can turn potentially maybe a prospect that you thought wasn’t going to be all of that flash into a really good quality client that isn’t price focused and clients that aren’t price focused are so much better to work with than, than clients that are penny pinching all of the time and trying to get you to do things for nothing.
So the quality client pathway is broken up into various bits. And the bit that we’re going to talk about today is the initial meeting. And this is kind of the business end of it, I guess because it’s the bit where you ask to be paid to put your proposal together.
And I tend not to call them quotes because I like the word proposal. And it it differentiates or separates you from the common thoughts of what quotes are and so forth.
So, but there’s a fair bit to this, to this meeting it’s a choreographed meeting and the cool bit about it is it’s beneficial for everyone.
Q and A or the question that we’re gonna talk about is connected to the, the main topic of the initial meeting.
And it’s Why people won’t pay for your quote.
Why you’re being told no, if you say, ay we charge for quotes. You’re being told no, this, the answer to this question hopefully will help you.
And of course, we’re gonna do a personal productivity hack as well.
*Transcription of the show*
So the initial meeting is perhaps the fourth part of the quality client pathway.
And if you go back through previous episodes of the builder’s business success podcast, you can hear how it all comes together. ‘Cause we’ve talked about the initial questionnaire which is the first part.
Then we’ve talked about the triage call. I am gonna mention a thing called the credibility pack today, which is kind of the third part. And then the fourth part is the initial meeting.
Now I think for the most part when most builders first meet their prospect their focus is on just gathering information about the project.
That might include getting information about the budget and so forth, and a little bit about, what the people want from their project. But the real key to this and making it successful is having a focus a complete commitment and a complete focus for your initial meeting on building rapport and building trust.
And here’s the thing, folks, this is a little secret, so if you just move in a little bit closer so you can hear this it’s not about answering their questions. If you answer the question, that are satisfied, but that doesn’t build trust and it doesn’t build rapport and it doesn’t elevate your status as an authority.
And one of the things that makes the biggest impact on, on creating trust and building rapport, is having the person you’re speaking to, conversing with really feel that you understand their problems and their priorities from their perspective.
At least as well, if not better than they do. And if you can do the better than they do bit, that that’s where the magic happens. So, now as I mentioned in the introduction, there is a step before the, the initial meeting and that’s called the credibility pack.
You can call it the capability pack, you can call it whatever you like. But it’s something that is physical, that gets delivered. And so the, the, the part before this, in the quality client pathway is the triage call where you’re asking them a series of questions.
You can go back and watch the episode where we covered that. But then you set the initial meeting. And when you’re setting the initial meeting, I think it’s really important to not ask the question oh when would work for you?
What you need to do is present yourself as a professional and say, I can, we can make next Tuesday at 10:30 AM or next Thursday at 3:00 PM. Like you give them two options, which would you prefer? And that’s, it’s keeping a little bit of control and presenting a professional attitude.
If you go, when would suit you? what you’re doing subliminally, subconsciously is setting up a dynamic that you will move things around to suit your prospect. And that’s not a great way to establish the relationship dynamic in the first place.
So you’re giving them a choice, but it’s basically fitting in with the gaps in your diary system. The other thing you need to do when you’re setting the initial meeting is ensuring that you get an agreement that all of the stakeholders are gonna be at this meeting.
Don’t even bother setting the meeting if they give you the old, oh, well, you know, my husband’s working or my wife’s doing this so I’ll just meet with you and then I’ll talk to them about it later. Not on never, ever, ever do it.
Make sure you get the agreement to have all of the stakeholders there. When you’re getting them to agree to these concessions if you like, you also need to have the skill and you need to have it set up in your process.
The what’s in it for me? like the, the reason that benefits them for having all of the stakeholders there. The reason that benefits them to come your way. So I would suggest, and, and this isn’t a deal breaker but wherever possible, have them come to you, meet in your office.
If you haven’t got an office, maybe rent a boardroom from a serviced office, it’s worth it. But have them come to you rather than go to the property or the site or anything like that. For this initial meeting. Because the purpose of this initial meeting is to set up the relationship dynamics.
That’s what it’s for. But you’ve set the meeting in your triage call. And in between that you send them out a credibility pack and the credibility pack is designed to help create more trust, more credibility, wonder why it’s called a credibility pack.
So there’s all sorts of things in that credibility pack. It could be past jobs. It could be testimonials. I think something really valuable that you put in your credibility pack is, should ask questions. So you can put frequently asked questions in there, that’s fine.
But should ask questions actually elevate your status as an authority because people will think, hang on, you know, no one else has ever asked us that before. And the answer to that question is really important. It could help avoid a problem, a costly problem down the track. So it elevates your status as an authority.
The one thing we always talk about in BBB is the thud factor. And this is something that my coach Taki Moore helped me understand a number of years ago is that the the credibility pack, needs to have a high thud factor.
And what the thud factor is, is that the noise that it makes when they drop it on the kitchen table. So put some stuff that’s substantial in there, you know, maybe even send them out some special tea and put a note in there. Just want you to sit back and relax and have this cup of special tea or whatever it might be while you’re going through this pack.
So make it special, make it make a big thud when it hits the, the table. And I think also what, what adds to the credibility is for it to arrive and be put in their hands as soon as possible after you hang up the phone from the the triage call.
Like ideally, you need to figure out a system that when you go, okay, see you, bye and hang up. There’s a ding ding the doorbell goes, and there’s someone standing at the front with the credibility pack. Would be very creepy, but they’d be wondering how the hell you did that. So, but if you can get it there same day like put it in a courier or something like that.
So what does that do when there is this speed of things happening, it sets a really terrific precedent. A lot of confidence, authority, credibility, all of that sort of stuff goes up when things happen fast, because it signals that you’re organized. Most builders don’t do this sort of thing yet. Well you know, they don’t even bother sending anything or people get all cheap and email them out something.
I mean, for God’s sake, invest a bit of dough, make yourself look professional and have them feel that you are professional by by following these suggestions. Then you arrive. Imagine if, if what you had in your credibility pack was a book written by you. Not as silly as it sounds. It’s easy to do. We might cover that at some stage in the not too distant future. In another episode of how simple it can be.
There are people out there that can help you write a book but man, that’s that’s that creates credibility. Imagine if one of those was in your credibility pack. Then you arrive. They feel like they know you. So it’s so much easier to build the rapport quickly and building rapport contributes to the building of trust as well so.
When we then first meet so we’re into the, the initial meeting, obviously, you know how’s your mother, You start to get into a little bit of small talk and build the rapport and then start the meeting. So take control and start the meeting. Okay. Let’s, let’s get started with this. So just by let’s get started with this you are taking control of the meeting.
Putting out a very professional vibe I’ve got this, I’ve done this before rather than flying by the seat of your pants. How we suggest that you get started, is telling a story in BBB we have a template to help you build the story. But the whole idea of telling the story of how you built your business. And it’s really short and to the point.
What it does is helps the the prospect really see clearly how you are different to the rest of the builders. And how you’ve got a process and what your focus is, and they they start to feel, hang on. this is very different, and the focus is very, very much on me. Meaning the prospect. So you start off with telling the story.
The next step is that you map out the meeting and I would suggest that you use a visual aid. So it’s like a flow chart. So, you know, you, you might have some sort of a screen or you might have a flip folder or something like that, but you are, you’ve got the steps.
So this is what we’re going to cover. We’re gonna do this first. And then we’re gonna cover this. And then we’re gonna cover this dah, dah, dah and you get all the way to the end. And so, the purpose of, the the the map and what have you is to establish the purpose of the meeting.
So you’re organized, you’ve done this before. You’ve got a map and they can very clearly see what’s gonna happen in this meeting. And the purpose of this meeting, number one is to find out whether you think that they’re a fit for your business. You’re not gonna tell them that but that’s what your purpose is.
Do I wanna open the door to my business to these people? Pardon me, will they, you know, be compliant with my systems and processes? Will, will we have a good connection? Will it be a great experience for everybody involved me included the builder?
The purpose of the meeting for them is for you to answer all of their questions and have them feel that you completely understand, their priorities, their concerns, their fears, their frustrations, their aspirations, their wants. As well if not better than they do themselves.
That’s the purpose of the meeting for them. And if you help them to understand that’s the purpose of the meeting, they’ll be a whole lot more compliant and open throughout the conversation. But we’ll show them the map of the meeting.
And the last step is to say, and once we’ve done that once we’ve answered all of your questions, once we’ve allayed all of your fears, and you feel totally confident that I really understand at least as well if not better than you from your perspective about all of your priorities and concerns, your next step is to invest in a professionally prepared proposal. Don’t leave a gap there.
Though what you’ll say is is to invest in a professionally prepared proposal. Now you may have thought that, you know we would just do a free quote. And in fact, we used to, and we don’t do it anymore. And here are all of the reasons why.
In fact we have a thing called the free quote suck explainer. It’s a sheet. If you want a copy of that, reach out to me, email@example.com. And I’ll shoot you across a copy of that sheet because it gives you six reasons as to why free quotes suck from the client’s point of view.
So you could pick two or three of those reasons and put it in this part of the meeting. And by that explanation, they can see very, very clearly that a free quote isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. In fact, free quotes as a rule, create a significant amount of problems for the client.
The builder also experiences those problems and it’s setting up a very, very bad relationship relationship dynamic in the beginning. Because you’re basically saying my time, my experience, my knowledge, is worth nothing. Because I’m gonna give it to you for free.
If you establish that dynamic in the relationship upfront that is going to be expected all the way through the project. And you’re, you’re basically by doing that, you are focusing them on cost.
All of the time the the, the focus keeps coming back to cost. But when they see that making a small investment in getting a professionally prepared proposal that they can rely upon, and it’s done in normal working hours, not at 11 o’clock after you’ve been working for 11 hours on the tools inhaled some dinner, and then been in the office doing paperwork for three hours, and you ended up getting to their quote at 11 o’clock at night.
How reliable is that going to be? And these are all of the things that you can talk to them about. That’s how we used to do it. These are the problems that we used to run into.
We’ve got a great new system now that all of our clients absolutely loved. And the bottom line is with builder’s business black belt, we get feedback every day, that people love it. They much prefer investing in a quality proposal than getting a free quote. That’s the feedback that we get every day.
So you can carry on, you know, and be pessimistic about it and say, well, you know, people will never play never pay for a, for a quote, they expect it for free. You can hold on to that opinion if you want to but you’ve also holding on to all of the negativity and the problems that come up in your business and in your customer’s experience because of it.
You can let go of that useless thought process and get on board and learn how to do this in your business because it works and it will make a difference.
So you establish that next step of the paid proposal and that you don’t do it for free. And here are the reasons and you can use the free quote suck explainer as a tool for that. And then you ask what we call the three question loop. And again, I’ve gotta give credit to Taki Moore.
He’s an absolute genius. He has taught us all in our coaching group, this three question loop. And it’s this, does that make sense? Wait for the answer. I go, yeah. Are you a hundred percent comfortable with everything I’ve talked about so far? Wait for the answer. And then the third question is, in your mind where do you think we should go from here?
So remember this is we’re we’re about seven to 10 minutes into the initial meeting. And if you’ve got a sense that these people are no way, no how going to pay for your time, your knowledge, and your experience, you need to get out of there.
So you’ve wasted 10 minutes instead of wasting potentially 40 hours of putting together a quote that all they’re going to do is get somebody else and somebody else to do it.
Flip through all of your detail go to the back page, look at the price make a decision based on that. They do not respect your time, your knowledge, your experience.
Doing it this way, people go, wow, that makes a lot of sense. Yes, let’s do it this this way. And the three question loop gives them the control. Does that make sense?
You’re a hundred percent comfortable with everything I’ve talked about so far? In your mind where do you think we should go from here? You’re giving them the control.
But what you’re actually doing is creating a pathway for your reasonable customer the client that would be reasonable. Which is investing some money in doing this properly in the beginning.
Or the other pathway is for the unreasonable person who doesn’t respect your time, knowledge, or experience and want it for free. And, but they choose which way they wanna go. Where do you think we should go from here in your mind?
Where do you think we should go from here? And they go, well, let’s do a proposal, or they’ll go I’m not paying for a proposal and you go, that’s cool, and you leave. Or you go to the next step and start gathering the information and whatever you need to put the proposal together. But get paid first. That’s the key to it. Get paid first.
The whole idea of doing this in the first seven to 10 minutes as I said is, you’re getting agreement in principle, that if all of the questions are answered, all of the fears are allayed throughout this meeting, then yeah it makes total sense to invest some money in getting a professionally prepared proposal.
But if they’re not going to do that, well then you can save a whole bunch of time. You’ve only wasted 10 minutes. And if they’ve traveled to you, you haven’t even wasted the travel time.
But don’t be afraid to walk away. You must understand that the quality client pathway isn’t a manipulation process that turns everybody into a client. It’s it’s focus number one focus is education. Showing your prospects a better way of doing things.
So they’re gonna get more value and a much higher quality experience throughout this project, but they’ve gotta play their part. They’ve gotta be a team member.
They’ve gotta invest in your knowledge and your experience, your intellectual property. And they need to work together with you as a as a team with openness and transparency. And that’s how it will work best for everybody. And if they don’t want to do that, walk away. Because then the quality client pathway has worked as well. It has saved you a bad experience.
And please put your hand up and wave it in the air like you just don’t care if you’ve ever had a client that at some stage through the project, you’ve gone, man I wish I’d never had have even taken these people on. Everybody’s experienced that, this is a great way of avoiding that, and changing the experience for everybody so it’s really, really high quality.
Q & A
Now, Q and A. The question is why won’t people pay for my quotes? So, I get this question a little bit because people listen to, you know I need to pay, need to get paid for my proposal.
And I started telling people, ay, you know I charge for quotes and they just go, well I’m not paying mate and walk away. I think that you might have bit of an insight now that we’ve unpacked the initial meeting as to why that might happen. But one thing you do need to understand is people won’t part from, part with their money, unless they see value.
So it’s not a money decision why they’re not paying you for your quote or not agreeing to pay for a quote or a proposal. It is that you haven’t been able to establish value with them. From their perspective they don’t see the value. And telling them isn’t the answer.
Going through this quality client pathway and and doing the initial meeting, that’s the solution because it is building authority, building rapport, building trust, and then giving them the control to decide to do this or not. You’re not giving them any control at all when you say, we charge for quotes and that’s your presentation.
They first need to know that you understand, and you care and you you’ve got a process for them to follow. And so understanding from their perspective builds trust and that is massively valuable. So learning skills to understand from their perspective. A great resource if you wanna go learn this stuff, is habit five from the seven habits of highly effective people, author, Stephen Covey.
Forget about the rest of the book at this stage go straight to habit five and start to read it over and over and over and learn how to have a conversation with people so they feel that you understand them, and you will build trust really, really quickly. Once trust is established, people will then, tend to want your advice, and follow your process. That’s just the logical progression.
They won’t follow your process or ask for your advice if they don’t trust you. But once you’ve established trust then they want your advice, and they want to follow your process. And if paying for a proposal is part of the process and you can show them the value that they get from this versus a free quote, it’s a no brainer.
And it happens every single day. And the key to it is just showing them the old W I I F M, which is what’s in it for me? You’ve gotta, from their perspective, answer that question, what’s in it for me? And if you can do that, listen to them, build trust, build rapport.
It’s, it’s incredible the change that happened. And we get this feedback every day in black belt, that I can’t believe that this still works, like that this works but there is just no resistance to the people paying for a proposal when you do it correctly.
So again, if you wanna be shown how to do this, we’ve got it all mapped out. We can show you how to do it. All you need to do is get in a conversation with us so you can do that. Go to the website, schedule a call.
Hit the button under the video if you’re watching this on the, on the blog, but if you’re watching it on Facebook, either live or replay we’ll put a comment, we’ll put a link in the comment section and that’s how you can do it.
Personal Productivity Hack
Personal productivity hack time, you know what a grass catcher is? It’s the thing you stick on the back of your lawnmower and it catches grass. Excellent.
How’s that a personal productivity hack? There’s a thing called a grass catcher list. And it’s just a list of things that can deliver you some value.
So when we teach our members time management we teach them how to apply priorities. A priority is something that is vital, absolutely critical for the life of your goal. B is somewhat important, but it’s not critical. It’s just important. C offers some value.
And there are a whole bunch of things that we think we should do and suggestions that other people make to us and books we should read or podcasts we should listen to, or what have you. And those things offer us some value.
If we write them down and they’re suggested again and again, and again, sometimes urgency creeps into our decision-making process and we go oh, we’ll just go and do that.
But sometimes it’s it’s to the detriment of something that’s really, really important. If you can schedule C priority things into your day you can still get the value out of them, but not to the detriment of higher priority things.
If you let urgency take over, you can start doing some of these things that represent a little bit of value but you do it to the detriment of something that is much higher value, either a, B or an A. So I suggest you create a grass catcher list and it’s just a list in your diary system and your phone wherever you wanna keep it. And you bang those suggestions in there.
And when you’re planning your day doing a prioritized daily action list, if there are some small gaps in there, you can start to put those things in those spaces. We had a conversation in here this morning just about Vince Lombardi and showing up 10 minutes early to places. And, and when you do that, it removes all of your stress.
You, you arrive places 10, sometimes 15 minutes early, and it gives you the opportunity to start to tick off some of these actions and ideas that live on your grass catcher list. But if you put those things on your grass catcher list on your daily list, it makes it look like this massive big list.
And it creates overwhelm. It puts you in an emotional state that is very very ineffective for productivity, unnecessarily. And, and so you become less productive.
But if you get those C things off your list into a grass catcher list and you bring them into spaces that appear during the day because of your efficiencies, you can get them done. But if you don’t get them done, it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t overload your list and make it look like this big, massive list. So build yourself a grass catcher list.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
What’s the takeaway for this episode? I think it’s the saying from Zig Ziglar, you know “if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing you’re gonna keep on getting what you’ve been getting.”
I think Walt Disney would say, you know “if you wanna be successful, look around and see what the world is doing and don’t do it.” But my version of it is is, “if you do what everybody else does you get what everybody else gets.”
If you look around at the success of building businesses the financial success and the time freedom success of the owners of building businesses, you’ll find by far the majority of them don’t have any time freedom and don’t have financial success either.
So if we do what everybody else does, and we do free quotes, and we’re unprofessional, and we’re disorganized, and all of that, we’ll get the results that everybody else gets.
So that would be my takeaway for this, is start to figure out what you need to do, which is kind of almost the opposite of what traditionally builders do. And we follow those suggestions in the builder’s business success podcast.
So you can go back and watch previous episodes or listen to previous episodes of the podcast and get ideas for this. But as I said if you wanna help implementing this, if, if if what I’ve said has ended up creating more questions than answers, we’re more than happy to help.
There’s no harm, there’s no foul in getting on the phone and asking some questions so we can point you in the right direction. That right direction might be investing in a course that we have or it might be getting into the free stuff that we’ve got. It just doesn’t matter.
Our mission is to help builders. And if we have to do it one at a time we will, and we are. And all you need to do for, to to help us with our mission to to improve the whole building industry, is play your part and we’re happy to support you and guide you.
So jump on a call, tell us where you’re at, tell us where you wanna be. We can point you in the right direction, for what you want and your current situation.
So you don’t need to worry about, can I afford it? Can I afford it? Any of that sort of stuff, we will help you find a way. But all you need to do is put your hand up and say, hey can we have a chat? So the way to do that, is we’ll put a comment put a link in the comments if you’re watching it on Facebook live or the replay.
If you’re watching it on the podcast oh sorry, on the the blog on the website, there should be a button underneath the video, just press that, that’ll take it to the form away you go.
If you’re listening to this on Spotify or Apple or any of the other podcasts, audio only platforms, all you need to do is just navigate to builders business, I don’t even know where you have to navigate. There it is. It’s written on the screen buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au Simple really.
If you go there, there’s schedule a call buttons all over the place, just press them the same thing happens. So, but we, we wanna help. All you need to do is be prepared to have a conversation. And it’s about as simple as that.
So I hope this episode 47 was value unpacking the initial meeting. I hope that you start to use this. It’s gonna make a big difference. And if you want help, as I said, you know what to do. We’ll be back with another episode, episode 48 before you know it.
We’re going live with these currently in the builder’s business success forum Facebook group. It’s a Facebook group specifically for builders. If you’re not a member, get in there. There’s a ton of resources. There’s awesome people in there that will answer questions and give you shortcuts to solutions, to many of your problems.
So get in there. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions, jump in and away you go. And you can participate live in these podcasts at 10:00 AM every Tuesday morning in the builder’s business success forum.
So get in there and participate with us live. Hope you liked it. I hope you got some value out of it.
We’ll be back before you know it on Mick Hawes builders business black belt. That’s it for this episode of the podcast. Bye for now.