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Old September 30, 2003, 01:36 PM
Boyd Stone
 
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Default Why we painted our house instead of hiring someone ...

Hi,

My first advice is:

* Read and heed every word Gordon wrote--as you know, he's a pro-level salesman.

Something Gordon wrote made me think of something. Our house needed painting, and our first thought was to hire someone to do it, so we got a recommendation from a friend and had the guy drop by to do an estimate, which turned out to be $915 including the paint.

Instead of hiring the guy, we decided to paint our house ourselves (in fact, as I type this my 60 year old wife is on top of a ladder painting the trim--she can do things that would stonker someone 40 years her junior--so far, all I've done has been to set up ladders and scaffolds, put on masking tape where needed and cut some bushes).

So, you may be wondering, why did we decide to spend our very valuable time doing the painting instead of hiring someone? There were two reasons.

The first reason was that the estimate was suspiciously low. Our mobile home is 48 feet by 28 feet, and about 40 feet of the house is blocked by thick bushes (including one of the highest parts, which is 16 feet off the ground); other painting problems we enjoy are a ten foot shed that's really close to one side of the house and the fact that the trim around the windows is hard to mask off from the side of the house. $915 for that, including the paint? Something seemed suspicious. Does the guy undervalue his time?--we wondered. Was he planning to add on to the estimate later because of problems that cropped up?

The second reason we decided to do the job ourselves had to do with insurance. We asked to painter what would happen if he fell of a ladder and got injured. Did he carry his own liability? He said that if that happened it would be covered by our homeowner's policy. To check whether that was true I called our agent and was told "no way, Jose"--if the guy fell and broke something, and sued us, and we lost, we'd have to pay for his injuries.

All this has something in common with your situation, and that's why I'm taking your time and my time to communicate it with you.

- As Gordon said, don't be suspiciously low in price and let your prospect know that that your price is a reasonable one.

- If your prospect has a suspicious, paranoid mindset like my wife and I have, you might want to say something to alleviate their fears. Like "I'm self insured, so if I fall off your roof and land on my head you won't be liable for a dime, and by the way, if you fall off the roof while cleaning out your own guttering will you be able to pay your costs and keep your job, or if you hire the kid down the street to do it and he falls on his head will you be able to pay the millions of dollars in fees that will result?"

Gordon said, look at the job from your customer's perspective, and I guess I'm basically saying the same thing.

Hope this was helpful in some way ....

Best,

- Boyd
 


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