Have a look on social media and you’ll sporadically see installation companies having a grumble about losing business to their local rivals. To some it may look like bitterness and sour grapes. But as I work for an installations company, I know that this isn’t always the case.
Losing out for the wrong reasons
Quite often installers will lose business to rivals because their competition have undercut them. This is often the case in areas where the products are all very similar and installers are fighting hard to differentiate themselves and make their USPs known.
If you’re an installer who’s aim in business is to provide quality at every level, you know what type of market you position yourself in. So the real frustration comes when your local competition makes your potential client believe that they can offer them the same quality, but for a lot less. I have had it myself many times in the past from my rivals bigger and smaller than us. They would often undercut us by thousands to try and win the business.
And here’s the frustration, quality businesses have the customer at heart, and it’s the quality installers that get frustrated when they lose business to rivals they know are cutting big corners on quality and installation to be able to undercut them. The homeowner loses out, the company makes little margin – it’s no good for either party, or the quality installer that has lost out too.
Quality vs quality
However, it’s not always bitter. Again from personal experience, I know that installers don’t mind losing business as much if they know that the homeowner has decided to go with another reputable company. Yes its a stinger to be told the customer isn’t going ahead with you. But when you find out that the other company’s price is similar to yours, and the product is in a similar range, and the company you have lost out to are one of the good ones, that sting isn’t quite bad.
I don’t think many of us mind that much losing business to other good businesses. Not every business out there is bad and yours is good. But it’s when good companies lose out to businesses that are clearly crooked, use outdated and high pressure sales tactics, poor products, poor service etc that really grinds the gears.
I believe that good installers are well within their rights to have a grumble when that happens. But it’s not something they should dwell on. Dust yourself down, pick yourself back up, and focus on the type of quality business you want to win. The stuff with the good margins, the homes that make for excellent photos, the stuff you’re really proud to put your name to.