By Garrett Smith
It’s not always easy being the new guy - especially in the business world. As a young snow and ice management company, that is especially true. It seems there’s always an established incumbent.
Being the new guy also means that you’re constantly fielding questions about your competency. Forget the size or type of customer. The pessimism is pervasive. You’re always trying to prove yourself worthy of the bid.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
- “Can you handle this job?”
- “Have you ever done a property like this before?”
- “How long have you been in business?”
- “How many employees do you have?”
- “What equipment do you own?”
Yes, this is all a normal part of business. No customer wants some “bum” working on their property. They want the best service provider for the best price they can get.
Yet, for a young company, the way in which you handle the answers to these questions can make the difference between a deal and death by rejection. Judging a company by the answers to these questions can be a slippery slope.
What start as innocent, innocuous questions can quickly escalate into fear, uncertainty and doubt in the mind of the prospect as to whether you’re capable of the job, even when you have more than enough experience and are fully capable of executing on the tasks at hand.
Enter the case study
There’s rarely a doubt in my mind as to whether our team can execute. That doesn’t mean prospective customers feel the same way.
Yet, we were growing tired of repeatedly answering these common questions. We decided to do something about it to allow us to show potential customers our capabilities.
We created customer case studies - one for every job type we’ve completed. The case studies always include the following:
- Documenting the issues coming into the job
- Describing the plan of attack that we created for the property or properties
- Outlining the results of our efforts
- Highlighting a testimonial from the customers
The result? We still get asked about our age, experience and capabilities, but now our response is much different. Instead of defending ourselves or telling the potential customer how great we are, we show them what we’ve done for another customer just like them. It’s “their words, not ours.”
We’re able to paint a much more vivid picture of our experience, capabilities and what it’s like to work with us than any questionnaire or RFP response ever could. It has resulted in quicker answers, less scrutiny and, of course, more snow business.
Garrett Smith is co-owner of WNY Snow Removal and founder of Pitch + Pivot, LLC. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.