Selling yourself is very important for the health of your business and of your reputation. Sure, some jobs may come easy, but not all of your business will come knocking at your door. At some point, you’ll have to market yourself. As I said in ‘How to make money, part 1’ in April, you must prove the value of your services to clients to make more money. There is one significant thing to remember when selling/proving yourself: do not compare yourself to your competition.
Although you may provide similar services as those of the guy (or gal) down the road, you are not him (or her). Most services can’t be compared apples to apples. Sometimes, with all considerations taken into account, it could be more like comparing apples and hotdogs. Potential clients may call you for a quote on a survey and say that your price is higher than your competition’s. But, this does not mean that the other guy has the best service. Lower prices do not always equal better service.
When selling yourself and your company to clients, highlight your strengths. Treat each conversation as an interview. Wow them with your knowledge about your state’s laws, the latest in technology and the most efficient techniques. Don’t charge for jobs according to the time to complete the survey; charge according to the specifics you’ll apply to the job. Streamline the process of accepting a job by matching the right employee with the right skills and the right equipment to that job. The client will receive the best service in the appropriate amount of time. This in turn delivers the best value for the money.
Remember that you are a multi-discipline professional. You have worked hard to obtain a license following stringent requirements. You continue to perfect your trade with each project. Many professions don’t require anywhere near the standards that land surveying does. In addition, you learn new technology on a regular basis while preserving the basics. Your research skills are practically unmatched. And then...
You move into the field. You endure unpredictable and unfavorable weather conditions, unpleasant pets and perhaps wild animals, and more often than not, you work long hours. You often interact with nosy neighbors and erratic drivers—and still you make more accurate measurements than any before you. And then...
You take those measurements to the office to fit them into the puzzle of a survey, sometimes those from the days of our great ancestors. You use specialized CAD and GIS software to create appraisals, maps and plats that assist homeowners, large corporations and municipalities. And for this you deserve a decent pay. So explain the highlights of your services—and yours alone. It doesn’t hurt to know what your competition offers and a bit about their business strategies, but it is more important that you know what you can offer—and this is what you can use to prove your value to your clients.
So, break it all down... how much do you deserve? Decide and then charge that amount to your client.
Once this process is in place, surveying will be more enjoyable—and the money will come. Happy surveying!
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