Creating value for a contractor seems to be straight forward. Value defined in Merriam Webster is “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”.
A contractor usually tries to calculate what they are providing and put a monetary worth on it. Clients even ask for that value in similar fashion. For example, “What can you build this for a square foot?” We typically trade something the client wants for money. In our case that product typically is a new or renovated house. I as a contractor deliver that house (product) = you pay me. Seems easy right? Then why are so many people frustrated, angry, disappointed, depressed or despondent during the construction process?
Now, just as to clarify, there are many emotions during a construction project. As a working model right now, let’s imagine that we are balanced on the side of joy and contentment for our clients. To stay on that side of balance, what contractors need to gain is a better understanding of what value they are providing.
Does value = home renovation? Absolutely not.
Clients come to us because they can’t do the project themselves. They are not just looking just for the project to be completed, they are inviting us into their lives. So the then value = (product + experience).
I think we all can agree, many times the experience is the larger role we play in the equation. If it missing from your equation right now, I’m positive that there are problems in your company that you may have had trouble defining.
Our clients value experience so much, that even renovating their house is about participating in a new experience, and allowing their friends to participate in a that experience. Have you ever been over to someone’s house after a renovation? All they want to do is show people around. It is more about the experience they are receiving then their friends.
Can you create an amazing experience with an acceptable product and the client is approving? You sure can.
Can you create an amazing product with a lack luster experience and the client equally approving, it depends on the client and their personality. If you live in this world though, you might as well be playing Russian Roulette
Our role then as a contractor is to create value for our clients. That value is not just the product, it is the experience. So we not only need to be experts on building, we need to be experts on the experience if we are to truly create lasting value.
The real proofs of value are what a friend of mine calls “deliriously happy” clients. To become that happy, you need to receive more value than you “feel” like you are trading for.
Right now that is extremely easy in our field. Clients expectations are very low on the experience. If you deliver an experience at all, then you will be blowing their minds. Mastering both arenas will give you the blue ocean you are looking for. Not only with clients, but with architects, and sub-contractors alike.
Don’t worry if some of your prospective clients don’t get it, there are many who will after you show them! So as a leader, create massive value by providing amazing products coupled with an unforgettable experience. Re-educate yourself and your client on the value of the experience.