Success means being different

“Be different: compete on value,” is the advice from Ted Garrison, who gave the keynote address at last week’s National Frame Building Expo in Columbus, Ohio. “If you’re not different, you will only compete on price. The real issue is value.”
Garrison, Garrison Associates, is a construction expert with more than 25 years experience in constructing commercial properties, including retail, office and public buildings.
“Would you walk 20 miles to save a $3 gallon of gas?” he asks, by way of illustration, noting that while everyone thinks fuel prices are too high, the bigger question in this case, is one of value.
Price, he says, is a value question. That means that builders must learn to prioritize their clients’ needs and, in the long run, give them more than they pay for — more value for the price.
Part of being able to deliver value is knowing, going in, what are the conditions, limitations and expectations on the project. “That’s another way of saying, ‘Do it right the first time,’ he says.
When differences or problems arise, focus on the solution, not on the methodology. The customer only wants to know that something is going to be fixed, not necessarily how it will be fixed.
Even though he was addressing builders who are already convinced that post-frame is superior for their clients’ needs, Garrison says, “Don’t debate post-frame.” Rather, he says, show clients in dollars and cents what they will save on energy costs.”
Clients need to keep in mind, says Garrison, that construction costs are only 10 percent of the lifetime cost of the building. That means showing clients the substantial energy savings over a lifetime that will accrue from post-frame. And, he says, if you cannot overcome a client’s resistance to post-frame, this is not your client.

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