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As a seasoned contracting professional, you know that sales is your company’s lifeline. While there are many external and internal factors that can impact your sales pipeline - competition, market demand, cost, product/service quality, staffing - persuading consumers is key. And the art of persuasion is built on a foundation of trust.

Here are three (3) ways to build trust and show your value to prospective customers.

1. Build Trust Quickly

Customers need to trust you before they buy from you. Building that trust ultimately starts and ends with you. But outside parties can validate your credibility. That’s why customer ratings are so important to obtain and maintain. According to BrightLogic, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 49% need at least a four (4) star review before purchasing from that business.

But ratings are not enough. According to Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land, consumers increasingly depend on but are also cautious and critical of ratings. Consumers know that ratings and reviews can be manipulated. Ratings are a necessary, but not sufficient, way to rely on outside parties to validate your credibility.

Associating your brand with other trusted brands can jump-start your credibility and build trust quickly. Make sure your website and your sales team associates itself with trade-specific brands, such as ACCA, NCI, BPI, NABCEP, as well as other third-party associations such as Pearl Certification.

Greg Wells, Williams Comfort Air | Pearl Certified Contractor Testimonial

Hear how Greg Wells of Williams Comfort Air builds trust quickly using Pearl Certification.

2. Build Deeper Trust

Customer ratings and association with other brands create a quick - but sometimes shallow - well of trust. After that initial impression, consumers will often take a deeper dive by reading more reviews or by investigating the types of organizations that are co-branded with you to learn more and how it might deepen their level of trust in your company.

Some brands will be familiar. A Better Business Bureau logo is well known and reinforces one element of trust about a contractor’s good standing as a business. Other logos will not be known to the average consumer (such as ACCA, or NABCEP, or BPI, or Pearl), but once they click on the logo, it reinforces one or several elements of trust (awards, industry accolades).

But let’s face it. Most consumers don’t know what makes for a quality contractor. That can make it difficult for your sales team to quickly build trust and persuade your prospective customers to buy.

After all, what makes a good contractor that can be trusted? Technical competence in their trade? A culture of delivering value by proposing solutions that meet their customers’ needs and not simply selling products? Answering the phone and showing up on time? Supporting their employees with training and technology? The answer is yes. All of the above and more.

Brands like Pearl Certification reinforce multiple elements of trust by focusing on value, third-party vetting of contractors to meet a set of contractor qualifications, and a certification process that protects consumers and holds contractors accountable for quality results.

3. Build Trust by Talking About the Future (That Helps You Close the Sale Today)

Every business owner knows the importance of customer retention for repeat business. The costs to acquire new customers are much more expensive than keeping existing customers - estimates range from 4x more, to 30x more, to even higher!

What is less well known is that talking about what you can do for your (prospective) customer in the future can persuade your customer to purchase from you now.

In a series of studies evaluated by Dr. Halvorson, she explains that people are more motivated to work with another person (or company) based on what they can do for them in the future as much for - and even more than - what they offer right now.

This does make some intuitive sense. After all, doesn’t everyone desire that relationship over time to give them peace of mind? A trusted mechanic. A trusted handyman. When comparing an apples-to-apples bid today, a consumer will gravitate to the company that will be there for them in the future - even though they are currently focused on an immediate need.

Extended warranties, maintenance agreements, and membership clubs are all ways to close the deal today with a new customer while communicating that this is the start of something great in the future.

Offering Pearl Certification to all of your customers is another way to communicate the future value that your customer will receive, even when that value might be delivered years from now. With Pearl Certification, all homeowners receive:

  • A Pearl Certification Report issued by a third-party, so they can have confidence that the investments they make into their home’s high-performing features will be properly considered and protect or increase their home’s equity in the future.

  • Free access to opt-into Green Door, a homeowner’s online portal that educates them on how to maintain and improve their home over time. Green Door stores your company’s contact information and logo to help your customer connect with you in the future. Green Door is recognized as “Home Services Platform of the Year” by PropTech Breakthrough.

  • Access to online resources if and when they sell their home. These resources include a free real estate marketing package that highlights the value of your work (solar, HVAC, insulation, etc.) in language that prospective home buyers understand.

  • Access to Pearl’s customer service team, who can provide assistance to homeowners years after your work was installed and certified. The customer service team is trained to guide homeowners back to your company when a homeowner is seeking more goods and services that you offer. The team will also help homeowners when they are refinancing, selling, or have other questions about how to maintain and upgrade their home, such as when they are seeking more goods and services that are not offered by your firm.

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