Ever wonder why some customers think your prices are too high? Might it be because some of them heard prices that where way too low from our friends in the federal or local program told them some numbers that were way too low?
I find this common practice in the energy saving business. The governments operate in a bubble, where the work is supplied in bulk and the leads generated are subsidized by grants other taxes. Small businesses get one or two leads at a time and need to spend resources finding work. This costs money and is placed onto the cost of the equipment. It makes it difficult to pitch to consumers when they have been corrupted by skewed numbers. Combine this with other pressures in our business, and it is difficult at best to continue steady work.
People who have no clue what things cost OR what they save make themselves look inept simpletons, or worse - like completely incompetent and dishonest liars - by reporting the cost or savings of things.
This dumb approach sets expectations so absurdly high that those coming in to make the sale are put at tremendous disadvantage when talking about both price and benefit. Why don't they simply attempt to illustrate opportunity rather than dig into details and solutions?
I think that's what people want to know, what is my opportunity. NREL could make calculators like this: http://bit.ly/Homescale -
So simple a cave man can do it, and it doesn't create biases around prescriptive solutions. It builds on the "every house is different" theme, that the solution is NOT going to be plug and play, and helps the consumer decide if further investigation is warranted.
lol, awesome post Pat...
Nice job defining what happens when you measure proxies for performance, don't measure what matters, and everyone with their hand in the pot will do whatever it takes to avoid accountability or shift blame for poor performance to the guy in the chair next to them.
Seems a lot of "work for work's sake" rather than "work for productive purpose". This causes a climate where excellence is competitive disadvantage. Those who cut corners the tightest without getting caught are the biggest winners.
Until we start tracking where our drives land and counting the strokes, the score everyone will continue to claim will remain 18 for 18 holes. In HP, everyone thinks they are Tiger Woods. It's the Emperor's new suit situation, nobody wants to be honest and the only winners are the gypsy tailors.
Are you ready to recognize that when we start tracking most won't be breaking 100, not in the near term anyway? Are you willing to acknowledge when your drives land in the pond or tall grass? Are you willing to have your scores compared to the scores of your peers?
If you are, on the other side is a much better world. One where you are recognized and rewarded for excellence rather than corner cutting. Where higher price can be justified by your history of better results.
On the other side is a world where the consumer can be confident in the results you provide because of both your history of results, and your skin in the game in having your continued results outperform your competition.
But who has the ability and self-interest in stepping back and seeing accountability as a GOOD thing instead of a bad thing? Who is interested in having a TrustBridge Contractor Performance Registry? Training facilities will benefit, but who else?
Who will support transparency and accountability? I'm looking for names.