The Difference Between Good and Great

I’ve had numerous conversations with clients lately that parallel my struggles – prospects and clients can not tell the difference between good and great. In my line of work, it is hard to determine what is a great brand and amazing design without knowing the company, situation, and having an eye for design. In construction, this is even hard because many times your quality is hidden behind walls and it doesn’t show for years.

Poor performance can show quickly when things start falling apart in a new building. The problem isn’t distinguishing between bad and good, it is how do you educate prospects and clients about the difference between good and great. Good companies win low bid work while negotiated work requires a great company. Every construction company I know wants more negotiated work because it is less costly to obtain and you set realistic, more profitable budgets.

I don’t have the secret weapon to showcasing a construction company’s greatness (yet), but we’ve been digging in and having success. One sign of a great builder is the longevity of their work. One of my road construction clients repaved an asphalt road a few years ago that they paved over 25 years ago. Usually asphalt roads are paved every 8-12 years. This was a great story because the company’s current president was the project manager for the original project and it shows the company’s quality.

Another client, a vertical builder, recently started surveying clients of buildings they constructed 10-15 years ago. They are asking about the building’s construction, durability, and the owners satisfaction of their work over 10 years ago. Only the great ones can do this. We’re challenging them to start tracking maintainance cost on their newer constructed buildings and comparing it to the national average. We expect them to show a 20-30% advantage over the national average. This is quantifiable proof they can share with prospects, which will allow them to charge more than they could if a low bidder.

How do you show your construction company’s greatness?