Contractors that have an "opportunity mentality" are focused on growth and development. They scour their worlds looking for opportunities to exploit. By contrast, those with a "scarcity mentality" cower back and live in fear of being exploited by others. What kind of mentality do you have? Here are four signs of an opportunity mentality.
Do You Give Free Quotes?
One contractor with a scarcity mentality complained on social media about real estate agents exploiting him. He thought the real estate agent was merely “looking for bids to negotiate at closing.” He said, “I gave her an ‘estimate’ over the phone. Once I told her there would be a charge for written estimates… crickets.”
He was countered by a contractor with an opportunity mentality who disagreed. He noted, “It's called sales. It's also called customer service. It's part of business and we have trained people that are very good at it and make our company a lot of money. That is not a waste of time.”
The opportunity mentality contractor added, “Having trained sales people who can evaluate people's wants and needs and offer them solutions takes nothing away from trained technicians. Small thinking traps you in a small business.”
This is how someone with an opportunity mentality views a request for quotation. It’s an opportunity, not an imposition.
Do You Wrap Your Trucks?
Wrapping a vehicle is another area where the difference between a scarcity mentality and an opportunity mentality is evident. While not all contractors with white trucks have a scarcity mentality, almost no contractors with wrapped trucks have one.
Contractors with a scarcity mentality can only see the cost of wrapping a truck. Why pay to wrap a truck, they ask themselves.
In contrast, contractors with an opportunity mentality note that each truck receives 30,000 to 80,000 impressions per day. It’s a terrific opportunity to build brand awareness, they tell themselves.
Have You Joined a Service Club?
Virtually every town in America boasts one or more service clubs such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists, and Civitan. These clubs are filled with community centers of interest, who are the type of people others turn to for, say, air conditioning company recommendations. They usually meet over lunch or breakfast.
Contractors with a scarcity mentality are too busy to join a service club. They would rather eat lunch at their desks every day or have a "heart attack in a sack" in their trucks than mix with people who can help build their business.
Opportunity mentality contractors cannot resist the potential to network with community leaders. Not only do they see service clubs as great ways to make contact with key people in their locale, but they are great ways to give back.
Do You Invest in Training?
Scarcity mentality contractors will not pay for third party training for their technicians. They worry that the training investment will not be repaid, that the technicians will leave, and that putting techs in a position where they interact with techs from other companies will encourage them to leave. Ironically, the fear of losing the techs becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy – at least for the good techs who want to learn and grow in their profession. They will leave for a company that will invest in them.
Contractors with an opportunity mentality invest in their technicians and in themselves. They see training as an opportunity for their technicians to perform better and return to work charged up. Moreover, they understand that their investment shows their people they are valued, which improves retention.
Opportunity mentality contractors are also likely to attend conferences like the Service World Expo. They are the contractors who join local associations and national alliances. They are the contractors who outperform the industry.
These are just a few examples of the difference between an opportunity mentality and a scarcity mentality. Scarcity contractors go through life expecting the worst. While it is never a bad idea to prepare for the worst, it is the miserable person who expects it. Prepare for the worst, but expect the best. Think bigger. Be bigger. Not only is it more rewarding, it is more fun.
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