Everything your prospects read advises them they need three bids from three contractors.

Phil Rea
Mark Robert Halper Phil Rea

When you can't do the job or you aren't in a position to recommend someone, that's the safe thing to suggest. But if it's just about securing the lowest price, chances are the homeowner will get low-balled and possibly taken.

If the sales call results from a referral lead and the customer still insists on three estimates, I tell them to think of it this way: If someone asked me for the name of a good tile sub, I'd recommend one contractor, not three. You either recommend a company, or you don't.

Experience is another factor. Say I'm a homeowner talking to a contractor who's been in the community for 20 years, has an excellent reputation, a local office, and I feel completely comfortable with him. I call three previous clients, who all say great things about his company — and he gives a lifetime labor warranty. Do I really need three estimates?

Another line that works well: “Of the 102 companies in our Yellow Pages you can call for estimates, there are only two I would call to have work done on my home.” —Phil Rea shares his sales strategies each month through his MasterMind Program. For more information, call 866.441.7445.