How to Be a Red X In a Sea of White Circle Salespeople

I wanted to hire a Task Rabbit to hang a TV.

Hourly rates ranged from $23-$47 per hour.

Tim was $47 per hour.

I asked Tim why he was 2X more than other providers.

Here’s what he said:

“Sometimes when you hang a TV, the bracket requires special screws. I have all the hardware in my car. That means you don’t get charged for me to run to Home Depot.”

“I’ve hung over 300 TVs so I work really fast. Typically less than an hour. People with less experience take 2 hours to hang a TV.”

“I’m often called to fix TVs that weren’t hung properly by less experienced people. Sometimes they’re not level or there are exposed wires.”

“You told me you bought a mounting bracket. Sometimes I can use the one you have which means you can return the new bracket you bought saving you $86.”

Tim won my business.

The lesson?

Tim shined a light on the cost of doing business with people that charged a lower hourly rate.

Tim taught me that when you only consider the hourly rate, you penalize people for being good.

Price is the last refuge when there’s no meaningful differentiation.