The ONE test ALL outsourced contractors need to pass

Last week I talked about How To Outsource Your Client Projects The Right Way, and today’s post is a continuation on the same topic.

With so many contractors on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn Gigs, how do you ensure you select the right subcontractor for the right job?

How do you find someone who can deliver the work on time and on budget? Many agencies struggle with hiring subcontractors. It’s one of the biggest sticking points when outsourcing client projects.

Pick the wrong subcontractor, and you risk damaging the client relationship and losing valuable client accounts, and ultimately revenue.

Pick the right subcontractor, and your client is happy, you are happy (and profitable), and your subcontractor is happy.

After years of experience in the agency business, I believe there is ONE test that all outsourced contractors need to pass if they want to work with you.

What is that secret? Watch the video below to find out – it’s only 4 mins and 43 seconds.

Expanded Video Transcription

We’ve already established in previous videos that you need to have a process to manage subcontractors and adjust your business model to reflect the reality of working with outside resources. The other thing you need to consider is the quality of the contractor you’re working with, as well as the quality of the work that they produce.

I’ve talked with hundreds of contractors who say they “do SEO” or that they “do analytics” – and of course, every one of them is going to say they’re capable of doing the work effectively. That’s the nature of the game.

Everybody thinks they’re capable.

Everybody thinks they’re really good at doing these things, but…

Everybody is NOT equally capable of delivering great work.

Top performing subcontractors who deliver great work are actually quite rare. And there’s no governing body that says this is the best contractor in the world. So you have to sift through the noise. Anyone can say, “Yeah I do that. I’m an expert.”

The barrier to entry of being a contractor is very low, and so relying on self-declared integrity of a contractor to guide your decision is not a great idea. You could end up with a “D Player” if you aren’t careful.

How do you weed out the C, D, F, and F – players and only bring in “A players” to your organization?

The “A Player” Guarantee Test

Here’s the ONE test I believe that all subcontractors need to pass if they want to work with your business:

Is the subcontractor willing to STILL complete a project without getting paid if they are delivering the project late or over budget?

I call it the “A Player” Guarantee Test. Because “A Players” always deliver great work, on time, and on budget. If a subcontractor is NOT willing to commit to this standard, then I believe they are probably not the best fit for the job.

The best subcontractors are willing to give that level of guarantee, because they know how to get the job done and that their integrity matters.

If they are willing to make that level of commitment, then they pass the test. Not only that, but I think they’re going to do really good work for you. This is important, because it allows you to test if they are going to live up to their end of the bargain. They are committed to meeting your expectations as a business owner.

Are they willing to put things in writing?

Are they willing to lose money to maintain a client relationship?

Do they believe in their skills that much?

If they’re willing to make that commitment, then they pass the test. Of course, I don’t want anybody to lose money, I don’t want you to take advantage of generous business owners. It’s really all about the signs of commitment and integrity with subcontractors.

You don’t want anyone to lose money on subcontracted projects. Because when this happens, the quality of work delivered will suffer. But you do want to make sure that they are committed, just as committed as you are. Especially, if they are going to represent you in front of clients. Especially if they are reflecting the quality of your business.

What you’re really looking for in contractors is commitment, integrity, and the desire to get the job done. Because they take personal pride in it, their business takes pride in it, and that’s the way that they do business.

Think about it for your business as well. If you’re a subcontractor, would you pass the “A Player” Guarantee Test? Do you believe in your skills, your agency, and the client project enough to put your reputation on the line?

Earlier this week, Elon Musk decided to get paid NOTHING for the year. His salary is $0. His entire pay is performance-based. He definitely passes the “A Player” Guarantee Test.

Do your subcontractors? Do you?


Every subcontractor should pass the “A Player” Guarantee Test which states:

Is the subcontractor willing to STILL complete a project without getting paid if and only if the project gets delivered either late or over the budget?

So, does your subcontractor have what it takes to get the job done? Are they willing to commit to the “A Player” Guarantee Test? Are they willing to put it in writing?
Do you agree or disagree with this approach? Let us know by leaving a comment!

This post and video was episode 62 in our 90 Day Challenge digital marketing series.

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