*Note: this is a guest post from Steve Burnett at DYB Coach, Business Coaching for Service Businesses.
More leads are coming in than you can handle, and there’s not enough time to provide proper estimates for all of them, meaning you can’t spend the quality time you need with them to really establish a rapport.
Instead, it’s a quick meeting. Take some photos, write some notes, and then off to the next one. It’s clear that you’re caught up in the “Estimating Rat Race.”
Your fourth estimate of the day appears to be a quality job. The customers are nice people, referred by one of your best clients, and the job looks to provide a good margin.
But you’ve been running around all day providing estimates, still have more estimates to go, and simply can’t give it the attention it deserves. You’re exhausted and rightfully so.
Unfortunately, you end up losing the high quality job but end up taking two second tier jobs. These second tier jobs don’t pay that well and so we’re back out there the next day providing more estimates.
So how can we close more of those tier 1 jobs that increase our profitability?
1. Stop Taking Every Estimate
Start by asking some pre-qualifying questions when they call in. You can get some sample questions by downloading my 7 pre-qualifying questions for free here.
By pre-qualifying your leads, you will not only increase the chance of winning the job, but you will also ensure that you’re only taking on top tier clients with good profit margins, avoiding the lower tier clients.
How does this increase the chances of winning the job? You’re now taking on fewer estimates, giving you the opportunity to really spend quality time with the client to win their business.
2. Provide Your Proposal On the Spot
Providing your proposal to the customer on the spot takes practice and, of course, is not always possible.
But by doing so, not only are your customers impressed that you are organized enough to be able to do it, but you also get to see their reaction to your proposal right away and in-person.
Do they have an objection? Then you can overcome it. If it is simply a miscommunication about the scope of the work, you can correct it immediately. This is a big advantage because it’s much more difficult to do over email.
3. Ask the “Great Experience” Question
Since you’re now only trying to win jobs from top tier clients, don’t you really want to set yourself apart from the competition? Of course.
You’re in their home. You’ve spent time with them detailing the project scope. You’ve now prepared your proposal but have not yet presented it to them.
This is when you say: “I have one more question and it’s very important to us. What does a great experience look like to you?”
Then simply wait. Remain silent while they think about it for a moment. They may say “I don’t know” or “nobody has ever asked us that before.”
If they don’t give you an answer, simply say “Everybody is different and it’s very important to us that you have a great experience with our service. What does a great experience look like to you?”
Not only do you show them that you care about their experience and want to go beyond expectations, but you’re setting them up to become a “Raving Fan” as a key referral that can also provide a great testimonial if you can deliver. Record their answer, include it in the proposal, and make sure it is entirely fulfilled.
- Pre-qualify every lead so you only provide estimates on the best jobs
- Provide proposals to the customer on the spot
- Ask the “Great Experience” question to find out what can take their experience with you to the next level