Looking after the marketing and sales side of things isn’t something many small business owners relish, but they are an absolutely vital part of running a business.

Preparing quotes and estimates, securing the sale and doing the work are all vital aspects of your business and they are also measurable activities that you can put a dollar figure on.

And I know that businesses like yours are wasting time and money on quotes that you are not winning. It’s frustrating, time consuming and costs your business in lost time and potential revenue.

Quoting on prospective jobs is one of the most expensive (in both time and resources) yet important parts of any trade business. But, converting those quotes into sales and jobs can be hard... until now.

I am going to reveal to you the three biggest mistakes most tradies make when giving out quotes and how to avoid them, so you can make more money.

Understanding these mistakes will help you to overcome some of the biggest barriers when it comes to converting your quotes into sales. I’ll also show you some quick solutions that are easy to implement and can have a huge impact on your business.

Mistake 1: Failure to follow up

I bet it won’t surprise you to discover that lack of follow-up is the biggest issue that most trade businesses have. Did you know that 50% of your competitors have given up on the sale after just the first contact with the customer?

From there 65% will give up after a second contact with the customer and astonishingly, 89.8% of them have given up after only the fourth contact with the customer! Yes, nearly 90% of your competitors have given up on a customer after four contacts.

So how can you avoid being one of these statistics?

There are several methods that you can use to have more contact with your customers, including automated emails, postcards, mailed letters, newsletters, SMS, etc. But the simplest method that my clients use is sending a text message when you drop o or email through your quotes. Here is the exact one we have success with:

‘Hey Bob, great to chat with you this week. Just wanted to let you know
I dropped o / emailed through your quote today. If it is okay with you, I will give you a call in three days, in the meantime you can get in touch if you have any questions. I look forward to chatting with you. Enjoy your day. Eve.’

The purpose behind this type of follow up is:

1 To look out for the quote you’ve given them information. It registers in their mind and they will either check their letter box or their email

2 Allowed you to make another contact with them and followed up, starting to build up a level of trust

3 Your number is on their phones already and they won’t have to go out and look for it.

Mistake 2: Not knowing who the decision makers are and how they buy

Do you know who truly makes the buying decisions?

Women make 80% of the buying decision in Australia. You may deal with a man, but 80% of the time the decision is made by the woman.

And this makes sense, particularly when doing domestic work, often it is the women that is home whilst the tradesman is there.

Women buy very differently to men. Women don’t just compare your company to your competitors, they compare it to their favourite best-in-class retailers and ecommerce sites.

So, you need to provide them with a first class experience from the very start.

And one of the best ways for trade business to do this is by providing them with the information and knowledge they need to make the right decision.

This is easily done by using a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which allows potential questions to be addressed prior to them having to make a decision.

Not only do you get to answer questions that potential customers may have, you also have a great opportunity to sell yourself.

And the best part is, it saves you time on all of the follow up phone calls where everyone seems to ask the same questions!

All you really need to do is to keep a record of the types of question (for as little as two or three weeks) when you’re talking to each new customer, of the types of questions that they ask you and the responses to each.

Examples of FAQs include: What is your guarantee? How do I know this is right for me? How long will this take? What do I need to do to prepare? FAQs can also include anything specific about your products or services and qualifications.

Once you have the questions and you know what your responses are, you can then have them typed out. Or if you wanted to be able to use them in another format or because some people prefer to talk than write, you can make each of them into a short video that you can use on your website and social media.

Then you can simply create a FAQ sheet that you can either print out and give to clients or send through with your emails, you can also add them to your website.

Pro tip

Make sure at the end of your FAQ’s you have a call action, something that tells them what to do next like ‘Don’t see your question here? Call us on 1234 now and we can answer it for you.’

Mistake 3: Failure to build trust with your customers

Trust is a huge factor in people’s buying decisions, but how can you build it relatively quickly?

It’s easy for anyone to say how great and trustworthy he or she is. But it’s much more impressive when someone else can say these things about you. Customer testimonials are a great way to gain your customer’s confidence because it’s proof of your results.

Testimonials build trust. Whether your customers are raving about what your product has done for them or about the great service you gave, they’re telling your potential customers first and foremost that they had a positive experience.

Testimonials don’t come across as ‘salesy’ and because they’re not written in your voice they stand out in your marketing as candid and unbiased accounts of how well your service and products works.

Testimonials overcome scepticism. A good testimonial has the power to convince even your “tough sell” customers that your product or service really made a difference in your customer’s life and can help them too.

So, how do you collect the testimonials you need and keep them coming as you grow your business?

You need to ask!

But most tradies would rather pull out their nose hairs with tweezers than ask for a testimonial, it is painful and often embarrassing.

A Fill in the blanks form is really useful for those customers that you have been dealing with over email a lot or that you are working on various projects for.

And an obvious word of caution, never make up testimonials from clients that don’t exist! Similarly, getting friends and family to provide them will inevitably be found out – and there goes the trust you have worked so hard to gain.

The techniques I have talked about are just a fraction of the dozens I use each and every day to grow my clients’ businesses. Take sometime this week to implement these three tips into your business. You will be amazed at the changes to your business and your pro ts. Good luck!

Eve John is a multi-awarded business owner, #1 bestselling author and marketing strategist specialising in trade and construction. She is the creator of the Fully Booked Tradies System and has been called Australia’s leading tradie marketer with her second book HI VIZ BIZ hitting #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon Australia. For more sales and marketing tips to increase you pro ts or to get a copy of her 10 Word Email or SMS That Converts Old Leads Into New Clients go to www.fullybookedtradies.com.au