You have spent your hard earned on SEM and now have leads flooding in, well in perfect world that’s what would happen.  Or, you have worked for years building your hard-earned reputation with a well-established client base. All tradies operate in a highly competitive landscape where buyers usually talk to 2 or 3 suppliers before making a decision. Even returning customers are less loyal and can flee to a competitor over the slightest error in your processes.

All good tradies will have an established client base built on the back of the quality of services and subsequent referrals, though is that enough to sustain consistent growth or even just maintain current sale levels? Having the best systems and processes in your trade will ensure you win more business and may even help establish you as market leader.

One of the first places to look at is your quoting process. Obviously, accuracy is extremely important in quoting to ensure profitability of jobs and ultimately your trade business. So making sure your quotes are accurate should be a priority, however this needn’t slow you down. Waiting until later that day, night or even worse another day is a critical mistake that will lose you business.

In the current digital age expectations on speed of delivery of services and information are very high, people expect to get the information they need immediately. One way to get your quotes to customers immediately is by using Job Management Software (JMS) such as Tradify, Service M8, AroFlo, simPro, Ascora, Fergus or one of the many others available specialising in trades. All these Job Management systems integrate with Xero the leading accounting package for Tradies in Australia, meaning they are automatically populated within Xero.  If your Job Management Software is properly maintained and updated with supplier and customer information, they are a great way for tradies to get quotes out when on site. As they are all cloud based and accessible from mobile devices.

Though of course some quotes will be a little bit more complex, maybe you don’t trust your staff to quote or you may not want to use a tradie job management software. So you need to think about admin processes that will allow you to get your quote information documented and out to your customer faster. That may be by allowing yourself extra time between jobs to get the quote done and sent. Or you might communicate more regularly with your admin staff. If you don’t have admin staff you could engage a tradie admin support service like Office Shed.

You’ve gotten your quote out quickly and it’s time to wait for that call to come in and confirm the deal. WRONG! Tradies must follow up all quotes regularly, a minimum of 3 times. People are time poor and need help in terms of follow up. Quote follow ups show that you run a professional trade business and are usually appreciated by your customers.

Every sales and marketing professional has heard the mantra that time kills deals, this is very much true for tradies. If you are not in contact with a prospect someone else will be. Whoever acts the fastest is most likely to win the business, so make sure you are doing every thing you can to optimise your quoting process.

Duncan McClure

Duncan McClure helps his wife Jay McClure run their fantastic business Office Shed. Office Shed helps tradies streamline their admin processes, are tradie Bookkeeping experts and do reception services for their busy tradies. Duncan has a long history working in management consulting, specialising in business strategy and planning, sales and marketing and customer experience.