In our Tradies in Business Facebook group I see a common concern that tradie based businesses have. Time wasters, or tyre kickers are a pain point for most businesses, and yet it is so easy to correct by learning to qualify leads. While you will never eradicate ‘lookers’ all together, you can have them self selecting out of your service before you spend the hours you do quoting.
How To Qualify Leads And Stop Wasting Your Time
Clients often have no idea how long it takes for a quote to be prepared. As builders we would take up to 2 weeks, with a solid 8 hours put in by us then even more time put in by suppliers and subbies. It is an extensive process to prepare a full quote.
In the early days of business, the Builder would quote on everything that was requested. He spent most of his time quoting, as we grew however, we realised this wasn’t going to work for us or our business. The first thing we changed, was the way we educated our clients.
We told them what was involved, we showed them our step by step process. We did so on our website, our blog, and on our social media. Using these platforms that we already had in place allowed our clients to understand our processes even before contacting us.
How did that actually help? by allowing the clients to understand the time involved when we moved to the next step of charging for quotes. Only once clients understood the time involved, did they begin to understand the reason for charging for the quote.
Have A Sales Process
Having a clear and defined sales process, allows both business and client to get to know one another prior to the quote being done. During this process clients may realise that you are not the business for them, or you as the business may realise that the fit isn’t right with the client.
Despite what you’ve often felt, this is a good thing! These clients were always going to come to this conclusion as some point during the quoting process and often not until the end. Having a sale process can allow the potential client to walk away before you invest the wasted time.
Having a sales process allows you to qualify leads before investing time and effort. By the end of a comprehensive sales process, you will have a firm idea of where your client is at, if they are ready to proceed, if they indeed have the budget required to complete the project, if they have realistic expectations of you and their project. Only if all of this stacks up, would you proceed to a full quote.
Charge For Quotes
This is always an emotive issue. Our time as tradies has long been undervalued as we prepared “FREE QUOTES”. Two things happen with free quotes, either they are not given the full time it takes to prepare the quote, or you waste time preparing a full quote. Often it is not only your time you are wasting, but your subbies as well.
Learning to value our time, is a difficult lesson for some, but I promise you wont look back. No one blinks an eye about paying a Doctor to look into what is wrong with us. We happily pay solicitors for every minute they spend talking to us, and yet tradies are happy to spend 8+ hours preparing a free quote? It’s time to change the way we think.
How much to charge for quotes is entirely up to you, but if you were to charge out for your time spent on the quote, you’d be looking at around $800 to $1,000. As a business we always offered this money as a discount should the client then go on to sign a contract with us, meaning the investment was compensated for in most situations.
Part of educating your clients, and then your sales process is to introduce the concept of charging for quotes. This allows those who are not serious about working with you, to self select and move on before you spend the time quoting. Alternatively, if they choose to go ahead and it doesn’t work out, you’ve not cost yourself that time.
Do you have a sales process in place? Do you charge for quotes?