Qualifying clients is the very first step in the process when approaching a builder. It is ever so important that both builder and potential client are found to be a suitable match right form the very beginning. In our early days, there were many occasions we didn’t take the time to qualify a client, before spending hours and hours, in fact sometimes days working on a quote only to find we were on different pages. Qualifying clients isn’t just about making sure your personalities are complimentary, it’s about ensuring the style and types of project they are looking to complete, is something you are interested in doing. Here is a few of the things we do.
Qualifying Clients – An Essential Step
Most of our enquires come via our website, the blog or Facebook so usually the first contact in email based. From here we invite our clients to participate in a 10-minute phone catch up. This phone catch up, gives both client and builder the opportunity to feel out exactly what the client is looking for, it also creates a rapport between you both.
Why is this necessary? The most important part to building, is not actually the building, but the communication around what is going on. Clients need to effectively communicate with the builder what it is they desire and builder needs to communicate around every aspect of the job.
As a client, this is a great time to do some qualifying of your own, ask questions and find ways to be sure your builder is able to not only listen to you, but to hear what you are saying. This is really important if you are to work together to create your dreams.
Builders will use this time, to ask questions around your project to ensure it is the type of work they are happy to do. For example, at Fernbrooke Homes, we don’t build granny flats and we don’t do project style new builds. This is a great time saving way to ensure we are compatible with the potential client.
At the completion of the call, the client will be asked if they consent to us sending through a brief survey. This survey is designed to show us if the client is expected the same things we are with their build. It is another great tool to ensure compatibility. There have been several times when a client has come through the phone process, only to have highlighted in the survey that we lack compatibility in key areas of expectation.
Once the client has been through these two-qualifying processes, and only after then, do we make time to catch up and meet with them. If a client is prepared to walk through this project, they are invested in what it is we do. As we still provide free quotes, this is a great security measure against both client and builder wasting time, and therefore money.
Are you a small business owner? Do you qualify your clients? As a client are you happy to work through this process?