It’s not rocket science, the tried and tested way to convert leads into sales is CUSTOMER SERVICE!
So many of us forget this simple fact and instead blame other reasons, like price. Hands down, without fail, the company that converts the most leads into sales will have the best customer service.
Don’t get me wrong, it is true that other factors come into play, but you will have the biggest impact on your conversion rate if you focus on the customer’s experience. STOP worrying about the price, you need to set your prices based on many factors (overheads, labour costs, profit margin, etc.), none of them being your competition!
You will never win every job you quote, especially at the moment when so many clients have uncertain futures of their own, but you can stack the deck well in your favour by focusing on the following:
It sounds as basic as it is, but you’d be surprised how many people get this one wrong. Just this weekend I was at a barbecue listening to a friend – who’s pretty motivated to get his renovations done – complain about how every tradie he’s called in the past year has let him down. They’d either not returned his calls or returned them weeks later. This guy is a professional, he’ll be impressed with a business who shows him professionalism.
So, get yourself a system and start calling your clients back within 24 hours. It’s the most important thing you can do to grow your business!
It’s ok to run late on occasion but be sure to let your client know. Again, I hear so many stories of tradies who don’t turn up at the allotted time. You may think that you’re too busy and it doesn’t matter that you burned that client, there are plenty more. The problem is that you start to get a reputation for letting people down, and when you let people down, they don’t trust you and don’t want to work with you. It is so much harder to land a client when you have let them down before you get out the gate!
Good Contract Negotiation
Present your client with a professionally written, easy to understand contract and you’re two thirds of the way there. Talk them through that contract, giving you an opportunity to answer their questions and ease their concerns on the spot, and you’ll build their confidence in you and your business. You don’t want to overwhelm them with technical jargon, but by explaining the work in a way that makes them understand exactly what is involved you will show them the value in your quote. For example, today I had a quote for a tooth crown. At first all I heard was $1800, but by the time dentist explained the extent of what he had to do I walked away wondering how they were even going to make money from it!
Clarifications should be part of your quote and contract with the client. Use them to clarify any grey areas in the work. The client will feel more confident in your contract, and you won’t be cornered into doing work you haven’t quoted for. Win-win!
Show Domain Experience
Don’t be afraid to give away your knowledge and experience. You are not giving it away for free, you are building the client’s confidence in you. When you leavethe meeting the client is left thinking, “I wonder why the other contractors didn’t tell me that? I wonder what else they’re not telling me? Do they not know, or are they going to charge me more for that later?” Either way, they’re going to pay more for you to do the work because you know more!
Take A Deposit
It is best practice to ask for a deposit to schedule work in. Clients expect it, and all good contractors do this because it helps them plan and secures their work pipeline. Back when I worked in London we would always ask for a deposit and offer a discount to suit our schedule. We built a 10 per cent discount into our quotes, then offered that back to the client if they waited longer or started earlier, depending on our schedule needs. It worked a treat!
Build Your Professional Reputation
All of these tactics present your business as professional and reliable. This breads trust, not only in your business, but your workmanship too. You will find clients trust you more to make decisions, will feel less threatened or ripped-off by you, and as a result you will have far less complaints!
If you focus on the professional conduct of your business you won’t have to worry about price – the clients will pay that bit extra for peace of mind!