This blog is created for more than just Renovation Contractors seeking information on how to conduct a professional estimate. Regardless of your profession if you are in sales and estimates are part of your job description please read on, I’m sure you’ll take away a few valuable tips to improve your close ratio.
Before you jump in your car and rush off to meet with a client you should always pre-qualify the prospect. And by pre-qualify I don’t mean that they have a pulse. Regardless if you work in a fancy office or out of your truck you should always have preformatted forms to obtain the basic information about the customer.
You can create these forms in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel I like to refer to them as a Project Discovery Form, you can name them whatever. Below is a sample of the sheet I used with every customer when I was a renovation contractor to qualify if we were a good fit with the customers needs. As you know some jobs are not a good fit or you simply can’t service the customer because of conflicting schedules.
Having the form completed is part of a “Professional Estimate” there are other steps to the process including showing up on time! This is a big issue for most contractors and folks if you want to grow your company and make massive changes you have to learn “Time Management” One idea is to set one day a week for Estimates if you can’t commit to be on time because of job site management or other commitments.
Next, when you show up you have to be prepared to make notes and do a through site evaluation including site hazards or obstacles. This will eliminate problems when you do the job. For instance if you have to do work in a basement and it is partial finished and the customers children use this area to play and you notice toys everywhere, have a conversation with the customer about these hazards and request the items be removed and the children restricted from the area when work starts. Another is if there are pets, have a discussion of where the pets will be and remind them your crew will be in and out all day and the risk of the pet getting out of the house. There are other risks you should elevate for example if your replacing a roof, are there vehicles parked close to the work site. Is the landscape unfinished with safety hazards including tripping over rocks or tree stumps. Take detailed notes, because all of these things will cost you money if extra care is involved to ensure the safety of your crew, the customers property and public safety.
Needless to say when you do show up “Dress Professionally” turn your phone on Silent and pay attention to the customers needs. Measure the areas and discuss any obstacles you might encounter so they are completely informed that you are providing an estimate based on what they are describing. Request any pictures of ideas they have the finished project will resemble.
Your job is to Ask as many questions as possible to TAKE NOTES of every detail they list. If you do these few items your chances of winning the job have increased 100% compared to your competition that goes in telling the customer instead of Listening. Stay tuned for more blogs on this topic to help you succeed. And if you would like a Free Consultation to discuss how I can help you win more bids or do your estimating for you. Click the link below