When it’s cold outside
keep those leads warm
Why quoting now means a cracking New Year

17 December 2019

This time of year is crazy busy. It’s cold, its dark and you’ve got more on your plate than Santa, so prioritising anything that’s not being screamed for is a bit of pre-Christmas miracle. But if you’re after a strong start to 2020, it pays to keep one eye on your leads, get those new quotes in and line up a load of great work for January and beyond…

Right now, it’s tough to look past the festive panic and into another New Year. But with a few nifty tips you can keep quoting, keep winning and keep everyone happy.

Ah, the magic of Christmas. Everyone’s hollering for their projects to be squeezed in, sorted out and finished up before those sleigh bells start ringing. And just to make it even more exciting, the days are short, dark and full of the joys of rain. Brilliant.  

So when someone asks you to quote, measure up or answer a few questions, it’s easy to let things slip and not get back to them. We get it. After all, you’re busting a gut to get through your current projects, so loading up with more feels like the last thing you need.

Except it isn’t. It’s exactly, completely, 100% what you need. Because if you want a busy, successful, happy new year, you’ve got to look after those leads. Every call you get, every email, every text, is a lead you’ve earned. It’s yours to run with and that’s a valuable thing. If you’ve ever had a quiet patch, you’ll know leads that land in your lap are absolute gold – so don’t waste them.

After all, when you let leads go cold by waiting too long to call or quote, customers tend to start looking elsewhere. Not just for this job, but for the next one, and the one after that. And before you know it, 2020’s getting off to a pretty quiet start.

Give the people what they want

It’s pretty simple. People want to feel looked after, to believe they matter and, ultimately, to know they’re going to get their project done. Just like you would. So however busy you are, it always pays to be friendly, respond quickly and treat them how you’d want to be treated. 

Even if you can’t help this time (there are only so many sleeps till Christmas!), being fast and friendly means they might think of you next time, or decide you’re so good they can wait. Makes sense, right? So how exactly do you find the time when you’re armpit-deep in Christmas chaos? 

Well, first up, remember it only takes a few minutes to keep someone happy with a quote, call or quick message. And second, get into the habit. Protecting your workflow for the months ahead means making time every week – even every day – to keep those new leads warm. The good news is, we’ve got a whole load of shortcuts to make it quick and easy…

Take stock (cuppa optional)

If you’re already feeling the pressure, its time to take stock. Half-remembered mental To Do lists just aren’t going to cut it in the pre-Christmas chaos, so grab a cuppa, sit down, and make a list of all the people you need to get back to, and exactly what they need. 

Maybe it’s just a call, maybe it’s a pop-in-and-price-up, maybe it’s taking those notes you made and knocking out a smart-looking quote. Whatever it is, get it all out of your head and into a list. You can do it in YourTradebase, on paper – whatever works for you. But do it. And do it soon. You’ll sleep better, you’ll work better and you’ll feel better too.

Next up, work all those things into priority order. Who’s been waiting the longest? Which project’s got the most potential? Who’s a regular you’d hate to lose? Shuffle those jobs till you’re happy, then you’ll be ready to start cracking through them. You could even use our new-look schedule to plan a few in each day. And don’t forget, none of these things actually needs to take long – you’ll be surprised how fast you can blast through them.

Take five (in the van)

Once you get stuck in on site, the day has a habit of running away. There’s loads to do, things crop up, things need fetching and carrying… It’s lunchtime before you know it, and it’s dark about ten minutes later. So carve out five or ten minutes before the chaos begins.

Do it before you hit the road, or as soon as you arrive on site. You can get the team working, then grab some valuable van time to get out that list and get started. That’s the main thing – just start. Make that call, answer that question, send that email. You’d be surprised how much you can do in the time it takes to neck a brew. And every little thing you tick off your list lightens the load, as well as looking after your New Year cashflow.

Take a shortcut

If you dread quoting, make it easier by using a template, or putting together a price list of all your regular tasks and materials so you can pick and choose super fast. You can knock them up in Word or we’ve got both in YourTradebase – and they really do shave loads of time off the job. 

It’s easy to get your templates looking super smart too. Add your logo, and the logos of any accreditations you’ve worked for or associations you’ve joined. They’ll make you look like a pro, and once they’re in your template, they’ll be ready to roll every time you quote. Done and dusted.

Templates don’t just come in handy for quoting. You can use them for emails too. If there’s a message you find yourself sending all the time, whether it’s to go with a quote, chase one up or confirm an appointment, get a template you’re happy with, drop a few details in and boom, you’ve made getting back to people a whole lot faster too. We’ve got a whole blog on how, right here.

Take your pick

Finding ten minutes to look after your leads every day really is doable, even when you’re rushed off your feet. But more than that, it’s the best way to avoid quiet patches, be able to pick jobs you really want to do, and keep the money coming in. 

So, don’t get swallowed up in the rush. Get organised, get back to people and get in everyone’s good books. It’s a habit that’ll make you feel a whole lot better – and set you up for a really great 2020.

By Dean Taylor

Back in 2010, Dean's building business was growing. He was doing great work, making people happy and enjoying being his own boss – but he was worn out. Not by the graft, but by the piles of paperwork taking up every evening. So, he got together with his cousin Adam, a web developer, and came up with a simple way to solve the problem – and help a whole load of other tradespeople too. They called it YourTradebase. Try it for yourself with a free 14 day trial. No strings. No credit card needed.

“Since we have been using YourTradebase our quotes are going out so much faster and are being accepted faster – we are completely stacked out with work now!” Carol Cave, YourTradebase customer

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