You’re working hard every day and producing great work. Your phone is ringing and your trade services are in growing demand. But, are you making the most of your tradesman leads?
What do we mean by ‘lead’?
A lead is a potential customer that has been in touch about you completing a job for them.
Why are leads important for tradespeople?
For most trade businesses, regularly winning new work is vital to business success (and a healthy bank balance!). New work typically comes from the leads that a business is able to generate.
So leads are essential to winning new work.
Making the most of your leads will lead to more work and help you maximise your earnings.
What goes into getting a lead?
Getting new leads requires at least one of the following:
Even if you don’t spend much money or time getting new leads and you rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth, that word of mouth has been generated on the back of the good – hard – work you do. So, even word of mouth costs effort.
Most other methods for getting leads costs money (think advertising, sign-written vans, websites, lead generation sites, social media, walking around with a sandwich board… ok, maybe not that one…).
Once you’ve got a lead, time and effort will generally be spent on trying to win the work.
If you’re spending time, money or effort on something, make it count…
Getting leads costs your business in some way; so it makes sense to make the most of them once you’ve got them.
Working a little smarter can help make sure you get the most from your leads.
Getting more from you leads = winning more work + business growth + maximising earnings
Here are 6 easy ways to start getting more from your leads today:
1) Tell your lead what’s happening at every step.
Kids are scared of the dark and when they grow up to be your potential customers, that fear remains! The moral of the story? Don’t keep your customers in the dark.
Your leads are looking to hire you for work they probably don’t know how to do themselves. Getting that work done by a tradesperson isn’t something they’re comfortable with. It feels like the unknown.
Making them feel comfortable will give you an edge over your competition.
Making sure your (potential) customer knows what’s happening – and when – will make them feel more comfortable about the work you’re trying to win.
Help to build the trust of your customer by:
- Let customers know what your exact process is as soon as you can. Perhaps it’s something like: survey > quote > follow-up > agree date/confirm work > start work.
- Let your customers know exactly when things will happen. Then stick to it!
- Let your customer know what they can expect from the quote – how much detail will it contain, will there be a breakdown of prices, how can they ask questions about the quote.
Helping your customers feel comfortable about the work you’re going to do for them is the first step in building a relationship with them.
It also shows them the level of professionalism they can expect to find in your work.
2) Set yourself reminders to never break your promises.
Your customer will be comparing you to your competitors. Whether you like it or not, you’re being compared.
Make sure you stand out by doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it.
Sounds easy – and it can be – but you need to be disciplined and check your tasks and reminders daily.
There are lots of free apps available that help you keep track of daily tasks and todos, or you can use your phones’ calendar function to keep track of them.
Allergic to smartphones? Keep a small diary in your van to note down on the day you’ve agreed to do things. (oh, and go see a doctor about that allergy – working smarter with your phone can be great for your health!)
Having a routine to remember what needs to be done and when will help you stand out against your competitors.
3) Sweat (and remember) the details.
When you first take a phone call, or survey for potential new work, it’s easy to think you’ll remember details you’ll need when you come to quote for the work.
Why make it so hard for yourself!
There’s no need to keep all the details on your mind (you’ve got enough going on!), so keep notes of the work that needs doing, any customer requests, or anything you need to remember.
It might be several weeks before you speak with the customer again, so having your notes to hand will make things easy for you.
If you’re surveying work, you could take photos on your phone or tablet of the work for you to refer to later.
4) Quote more quickly (and more professionally) than your competition.
Your leads will likely be getting quotes or estimates from several tradesmen.
You’re in a race to impress your lead and show them you’re the business for the job!
Set the best impression – and beat your competition to the finish line – by getting your quote to your customer as fast as you can.
Show your lead how easy it will be to work with you.
Getting a quote to your lead quickly doesn’t mean more late nights and stress.
You can easily quote more quickly to beat your competition with less effort. Here’s how:
- Use a pre-designed quote template to create quotes more quickly. There are plenty of templates available on-line, or you can use a tool to help you quote.
- Define the services that you offer ahead of time. That way, you just need to pull them into your quote to use them, rather than writing them out from scratch each time.
- Identify the work you always do. For some services you might be able to write out the details of the work that are generally the same, and just change or add what you need.
- Try using tools that allow you to write some of your quote whilst you’re on site – using a tablet or smartphone.
- Capture an email address from your customer so you don’t have to worry about printing, posting and worrying about it getting there.
- Follow-up in 2 or 3 days to make sure the lead got the quote – and see if they have any questions about the work.
Quoting smarter can save you hours and win you more leads.
5) Don’t give up on lost leads.
If your customer doesn’t decide to go ahead with the work they contacted you for, make sure the lead is not wasted.
It takes time, effort and money to generate new leads, but reaching out to previous leads is a much cheaper way of winning work.
And, they could still be a hot prospect for work in the future.
How can you win work from leads in the past? Chances are, you’ve spent some time talking with your old leads, so you’ve already started building a relationship with them. They’re also bound to need your services (or know someone who does) at some date in the future.
Set yourself a reminder to follow-up with them (an email or letter in the post will do) in 3, 6 or 12 months time and remind them you’re there if they need you.
If you have a lead that you don’t hear from, don’t just let it go. Have a plan to follow-up with them.
You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money on that lead – don’t let it go cold! Schedule a follow-up for leads you haven’t leads.
6) Make it easy for your leads to reach you…
So you’ve done everything right and given yourself a great chance of winning that work… great!
Now make sure your leads can get in touch with you!
If you have a contact form on your web site – or you give out an email address – make sure you check for new mail regularly. You don’t want to miss a customer question or the green light to go ahead with new work.
The same thing goes if you have a business Facebook page or Twitter account – check it frequently as your customer might be trying to reach you there.
Oh, and if you can’t answer your phone, make sure you have a voicemail message that re-assures your customer they have the right number, and return calls promptly!
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Leads are vital to your trade business. Some small changes can help you make the most of them and will generate you more work and maximise your earnings.