YTB Guides: Get your paperwork done and win more business.

Guide #5

A customer's point of view

Everyone's done it at some point - maybe even more often than you'd like to admit; you've been too busy/tired/forgetful to properly estimate or quote a job for a customer.

So you've frantically wracked your brain and tried to give an accurate as you can estimate or quote to a customer, or managed to find an old receipt that you can scribble down a number and pushed it into their awaiting hand.

But have you considered what your potential customers think to your slightly erratic work style? Well wonder no more…

1. The Phone Call

They're already worried about this. They don't know how much money they should expect to pay out. They don't understand the technical aspects behind doing the work. They don't know you. All in all they're worried about their time and money being wasted.

Be as clear and helpful as possible (hard when you're busy yourself) and you'll win them round in no time.

2. Inviting you round to provide an estimate

So most people work 9-5 and trying to fit someone in to come round to size up a job is already stressing them out. But you've forgotten to bring your pad and paper with you and you're already worried about the time it'll take you to get to the next job and customer.

Always keep a pad and pen in your work van/car and you'll never have this problem.

3. The jargon

So as we've mentioned and as your probably know, most of the general public and therefore potential customers aren't too savvy when it comes to the work that you do. A bit of technical jargon can throw them right off, and make them worry about what you're trying to sell them. Plus they don't want to look and feel like an idiot.

Tick the right boxes by explaining everything clearly for them, write a short explanation if needs be for more technical aspects; this makes them feel less of an idiot, and more willing to trust you with the job.

4. The history

They'll have already scoured the internet for you, seeing if there are any reviews for the work that you've already done, along with double checking you haven't been on 'Cowboy Tradesmen'. Put their minds at rest - encourage your previous customers to write reviews about you.

Take photos and show them to potential customers when you meet them; that'll help even the most nervous of customer!

5. The presentation
of the estimate

Every tradesman has been guilty of it as we've said before; the hurridly rattled off -there abouts- total for the job they want doing. Or that crumpled up piece of paper that they look thrilled to be receiving from your back pocket. But a nice neatly organised one, where everything is explained and easy to look at will most likely bag you the job.

Take a bit of time, create a template that can easily be filled in either when you're on site sizing up the job, or back at the office (or desk crammed into your kitchen). It makes you look more professional, and you'll find it saves you time!

Thinking that you might want a little bit of help with your estimating and job management?

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