How to quote ON THE JOB
FOR TRADESPEOPLE, SOURCING NEW WORK and ensuring you’re getting paid on time, are integral parts of running your own business. As a tradie, the time between quoting for a job and it being accepted by a client can often run into weeks — or worse, months — which can adversely affect your business’s cash flow.
Unlike other small businesses, which can quote for jobs without having to leave their office, a tradesperson has to measure and quote for each job in person. It’s in a tradesperson’s best interest, then, to convert the vast majority of those quotations into jobs.
Quote online, in real time
Many tradespeople, while they may using a cloud-accounting package like Xero or MYOB AccountRight Live, they’re not using it efficiently.
Each time you go out to measure and quote for a new job, draw up the quote on your smartphone or tablet, and send it to your prospect while you’re still talking to them (some cloud-accounting packages allow you to send quotes and invoices by text as well as email).
Each time you go out to measure and quote for a new job, draw up the quote on your smartphone or tablet, and send it to your prospect while you’re still talking to them.
Sending a quote to a prospect before leaving, gives them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have, and may just result in immediate acceptance. But even if they don’t accept right away, it shows you’re keen, capable and ready to do the work.
If they have to wait a day or more for the quote, it could send the message you’re too busy or not interested. It’s also gives the prospect time to “cool off” from the initial excitement, and potentially have second-thoughts about getting the work done.
Connect to your sales software
The next thing you need is to make sure you have a full history of correspondence with your prospects. If you’re not already, you should start using a sales application, like Hubspot. Its basic plan is free, while its premium plan costs US$50/month. Hubspot connects to your Gmail account, and lets you send tracked sales emails — you can also connect it to an application like AWeber or Mailchimp to send marketing emails.
By sending your quotes and other sales emails through your sales software (Hubspot also lets you make free voice calls anywhere in the world), they’ll be tracked, so you not only have a full record of your correspondence with that prospect, but you’ll also see when they’ve opened your emails, clicked on links, opened documents, and so on.
You can also share your calendar with prospects so they can see times when you’re available to complete their job, without having to call and find a suitable time.
Follow up, follow up, follow up!
If you don’t personally have the time to follow-up, you should have someone do it for you — hire a virtual assistant, for instance. A lot of the time, depending on the job, people are still weighing up whether to get the work done and when. A phone call is often all it takes to get a quote accepted.
If you can’t get hold of them on the phone, then “automate” your contact with your prospects. Use your sales software to send “sequenced” emails — that is, a series of emails scheduled to go out at a particular time, when the recipient has or has not taken a particular action.
If you can’t get hold of them on the phone, then “automate” your contact with your prospects.
For help creating sales and marketing messages that will deliver more leads to your business, contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services.
Real estate agents are embracing digital services
Real estate agents in Australia are going through a rapidly changing environment for Internet and mobile technology that we have experienced first hand with our websites for real estate agents service and I recently spoke with some successful real estate agents in Sydney Lower North Shore about other areas where they use technology, the agent mentioned Open Homes. The technology I’m talking about is smart phone apps that enable agents to quickly and easily capture potential buyers details who arrive at open homes.
Open home mobile apps are important for agents and vendors
Open Home visitor reports can help real estate agents demonstrate marketing results to vendors
Open homes are the critical time where real estate agents are visibly doing work for vendors and it’s an important task that busy real estate agents need to manage very well if they have many home available for sale at any given time. With mobile phone usage exploding it’s little wonder we are using them to do everything these days – and spending less time sleeping!
From the conversations I had with Sydney based real estate agents the busy days are Wednesday and Saturday and the open home is usually the easy part. The hard work happens afterwards when all the follow-up calls are made and the agent filters the prospect list to those potential buyers who are serious about that property and that is when an open home app comes in. A great open home app should help agents in the following ways:
- Collect potential buyers contact details (electronically)
- Enables the agent to text property information
- Enables a quick call back and logging process
- Shows the agent how many buyers have been to several of their open homes
- Integrates with the agents CRM for contact management
- Enables the agent to send automated marketing campaigns to buyers
An open home app is also invaluable to collect information that can later be presented to vendors to measure the results of the real estate agents marketing strategy and demonstrate the ROI of any money spent (including agents fees).
Our team explored some of the mobile apps and cloud-based services that are available, including US companies and below is a list of what appears popular:
- Open Home Pro – seems to be the most talked about and used
- AM Open House – part of a larger suite of apps for real estate
- Open House Toolkit – Keeps track of questions and answers at sign in
- Canvas – has a PDF designer
Why should Open House apps be cloud-based?
A good digital solution should have the capability of interacting with your current systems and when managing the visitors and follow-up to open homes the most important app is your CRM database because that is where most of your information is stored. The technically correct term for interact is “Integrate” and if you have a capable CRM you’ll be able to use the collected data (email addresses and mobile phone numbers) to keep in touch with all of the people who came to visit so that you remain front of mind.
Integrations are the most important aspect to explore when you’re looking into a cloud-based or smart phone app because it enables you to use multiple tools that are all connected together to share information without you having to retype it and retype. They also of course help you completely eliminate the need for printed forms and illegible writing!
The best example of integrations we came across was for AM Open Home. This organisation listed almost 2 dozen popular cloud based CRM’s that they integrate with. To give you another example, our sister company EzyLearn offers training for Xero, MYOB and soon Intuit Quickbooks and these popular accounting programs use to compete on features – they now compete on the number of integrations that work with their software in their app market place. Pure Internet based applications like Xero are able to focus on this aspect of their solution and they find that the companies that integrate with are actually passively promoting their software too.
Digital Agency for Real Estate Agents
virion is a digital agency that aims to help great real estate agents build a great digital profile (see 123ezy.com) and reputation and we advise our clients about the best tools, technology and approaches to use, regardless of platforms.
They didn’t call it Mobilegeddon for nothing
It’s been almost 12 months since Google made it official that they were going to prioritise mobile websites built on a responsive methodology for their Google Search results and you can see it in the results themselves – Mobile Friendly (if your reading the search results on your mobile phone that is).
Does it really matter? Absolutely! It matters because more and more searches are performed on a mobile phone or tablet and Google’s constant goal is to provide you with fantastic websites based on the keywords you use for your search. If Google takes you to a website on your mobile that you can hardly read because it’s too small, what will your opinion be of Google?
Mobile and Social
Let’s take that one step further. If you are searching for something from your mobile phone and you click on that website to learn more about what a company does the chances that you’ll want to call the company or get directions to them are higher when you do it from a mobile phone, right? That’s why it is a good idea to have a call now button on your website – so prospective customers can call you right there an then!
The reason we mention it in this post for real estate agent websites is that this makes it important to choose an underlying technology that is strong, reliable and capable but that also has a huge programmer base and the support of thousands of developers and millions of companies that use it – and that technology is WordPress.
This blog post from Google should act as a good indicator of the importance mobile is for their development team and the future of searching for things on the Internet.
What about site builders like Wix?
I was speaking with someone recently who discovered an online website builder that enables anybody to build their own website using a tool called Wix, and after exploring the solution I liked the way it worked and how easy it was to create and modify a website. When I did a bit of research however I discovered that the websites created on this platform are not responsive. Here’s the information I read on the Wix website. Does it mean you can’t build an effective website using Wix? No, but when you use a platform like WordPress that has professional content management features, capabilities for multiple users with different access profiles, thousands of developers and millions of businesses using it (sigh) it’s hard to go past.
Connecting with Social and the future
The social revolution has been and gone and is now part of every day Internet life so getting onto that bandwagon is very important. Even though some of the smartest investors, programs and business people don’t currently make money in social media (like Facebook, Twitter etc) these platforms are worth billions of dollars because they have a massive user base and VERY detailed information about every user. Connecting your content marketing to social media should be the first step in a social media strategy but exploring the advertising possibilities may blow your mind.
The technology leaders are currently exploring the capabilities of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality path so it will be very interesting to see how this applies to the real estate industry.
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