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5 Quoting Tips – How To Land More Jobs (Without Dropping Your Prices)

Are you tired of customers disappearing after you give them a quote?

You’ve just spent your valuable time to provide a quote and you think you’ve quoted the right price, but they just don’t call you back.

Why?

What did the other company do that you didn’t?

It’s impossible to know for sure and there could be a thousand reasons WHY you didn’t land that job. And, many of those reasons are outside of your control.

Maybe the customer is just a tire kicker. Maybe they just need an estimate to submit to insurance. Or, maybe they don’t like you because you look like a guy who bullied them back in high school.

You’ll never land every job you quote, but you can significantly increase your chances with the right strategy and mindset.

In this article, I’m going to share 5 simple and effective tips that you can use to start landing more jobs TODAY (without dropping your prices.)

#1 – First Impressions Count

Landing the job isn’t just about having the right price or offering the best services. Since the potential customer doesn’t know you in most cases, they are judging you based on the interactions they have with you or your business.

This includes how you answer the phone, what you drive when show up to their home, what you’re wearing, and whether or not you look them in the eye, smile and shake their hand when you first great them.

You may be the best, most trustworthy handyman in town. But, the customer doesn’t know that. So, instead, they will make decisions based on how you appear to them.

Like it or not, they will form their opinion of you based on what they see and experience.

So, do everything you can to appear friendly and professional. Wear a uniform, decorate your truck with your logo, build a website, answer the phone with friendly enthusiasm, and smile. Do everything you can to give your customers a great experience and first impression.

#2 – Listen More Than You Talk

In many cases you might feel the need to show the customer how much you know. Don’t do that. They don’t care.

Maybe a customer has you on the phone and they are telling you about a problem with their sink. After 10 seconds you know exactly what it is, but the customer wants to keep sharing what she thinks the problem is.

As hard as it might be, just listen. Maybe you’ve dealt with this problem a hundred times and already know the best solution. Doesn’t matter. When interacting with your customers it’s more important to listen than to sound smart.

In addition to allowing the customer to feel heard and building trust with them, listening will help you uncover what is really important to them. 

You’ll want to listen for their concerns, frustrations, and aspirations. Maybe they called you to build them a deck, but why do they want that deck in the first place? Are they trying to impress the neighbors and their friends?

The better you can understand their motivations, the better you can appeal to them when presenting a quote later. The knowledge you gain is also absolute GOLD for later marketing efforts.

#3 – Communicate Features and Benefits

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when submitting a quote is to assume your services are the same as everybody else’s. Don’t be a commodity service. Instead, think about what makes you better, faster, or more cost efficient and then tell the customer how that will improve their lives. 

For example, let’s say you can fix a hole in the drywall in a matter of 2 hours and you have a special method that eliminates all dust. That is a feature of what you do and you’ll want to bring that up.

But, where the real power comes into play is when you attach that feature to a benefit that is important to the customer.

If the feature is a zero-dust repair, the benefits might be that the customer won’t have a layer of dust when you finish (which they might have if they hire somebody else). Another benefit might be that their family won’t have to inhale harmful silica dust and will be healthier because of it.

By communicating this, you’ve gone from being just another handyman to actually helping their family stay healthy AND you’ve tapped into an emotional response. This is a powerful way to stand out from the competition.

The “So-That” framework:

The easiest way to identify the benefit is to name the feature and then say “so that.”

Example: I always show up on time (feature)…..so that…. you won’t have to waste your valuable time waiting for me and will have more to spend with your family. (benefit)

Features and benefits are a great way to trigger the customer emotionally as well as create uncertainty when hiring another handyman. They’ll think “Well you have a zero-dust method, I wonder if XYZ handyman will produce dust?”

#4 – Appeal To Their Emotions

When a customer calls you they either have an urgent pain they want to fix or a desire they want to fulfill.

If you’ve done a good job of listening to the customer, hopefully you are able to identify that urgent pain or desire.

Here are some examples:

Maybe they’re toilet runs and keeps them awake all night and their career is suffering because of lack of sleep. That’s an urgent pain.

Or, maybe your customer has the desire to be the best looking home on the block. That desire is why she chose to seek you out and call you instead of doing other things she might enjoy.

You’ll want to utilize that knowledge in your sales/quoting process. The idea here is to elicit an emotional response and get them to visualize their pain being solved or their desire being fulfilled.

This can be done with features and benefits, but it can be done in other ways as well.

For example, once you’ve quoted the price to the customer, you might say “Once I’m completed you’ll be the envy of the neighbors.”

Who doesn’t want to be the envy of the neighbors?

Or, you could simply say “Don’t worry, I’ll have your toilet fixed the right way in no time and you can go back to enjoying a deep, relaxing sleep and you’re toilet will never bother you again.”

This may take practice to do effectively without sounding weird, but it’s well worth the effort. Have you ever heard the saying that customers buy based on emotion and justify with logic? Pay attention to the ways that ads on TV are trying to elicit emotional responses with you. Any good add will succeed.

#5 – Follow Up!

If the customer doesn’t get back to you within the time frame they promised, give them a call!

Honestly, I’m terrible at this. I always felt like calling the customer would be annoying to them and never wanted to seem pushy.

However, following up will rarely be taken in this way. Often times the customer will have just forgotten about the project and is putting off a decision. You’re reminder will help them make that decision.

Or, worse case scenario, the customer has decided to go with another quote. If this happens, here’s your chance to get some feedback on why.

Don’t just assume you were too expensive. You might be surprised to find out that the customer was looking for a higher end solution than the one you offered and ended up paying double to another handyman.

Best case scenario, you get the job. Worst case scenario, you get some feedback. Either one is valuable.

Conclusion

From my experience, customers rarely make purchases based on price alone. And, very few customers worth working for are shopping for the cheapest option.

So, instead of dropping your prices in the hopes of landing that next job, try switching up your strategy a bit. Evaluate your process. How can you look more professional? How can you make a better first impression? How can you gain a deeper understanding of your customers and then speak to what matters to them more effectively?

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  • Raymon Samuel October 20, 2015

    Thanks, that was really helpful. I will be waiting to read more

  • Toby October 22, 2015

    Great post! Love the emphasis on connecting with the customer.

  • Walter Grace October 25, 2015

    Common sense stuff, as always

  • Blair Wilson October 25, 2015

    I was told by my Business Advisor that meeting face to face will become the decision maker of getting the job or not.
    Building a good rapor with potential clients is key while maintaining eye contact, open communication and being up front and on the level will solidify the sale.
    It’s working for my business and its very gratifying that I’m liked, wanted and needed.
    Just be yourself.

  • Shawn Grider October 25, 2015

    I like the “so- that” framework as a way to remind myself to talk about benefits to the customer. It is something I am trying to implement in my marketing. It is more effective than trying to convince people on what I can do. All 5 points are good.

  • George November 18, 2015

    Great tips here. Thanks for putting this out. Looking forward to reading more from you soon!

  • Dan D November 25, 2015

    I enjoy your posts. As a former business development specialist in pro sales for a major home improvement store, I would like to share a few tips when meeting customers for job opportunities.
    These tips helped me…I believe they will help you.
    1. Good grooming for yourself and your transportation. Details matter.
    2. Mirror your customer. Do what they do in sincerity. People like themselves and buy from people they like.
    3. Get their name right and use it often.
    4. Don’t ramble or chase rabbits while talking. Nervousness will yield to bad habits.
    5. Share with them their Benefits and ask for their business.

    • Dan Perry November 26, 2015

      Hey Dan, thanks for sharing those tips. Much appreciated.

  • Charles G. March 19, 2016

    Definitely good tips I impliment to get the highest rates the market will allow!

  • handyman Dima on rates October 13, 2016

    Quite refreshing Dan, thank you. When I started as a handyman in London we had an introduction training into sales and quotes both for male and female clients, but I did not realize how important that was, especially when you aim at quality workmanship, rather than lowest pricing possible. With time I realised that clever communication know-how could be a really efficient handyman advantage, because quotes have more weight than your handyman rates. it’s the one last step where inquiries do convert into clients and if your experience can justify your prices it’s a deal sealed.

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