4 Tips for Closing More Jobs
Closing More Jobs
We’re in that peak season. Or as our SynkedUP Budget Expert, Chris Cooper likes to say, the “100 days of insanity”. This is when it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. But one thing you do NOT want slipping through the cracks is your ability to close more jobs.
You shift your focus away from this one, and in a few months, you will be kicking yourself as your schedule dries up.
Here are 4 tips for how to close more jobs, and 4 things you don’t want to let waver in the face of the pressure of the busy season.
- Trust and credibility
- Quote turnaround time
- Professional and clear proposals
Trust and Credibility
This is as simple as this one statement: “Say what you’re going to do, then do what you said you will do.”
Nothing erodes trust like telling someone you will be there at 10 AM to start the job, and then you never show up or are late. This is not to say you are never late. It simply means that when you ARE going to be late, you communicate.
In fact, I believe that when you mess up, you have an even greater opportunity to earn trust than when everything is perfect because it gives you an opportunity to show your true colors. I’ve heard of studies that showed how even 1-star reviews can boost your trust and credibility. How? It’s not a 1-star review…. it’s your RESPONSE to the 1-star review. So… if you are running late, just shoot out that text!
How to put this into practice? Do a good job outlining your process for the customer on your website, Communicate clearly what it looks like to schedule consultations or request quotes for jobs.
Turpin Landscape Design does a fantastic job of this on their contact page
It walks through exactly what the client can expect, and what the steps are to working with them.
Then, once you’ve communicated clearly what the client can expect, show up on time. If you’re running late, communicate! It’s amazing what level of forgiveness proactive communication buys you.
Quote Turnaround Time for All Jobs
This is a big one! I dare say, much of the time, this one is more critical than the price itself. What’s the top complaint of homeowners when they talk about their landscaper?
“I can’t get them to give me a quote.”
Meaning it’s been 2 or 3 weeks, and they still haven’t heard back from you.
Every day that passes after you leave the consultation on their property diminishes your chance of closing that job.
On the flip side, when you’re in the heat of the moment, excitedly reviewing details and “what could be” in their very own backyard, and you produce a quote right there on site… suffice to say, your close rate will go up. (I get it, some jobs require multiple design iterations, etc, so this idealistic example won’t work in all cases, but it can work in many many cases)
I remember one point of discussion in last year’s Contractor Summit (registration is open for 2023!) event was how Derek Matthews at Tussey Landscaping handles his consultations. The question had come from a contractor that was utilizing a multi-step 3D design process, that took a lot of time and energy.
Derek’s response was “My goal is to sell it without a design.” Basically, he was saying he wants as little friction as possible in the sales close process. And he’s not lying. I’ve watched him close six-figure projects with nothing more than a can of marking paint and a pencil sketch.
I just recently talked to that same contractor again and he said that reducing the emphasis on 3D design and showing up on the consultation with a can of marking paint has been huge for him in closing jobs.
Because it allows him to paint out on the ground the elements of the project, the clients can see it, trust goes up, and they’re ready to do the deal. All in the same visit.
Now, the ability to do this means you need to have a very streamlined estimating process. If it takes you hours to build a quote, this is going to be super tough. That’s where SynkedUP comes in. Ryan Hughes, a SynkedUP user from California, went from spending 2-3 days on multi-six-figure quotes to 10-15 minutes.
Now that’s how you close more jobs.
If you qualified your lead, had a great consultation, and are the first contractor back with a quote, it’s very often a slam dunk. Even if your quote is not the cheapest.
The guy with the best consultation, but took weeks to get back with a quote… that guy’s close rate is going to suffer, and it won’t be because of the price.
Professional and Clear Job Proposals
Having a professional-looking proposal speaks volumes. It separates you from the pack. Your clients will notice when you have a clean, clear, easy process for reviewing and approving proposals. Here’s a dummy one I made quickly (in under 2 min) in SynkedUP
The client can see it broken out by the various options they have, and flip on/off a toggle for what they want, or don’t want, the price updates automatically, and they can sign, approve, and pay the down payment all in one fell swoop.
Compare that with your competition’s Word doc proposal! 😜
Clients can smell a lack of confidence in your pricing a job like a shark can smell blood in water. If they feel you waver, man will they pounce on that? And before you know it, you’ve negotiated what was supposed to be your profit, away.
This is why it’s ultra important to know exactly what it costs you to be in business, what you need to charge per man-hour, and what your markups need to be. These things are non-negotiable. If you negotiate on these, you are ripping yourself, your team, and your family off.
Instead, you want to be rock solid and confident in your pricing, and all negotiation is happening on the “scope of work”. Meaning you are modifying the scope of work to meet their budget. Or phasing out the project. Or. or.. or…. Anything but sabotaging the precious dollars needed for you to be in business, cover all your expenses and generate profit as a reward for the risk you take as a business owner.
When clients see that “Oh, this guy isn’t budging on his job price, but is suggesting options to change the design/project to meet our budget”, then the whole conversation changes.
And if you want “confidence in a pill”, then the best thing I’ve ever seen for contractors is to build a company budget. You can do it for free on our website. It allows you to enter all your costs as a business, and it spits your pricing back out. No emotion attached. Just pure math.
So to summarize, in this time period, things tend to fall off the edge of our plates. And the first things to fall off are those with no clear, established, firmly baked-in process. A process is what enables you to take your eyes off something, and it keeps on running as it should. No process means the moment you shift your focus, that thing crumbles in the absence of your tender loving care.
When you’re ready, I’m ready, to help you up your game on your process. For both SynkedUP users and non-SynkedUP users. Just hit reply or leave a comment.
CEO and co-founder