How to quote a job – Top tips for tradies

For tradie small business owners, quoting jobs can be very tricky. When it comes to trade quotes and how to prepare quotes, you don’t want to price yourself out of a job by coming in well above other tradie businesses who are competing for the job. But at the same time you don’t want to deliver great work for miserly returns. After all, you have a successful small business to run, employees and suppliers to pay, and general business expenses to cover.

So in the interest of helping to demystify quoting for tradie small business owners, let’s dive into a curated selection of tradie top tips for quoting jobs and creating winning quotes. Following these steps may help

Three steps to successfully write a quote for a job

1. Document quote details – don’t rely on your memory

As a busy trade small business owner with many, many balls in the air, it can be hard to remember every little detail from every little conversation you have with customers and suppliers. But when estimating a job, the nitty gritty details of your quote matter.

While you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t recall every single conversation, you may consider introducing a system that helps you remember the important details when it comes to negotiations with customers whose business you are trying to win.

When you’re working hard to convert prospects into new clients and convince them to work with you, projecting confidence, reliability, and, most importantly, trustworthiness, is essential. That means that if you quote a prospect a certain price, you should be prepared to honour that price – something that is hard to do if you don’t clearly remember what was discussed.

While notetaking isn’t exactly innovative, it’s a great way to document key details when it comes to quotes with clients, which can help turn job leads for tradies into secure work for your business.

By putting the essential information down – whether in a physical notebook or in an app on your smartphone or tablet – you won’t have to rely solely on your memory. While you’re at it, it may also be worth your while to jot down any other important details about the job, such as location, timeframe, and any special considerations you need to factor in.

2. Hand deliver your quotes to clients

While you don’t specifically have to hand-deliver quotes to clients – that’s more a figure of speech – it is the best way to guarantee that the prospect receives your quote. There’s something reassuring about receiving a physical quote; and it also means that your quote won’t disappear into the dark recesses of your prospect’s email inbox.

To keep top of mind with your prospect, put a reminder in your diary for a polite customer follow up 24 or 48 hours after you’ve delivered the quote. While they genuinely may not have got to it yet, following up also provides another opportunity to express your commitment to helping support their work.

3. Give prospects time to evaluate your quote

As a fellow business owner, you know that key business decisions such as choosing who to partner with on big projects are rarely made at the drop of a hat. As the quoter, you will want to save time on quotes, but keep in mind that there are usually a lot of important things to consider before the prospect may be ready to make their decision.

Unless the work to be done is considered an emergency, customers will take their time to compare quotes from your tradie business, and others, before arriving at their decision. And the bigger the job, the more there is to consider. So, if you’re pitching for, say, plumbing installation work for a multi-residential high-rise project, you may need to exercise some patience while the prospect weighs up their options.

After you’ve sent your initial quote to the client and then followed up with a quick reminder message, the industry rule of thumb is to wait between four and seven days before follow-up on quotes again. Follow up any sooner and you may get on your prospect’s nerves.

Reasons why prospects may not get back to you and how to respond

1. They forgot

After a reasonable amount of time, follow up with a phone call or text; emails can be easier to miss.

2. They didn’t get your quote

This could be a genuine excuse. In any case, a simple follow up call or text message may easily solve this problem and rekindle the conversation about your quote.

3. They can’t afford the price you’ve quoted

While it can be hard to determine if they are haggling or if they genuinely can’t afford the price you’ve quoted them, unless you follow up you won’t know. In following up, you may consider negotiating on price if you feel they genuinely can’t afford you quote.

4. They went with another supplier

Any savvy small business owner knows to shop around for several quotes before making a decision on who they will go with. While price is always a key determining factor, it is very rarely the only determining factor. Other important factors that can sway your prospect’s decision include reliability of the service provider and the level of customer service they provide.

BizCover helps tradie small business owners throughout Australia to reduce the risks to their business through tradesmen insurance* made easy. Our customer-focused approach simplifies comparing tradesmen insurance quotes and policies, giving business owners a quick and easy way to get their tradie business insurance online and move on with their day. If you prefer to pick up the phone, you can reach us on 1300 920 864.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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