Why The First Phone Call Matters
As a trade business owner, you probably spend a lot of “unpaid” time meeting potential customers to quote on jobs that you never win. Some tradies will spend half a day travelling to a client, only to realise within minutes of arrival that the client is not an “ideal fit.”
And this may be for many reasons like:
- They are not ready to do the job for quite some time
- They were only “looking for ideas” and had no intentions of ever doing the job
- The price exceeded their budget
- You arrive to find 5 other competitors also quoting on the same job
- You simply did not connect with them.
So how do you eliminate all this wasted time and make sure that any potential customer you visit, is worth visiting?
It comes down to screening potential customers during that initial phone call.
Here are a few ways to help you do this.
Tradie Tips To Screening Customers
Have a list of questions ready to ask
Potential customers will have a lot of questions for you! That is common. But, you should also have a number of questions for them.
Some questions you may consider asking include:
- How far are you through the process?
- Have you received any other quotes?
- What qualities are you looking for with your tradies?
- What are your timelines?
- Do you have a budget in mind?
It may feel “uncomfortable” at first, but the chances are a good quality customer will only be happy to answer your questions and admire you as a professional for asking.
Understand what really matters to your customers
Let’s face it, you want to know if it’s “all” about price or quality for them!
Observe how they respond to your questions and how open they are to share information.
Do their questions revolve around the price of your services, being able to “match or beat other prices,” your experience and references, or wanting someone that can do a quality job. Or do they simply “not say much” in which case they could certainly be fishing around.
A few extra minutes on the phone may help you pick up on such signals.
Ask about the budget
Again this may feel uncomfortable but you may be pleasantly surprised to actually get an honest response.
Try and explain to potential prospects that having a budget guide will help you establish if you can assist them.
Some customers are genuine and may not have any idea until a site visit is done.
Others may have a set budget in which case you can assess if it looks reasonable enough to go to the next stage.
Ask if they have already obtained other quotes. If they have, then try and understand their reasons for contacting you. Is it because they are after a “cheaper” price or is it because they felt the other businesses were not a good fit.
As a busy tradie your time is valuable so having this screening process in place can very quickly free you up to focus on the quality customers that really want your services.