Why Contractors Should Always Present Proposals On the Spot

 

By Taylor VanTol 

There's no doubt about it: the Internet is an amazing place. It's where we go to keep up with world news, watch our favorite television shows and look at funny pictures of cats. We use it to interact instantly with friends and family through social media. What's more, the Internet age has brought about previously unthinkable business innovations. As a contractor, you can now conduct a large part of your work without even leaving your home, as new technology has made it possible to obtain signatures online and provide proposal forms and other documents via email. It's true that sending out proposals electronically is the faster, easier way to go. But there are some major advantages to presenting proposals in person – advantages that can't be forgone if you're looking to foster better client relationships and grow your business. Here are just a few of them:

  • Building a relationship – Reviewing the proposal with the customer in person offers a great opportunity to improve the client/contractor relationship. It's unlikely someone is going to buy from you if they don't trust you, and trust requires engagement through face-to-face conversation. This is the perfect time to establish a deeper connection with the client.
  • Clearing up confusion – You are a contractor; your client is not. It's important that you recognize you may not share the same expertise. Assuming the client isn't a home improvement professional, it's your responsibility to go through every item of the job in order to explain what you're doing and why it's necessary.
  • Adding value through detail – Any time you sit down to speak with the customer, you have the occasion to communicate the reasons why you're the best at what you do. Telling a client you're to going to prime bare wood is one thing. To tell them that you're going to prime all of their bare wood, and the wood knots, with a special oil-based primer to provide the best possible coverage adhesion for the paint…well, that's something else. Details like these demonstrate a commitment to quality that just can't be expressed in an emailed estimate.
  • Removing barriers to decision-making – How many questions and doubts are floating through the client's head when they read your quote? Sitting by their side as they go through it will give you the chance to eliminate ambiguity from the beginning. Ask how they feel about it and listen carefully to their concerns. This will ensure that they're comfortable and confident in making the decision about whether or not to hire you.
  • Asking for the job – The chances of getting a job if you aren't assertive in asking for it are slim to none. If you leave it to the customer, they'll keep kicking that decision can down the road. Use this moment to ask them outright if they're ready to move forward. With the details of the proposal fresh in their mind, they'll be more apt to give you an honest response regarding how they feel about hiring you for the job.

Taylor VanTol is an administrative assistant and blogger for CorkCRM. She covers topics related to customer service, business management and marketing. For more information, contact her at [email protected].

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