With the recent financial uncertainty that gripped the country now seemingly over, business for all industries is once again picking up. While this is, of course, excellent news for all those in the building trade, it means that competition is fierce.
Getting the contract for that all-important job can come down to the finest of details. As an electrician, the most crucial part of the job-winning process is providing the quote. Contrary to what many people think, it is not always necessarily the lowest price that will win the contract. Truly effective quotes can seal a contract, even if the price is higher than that of other tenders offered. It is all in the detail.
Meet with the Prospective Client
It may be a cliche that is overused, but first impressions really do count. Most customers requiring electrical work to be carried out have no knowledge of electrics, which is obviously why they call for expert help.
Clients need to know they can trust the electrician in question not only to complete the job professionally and to a high standard, but also to price the work fairly. Meet with the client at the premises where the work is to be done, make notes and take pictures if required.
Ensure when you are taking notes at the initial meeting that you ask the client plenty of questions. This will give you a clearer picture of exactly what they want accomplished and what they are expecting of you.
Avoid Giving Ballpark Figures
Most customers will obviously want to know an approximate price for the completion of the job in hand. At the initial meeting, try to avoid giving any ballpark figure if possible.
If the final quote comes through as higher, customers are invariably disappointed and often try elsewhere. Explain that you only like to give official quotes after taking into account every aspect of the proposed job.
Let Clients Know When Their Quote Will Arrive
Presenting an organised, professional image right from the outset can go a long way towards your quote being accepted rather than those of your competitors.
Let the client know when they will receive your written quote, and make sure you deliver on that date. Additionally, you should inform the client of the method of delivery, whether that is via email, post or in person.
Determine Your Estimation Method
Before officially creating a written quote, decide how you will calculate the costs. Are you going to itemise each element of the proposed job, or are you going to multiply a fixed cost by the size of the area in question?
The former method is the most transparent and the easiest for the customer to understand.
Deliver a Clear and Concise Quote
Each element of the job in hand should be marked clearly on the final written quote in steps that are easy to follow. The client needs to know exactly what they are getting for the money.
In addition to the work to be carried out, ensure that the quote contains clear and concise payment terms, including when any monies owed are due and what payment methods are accepted.
Include a Completion Date on the Quote
As part of the trust element, a client should not have to be concerned about when the job will be completed. Ensure that a job-completion date is listed on the quote but also be sure to add a disclaimer, just in case any unforeseen circumstances arise and the job cannot be completed on time.
Quote Additional Expenses
It is better to list any potential additional expenses on the official quote rather than just adding them to the final bill. Be clear at the outset as to why these further expenses may be required.
Personally Go Over the Quote with the Client
This not only adds a personal touch to your service but also gives the client ample opportunity to ask questions or raise any concerns they may have about the quote given.
By keeping a regularly updated spreadsheet containing all the elements of a proposed job, including the quoted completion date, you can ensure that you fully deliver on all of your quotes and win repeat custom in the process.