Tradies, Get Ready for This Soon: Pricing Jobs Remotely

For Tradies who do their work on site, remote working is simply not an option. But what about sales and pricing?

Many still insist on surveying a site in person and a face-to-face with customers before quoting.

But what if that way of getting work suddenly becomes a lot harder – or even impossible?

Whether you’re seeing it happen in your field, or not yet, there’s a good chance you will, sooner or later. In fact, it’s already happening.

In some cases, businesses have opted to do this to gain the advantage of speed and convenience over their competition. In a lot of cases, it also lowers the cost of acquiring new hobs too.

But right now, with the COVID pandemic still with us, at least in parts of the country, there’s a growing list of customer types who want to strictly limit their contact with people.

In fact, some experts are predicting things will never return to normal.

In today’s environment, having 3 or 4 unknown tradespeople turn up to their premises to quote can definitely seem way too risky.

For instance, the following groups:

  • People in high risk groups themselves
  • People with close relatives in a high risk group
  • People with close family members working in healthcare
  • People who cannot afford to be quarantined, or want to avoid it at all costs
  • Families expecting babies

All those add up to a shrinking market and less work for Tradies, who can’t or won’t, price up a job without a site visit.

If that sounds a bit like you – we suggest it might be time for a rethink. Or at least to think about a Plan B in case you suddenly need it.

The good news is, for many businesses, it’s more feasible to develop a remote quoting process than owners may realise. But in most cases, it will call for doing things differently and maybe focusing more on certain types of work.

How Things Can Change – Rooftop Solar Installations

8 – 10 years ago, almost all rooftop solar sales were closed on the back of a site visit from a qualified electrician.

There are still plenty of solar installers who insist on doing this. But there’s growing number in Australia who open and close a high portion of their sales over the phone, without ever visiting the installation site.

This trend has been made possible by a few things:

  • Open mindedness on the part of the installers to start with.
  • Readily available, cheap satellite photography.
  • Generalist electricians becoming specialists.
  • High quality digital marketing providing a flow of cheap qualified leads.
  • Engineering of structured sales processes that cater for purely remote pricing on sites meeting certain criteria.
  • Either a willingness to let non-qualifying sites go altogether- OR – creating a sales process that moves prospects far enough into the pipeline to justify a visit. In other words, the chances of a sale are 50/50 or better.
  • Sales training to ensure workable / profitable sales close rates.
  • Allowing plenty of wiggle room in the quote.

Remote sales has also allowed businesses to scale by easing staffing problems.

It delegates the sales process to trained tele-sales staff, who don’t need formal trade qualifications.

At the same time, it makes better use of the qualified installation teams who cost more to employ and are harder to find and keep.

Another massive advantage of remote quoting is the way it shortens your sales cycle.

Getting hold of a customer on the phone, or by email, is a lot easier than all the farting about required to fix up a visiting time that suits both parties.

It can literally cut weeks off the time it takes to get the green light on a job and collect a deposit.

Up against competition that still does things the old-school way, remote pricing can mean signing the customer up before the rest have even had a chance to quote.

Remote quoting in your line of work?

Just keep this exercise hypothetical for now. The imagination tends to work better when there’s no stress.

Have a think about what a totally remote sales would look like for your business:

  • What sort of work would you be able to close with a 100% remote sales process?
  • What would you need to do to ensure you make money on these jobs?
  • What if you were to specialise in this kind of work? What would you need to do differently then?
  • What sort of jobs would you feel reluctant to close with a 100% remote sales process?
  • What information would you be missing for this latter type of job and what novel ways could you use to get the information you need?
  • Structuring your sales process

    Maybe you think you could make the switch to 100% remote selling, maybe you don’t.

    Either way, creating a structured sales process, of some sort, will contribute greatly to your financial stability and your ability to grow.

    Safe to say, every trade business we’ve ever worked with over the last 20 years has found it moves the needle for them.

    One of the major benefits of a structured sales process is that it makes sales revenues more predictable. When you can predict your revenues – both you and your bank manager will be able to look at your future growth potential with a lot more confidence.

    If you’d like to know more about creating a structured sales process, head over to our new private Facebook group and join it.

    We run regular sales training workshops for Tradies online and off. Some free, some for a fee.

    We’ll post news about upcoming trainings in the group.

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