Thank you for coming out to this month’s webinar. We plan to make this a monthly occurrence, so be on the lookout for future. You can view all of our previous webinars, and get on the list for future webinars by clicking here.
As always, here is a quick recap of everything we covered!
Manage owner expectations
Your customers usually have a laundry list of items to get done. That list is somewhat unrealistic to get done due to external factors such as TV, word of mouth and others. It’s not their fault, but it is our responsibility to express what things actually cost. “Their interests have misled them”. As the contractor, it puts on a great face to reel in these lengthy expectations and let the homeowner know what is realistic, based off the information we can provide.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the budget with the client. They may have HGTV expectations, but you should be able to reel them in and adjust those expectations. Be sure to discuss quality, too, so the client and you are on the same page when the product is revealed.
Detailed plans and specifications
Try not to outsource the design phase if possible. Keeping things in-house allow for a better flow of production. You’re not only giving that money away, but you’re also creating possible headaches caused by communicating with other firms doing the design work. This aspect is directly related to managing owner expectations. When things are tight on your end, they are going to be tight on the clients. This is also how we avoid disasters. Proper planning prevents potential disputes and accomplishes desired profitability. Remember, it all comes back to the client satisfaction.
Although change orders are common, having a good set of plans can help avoid this. Clients don’t like change orders as they present unexpected expenses. Many of your clients are financing and don’t have the cash to pony up. This comes back to you not doing your job properly, planning things out.
Accurate estimate w/ clearly defined scope of work
This is where Clear Estimates comes into play. Clear Estimates allows you to produce line item, unit based estimates. Clearly defining your scope of work, by unit, allows you to avoid potential disputes with clients. Unit-based makes sure you are covering your costs, and defines what is not included in that particular task.
Get things right the first time
Spend the time to get things right the first time. If you wing it, you are gambling. If you have a proper system, you can produce consistent results. Sales team provides all necessary information to the production team. Everyone has current plans. Have a roadmap to follow. Everyone knows their job and what is expected of them.
Keep in touch and have solid communication with your clients. Have a well laid out schedule, plan extra time and verbally touch base once a week. Going an extra little bit for a client really helps to exceed expectations. They become an advocate for you.
Communication, communication, communication
Keep your clients informed! Develop a communication policy with the client. “It’s our responsibility to do xyx”. The client should know who to call, avoiding calling others who don’t really know. Make sure they are talking to the right person. There is a hierarchy of who talks to who, otherwise things get confusing.
Here’s an example, client calls you on a Saturday? Do you pick up, if you do, your weekend is gone. Be sure they understand when you are available, that can be taken care of in a communication policy.
Biggest issues in the sales to production process?
- Get rid of paper. Keep things online and stored in folders. This keeps everything in one place. This is not only beneficial to you, but also to the client. A good practice for this is to store any warranty info about products your client buys. Then, you can pass it on to them.
- Use the BT messaging tool. It will allow you to track it in your project management. If you don’t implement a process you are going to be beating your head against a wall.
Thanks for reaching! We look forward to seeing you at the next webinar!