You know you can do the job, but how do you WIN the job?
Whenever a customer chooses another tradesperson over you and you know you could have completed the job for them – and you would have done a great job – let’s not sugar coat it, it’s pretty annoying.
Price may have been a factor, but more than likely, it was their ‘gut feel’ that made them pick someone else.
The next time you know you can do the job, don’t struggle to get the work. Here are some of our top tips to WIN that job. We’ve got some homeowner insights for you to help you win the next job.
Setting yourself up for success
Before looking at how you can build good customer relationships and provide the best possible customer experience, you need to be appealing to your customers before you’ve even spoken to them.
This is hard to do, but it’s not impossible.
Customers want to see quality and they want to feel safe when choosing you
How exactly do you build trust before you’ve spoken to them or completed any work?
It’s all about your reputation.
You need to take the time to build your brand’s trust and show you’re a trustworthy tradesperson with all the right qualifications and experience.
Customers will trust their gut instinct when they first come across your business, but they will also do their research on you.
This is where being a Checkatrade member will help you stand out.
Being a Checkatrade member increases your chance of winning a job
From the homeowners we spoke to, 8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn't endorsed*. This alone shows the trust the people have in our tick.
On top of the trust we’ve built with homeowners, our guarantee is a huge hit.
Offering the Checkatrade guarantee increases your chance of getting work with us
6 out of 10 people are more likely to hire a Checkatrade tradesperson if they offer our guarantee**.
Got what it takes to pass our member checks?
Yes? Let's go!
You pass our checks and get the trusted tick; what next?
Once you earn the tick that people trust, you can focus on your customer service and business processes.
Create the best level of customer service
The best level of customer service will result in your customers wanting to leave you reviews.
Becoming a Checkatrade member is one thing, but you’ll still need to work hard on earning reviews from your customers. Reviews on your Checkatrade profile make you even more appealing to work with.
Having customer ratings and reviews that say you’re great is a great marketing tactic. People listen to people, and if multiple people say you’re great, your customers will feel confident in speaking to you and hopefully booking your services. This is called social proofing.
Here are the steps to providing a great customer experience, which will lead to your business earning amazing customer testimonials.
Speed = appointments
When customers are looking for tradespeople, they are looking for a skilled professional to help solve a problem. Whether that’s renovating an entire property or fixing a leak, the customer wants speed and progression from the point of booking you to job completion.
As soon as they contact you, think about your response as part of an effective sales cycle. A vital part of this is speed and efficiency. Be quick and proactive in your initial response, and if you can, offer a selection of dates and times for an initial appointment.
You want to make sure that your ‘hot’ lead stays hot.
Communication is key
A key part of strong customer service is effective communication. Be open, friendly but professional, and most importantly, be consistent.
If you make a promise to a customer that you will call them at 5pm on Tuesday, make sure it happens.
Letting a customer down at the beginning will quickly put them off and ruin your chances of winning the job from the word go.
Before you undertake a project, it’s customary to visit your potential client to take measurements and provide an accurate quote for the work required.
You can also carry out a second visit to double-check the measurements and answer all the homeowner’s questions. This can offer them greater peace of mind, especially if it’s for a large project such as an extension. It also gives you a chance to make sure the customer is fully prepped ahead of the work starting.
Ensure company-wide expertise
Knowledge is power. It’s also proof you know your business. That’s why it’s important to make sure that everyone on your team is fully trained and aware of the latest industry news.
Having an entire team who understands what you do, with the ability to answer questions confidently and clearly, sets you apart as a professional and an expert. Training all your team to the same high standard also keeps everyone on the same page.
- One core message and offering to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.
- Company-wide standards and core values.
- Customer security and peace of mind.
- A consistent quality of work.
Quick turnaround on quotes
If the customer has asked for a quote, don’t take days and days to respond. If they’ve asked for a cost, they are interested. Don’t damage your chances of success by delaying your response.
Give them a clear timeframe and exceed their expectations. They will be pleasantly surprised with your efficiency and are more likely to convert.
Follow up calls
How many sales leads do you have, or have you had recently that you’ve failed to follow up with a telephone call?
Being proactive is key to securing new customers, and despite how busy you are, you should always schedule in time each day or each week to follow up on your sales leads.
You never know, a customer may be on the fence about using your services, but a quick call could persuade them to use your services after all.
Transparent pricing and T&Cs
Think about a time when you have purchased either a product or service but had to pay additional and unexpected costs. It’s frustrating, right?
In fact, we’d go as far to say that it’s very likely to put you off using that product or service again.
Transparent pricing and clear terms and conditions are key to good customer relationships. Tell them exactly how much your service will cost, when you can complete the job in hand and outline any terms and conditions for completing the work. You should also explain if any extra jobs pop up during the work that this will incur an extra cost.
Being upfront and honest will establish clear communications from the outset, which will not only help you in securing this initial job but may also result in repeat business moving forward.
If you can talk the talk, but you can’t walk the walk, you’re going to end up with one disappointed customer.
Remember, winning new business is a process that needs to be addressed with quality. Part of this is securing good feedback in order to showcase the quality of your work and enable you to win new business moving forwards.
Ultimately, if you’ve put in the graft to convert the customer, make sure you then follow through with quality workmanship.
How to win government contracts for your small business
Government contracts can be incredibly lucrative. And with bureaucracy and red tape now minimised to help SMEs get in on the action, there’s no reason why your business can’t compete for and win government contracts.
The government will evaluate tenders against specific criteria, and there are three initial evaluation gates to get through once your bid has been submitted:
- Gate 1: administrative compliance, e.g. do you meet eligibility criteria, have you completed the tender fully, and do you meet any grounds for exclusion?
- Gate 2: economic and financial standing, e.g. does your cash flow and working capital stack up against the contract value and payment mode?
- Gate 3: technical and price evaluation, e.g. how your bid scores in terms of quality and pricing.
How to make it easy for an evaluator to score your bid
- Keep your bid concise. Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Don’t waffle and veer off-topic. Stick to the point, focusing on why your business ticks the box for this contract.
- Never make assumptions. Leaving out vital detail could see your tender dismissed.
- Put yourself in the evaluator’s shoes. If you were looking for a contractor to do this project, what would clinch it for you?
- Clear formatting. Make your bid easy to read by using spacing, headings, and bullet points (like these).
- Avoid confusion. Keep language simple to understand and don’t be fooled into thinking the use of industry jargon and acronyms will impress.
Remember, when you complete your bid, break the question down and answer each point in the same order they appear within the question.
This will help to make sure you don’t miss anything out and make it easier for the evaluator to score.
Don’t worry about repetition, as long as it’s relevant to the question, as the same evaluator may not score every question.
Proofread your bid (and get a fresh pair of eyes on it too if possible) to spot any mistakes or inconsistencies before it’s submitted. Any content over the word count will not even be read.
Lastly, have confidence! Write with conviction, using positive language, e.g. “we will” rather than “we could”. Focus on the benefits of working with your business, outline evidence of success, and share testimonials.
To improve your chances of winning more jobs, you need to build trust in your business and brand before anything else. You can do that with Checkatrade’s help.
On top of that, you need to work hard to earn customer reviews. The best way to do this is to create your own sales process or customer journey. Think about how you currently respond to potential leads. Could this be improved? Are you transparent, professional and proactive?
When you do win the job, congratulate yourself and then deliver with quality. More importantly, don’t think of it as a ‘one-time job’; think of it as a potential long-term working relationship.
And remember, every piece of feedback you gain is a chance to show potential customers how good you are.
Got what it takes to pass our member checks?
Yes? Let's go!
* Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.
** Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.