Closing bids? Walk us through your process! - Paint Talk - Professional Painting Contractors Forum
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default Closing bids? Walk us through your process!

Hello everyone!

So I've noticed this year that my closing rate is no where near as high as it used to be and I was wondering what could be affecting this. I have slightly raised prices but I'm not convinced that's the only reason. Share your bid process, mainly for exteriors!

What do you typically wear? Do you think wearing a nice polo&shorts results in a better or worse outcome than showing up in your paint close?

Whats your opening upon first meeting the customer?

Do you ask if they'd like to walk around with you or to you let them know you're going to take a quick walk around the house?

How do you end the process? Do you e-mail the quotes over or print them up/handwrite them on the spot? What has had a better success rate for you?

Looking forward to your responses!
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:09 PM   #2
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What we wear depends on what day it is. Weekends clean cloths, nothing fancy. Week days we are in our work cloths usually.

First thing we do is introduce ourselves and apologize for our cloths looking all ratted out, we let them know we came straight from a job.

We ask exactly what they are looking to get done (sometimes scope of work changes from the phone call), we do a walk around with the owner to see the areas they want done, after we take a look with them we go on our own to look the rooms over better and measure. If we see cracks or what not we didn't see or weren't told about we let the owner know and show them, then explain what we will do to fix it.

We shake their hand and say we will get this out within the next 48 hours.

We email all estimates, invoices or any billing type of stuff. Once in a great while the owner will ask us to hand deliver.

People around here judge more over the condition of your vehicle vs clothing. I guess they don't want a POS sitting at their house, I don't really know.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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I'm not the one out there. I do the office work. But I know my husband always wears clean jeans and a clean work shirt with our logo. He introduces himself. He likes to give them his background and then have them walk through with him all they need done. If he sees things he suggests to them to have them fixed. He stresses that even if it's not by him he walks them through how it would be fixed so they know for anyone they plan to hire. After the walk through he asks them if they would like to have him include pricing for the extra things he saw. He then goes out to his truck to "crunch the numbers" and get the estimate together. He uses an app called Invoice Simple. He's able to punch it all in there with breakdowns and notes. Our legal language is there and they have the ability to sign right there on the tablet. He most always throws in a discount if they sign now. If he can't close it there then he emails the estimate to them for further review. He does more but thats the basics of it.

He used to leave with just the scope of the work and put the estimate together later and email it. We found making the change to this app and having a typed estimate for them on site, we are closing better than we did last year. He plans to get a printer in his truck so he can print them out then and there for them.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:38 PM   #4
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Go to the Business and Marketing sub forum and take a look at the post, "Bidding To Close the Sale". Wrote it awhile back describing the process I usually try to follow.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:10 AM   #5
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Appearance I don't think is all that high, unless you really come around looking like the rats chewed on you all night.

Paint on clothes is pretty much a given, you are a painter, so to see it isn't anything unexpected.

The biggest thing that helps close the jobs, for us, is knowledge/expertise and our proposals. If you can explain what might have caused the cracking issue or delamination issue, you sound like you know more than the guy that says he'll put spackle or stucco over it.

You should be able to clearly detail various causes of the problem, whether or not that is actually just add your qualifier before hand. A qualifer is something along the lines of: "Well, not sure 100% what caused it but...there are various things that can such as: etc. etc. etc.". A lot of painters don't know which product to use in which situation much less the cause of a certain issue. So the more you know, the better. This helps you look informed and well educated to the customer.

The proposal is another animal. Our proposals are very detailed, even sometimes including pictures of the damages that are going to be fixed. Yes it takes time to do these, but I've won numerous jobs over competitors (at a higher price) based strictly on how professional the proposal came in looking.

At the end of the day and in a nuthsell:
Professionalism creates confidence in the end buyer.

End buyers want to feel confident they hired a good contractor to help them fix problems or do specific work for them. If the confidence isn't there....people get skiddish and prefer no to have a problem versus having one. No one wants to buy a problem.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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We have a new article up in the article section on this topic as well.

"The price is right and you’ve agreed on a time line. All that’s left to do is close the deal. This is the point where so many painting contractors drop the ball, failing to get the client to sign up for their services." Tips for Closing Painting Contracts
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:31 PM   #7
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I go in with the intention of selling a system. What that is for you I dunno.

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Old 04-14-2017, 10:39 AM   #8
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Our painters don't do our estimating, maybe a change order but that is it.

I'm dressed in a logo'd polo everyday with khakis. I prefer to walk the job with the homeowner as opposed to showing up and doing the bid on my own.

I listen. This is key.

I'll ask if they know of any rotted wood or problem areas on their home.

As someone said earlier I will offer possible explanations for their home's issues and definitely how we intend to resolve the issue.

After walking the jobsite I'll tell the homeowner that I need some time to work on the math of the proposal. I'll tell them briefly what they can expect from the crew when they arrive. Uniformed employees, English speaking crew supervisors and I tell them that we have down criminal background checks on all of our employees.

We send the proposal preferably by email with 30 references and Lead Addendum if necessary.

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