Following up and closing deals – it’s your job Tradies!
Calling people and closing deals – it’s your job!
I have two situations recently about coaching clients of mine who have said something like, “I’m not sure I’m going to get a deal and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’d like to get the deal.”
Both times, calling the customer and having a conversation got him the project.
I’m going to explain both.
I think a true story always illustrates a point, makes it sink in better.
The point I want to make is that calling and talking to customers, particularly, in that window between submitting your quote or your proposal and getting a decision is a very important part of your sales process and it’s your responsibility to do it.
If we neglect it, you’re likely to miss out on business.
Too many tradies go out and meet somebody, and go home, prepare a quote, and email it and then stop there.
And they say things like, “They’ll call me if they’re serious”. And that’s bullsh*t.
It’s your job to do your follow-ups and hiding from that responsibility is your fear talking, and it’s not really true. You should:
- Always present your proposal
Not email it across
Close the deal
Closing the deals not as mysterious or as scary as it sounds. Iit’s often as simple as asking someone a closed-question – a question that gives you a ‘Yes or No’ as an answer.
“Are we going to go ahead?”, “Are we doing it then?”, whatever words suit the situation.
Recommended Reading: 3 Follow-up System For Leads You Can Implement In Your Trades Business
You don’t need to persuade somebody or bully them into doing. You just need to ask the question.
What’s happening in between sending a quote and closing the deal
There’s a few things going on here.
Your customers deciding during this time that you might be able to help.
- You might be able to help them with deciding.
- You might be able to help them decide in your favour.
- They might have questions you can answer
- They might have problems you can solve by answering their questions.
And if you’re not helping them or answering their questions, somebody else might be.
And if you don’t ask people to make a decision, sometimes it’s easier for them to defer and not make one at all.
So, asking them to make a decision, is quite likely going to give you the answer you want.
You’re there, you’ve asked them to make a decision that maybe there’s not much in it. You’re there being helpful. You’re putting yourself in a good spot to get the decision you want.
Your own fear might be getting in the way of you following people up.
Until you ring them up and ask them to say, “yes or no” you can still win it.
You ring them up (they might say, “No”) and then you haven’t won it so it closes down that possibility for you, as well.
But it’s also true that pestering people is bad so your fear might be getting in the way. It’s also true, you shouldn’t ring too often. You don’t want to beg.
I understand those reservations but you do need to follow up — following up is necessary, you must do it!
Two Stories About Following-up and Closing the deal
Corey has a refrigeration mechanic business. He does break-fix work for food manufacturing business. He has a good relationship with a managing director, and they’ve acquired another business with another sizable manufacturing site not too far away and it’s looked after by somebody else — he’d like to get that business.
He’s going to make a pitch for it. He’s getting challenged by that other competitor on the other sites and the customers thinking, “We’ll get one person to do both sites” and he’d like to win it.
He’s put a proposal forward. He believes he’s uncovered a situation where the incumbent guy on the other site was getting coached into the business by his friend who worked there, and they were paying a bit too much and he’s saving them money.
And there’s no fraud or anything going on, but he’s able to go in there and say, ‘I’m doing the right thing by being fair.” And he felt like he should win it.
Now, there’s been talk and follow-up conversations about giving the current guy another chance to lift his game because they felt bad. And he figured he was going to lose the business because of this relationship the other guy had.
But they talked, he followed up again, he spoke to his managing director, and he’s got the job. He’s been given the job, and he’s won it with his relationship by being persistent, trustworthy and honest.
That call got in this sizable repeat maintenance work.
That is story one. Calling was good. It wasn’t the call that got him the job but the call did get “Yes, you’ve got the job now”.
Matt builds partition walls for office fitouts and he’s quoting for a job for a large retailer. He called me frustrated and not sure what to do because the customer is concerned about the price.
It was $100,000 and $30,000 of that was a very expensive wall covering that you could write on and it was holding up the job.
The customer thought that was too much. That was the best price that my customer could get from all his contacts, and he was passing it through with a markup and it was holding up the job.
So, we talked and he called his customer and said, “Authorised the rest, and we’ll get cracking and build the walls, and we’ll figure out a better way of doing this fitter wall that you want. And I’ll show you my quote and put my markup on, and we’ll go from there. So let me go on with the rest of the job.”
And the guy said, ‘Yes’.
Matt solved the problem of being too expensive, and he’d provided a solution that got things moving, and they could sort out the tricky bit by doing a bit more research together.
He built trust, he’s been honest and open about what he got, and he’d made the call and he’d helped the guy make a decision that solved both their problems.
So stay close to your customers.
Stay close with them while they’re deciding. You might be able to help and you might be able to close your deals.
And if you want me to help you, you should ask me.
There are four ways you can engage with me:
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3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.