Improve Your Quotes – The Easiest Way to Win More Sales
BY: Ben Levesque
If you have a minute, do a quick Google search for “roofing quote,” click on the images and take a glance at your screen.
I’m sure I don’t need to describe for you what this looks like. Every single image looks almost identical; a single page with a logo, some line items, and a price. If you know where I’m going with this, some of you may be hanging your head in shame right now.
Let’s back this up and think about it for a minute.
What is the purpose of a quote? To give somebody a price for their job, right? To let them know the type of shingles being installed and the warranty that is provided.
While those things can be included in a quote, I would suggest that the purpose of a quote is to gain the trust and engagement of your potential client while showing them how you differ from other contractors.
Ultimately, if you can connect with your client via trust, education, and engagement, you will leap miles ahead of the competition.
For example, Apple creates amazing devices that people love because they are intuitive to use but offer a depth of features. They solve a problem and make it easy for people to work with them.
If intuitive features and engaging design are at one end of the spectrum, 90% of roofing quotes would be at the exact opposite end of that spectrum; difficult to understand, with no thought given to engaging homeowners.
Rather than clarifying a problem and introducing a solution, roofing quotes typically introduce a whole new set of problems laced with confusion.
Quotes end up being loaded with industry jargon, difficult to understand terms and a price that feels pulled out of thin air. Standard roofing quotes really aren’t much to boast about.
Having run a large residential roofing sales team for more years than I would like to admit, we wrestled continuously with how to gain an upper hand in the sales game. Finally, we completely changed the quotes that we shared with homeowners and were blown away by the results.
Rather than our quotes being all about us, the products we use, our warranty details, the price we were offering, etc., our quotes focused entirely on our clients. How? We developed quotes that demonstrated our ability to:
Understand their home
Identify with their challenges
Establish our competence and ability to help them
Practically, we did this by inserting a photo of the client’s home on the cover page, writing about specific details of the project to educate them and going a step further by including photos to show issues we would need to correct.
To put the icing on the cake, we got clients excited about the project by showing how incredible their chosen product looked on other homes, and most importantly, we hired a professional graphic designer and communications expert to make the quote sharp, and give the entire presentation intuitive, easy to understand messages.
Donald Miller explains in Storybrand, “Customers don’t generally care about your story; they care about their own. Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand.”
Miller unpacks it further. “Customers aren’t looking for a hero, they are looking for a guide.” In other words, we aren’t Luke Skywalker in this story, swooping in to be the hero, we are Yoda. When Luke was overwhelmed, inexperienced and didn’t know how to win the battle, he turned to Yoda, a guide that could lead the hero to success.
The result of our change to this focus was an increase in our retails sales of millions of dollars. Specifically, we saw a 67% increase in our retail sales from 2016 when we started using these presentations to our most recent year in 2018.
Additionally, with the web app we developed to build these sales presentations (www.sumoquote.com), our sales team were creating exponentially superior quotes faster than they ever had. Once the quantities of materials had been calculated, a sales presentation could be built in as little as 3-4 minutes!
One of my salespeople shared this story with me the other day. He sat down with a potential client who said, “Your quote is a bit more expensive, but I’d like to move forward with your company. After seeing how detailed your quote is, I know you’ll do a great job!”
Now here’s the ironic part, a competitor’s quote was visible on the table and it actually went into FAR more detail than ours. It described all sorts of industry details that we hadn’t bothered to mention. The difference? The quote focused on details that a roofer cared about, but no homeowner would ever understand.
The competitor’s quote was obviously built in Word/Excel or some generic CRM. It was a logo with a huge amount of text and a price. In contrast, our presentation was designed and built in such a way that it was intuitive and easy to understand. Our quote focused on the client, while our competitors focused on themselves.
So, what can you do to change?
Start thinking about the sale from a client’s perspective; engage them, make the process about them and ensure that every message is your quote is shared to make life easier for them.
After all, there’s no point in paying good money to generate more leads, if you don’t have a plan in place to connect with clients and close more deals when those leads roll in.