When you first meet with a client to make a quote for a job, there are several ways you should behave and things you should do to ensure you professionally represent yourself and have the best possible chance of the client approving the quote and to get the job. It is also important to recognise your client’s needs, consider how best you can meet these needs, and to prioritise your client to leave them feeling comfortable and assured that you are the best person for the project. At PaintAccess, we are always looking for helpful ways to benefit our valued tradies, and have put this blog together for your convenience where we will discuss how to present yourself to a client, what to discuss, and the timeframe in which you should aim to provide them with a quote for the job. By considering the points discussed in this blog, you can ensure that you continue to grow and develop in your profession, and provide a service that guarantees customer satisfaction. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to try to keep in mind all the appropriate considerations in regards to your client, but don’t worry - here at PaintAccess, we are always here to help.
How to present yourself
When you are first meeting with a client, this will be the first chance for them to see how you conduct yourself and your business. Therefore to make the best possible first impression, you should always ensure to conduct yourself in a confident but professional manner. Ensuring a level of confidence shows that you know what you are doing and assures the client that you are the best person for the job. However, it is also important to remain humble and respectful otherwise you may appear arrogant, which will not give a good impression. To improve your confidence, it is a good idea to plan what you want to discuss with the client, and ensure that you are properly prepared for the meeting. In addition to being confident, you must also maintain a professional manner at all times when meeting with the client. A simple but effective way to improve your professional manner is to ensure that you have spare clothes to change into and maintain a professional appearance at all times.
You should always be considerate, compassionate, and friendly when meeting with your client. It is important to respect their home and abide by any rules they may have. For example, asking if you should remove your shoes before entering the client’s house is important to clarify. Although some clients may not be bothered, some may prefer you to remove your shoes. By showing consideration and value for your client’s house, the client will recognize that their needs are important to you, and be more likely to accept your services. Consideration and compassion for your client’s needs will contribute to your overall friendly manner and ensure that your client is comfortable around you.
Paying attention to the specifics is important to identify the job you are quoting for. You should ask clarifying questions such as “Are you looking to sell, make cosmetic renovations or invest?” In this way, you can determine exactly what the needs of the client are and how you can best meet them. The needs of the client will vary greatly depending on whether they are looking to sell or simply upgrade their home’s aesthetics. When you are going on a tour of the property with your client, you should be as detailed as possible by describing any defects or other significant details you notice. However, it is key that you don’t place any blame on the previous painter for these defects, as this may come across as unprofessional. Instead, speak about any defects in a neutral but informative tone, specifying how best to go about fixing them.
Suggestions and Details
When you are discussing a client’s needs, one of the key concerns is the budget. Understandably, a client’s budget will vary significantly depending on their circumstances and their budget will also have an impact on the suggestions you make to them. They will most likely have a rough budget in their head which can help inform your process. To determine their budget, you should ask questions in order to ascertain their needs, whether it be budget, high end, or anything in between. Determining a client’s budget will also allow you to better understand what the client is trying to achieve. If you are making suggestions such as brands of paint, the client’s budget will come into play.
When recommending brands, we would suggest mentioning Dulux and Taubmans, but you may also want to ask which brands the client prefers or which they have used before. It’s always important to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of what your client wants - it’s their house, after all! Suggesting a variety of brands in accordance with your client’s budget and other circumstances will demonstrate your expertise in your field and your consideration of their particular needs. Because client needs may vary significantly depending on their circumstances, you should always ensure that you are making the best suggestions as appropriate to your client’s needs.
As you are concluding a meeting with your client, you should ensure you have the necessary contact information and detail so you are able to keep in contact with them about any next steps. Their first name and surname, phone number, and email address are the key pieces of information you should collect. Most modern software requires this information, and asking for it also shows professionalism and organisation skills. Don’t be afraid to clarify if you are unsure of this information! Clarifying that you have the correct phone number or spelling of their name - it shows that you pay attention to detail and that you care!
Your client will most likely want to know how you came up with your quote so you should be prepared to explain your process. They may want to compare quotes with other businesses to ensure they are getting the best quote for what they need to be done or they simply want to better understand the process. It is up to you to ensure you clearly explain how you calculate your quote, ensuring to use terms they will easily understand and be detailed in your descriptions. Firstly you should explain what your quote is based on. Quotes are usually based on one of two parameters, labour days or square metres. Labour days is considered the easiest way to calculate your quote and may be your best option, however, it is up to you what you use. Labour days are simply the total amount of business days required to complete the job and provide a good basis to easily calculate your quote.
You can also calculate your quote based on the total square metres that need to be painted. When you are calculating square metres, you will need to ensure to bring either a tape measure or a laser measurer to check the ceiling height and the length and width of walls to calculate an overall quote. Don’t forget - you should minus the door and frame measurements to get an accurate result. Ensuring a high level of precision and description when explaining your quote will ensure your client is kept in the loop - and feels confident about the whole process. This is important because it helps to build a trusting relationship between yourself and the client - which is key to any successful partnership!
Most new online accounting software such as Xero and MYOB will have the necessary capabilities for small businesses. You can use this software for bookkeeping and to keep yourself organised. Xero is specially designed for small businesses to create payroll, send invoices, track projects and more. You may find these features particularly useful for organising your project with the convenience of having all the necessary information and paperwork in one place. Similarly, MYOB provides a free invoice template, allowing you to quickly create branded invoices, understand your finances, and calculate and track GST automatically. Choose which software best suits your needs - or if you are unsure, try out both! The most important takeaway is to keep yourself organised and ensure you have all the information you need.
Most businesses provide their client with a quote within the same day to ensure that the client has plenty of time to make a decision and notify if they would like to receive the business’ services. Therefore, it is important to send your quote as soon as possible in order to close the deal. You should work hard to calculate labour day or number of square metres that require painting, and any other considerations you may require. Earlier in the blog, we provided some helpful tips on calculating your quote, either based on the number of labour days or number of square metres. As previously mentioned, sending your quote within the same day is best, however, you should have your quote prepared and sent to your client by the next day at the latest. Ensuring you provide your quote quickly and efficiently also demonstrates dedication and putting your client’s needs as a priority.