There is an art to giving estimates, in any contractor-based business. In roofing, it’s one of the few things that can make or break a deal early on. Sometimes it’s challenging to provide an estimate enticing enough to close a deal. When the price is not right, details are not clear, and expectations are not firmly established from the get-go, an estimate is not going to be able to accomplish what a contractor hopes it does. To mitigate the risks, here is a great approach to providing honest estimates for clients.
Clear and precise information
All key information in an estimate needs to be presented with the utmost clarity. When it’s clear where numbers are being drawn from, especially in terms of materials and labor, a consumer is more likely to trust your company to get the job done. Communicate that the numbers provided have reason behind them, without including too much detail so that it muddies up the form. An estimate is an opportunity to show all costs that go into a project, which will hopefully let a customer understand where you are coming from as a contractor.
Talk about customer expectations
By understanding how to meet and exceed customer expectations regarding a project, you may be able to successfully close a deal, even with bids from other companies on the table. Consider and discuss any factors that may affect pricing, why your service is better and/or different from competitors, why you are using a specific brand of materials for their project, and touching upon timeline and projected completion date.
Make the estimate accessible
If you’ve been in the contracting business for longer than a few months, you probably know that customers walk away remembering very little of what is said in the estimate process. The last thing you want is for them to come back when the deal is close to finished, with reservations on terms that have already been discussed. Having digital copies of your estimates and emailing them a copy can help retain clarity and transparency throughout the process. This lets a customer see their estimate whenever they require and, in the event of a misunderstanding, it’s a document that can be referred back to. In the unfortunate circumstance of a pay dispute, copies of invoices and estimates transferred via email can go a long way in establishing a case to ensure you get paid.
Any quality professional roofing contractor company will want to provide an estimate and address any questions the client may have regarding materials, labor, and process. For any company not willing to provide a copy of their estimate for review, they may not be worth doing business with.
The estimate process can be very stressful for some clients as it has to do with pricing and sometimes, the numbers are higher than expected. The key to securing a client is to ensure details are made clear and to never pressure a client into making a final decision in the moment.
From a client’s perspective, estimates shine a light into the services they are set to receive and for how much. If there is tension early on or if they feel as if a roofing company is not able to provide clear answers on key questions, they’re recommended to find a contractor who is more accommodating.