Do you constantly chase new business?

Pay through the nose for advertising, pound the pavements from networking meeting to networking meeting? Stress out about not having the phone ringing?

But in the process are you ignoring the diamonds all around you?

I’ll get to what those are in a second…

Barbara and I were at a brunch over the weekend.

A fellow guest and good friend, John is a very successful handyman. John reads all our newsletters and we’ve given him lots of business building advice over the years.

All of a sudden John piped up and said while he was now getting lots of leads he was struggling with his sales process. He spent a lot of time (up to a couple of hours) doing quotes for people who didn’t go ahead, and was having trouble closing business.

This is some of the advice we gave him.

Pre-qualify the prospect before spending time writing up a detailed quote.

John is very good at estimating the size and cost of a job. So give the prospect a firm estimate of what it would be right up front. Tell the prospect exactly what would be involved in detail so they could grasp the value of getting a quality job done right the first time.

Gauge their reaction and get a commitment to go ahead on the spot without spending hours writing up a quote.

If they were still hesitant, ask them what information they still needed to satisfy themselves before going ahead.

Understand that some people will want ALL the details before making a decision and that’s their right. However, it’s also yours as to how you respond. A $200 to $1000 job doesn’t mean you have to produce pages of a detailed quote. You can write it up there and then and give it to them and fix the price baring any unforseen contingencies.

Others will want to get more quotes as a matter of principle. For them I’d suggest outlining in detail what the job would require and suggesting they make sure another handyman would provide the same level of service and quality. Generally, you get what you pay for and you should always look for a fair price not the lowest one.

When John was first starting out we’d suggested he up his workmanship guarantee from 3 months to 6 months.

Now we suggested he go to 12 months.

Why? Because it implies he will do a great job and believes in himself and his ability. It also helps remove doubt in his prospect’s minds – will he do a good job? Will I be happy?

Naturally he’d tell a prospect about his guarantee when he first speaks to them.

There is another major reason for giving a long guarantee.

It gives John a legitimate excuse for visiting old clients to check on his work and make any adjustments if necessary.

He could do that at the 6 month and 11 month mark walking through the premises. And while he’s there, do you think he might pick up some more work?

His clients know him, like him and trust his ability. So if there were thinking of doing something else, why wouldn’t they ask him? And would they want other quotes? Most likely not.

It’s a principle we hammer into every one of our clients. Go back to you previous clients and see what else they might need. Most businesses won’t do it and I can assure you they’re leaving lots of money on the table.

John was worried that he wouldn’t have time to go back to every client. Well pick the ones you’d like to do more work for and concentrate on those.

80/20 rule applies. 20% of your clients will give you 80% of your work. So segment your clients by value, personally visit the better ones and use the phone to contact the rest. And the latter can be outsourced to a PA.

This one set of actions means John can get off the treadmill of constantly prospecting for new business. Remember, it takes 7 to 15 times the dollars/effort to get a new client over selling more to an existing one.

Your existing clients are the diamonds beneath your feet. You need to ring fence them locking out any competitors. You want to wow them with your service so they never ever think about going somewhere else and price becomes irrelevant.

We gave John other solid advice around selling which is beyond the scope of this article.

Which brings me to an offer…

A number of our clients have asked us to conduct “Focus Days” where we focus on one particular aspect of growing their business.

So this is what we’re offering.

Spend either a half or full day with us where we will focus on either marketing (getting the right leads to your business) or selling – converting them into good quality clients.

We’ll go into significant depth drilling down into exactly who your market is, what they want and how you can get your message in front of them. You may want to sell more to your established base or break out into new markets entirely.

We’ll work on your sales process allowing you to close more business faster.

Our only goal is to give you solid advice and actionable steps you can implement immediately.

These are no fluff sessions for serious players only. We only work with established businesses who are already doing well and want to do better.

Call us on 0414 913 334 for more information.

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