Here’s Our Scheduling Process
I want to share a story of a very unhappy customer or potential unhappy customer, depending on how you look at this…
I am Ron Ramsden, a DYB coach, and a painting contractor in Massachusetts.
I tell you that I am a painting contractor because I want you to know that I live the same as you do!
Here is our disgruntled customer…
Months and months ago, I went out to look at this project that needed a lot of wood repairs.
It was an exterior of a house, actually a contemporary home.
I looked at it and we talked about what needed to be done.
We had to research some materials and some of it had to be milled down.
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The homeowner was taking care of the woodwork but I was taking care of a lot of other things.
I didn’t know what product we wanted to actually use on the house, so we couldn’t actually do it on the spot.
We got the proposal out to him via email and had a lot of follow-up conversations.
We agreed that If June 1st works for him, that would be great.
June 1st came and went and I get a very angry phone call saying, “where are you guys?”
I said, “what do you mean?”, because I had talked to him about a month before and I mentioned about a signed contract and a deposit, to get him on the schedule.
He never sent that signed contract nor did he send a deposit.
We were only asking for $500.
Our process is a $500 deposit and then additional money on day 1, if it is a multi-day job.
He didn’t get put on the schedule because it didn’t follow the process.
If we don’t have a process like this, as a company grows, we can’t remember everything.
We can’t remember everything we say to every customer no matter if we write it down.
You all might have had that customer that you went to call on a Friday or you got to go drop ladders off for a Monday start and then the customer says, “Oh, I changed my mind”.
Guess what! They had no skin in the game.
There wasn’t any process to actually schedule them. It was all in your head.
I have been there, I have done that for many years. A lot of times I am running around just trying to keep my guys busy because one of the customers decided a “No”, instead of a “Yes” at the last minute.
What if something else came up with the customer? They might had an unexpected expense and you are now on the second. You are not as important as you were a week or two ago.
In the following few paragraphs, I’ll explain our process called “Scheduling Process”.
Site Visit/ Write Proposal/ Sign contract/ Collect deposit:
This step is going to eliminate the rest of the process if it actually happens.
You got to do your site visit. Visit the family and do all your stuff that you do.
You got to write the proposal and a signed contract of acceptance and you’ve got to pick up your deposit.
When that happens, if you can, sign the proposal.
They are excited that you are there and they are looking for that proposal.
If you can sign it, you’ve got rid of all the other hectic stuff.
You have something on your schedule and you just saved yourself a ton of time.
This step is the number one priority but if it doesn’t happen, we are going to start on the following process.
- Send Proposal & Contract:
You are going to send the proposal and the contract, which is all in one.
We use estimate rocket as our estimating software and based on that we send the proposal.
- Follow up With Phone Call/Email:
In this step you are going to follow-up with a phone call and an email. Ask and answer any question of your customer.
You are going to ask if they have any question.
Most times, we do have homeowners that are very proactive.
They ask the questions and thank us.
Follow-up…that’s the big key.
- Receive Signed contract & collect Deposit:
Here, you receive the signed contract as well as a $500 deposit.
We ask for $500, you can ask for whatever you want. To get on our schedule, costs you $500, which is part of the amount that we propose.
Once you receive the signed contract and the deposit, it then goes to the schedule. If you don’t get the deposit, it should never go to the calendar.
- Signed Contract Received But No Deposit:
If you receive a signed contract with no check, then follow-up. It happens.
People forget to put the check in. They think it will get it you later on and that we just wanted to get a signed contract.
When that happens, you have to make a phone call or send an email. After that you just have to Follow-up multiple times.
Remember, the process to get on your schedule is, signed contract and a deposit.
People would do it! You would say, “No, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to bother them. I’ll collect it later. I don’t need the money ahead of time.”
Apply these steps on your contract and you will fill up your summer.
You won’t have any cancellations and then if you do have a cancellation, depending on what your contract says, you can either return the money or you can schedule them at a later date.
Most people would do either one, or they will schedule at a later date.
If people don’t have any skin in the game, which is the deposit, very likely, you will probably never hear from them again, because all of a sudden someone’s brother is going to do it for a couple dollars less than you are.
That’s our process. If that doesn’t work for you then you follow-up, you then follow-up some more and you keep following up on and on until you get your deposit.
There are different ways that you can follow-up.
You can have an email reminder or you could actually pick up the phone.
You can put it in your calendar and you can schedule out a morning, afternoon or evening jam session.
To call 10 or 15 customers in a row, is probably not convenient for you.
Many of them will go to voicemail but their lives are just as busy as you and if they want their house painted or whatever the project that you are bidding on, they are going to gladly accept the phone call to give them a reminder.
Especially if it’s been on their to-do list and they haven’t done it.
Hence, processes are important. You can put process in anything you want.
Just imagine, for you to step away from your business, someone is going to have to be able to do each one of the odd jobs that you are doing right now.
Is it scheduling job? If you have this written down, someone could open your mail, get the contracts and then schedule accordingly.
We even have this in our CRM, which is pipelinedeals.
We have processes to actually enter a new person and what we need to do from that point on.
Get yourself ready that you can actually step away from your business.
You may end up working 3 days a week or maybe selling your business, you would have a folder full of processes which will make your business much more valuable for the next person.
You might have an administrative assistant who is taking care of your business in the office, what happens when that person is no longer working for you?
They step away or unfortunately they don’t work for you anymore, whatever the circumstances, someone else is going to have to do that.
Either you have to sit down and teach that person every single thing or if you have a book of processes you can actually hand-off, that would be a great tool for your business.
I am Ron Ramsden, a DYB coach. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more about us, go to DYBCoach.com
Send me a message on Facebook, I’d love to chat with you.
We can always exchange cell phone numbers and we can chat that way too if it’s easier.
Any questions? Please send them my way, comment here and I‘ll be glad to help you.
Hopefully if you would like working in the bucket, maybe this can ease some of the pain and take something off your plate.
If you are out of the bucket and you have administrative help, processes are the way to go!