How to Provide Better Estimates to Win More Bids | DYB Coach

How to Provide Better Estimates to Win More Bids

estimates, Painting business, marketing

Are you looking to supercharge your estimating process?

I am Ron Ramsden, I am a DYB Coach, also a painting contractor here in northern Massachusetts.

Estimate process, we all have an old, boring estimate process that we used years ago.

In my video, I show a list of the old estimating process in black color, and then the additional parts in blue that makes us stand out from the rest.

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The reason for this is, I want someone to experience something they haven’t experienced before.

Also, I want to let them know what we are doing and how often we’ll be in contact with them and all the extras that we offer, this way when they are at a cookout or a party talking to their friends about work being done on the house they can have specifics.

Even if we haven’t gotten the job yet, we are already giving them extras.

To start off, the black is the normal process that most people use.

We do that plus the blue line items, which I’ll explain in detail, other things that we do.

With our past customers, there are different ways that they’ve found us such as, Google searches, networking events, branded trucks, and signs, and all the other things.

They’ve found us, then they’ve looked for us online and we’ll give them the opportunity to book their own estimate through a calendar using “You Can Book Me”, great tool, there is a free version, if you want to pay it’s a few dollars a month and well worth it.

You’ll link it to your calendar, you block out times you don’t want to book estimates on, and then the rest is opened up for them.

From there you can actually modify questions so you can go through and get all that important information before you actually go to the house.

So, we have the information, they either booked online or they placed the phone call and we went over a time that works for both of us.

Right then and there, this is the first blue line, this is when we send them a video, this video says, “What to expect during your painting estimate”, and it’s a YouTube, you can actually find it at Ramsden Painting on the YouTube.

It’s basically me sitting in my living room explaining what to expect, it’s about 3-5 minutes long and one of the questions we ask, is “what does a great painting experience look like to you?”.

Some people, they don’t know what to answer, other people say, “I hate dust around my house, I don’t want my cat or dog out” and different things like that or they want us to know they don’t want shoes in the bathroom or something like that.

Those are all things I want to know when I show up, I don’t want to surprise them.

So, it also walks through what you want them to expect, how I am going to measure, what they should do, I am going to take my shoes off and on and on and on.

That’s the first time we touch base; we haven’t even got to meet them but we’ve already sent them some value.

Then we show up at the estimate and we try to write and book the estimate and sell it on the spot.

By doing this, we also have video testimonials which we’ll get to at the end of our process to show them how great people think we are.

That’s one way that we do it, if we don’t book the job and sell the job on the spot while we are doing the proposal, we have a follow-up.

Then again even if we did sell it on the spot we’d have a certain follow-up for that as well.

Anyways, we always send them a personalized thank-you card right after the meeting to thank them.

It’s a little personal note saying something like, ”We really appreciate the time you spent with us, your dog is cute”, or “you have a beautiful home, it was very nice to meet you and we look forward to working with you in the future”

Also, if they’ve brought up something that’s a concern to them, if you have blogs written, about that subject, include it in an email such as:

“Here are a couple articles I have written in the past, I thought you would find them helpful because you were talking about dust”, or what sheen of paint to use on certain things, or what we should do with a trim conversion from stain to paint.

Or even send them “this is the process that I explained but in writing for you”, so that’s more value that we are sending them.

I mean think about it, what painter sends thank-you cards???

Who even sends a thank-you card these days?

So we send out the blog posts along with the follow-up and we are still looking to book this job if we haven’t booked it already.

We are going to call, we are going to email them, whatever we have to do to follow up.

Okay so you sold it on paper and you have a deposit…

Now we are going to send them an email letting them know it’s written in our schedule and also email them over an introduction to the crew leader, so they know what crew leader is going to be on the job because I am not there.

I might stop by the job and let them know that I am not the one who is going to be painting because sometimes they expect that.

I’ll introduce my crew leader and who he is and his experience so they know who he is and they are not surprised when this guy knocks on the door at 8 o’clock in the morning to introduce themselves.

Then we invite them to Base Camp.

Why? About 75% of our customers really want to know what’s going on.

What we do is we have a Base Camp which is a project software where we can load up our work orders, their colors, special pictures and all kinds of communication.

An advantage to this is so a year from now if we need a color touch-up or something like that we are able to go back and get those colors very easily from the archived conversation.

They also get an email to remind them that we need their colors a week before the job is ready to start.

If they are having a problem with colors, we then invite a color person to help them with the selection of colors, this is an added value that we give to anybody booking more than three rooms of work with us, we pay Sherwin Williams for that.

We also have a separate color associate who can help us if we are not using Sherwin William paints and we pay for that out of the proceeds of the job.

Added value is a huge must!

Just after we sold the job, we have three things that we’ve added value.

We then we send them a video of what to expect when the job starts and it’s basically a walkthrough.

It lets them know we are going to need a section to put our tools, a little work area, and for them to move the valuables and delicates to be put away, if they are supposed to take down drapes those have to be removed.

Also if they have nails in the wall that they want to stay where they are, we ask them to put a piece of tape on that, if not then everything else is going to be assumed it needs to be taken off.

There’s another added value, videos, customers love videos.

Okay, so now you’ve completed the job.

A lot of times you collect the check and then you run to the bank and that’s it… right?

WRONG, we’re just getting started!

Why? because we want this customer for life.

The next step is getting them a thank-you gift.

In DYB group, you see a lot of them have their custom paint cans with fresh cookies inside.

I actually give apple pies, a good friend of mine bakes a lot of apple pies, they have a company, we give a lot of freshly baked apple pies and we are able to give that as a gift and who doesn’t like an apple pie?

Once we give them the apple pie we request a video testimonial and we only ask that they answer three specific questions.

These video testimonials come into play when you go to estimates!

As these build up, you end up building more credibility.

So, after the video estimate is given, then we follow-up.

What does that mean?

Well, we want to make sure a week after, that everything is okay, even though they did a walkthrough with the crew leader, we want to make sure that the customer is 110% with us, you want them to refer, refer and refer.

We are also going to remind them that they have free touch-ups on their job.

Then put them on an email drip, so after a certain amount of time, they start getting emails.

Of course, we friend them on Facebook if they are on Facebook which there are 1.9 billion people on Facebook, so there’s a good chance they are probably on Facebook.

We also remind them at the year anniversary, we make sure we do send out cards, which I have shared on another video of mine.

There you have it, this is our supercharged estimating process with all the little extras!

If you have any questions about this and you want to talk, you can catch me at ron@dybcoach.com, that would be great, I would love to talk with you and answer any of your questions. You can also post them right here.

Thank you so much for hanging out with me, I am Ron, I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor up here in Northern Massachusetts, thank you and have a great day!

About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.