“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
People buy from people they like. If marketing is about getting people interested in your trade business’s services, the key to converting more quotes is building trust and credibility with the customer. It’s a process of addressing the customer’s unspoken hopes and concerns to make them feel confident in choosing you as their supplier.
In this article, guest blogger Angela Smith, an experienced trade business owner, educator and coach, and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, outlines the five steps you need to take to make a lasting impression on would-be customers.
By applying the formula Angela explains below, you’ll increase your chances of nabbing your next quote – and more
Step onto The Trust Escalator™
At Lifestyle Tradie, we’ve developed our own version of the buying journey to explain how people make buying decisions – it’s called The Trust Escalator.
In the following sections, I elaborate on what you can do at each stage to maximise your chance of winning and converting new customers.
Level One – Business
Your potential customer is looking for information about you and your business. At this early stage of the buying journey, all you’re trying to do is encourage them to make contact. Your business’s reputation and integrity in the marketplace will be important factors at this decision point.
How is reputation and integrity typically established these days?
Whether a customer has discovered your business through word of mouth or vehicle signage, customers will often base their buying decision on the quality of your website. First impressions are a key factor, how does yours stack up?
If your website loads too slowly, is hard to read, or is not well designed and professional, your customer will leave, never to return.
Level Two – You
The customer is thinking: ‘Do I want to do business with you?’ It’s up to you and your team to convince this customer to stay interested.
Firstly, the person who answers your phone will make or break a potential sale within seconds. Who is responsible for answering the phone in your business? How well equipped is this person to make the caller feel welcome and connected to your business?
Then, it’s up to your team in the field to inspire these customers. There’s power in the small details that build trust with a customer and help with conversion:
- showing up on time, or calling ahead if you’re delayed
- putting on disposable boot covers when entering a site, to leave the home or site clean and tidy on departure
- small talk as your team member enters the property, which can help build rapport and make the customer feel like they want to do business with you (before they even know what your offer is)
- overall presentation.
In our own trade business, we use what we call a ‘credibility pack’ to give to customers on site. It is a hard copy A5 booklet, which outlines who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We find this visual aid is a powerful tool in positioning our business as the plumbing experts.
We’ve found this works in converting more quotes.
Level Three – Product/Service
This is where you have the chance to reassure your potential customer you’re the right person to complete the work.
Your professional suggestions, your knowledge, your confidence, the language you use, and the visual aids you share will all have an impact on the customer continuing to climb The Trust Escalator with you.
Level Four – Price
When the conversation turns to price, are you confident in communicating your value? Until a customer understands the value your product or service has for them, no price will be right. Articulate the benefits of your product or service, not the features.
Features are facts about your product or service. Benefits are about how you can solve your customer’s problem. What’s ‘in it’ for the customer? A product’s benefit results from a feature – and provides value.
Level 5 – Time
Time is the final stop on The Trust Escalator. Depending on the kind of work you’re quoting on, you could let the customer know of your availability for the coming months. Ask if they’d like to pencil in a date.
Another effective approach is to call the customer a few days after providing the quote, to ask if they have any questions or would like to discuss it. Hearing the answers to their questions might be what gets them over the line and lands you the work.
Patience pays. Some customers may sit on your quote for weeks before they’re ready to make a decision. Stay in touch. Adding them to your mailing list can be a good way to keep your business top of mind, without pressuring them to buy before they’re ready.
Welcome to the top floor!
If you can succeed in applying The Trust Elevator in your business, you’ll see your quote conversion rate increase and your profits rise to new levels.
Remember, people don’t remember details but they do remember how you made them feel. Make sure every client contact is a positive one and you’ll have a steady stream of loyal clients for years to come.
Written by Angela Smith
Co-founder, Lifestyle Tradie
Lifestyle Tradie is an award-winning education program and community for trade business owners who want to make more profit and fast-track financial freedom.