Smart moves: Tricks of the Tradie

- February 28, 2013 4 MIN READ

Getting a tradesperson to visit your home and undertake repairs, can be tedious. Even if you work from home and can avoid the dreaded 4-hour waiting window, it’s often inconvenient and distracting.

Thank goodness then for the organised and ‘tech specced’ tradie. What follows is a story based on true events, featuring electrician Pete and Rebecca, a home-based soloist and mother of two.

As the story unfolds, we highlight Pete’s “smart moves” in the sales process. Moves that can be applied to just about any business.

Rebecca has a broken light fitting in her office. She needs an electrician, preferably quickly, ideally locally and hopefully not too expensively.

She takes to Google on her phone and searches for a tradie in her suburb. Being a bit savvy herself she quickly scrolls past the generic looking ads and finds a couple of genuinely local electricians.

Smart Move 1: Get found easily online.

Two have worked Google well with websites optimised for mobile and search, appearing on page one with 5 star reviews and contact phone numbers.

Rebecca rings both and before long has a pricing appointment confirmed with Pete. She noted he asked for an email address and hearing that she had school age children, conveniently proposed 10am the next day. The second electrician said he’d check his calendar and call back that evening.

Minutes later Sally gets a Google Calendar confirmation from Pete with his contact details and her address.

Smart Move 2: Listen to your customers. Use processes to build trust.

Pete arrives as agreed at 10am the next morning. Rebecca isn’t surprised as in her experience, people who use calendars tend to stick to them. Rebecca remembers that the other tradie has yet to call back as promised

Pete checks out the problem and quickly determines the need for a replacement fitting. He pulls out his smartphone, takes a photo of the part, emailing it across to his favoured supplier.

Smart Move 3: Inspire confidence, display expertise.

At this point, Pete taps some notes into his phone and explains that he’ll be a few minutes working out what’s needed and what it’s going to cost.

A ping on his phone signals a response from his supplier with news on parts availability and cost. In the space of just a few moments Pete has an estimate ready to present and discuss.

Smart Move 4: Aim to close the sale while still with your customer.

Rebecca sees her estimate clearly laid out on Pete’s phone, noting that it’s fully itemised with labour and parts, has a precise code and price for the fittings and carries her name, address and date in the header.

Smart Move 5: Professionalism reflects across all areas of your business.

Observing that Rebecca, while not overjoyed at the quote, appears comfortable with it, Peter goes for the close:

“So as you can see it will take me 2 hours and the total cost, including my time today and collection of the necessary parts will be $360 + GST. I can do the work tomorrow anytime from 1-5pm. How about I start at 1pm and get cleared up and out the way by the time your children get home from school. Shall we book it in?”

Smart Move 6: Trade on the trust. Make it easy to say yes.

By summarising the solution and taking ownership of delivering it, Pete made it an easy decision for Sally.  He’s also shown empathy with her situation by working around her school schedule.

Rebecca felt confident that Pete had the skills to do the work and was impressed at how easy the process had been so far. This made the next and very important step quite seamless. She’d also decided not to worry about chasing up a second quote.

At the touch of his keypad Pete’s quote became an invoice, his phone morphed into a cash register and Rebecca transitioned from prospect to customer. Moments later the job was confirmed, a deposit paid, and full payment was less than a day away.

Smart Move 7: Remove payment friction for faster payment.

Behind the scenes, Rebecca’s online calendar locked in Pete’s return and she happily went back to work feeling brighter. And that was before the light was fixed!

Meanwhile Pete’s admin system had setup a new customer profile, his accounting software had banked the deposit and he was heading to a café for a break and a run through his cashflow forecasts. He might even put another bid on that surfboard he was watching.

Run your business from your pocket with Westpac’s Genie.

If you do business on the move like Pete, Westpac’s Genie is the new way to get paid. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, but powerful enough to track your sales, and even send, manage and chase invoices.

The Genie card reader lets you take card payments anywhere, anytime. It’s easy to use, secure, reliable and small enough to add it to your belt or simply pop it in your pocket too. On top of taking payments, the Genie App enables you to track sales and manage invoices from your mobile.

To learn more and apply, visit www.westpac.com.au/genie or call 1800 029 749 (8am – 8pm, Mon – Fri)