The Art of Closing a Bid

The Art of Closing a Bid

People make deals and sign contracts every day, so why is it that you’re struggling to close your estimates or bids?  Some people, they just have it, and others don’t – right?

No, not at all.  Although closing a bid is much more of an art than a science, anybody can learn how to close more deals.  It’s not even that hard when it comes down to it.

Keeping Things in Perspective

A high close rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well.  Sure, you’re keeping busy, but that’s not the same as succeeding.  Often, contractors close with incredible rates because they’re not charging enough for what they’re offering.

In fact, if you close too many deals too often, you won’t be able to complete any of your jobs on time.  That’s a bigger problem than not closing enough deals.

The goal, then, is to charge enough that your market – your favorite type of clients – are keeping you in work, but not so much that you have to take on a second job at the Home Depot.

Tips for Increasing Your Close Rate

Closing a sale isn’t as hard as it seems, the real trick is being in the right place at the right time with the right offering.  So, really, the hardest bit is doing your homework long before you ever meet your prospective client.  Here’s what you need to focus on.

Your market.  Are you really selling your services to the people who want or need them?  Sure, everybody wants a new coat of paint or a safe deck, but some people want more than that.  If your service is premium, choose an audience that places those items among the top concerns.  Don’t go trying to sell new windows to a neighborhood that’s five years old, for example.  Save that pitch for older areas where a lot of homes are being upgraded.

Your timing.  There are simply some times that aren’t that great for selling stuff.  Holidays, for example, are going to be lonely.  Try to meet with potential clients at least a week on either side of a holiday whenever possible.  The closer to said holiday, the less people are focused on anything else.  But the same can also be said for the economy.  When homeowners are more concerned about their reverse mortgages coming down around them or a new tax increase, you’ll have to send a different message that’s more appropriate to the situation.

Your message.  What will you say to the customer you’re meeting before that bid is even presented?  Focus on how your services will help them, not simply on what those services are.  Are you happy to patiently answer their questions?  No matter if you’re B2B or B2C, you’re the expert in the transaction.  People want to know what they’re buying and feel that you’re going to be there to help them as time goes by.

Your attitude.  You’re not for everybody, that’s why you speak to them on the phone and in person.  It’s as much about getting to know you as it is a sales opportunity.  People buy from people, even if both of those people are also businesses.  Think about the subs you use that you really like working with – they probably have many of the same characteristics that your customers are looking for in you.

Sometimes increasing your close rate is more about finding the people who really mesh with what you have to sell.  After all, it’s much easier to match your services to a client than to try to cram that client into your services.  Saves a lot of kicking and screaming, that.

Have you found other techniques that really helped you up your sales game?  Let’s hear about them!