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NOTABLE! Easy = Sales. How Easy Is It To Do Business With You?

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MJ DeMarco

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The easier it is for customers to give you money, the more sales you will make.

The more hoops, the less sales you get, and customers go elsewhere.

Here's a true story. @Chitown.

My regular pool cleaner moved out of the area.

I need to find a new weekly pool service.

I found 3 in my local area...

First was my expectations profile...

I expect the potential pool guy would want to visit first before quoting, which meant, I would need to make an appointment and be home when he arrived.

So here goes:

The first guy, no answer on his phone... website was a "godaddy webtool" looking.

Second guy, nice website and for a quote he had a long "contact us" form complete with some detailed pool questions, like how many gallons? How old? Some of the questions I wasn't sure. Or it said to simply call.

The third guy I hired.

Screen Shot 2021-04-03 at 12.31.57 PM.png


I hired the guy who offered the simpliest way to be hired. I'm not even sure if he was the cheapest.

And it was no contact.

Question to ask yourself (and myself) is, how easy are we making it for our customers to cross the chasm from "interested" to "buyer?"

The more hoops (long forms, unanswered phone calls, 2 days waits, "lets make an appt!") the less sales will convert.

Something to think about...
 

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Ernman

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Awesome example of how to make it easy for your customers, what a great idea. And awesome of MJ to start this thread subject. This is really important.
 

Parks

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Not a bad point, in my industry it's really necessary to go out to the job and actually bid it out. (Calculating time climbing tree/or using bucket truck; removing/pruning, points of entry and exit etc) With recent storms, tree services around here will stay booked out 3-12 months in advance before going to bid a job; (problems with not enough trained climbers available/not enough crews). That's a true pain in the a$$ for customers to try to find the nearest booking tree service with availability that's not a jo schmo John Smith Tree Climber Service. Lol

But to eliminate one of these hoops I'm gonna add a bill by the hour estimate forum on our site with a calendar date option with no estimate necessary. Emergency rate vs Normal Rate option included

Thanks for the tip MJ, Easy light bulb moment.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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That is simply genius.
Heck, the page is basically empty.

No no, he had a pretty normal website, but that was the MAIN HEADLINE which I cropped into a photo. He had all the other things you expect in a website.
 

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This is why Amazon crushed bookstores. You literally click one button and your book is immediately available on your Kindle reader. And if a book isn't available on Amazon, it's definitely not available at your local bookstore lol.

Add to that the fact that you can refund a book if you don't like it and you have the simplest and safest purchase process possible.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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This is why Amazon crushed bookstores. You literally click one button and your book is immediately available on your Kindle reader. And if a book isn't available on Amazon, it's definitely not available at your local bookstore lol.

Add to that the fact that you can refund a book if you don't like it and you have the simplest and safest purchase process possible.

Reminds me a bit of the "Remember When?" thread...

Remember when you wanted to listen to song, you had to wait for it to play on the radio?
Remember when you wanted to listen to song, you had to pop a cassete tape in the stereo and forward or Rewind to find the location on the tape?
 

biophase

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I remember I tried to hire a business that didn't take credit cards, checks or venmo or paypal only cash. And it was serviced based not a store. I said to the guy, are you trying to not get business? I wish I could remember which one it was so I could post it here LOL.
 

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Oh man, those stupid first contact forms that require 10 different fields when you're just trying to get in touch.

Wedding planners wanting dates and number of guests before even getting their email.
 

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JGuidry

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The easier it is for customers to give you money, the more sales you will make.

The more hoops, the less sales you get, and customers go elsewhere.

Here's a true story. @Chitown.

My regular pool cleaner moved out of the area.

I need to find a new weekly pool service.

I found 3 in my local area...

First was my expectations profile...

I expect the potential pool guy would want to visit first before quoting, which meant, I would need to make an appointment and be home when he arrived.

So here goes:

The first guy, no answer on his phone... website was a "godaddy webtool" looking.

Second guy, nice website and for a quote he had a long "contact us" form complete with some detailed pool questions, like how many gallons? How old? Some of the questions I wasn't sure. Or it said to simply call.

The third guy I hired.

View attachment 37439


I hired the guy who offered the simpliest way to be hired. I'm not even sure if he was the cheapest.

And it was no contact.

Question to ask yourself (and myself) is, how easy are we making it for our customers to cross the chasm from "interested" to "buyer?"

The more hoops (long forms, unanswered phone calls, 2 days waits, "lets make an appt!") the less sales will convert.

Something to think about...
I have applied similar process. As a service professional I would typically schedule, bid, submit proposal blah blah. Now I just say I have X as minimum and charge X per hour per man.
 

Ronak

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A few years ago, there was someone on reddit that created a cleaning service that you could book online without any contact. He quickly built a very nice business and then started selling the software to other cleaning businesses, creating an entire ecosystem. Several startup cleaning services did very well on the back of that software.
 

biophase

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Here’s an example from last week. I tried to hire a painter to paint my condo in Chicago. Keep in mind I am living in Scottsdale.

Below is a person that did not get my business. I had already filled out fairly detailed questionaire on Yelp to get to this point. Then they ask me for the same info again and contact info.

24D78448-B6F9-43BC-BA8E-CAC816D96027.jpeg

7BA591BD-5602-403A-93F6-DAD3F78B5A63.jpeg

7170B596-80ED-4AD1-8277-6FDD57DBCF50.jpeg

This is a guy who ended up getting my business. Given the same information, they and many others were able to give me a quote. Keep it simple when you have enough info to do a general bid.

The price below was a little high, but at least I had a starting point and we negotiated some other things like trim and ceiling work and patching.

3D37B099-9A75-48E9-AAE0-271E08EEA19A.jpeg
 
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Johnny boy

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Our sales closing ratio, profit, etc jumped significantly when we moved to in person quotes only. When they saw a young guy in a polo shirt who sold well instead of just some words on a screen, it has made all the difference. Something to think about. We used to give quotes in 5 minutes fully remotely and it was seamless, but still had a terrible closing ratio and customers were very price elastic. No value separation. Too commoditized. The in person quotes are all we do now

with that said, we make it easy to pay us. You give us a card number and it charges you automatically each month. We make it hard not to pay us.
 

becks22

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This is one negative about my industry. I need a contract legally signed before I can start work. I can tentatively start the first order but any more than that is putting myself in a very compromised position legally unless I have a contract executed.
 
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Ronak

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This is one negative about my industry. I need a contract legally signed before I can start work. I can tentatively start the first order but any more than that is putting myself in a very compromised position legally unless I have a contract executed.

The point is to make it as easy as possible. For some, that's online sales and instant quotes, for others, it can be simple as having someone available to pick up the phone to handle inbound inquiries instead of asking prospects to leave a voicemail, or worse having the owner annoyingly answer while "on a job" with a bunch of demands to "send me a email". That may differ industry to industry, but eliminate chokepoints to the sale. There are always ways to improve. Automated billing is an excellent example, auto reminders for recurring but non regular services, etc. Maybe online contracts to sign in your case.
 

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Very much true. I sell custom B2B packaging and there is a huge amount of combinations possible depending on client needs, the type of product being packaged and quantity. Meaning I need a lot of data from the customer. Currently, I only ask a few simple questions in the form and qualify the lead based on that. Then I follow up with more questions.

However, I've been racking my brain about simplifying the quotation process for my B2B customers. No company has a simple quotation process and I really want to make it a lot simpler for my customers. I have some ideas as a first step and may look at AI in future improvements. One thing is certain: customers just want a quote fast.

Regarding your pool service, I think there are alternatives to be considered:

Alternative 1: Instant quote in only three clicks
Step 1 > Select your pool size: Show images of 4 pool sizes with something inside (like people, cars, inflatables) making it easy for customers to quickly knww there pool size
Step 2 > Select your filter equipment: I don't know anything about pool equipment but I suppose some generic solutions could be figured out
Step 3 > See your quote now
Step 4 > Schedule an appointment

This is not exact so on some pools the company will have smaller margins and on other pools larger margins. It will probably even out and they will save money on quoting.

Alternative 2: Quote comparison website / Lead generation
Upload 3 images and receive your quote from our pool cleaning certified companies.
 

biophase

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This is one negative about my industry. I need a contract legally signed before I can start work. I can tentatively start the first order but any more than that is putting myself in a very compromised position legally unless I have a contract executed.

Can you use Docusign or something else like it?
 

becks22

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Can you use Docusign or something else like it?
I do for most clients. My point was more of since it's a contract, it goes to their attorneys and then we have back and forth for awhile. Usually most clients will take several weeks to return it to me. The person I am working with wants to get started ASAP, but usually someone else (legal, owner, whomever) takes their time.

I am only B2B though which tends to move slower than B2C services.
 

Tim Conti

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The easier it is for customers to give you money, the more sales you will make.

The more hoops, the less sales you get, and customers go elsewhere.

Here's a true story. @Chitown.

My regular pool cleaner moved out of the area.

I need to find a new weekly pool service.

I found 3 in my local area...

First was my expectations profile...

I expect the potential pool guy would want to visit first before quoting, which meant, I would need to make an appointment and be home when he arrived.

So here goes:

The first guy, no answer on his phone... website was a "godaddy webtool" looking.

Second guy, nice website and for a quote he had a long "contact us" form complete with some detailed pool questions, like how many gallons? How old? Some of the questions I wasn't sure. Or it said to simply call.

The third guy I hired.

View attachment 37439


I hired the guy who offered the simpliest way to be hired. I'm not even sure if he was the cheapest.

And it was no contact.

Question to ask yourself (and myself) is, how easy are we making it for our customers to cross the chasm from "interested" to "buyer?"

The more hoops (long forms, unanswered phone calls, 2 days waits, "lets make an appt!") the less sales will convert.

Something to think about...
I needed a new roof for my house. I contacted the first guy based on reviews I saw online. When I called the number it sounded like a home answering machine. No callback. The next guy got my business when he picked up on the first ring, came over that day to give me a quote. Said he could start in 2 days. So that no call back cost the other roofer a $20k sale.
 

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Glargster

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Awesome wiki page! Thanks!

Something to think about...

Another great example is Uber, specially when we talk about travels. One of the great challenges when going to another city is transportation. Uber solves this problem by just demanding the destination, and automatically reading your GPS position. In some places, specially third world countries, you don't even need to put credit card information, as it allows cash payments.
 

Parks

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I needed a new roof for my house. I contacted the first guy based on reviews I saw online. When I called the number it sounded like a home answering machine. No callback. The next guy got my business when he picked up on the first ring, came over that day to give me a quote. Said he could start in 2 days. So that no call back cost the other roofer a $20k sale.

See the hard thing about these industries is that getting business isn't really the problem. Well it isn't for most experienced guys who have been in it for 10+ years, I see this with so so so many service labor businesses like this. It's just more so they don't have the wants for scaling up, a big push for them.. (By this I mean owner not working everyday in the business) And especially for scaling up past one location is really really rare, where you really reap the Fastlane benefits.

When I hear about a specialized companies being able to start next day it makes me concerned about the type of quality or how long they have been in it.. Especially if your in a climate where they can only roof 3-4 month summers and you need to book out months ahead to be on the schedule. Just food for thought
 

Ronak

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See the hard thing about these industries is that getting business isn't really the problem. Well it isn't for most experienced guys who have been in it for 10+ years, I see this with so so so many service labor businesses like this. It's just more so they don't have the wants for scaling up, a big push for them.. (By this I mean owner not working everyday in the business) And especially for scaling up past one location is really really rare, where you really reap the Fastlane benefits.

When I hear about a specialized companies being able to start next day it makes me concerned about the type of quality or how long they have been in it.. Especially if your in a climate where they can only roof 3-4 month summers and you need to book out months ahead to be on the schedule. Just food for thought
This is a great point.

Most of us assume that sales and marketing are the problem and solution to these businesses, when the reality is that a lot of them are in the "fat and happy" stage. There's plenty of demand, and they don't want or need to get better.

As mentioned in the prior post, these are the industries and businesses that will ultimately be affected by the Fastlane entrants. Look at what the taxi industry was like before Uber-- they had monopoly's and no need to provide a great consumer experience.

It is only a matter of time until the old guard will be disrupted, even in industries like roofing.
 

MJ DeMarco

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when the reality is that a lot of them are in the "fat and happy" stage.

Yes indeed. Why bother quoting new business when you're booked to August?

This why I'm skeptical of home services who do heavy advertising in this climate --- if you have to advertise in this market, you're probably priced terribly high, or the work you do is terribly bad.
 

Andy Black

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A few years ago, there was someone on reddit that created a cleaning service that you could book online without any contact. He quickly built a very nice business and then started selling the software to other cleaning businesses, creating an entire ecosystem. Several startup cleaning services did very well on the back of that software.
Rohan Gilkes of Maids in Black and Launch27?
 

Andy Black

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I remember ringing someone from his service business website and he told me to go to his website to fill in the enquiry form.

?!?
 

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A new client complained about not getting enough enquiries. It turns out their enquiry form wasn’t working.

I also asked why enquiries are getting added to an autoresponder series when they could be simply forwarded as an email.

I don’t know what people are thinking sometimes.
 

Ronak

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Rohan Gilkes of Maids in Black and Launch27?
Yes-- haven't heard from/about him in awhile, so I looked him up. Looks like he's offering free phone mentoring to help others get started, according to his website, presumably to build his customer base for the software. Anyone who wants a "step by step" from someone who's done it....for free- this is probably the closest you're gonna get!
 

Manfern

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Great topic! I think easy is good most of the time because people tend to follow path of least resistance.
And it's about eliminating customer confusion about not knowing what steps to take to get what he wants
What about trust, is this the most important factor in buying decision as well?
 
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