Once the phone calls start coming in it’s up to you to convert them from interested people to actual customers. Your sales pitch, what you tell them over the phone, is going to be one of the deciding factors. Let’s look at the sales pitch example below. You will see how I incorporate all of the pricing questions that we spoke about above.
The Pitch – First Time Caller
You: Gutter Cleaning, David Speaking, How may I help you?
Customer: Yah, I’m looking to get my gutters cleaned and was wondering if you could come out and give me a quote.
You: Sounds good! I can actually give you a quote right over the phone if you have a minute to answer a few questions?
Customer: Sure, go ahead.
You: Great! Let’s start with, how many stories is your home?
You: Alright, and about how many square feet would you say your home is?
Customer: Um… actually I’m not really sure…
You: That’s OK, would you say it’s a small home, medium, medium/large, large?
Customer: I’d say it’s a small ranch.
You: Great, and your gutters, are they open? Or do they have covers on them?
Customer: They are covered.
You: Ok, are they the simple pop-in typically plastic ones that go under your roof shingles, or are they more heavy duty ones that are screwed in on top of your gutters?
Customer: I think they are the simple pop-in type.
You: Ok, the reason why I ask is because the only way to properly clean out gutters with covers is to first take them off, clean the gutters and then re-install them. Because of this, it takes twice as long so we will have to account or that in the price.
Customer: Ok, I understand.
You: Alright, couple more question. When was the last time you had your gutters cleaned?
Customer: It’s been at least 4 years.
You: Alright, and finally, what’s your zip code?
You: Great thanks! Alright, for your home we will clean out all of your gutters and downspouts, we’ll take all the debris off-site, we’ll test the gutters with water to make sure they function properly and we’ll inspect your gutters for any potential issues for a flat rate of $175, and if you’d like to schedule we can do as early as this Saturday.
Customer: Ok, well I’m just looking for pricing right now and you’re the first one I’ve gotten.
You: No problem!.. Actually is this the first time you’ve ever called us?
Customer: Yah, I think so.
You: Yah, I thought so since I don’t see you in our system. We actually have a first time customer discount of $25, so if you wanted to schedule today, I could bring your price down to $150.
Customer: Oh yah, that actually sounds good. Saturday works for me. Do you know what time?
You: Great! Saturday looks like it would be anywhere between 1-4 PM if that works for you.
Customer: Yah I’ll be home until 2 PM but then I have to leave to work. Do I have to be around during the cleaning?
You: No, you don’t have to be there if you don’t want to. You are welcome leave a check somewhere on your property like in the mailbox, or you can also pay online or over the phone once the job is done.
Customer: Oh ok, that’s great. I can pay over the phone.
You: Great! I’ll go ahead and put you down for this saturday. Did you have any additional questions before we disconnect?
Customer: Nope, I think I’m all set.
You: Great, then I look forward to servicing your home this saturday. You have a great day!
Customers: Thank you! You too.
I started the conversation with “Gutter Cleaning, David Speaking, How may I help you?”. The reason why I say gutter cleaning and not the company name is because this instantly verifies that they called the right place. Later on they might ask what company you are after they schedule and you can tell them. This also helps when people search for a specific gutter cleaning company that they might have had a good experience with before but they find your phone number online instead. They call thinking it’s that company and when they hear “gutter cleaning”, they just assume they got the right place. So you gain a customer where you might have lost them right at the first sentence. Once they hear your price, and your process, and then realize it’s not the same company, many times they won’t care and go through with the scheduling process. Or worst case scenario they get to hear a new quote and your company’s process which might be enough for them to give you a shot now, or later on if their existing gutter cleaner falls through.
In this example the customer mentions that their gutters are covered. Notice how I lead them through a decent explanation as to why I had asked them in the first place. This quote is going to be higher than a normal gutter cleaning because of the covers. If you never explained to them why you are going to charge more, and just charge more, they will not understand why, and might choose a lower quote they received. When you explain to them your process of cleaning with covers and why you do it, then when another company quotes them lower and doesn’t take off the protection they will choose you over them because you sound more experienced, and they might be afraid that their gutters aren’t being properly cleaned at the lower price. A rule of thumb that I always follow is that if I’m going to charge more than the competition, I better have a good reason why. The reason why is what gets people saying yes to your higher prices. Even if a company takes off the covers before cleaning, if they don’t mention this process, the customer might wrongly assume that they don’t do it that way.
After I got all the answers needed to figure out the price for their home, I didn’t straight out give them the price. You never want to do that. You want to first push the value that you are offering and then tell them the price at the very end. The bigger the value, the smaller the price will begin to seem. The interesting part is that a lot of my competitors offer the same service process as me, but because they don’t run the customer through it, the customer automatically assumes that if they didn’t mention it, they don’t do it. This is how you will stand apart from your competition and consistently get away with higher prices. Always explain your full process in great detail. So here I told them that we will clean out all of their gutters (obvious). Then I told them that we will take all the debris off-site. Some companies assume this is also obvious, but it isn’t, and the customer doesn’t want to have a mess around their home after the cleaning. I then mention that I will also clean their downspouts. Most companies will assume that because it’s part of the gutter system, this will be assumed by the customer. I don’t. I mention it and instantly any other quotes that they got that didn’t mention downspouts are many times wrongly assumed that the downspouts are not included. It’s like injecting doubt into other quotes while pushing yours forward. We don’t end there. Then we mention that we will do a full gutter inspection. An inspection is basically looking for problem areas that might exist in their gutter system outside of just cleaning issues. This is like a bonus for them and could lead to a simple upsell for you.
Because I could tell that the customer was not going to schedule, I instantly went the discount path. You never want to give out a discount for no reason because people will devalue your work and assume they can always get away with a discount. My reason was a “first time customer discount”. This discount makes sense and implies that it’s a one time thing. When I offered the discount, I worded it in a way that pushes them to schedule the cleaning today to be able to take advantage of the cleaning. “…so if you wanted to schedule today, I could bring your price down to $150.”
Web Lead Pitch
When someone submits their information on your website to get a free quote, it will be up to you to get a hold of them. This pitch is the same except for the intro since you are calling them now and not vice-versa.
Dial…ring..ring..ring.. they pick up.
You: Hi, Jack?
You: Hey Jack, this is Dave calling from Dave’s gutter cleaning. How you doing?
Jack: Good, thanks.
You: I’m calling because you submitted your information today to get a free quote for your gutters to be cleaned. Were you still looking for a quote?
Jack: Yah, I am.
You: Great! If you have a minute, I can run you through a few questions over the phone and get you a quote. Does that work for you?
Jack: Sure, that sounds good.
You: Alright, let’s start with…. (get into same questions/pitch as above)
First Time Caller Voicemail
If you call a web lead for the first time and they don’t pick up, you want to leave them a message. Let’s look at an example.
Voicemail: “Hi Jack, this is Dave calling from gutter cleaning. I got the information you submitted on saturday to get a free gutter cleaning quote and just wanted to reach out and see if you were still looking to get that quote. I just need to ask you a few questions and I’ll be able to get you a quote right over the phone today.. Or if it’s easier, I’ll go ahead and email you the questions as well. Feel free to call me back or text me at this number, xxx-xxx-xxxx… and even if you’re all set give me a call or text me at this number and I’ll take you off the followup list. Thanks Jack, and have a great day!
In the voicemail above, I mention their name to get more personal and to show that I did actually get their information since I know who I’m calling. I mention that I’m from “gutter cleaning” for the same reasons that I mentioned a little earlier. Then I let them know that the quoting process is super quick so they aren’t afraid to call me even if they only have a couple minutes. I also mention that I will be emailing them the questions needed to quote them so they know they can expect an email from me if that’s easier for them. We will get into this later on. I also mention that they can call or text me. This is important because if they are already taken care of they might not feel like calling you and you’ll end up calling them multiple times to get a simple answer that they otherwise wouldn’t mind instantly texting you. Also, many people can’t call during the day because they are at work but would text you right away if that was an option.
Follow Up Call
If you gave someone a quote and they didn’t schedule or didn’t say no, then you have to follow up with them every few days. Let’s look at a follow up call.
dial..ring..ring..ring.. They pick up
You: Hi, Jack?
You: Hey Jack, this is David, we actually spoke a few days ago and I gave you a gutter cleaning quote. How are you today?
You: Great! I just wanted to check-in and see if you wanted to schedule as we just had a spot open up for tomorrow in your area … unless you’ve already taken care of?
Jack Option 1: Actually, yah, let’s schedule that.
Jack Option 2: I’ve already been taken care of.
You Option 2: Alright, no problem! Thanks for letting me know! I’ll go ahead and take you off the follow up list, and before we disconnect, we’re constantly trying to improve as a business and if you don’t mind sharing, I would love to know why you ended up going with the company you chose?
Jack Option 3: I’m still shopping around.
You Option 3 (if you haven’t already offered a first time customer discount): Ok, not a problem. I noticed we’ve never done work with you before. We actually have a first time customer discount so I can actually knock $25 off the quote we gave you and bring it down to $125 if you wanted to schedule today.
In the above script, I say that we have had a spot open up for tomorrow and wanted to see if he wanted to schedule. This shows that we are a busy company which implies that we are established and in a way also implies that if he doesn’t schedule for tomorrow, he might have to wait a little while to get on the schedule. Also, it gives me a good reason to call and not just calling to sell him in general… but I’m calling him specifically because a spot opened up in his area and that’s why it was a good idea to call at the time that I did.
Follow Up Voicemail
If you call to follow up and they don’t pick up, you’ll want to leave a voicemail. Here’s an example of a voicemail that I leave:
You: “Hello Jack, this is Dave calling from gutter cleaning. We spoke a few days ago about gutter cleaning for your home and I gave you a quote of $150 which includes cleaning out all of your gutters, taking all the debris off-site and a full inspection of your gutter system. If you would like to schedule, you can call or text me at this number, xxx.xxx.xxxx, or even if you’re all set, just let me know by giving me a call or texting me and I’ll take you off the follow up list. Thanks and have a great day!
The Follow Up Process
We went over a couple examples of following up via phone calls above. Following up doesn’t end with a call and/or a voicemail. There’s a lot more to it if you want to have the best chance at closing potential customers. Let’s start with the customer management system.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it does exactly what it’s called, it manages your customers and potential customers. I mentioned it briefly before, but there are two types of contacts you will have in your business. A Lead and a Customer. A lead is a potential customer. It refers to the contact information of someone or some organization that is interested in your services and is looking for more information, specifically a quote. Once you talk to the lead and give them a quote and answer their questions, they remain a lead until they say yes to your proposal and decide to schedule. Once this happens, they turn from a lead to a customer. A CRM tracks a lead through each phase of the sales process until they either become a customer, or they are removed from the follow up process and marked as lost, or not sold. Even at this point, we will still keep their information in the CRM system for future marketing. Why? Because people get their gutters cleaned yearly if not twice a year and if they happen to have a bad experience with the company they ended up going with, you will be there to swoop in and get their business the second time around. A CRM system is required because it is impossible to keep track of the hundreds of leads you will get every single year and their details in your mind, on paper or in any other unorganized way. A CRM system is an extremely cheap service for the value that it offers.
There are hundreds of CRM systems out there on the market today. You might find options that are even better than the ones that I’m going to mention, but I’m going to mention systems that I have had experience with and can recommend.
- Option 1 – Less Annoying CRM – This system is extremely simple to use and is only $10/month with a 30 day trial if you sign up through my link. This is the system that I started off using because of the cost and the simplicity of it. It’s not custom for gutter cleaning, but if you sign up through my link you will see that I had it slightly customized to work in the best possible way for gutter cleaning. In the following video I will explain how to use it.
- Video –
- Option 2 – http://HouseCall.io – This is a bit more pricey, but this is the current system that I use because it has many more useful features for the cleaning industry and it automates a lot of the work that I had to do when using the first option that I showed you. I won’t show you how to use this system because the website has tons of training material available that will run you through every part of the system.
Before you continue any further, you MUST sign up for a CRM system because every day that you aren’t using it once leads start coming in, you will be hurting your business now and in the future.
Back to the follow up process…
There are two main types of leads. Someone can call you directly, or someone can email or submit their information on your website form to get a quote. In my follow up process you will see that I utilize 3 different forms of communication – Phone, Email and Text Messaging. Most companies stick to just phone calls, some will also use email, but most do not use text messaging. This will make you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of selling leads. The more communication channels you utilize the greater you increase your chances of getting a response and the more responses you get, the more sales you make. Simple logic. Now let’s look at the two different types of leads and the followup process that I normally go through with each.
New Incoming Phone Lead
Before we get into the actual process I wanted to mention that note taking and recording them into your CRM will be one of your most valuable assets in the follow up process. That means everything they tell you that leads to the quote you give them must be recorded. As they answer your questions, use a quick system to record all of the information. In the CRM system there will already be input fields for name, email, phone, address, basically all the essentials. But a lot of the information you get from the customer will need be recorded in a general information box. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say I spoke to a Jack that has a two story home, it’s 1800 square feet, his gutters are open, he had his gutters cleaned 2 years ago, he has no specific problem areas and he didn’t schedule with me because he wants to ask his spouse. From that information my notes for him might look something like this:
2 – 1800 – 2 years – o – basic – ask wife
This is a quick way for me to record notes and I stick to the same format so if I ever have to pass along the follow ups to someone else they can easily follow along. In the above example the 2 is the amount of stories, the 1800 is the square footage, the 2 years is the last time they cleaned their gutters, the o stands for open gutters, basic means it’s a basic cleaning with no specific problem areas, and ask wife is the objection he gave me and something I will use when I call back to follow up. Also, after every follow up call you want to make sure to take detailed notes because this is valuable information that will be used to help you close the job. Also, when you take notes of small details and use them when following up, people love it because it makes it personal. For example, let’s say somehow the potential client mentions their daughter to you by name. Next time you call and start with asking how “Kristina” is can go a very long way. You’ve just made it personal and showed that you care about more than just taking his money. These small details are golden gems when it comes to sales. So here’s the first follow up process for first time callers.
- Give quote over the phone.
- If they agree to it. Schedule them.
- If they don’t agree to it, but don’t give you a no, mark down the reasons why and schedule to follow up with them in 2 days in the CRM and then email them a summary of what you told them over the phone (the value) and the quote that you gave them.
- In 3 days, call them and try to close them. If they don’t pick up leave a voicemail and then email them in the same email thread that you originally emailed them. Then send a simple text message to them. Schedule to follow up with them in the CRM for another 3 days.
- If they respond to you, I normally begin to use the way they responded as the main form of communication.
- If I don’t get a response at this point, I will call again but if they don’t pick up, I will not normally leave a voicemail. I don’t want to get annoying and too intrusive, so I will normally respond via email one more time and text.
- If they still don’t respond, now that it’s been a full week, I won’t give up on them. Instead I will spread out my following up process a bit further. So now instead of 3 days, I will setup a reminder in the CRM to follow up with them in 7 days. Then once those 7 days go by and it’s time to follow up, I will normally call them and hope they pick up. If not, I don’t always leave a voicemail and I don’t normally text and email them. I will usually just choose one form of communication.
We will go over the type of text messages and emails I send out in this course. Also, keep in mind that the follow up process is also influenced by the responses you get. If someone picks up the phone or responds to an email and says that he’s on vacation and won’t have an answer for you for two weeks, then obviously you won’t follow up with him for two weeks. The above is just an example of my follow up process and you should do what you think works best for you based on experience as you go.
Sometimes you will miss calls that come in. If you’re lucky, they will leave a voicemail. Sometimes they will just hang up after the voicemail message starts. I’ve noticed that many companies don’t return phone calls if there was no voicemail left. This is a huge loss of business. Always return every phone call that you miss. Just because you don’t know what they were calling about doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call them back. If I missed a call and they didn’t leave a voicemail, this is usually how the call or voicemail sounds like when I call back.
You: Hey how you doing?
Bob: Good. Who’s this?
You: This is Dave. I actually missed a call from you earlier today. I do gutter cleaning and wasn’t sure if you were looking for gutter cleaning services?
Bob: Oh yah! Thanks for calling back.
Or a voicemail would be something like this:
“Hi, This is David calling back from gutter cleaning. I missed a call from you about 2 hours ago and wanted to reach out to see if you were maybe looking for gutter cleaning services? If so, give me a call back or text me at this number, xxx.xxx.xxxx. Once again, that’s xxx.xxx.xxxx. Thanks and have a great day!”
New Web Lead
A web lead comes in the form of an email. This means someone interested in your services emailed you directly or most likely submitted a form on your website that asked for their contact details in return for getting a free quote.
- Call the lead and if they pick up, give them a quote.
- If they agree to it, schedule them.
- If they don’t agree on the spot and don’t give you an obvious no, then setup a reminder in the CRM to follow up with them within 2 days.
- If you call the lead and they don’t pick up, leave a voicemail letting them know why you’re calling and also let them know that you will be emailing them a set of questions that will allow you to give them a quote once they are answered.
- Email them immediately after the voicemail is left.
- Schedule a call in the CRM for the next day if they don’t respond. Once you’ve given a lead a quote, you don’t want to badger them too much, but if they have not received a quote from you, then you want to be on them like bees on honey because if some other company gets their quote in before you, you could lose the job completely without ever even having a shot.
- If by the next day they still don’t pick up the phone and haven’t responded to their email, I would send them a text message to try to get the required information from them that would allow you to finally send them a quote.
Once you get the quote to them, then I would go back to a similar follow up process as described in the phone call follow up process. Basically using a combination of phone, email and text. Then sticking to the form of communication that they finally respond to you with.
Follow Up Email Templates
Below I will show you a few emails you can customize that I use in the following up and reaching out process.
Web Lead – First Contact – After Voicemail Email
This email is sent out if you couldn’t get the person on the phone and you still need to get their home details so you could send out a quote.
Title: Gutter Cleaning Quote
I got your information that you submitted on our website to get a free gutter cleaning quote. I tried giving you a call but wasn’t able to get through so I figured email might work better for you. If you’re still interested, I just need a few questions answered and I will be able to get the free quote over to you today. If you’re all set, just let me know and I’ll take you off our follow up list. Thanks!
- How many stories does your home have?
- How many square feet is your home?
- When was the last time you had your gutters cleaned?
- Are your gutters open or do you have covers on them?
- Are there any specific problem areas that you would like me to be aware of?
- Anything else you think I should know?
First Quote Email – After Questions Answered
This email is sent out after they respond to your questions about their home and you can finally give them an actual quote.
Title: There is no title because you will be responding in the email thread that you already started with them.
Thanks for getting back to me!
Please find your quote below along with what it includes.
- Full hand cleaning of your gutters and downspouts.
- We will take all the debris away from your properly.
- We will do a full gutter system inspection.
The cost for your home gutter cleaning is $XXX and we can schedule you for as soon as <DATE>. Let me know your thoughts.
With this email I’m following the similar structure that you saw in the quote giving phone call. I’m pushing the value before I tell them the actual cost of the services.
First Contact Text Message
Hi Jack! This is David from Gutter Cleaning. Were you still looking for gutter cleaning services? If so, I can text you over a few questions that will allow me to quickly give you a quote. Thanks!
Text Message Follow Up About Quote
Hi Jack! Did you want to schedule the gutter cleaning job that we quoted you for $150? I can send you a list of what that includes again if you’d like. Thanks! – David
The rest of the follow up emails/texts are going to be mostly for people that have never gotten back to you and you have not been able get a hold of them to give them an actual quote. For these type of follow ups just remind them periodically through one or a few communication channels that they requested a free estimate or quote for gutter cleaning and you haven’t been able to get a hold of them yet, and you are trying to figure out where they stand so you can either get them a quote or take them off the follow up list.
When Should I Quit Following Up?
You should not stop following up until you get a solid answer from the customer. This will be either a “Yes, let’s schedule.” or “No” and sometimes “No! Stop F***** Calling Me!”. That’s OK. You don’t want to lose out on jobs just because you feel like they don’t want it since they haven’t responded to you in X amount of attempts. Don’t have that mentality because it will cost you thousands. I’ve had up to 20 contact attempts before someone finally scheduled with me. I’ve even had people thank me for being so persistent with follow ups and ended up scheduling with me much later on just because I was the only person left following up with them. Never give up even if you think you’re getting annoying. Instead, just start waiting a little longer before following up. Just constantly remind them in the three communication methods (text, email, phone) that they can just let you know if they are no longer interested and you will take them off your follow up list, and that you’re reaching out because you haven’t heard from them regarding the information that they had submitted, or you had given them a quote what they had asked for and just wanted to see if they were taken care of or if they still wanted to schedule. Put the responsibility for the reason why you are still calling on them so that they would feel responsible for letting you know if they are all set or if they actually want to schedule. You have no idea how many people finally pick up the phone or respond to me after 10+ attempts and apologize for not getting back to me sooner. You want to try to position yourself as the good guy that is just being diligent about getting the potential customer what they asked for.
Additional Tools to Improve Following Up
- I use gmail for my email and there is an amazing free tool that you can install to help with following up called Streak which can be found here – https://www.streak.com/. Once you install it, you will be able to see things like if someone opened up your email, when they opened up your email, how many times they opened up your email and from where they opened up your email. This is useful information for following up because if you sent out an email follow up and they never opened it, this can affect how and how many times you continue to follow up. Streak also provides other neat features like scheduling emails to go out at specific date/times and hiding emails until a certain date/time at which point they come in as a new email.
- You’re going to send out the same type of emails very often. You don’t want to waste your time constantly typing the same emails up so to solve this problem I use the Gmail canned response feature. This allows me to automatically insert a pre written email that I can quickly customize as needed and send out. This is a Gmail Lab feature so you have to manually enable to to start using it. To enable any Gmail Lab feature, click the gear icon in the top right of the Gmail pane. Go to Settings > Labs. Scroll down to the feature you want, in this case Canned Responses, select the Enable radio button, and click Save Changes at the bottom. Now whenever you want to create a new canned response, you simply type up an email as you normally would, but instead of sending it, you would click on the arrow on the bottom right of the screen and save it as a new canned response as shown in the screenshot below. Then, when you want to add the canned response, you would open the new email window and click on the arrow, then choose from one of the saved canned responses to automatically load it into the page.