By Katherine Gifford of Moraware
As a countertop fabricator, putting together countertop quotes is a daily part of the job – for better or for worse.
If you’re the owner of a countertop shop, you likely have years of experience with countertop estimates, and you understand why it’s so important to get it right the first time.
If you’re on the sales side, you want to make sure your estimates meet a few key criteria:
- Quotes are fast
- Quotes are professional
- Quotes are communicated well to the homeowner
In a perfect world, all of your quoting would be spot-on, and every quote produced would turn into a sale. Ah, let’s all bask in the idea, shall we? In reality, quoting can be a complicated process with the potential for error along every step of the way. Our goal at Moraware is to make countertop quoting easier for your business so that more of your quotes can turn into sales.
That starts with learning some key ways you can give better countertop estimates – and here are 4 we’ve found to be extremely beneficial for countertop professionals.
1. Include a countertop drawing
If you make a countertop estimate and forget a part of the job, you’re on the hook to make it right for the customer. Depending on the language you use in your quote, you could be legally on the hook, but your reputation is also at stake.
Because modern kitchens are bigger than ever, you’ve got to make sure that you included not just the kitchen perimeter, but also:
- The island
- The office area
- The butler’s pantry
- The raised bar
…and all of the other important pieces that are so popular these days.
It’s possible to do that by just being diligent about your work, but most successful countertop fabricators also include a drawing with their quotes.
That way, your customers can visualize what they’re getting and make sure that nothing important is missing or wrong.
Two quick tips for countertop drawing:
Add pictures of slabs
Adding pictures of slabs is a huge wow factor when you’re doing demos. And if you’re a CounterGo user, a great feature is being able to add pictures of slabs when you’re doing the drawing and layout of a countertop.
This not only helps your clients visualize what they’ll get, but it also increases the likelihood of the quote turning into a sale.
Adding the pictures will help you predict if seams will look right – especially if you’re doing natural stone with lots of movement – and if you’ll need additional slabs.
Add text to your countertop drawing
Being clear in your quote is much easier when text accompanies important aspects of your drawing. Help your clients visualize what’s what, and include important notes where it makes sense to do so.
2. Make sure your sales team is aligned
If your countertop shop has multiple salespeople, are you sure you’d get the same price for a kitchen countertop from all of them?
If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” it means that you’re probably leaving money on the table. Granite countertops are a luxury item, and you should be making sure that your salespeople aren’t playing fast and loose with your prices in order to close a deal.
Most of the time, pricing is inconsistent because there isn’t a great tool or process to make it standard in your countertop shop.
With Moraware’s CounterGo countertop estimating software, you have the ability to control exactly what prices a salesperson can change on each quote. This gives you the option to lock everything down so there’s no flexibility.
You’ll also want to make sure your entire team is trained up on what the pricing should be for everything from cutouts to radius corners to edge profiles.
What you don’t want is a fabrication team that uses shady methods like the parking lot test, or looking at someone’s car and judging what they’re willing to spend.
Setting prices can be a challenge, but you’ll be able to give better, faster, and more consistent quotes when everyone is on the same page.
3. Focus less on the numbers and more on your value
When thinking about the “accuracy” of your quotes, it’s tempting to try to figure out your production costs to the penny.
The problem with trying to account for every minute of your templating, installation and fabrication time is that you’re likely spending way too much time and effort on your estimate. Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible to really know the exact cost of a job before it’s finished.
While your dedication to an exact quote is noble, it’s likely costing you sales. In general, people aren’t willing to wait very long for a quote, and here are two key reasons why:
- Your competition finished faster, and they’re moving forward with them.
- Because you took so long on the quote, the potential client has the impression that you’d take way too long on the project, too.
The best countertop fabricators stop focusing on the price and instead focus on the value they bring. Yes, time and effort are spent setting prices, but it’s not to the penny. Prices are reasonable and are aligned with the pricing available in the area.
Remember: 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Knowing this, you can spend less time on making quotes and, instead, spend more time on selling!
Here are four key areas you can set yourself apart to potential clients:
- Speed to completion, and sticking to the deadline
- Better service before, during, and after the installation
- Providing higher quality materials
- Offering unique materials or utilizing a better process
In a world where more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase because of bad service, it’s essential to promote what makes your company valuable.
4. Utilize countertop quoting software
You didn’t think we’d leave this out, did you?!
Producing a quick, professional countertop quote is incredibly important, and that’s why we made CounterGo. Using our countertop quoting software, you can draw, layout, and quote a countertop in just 3 minutes.
That means you can put together a quote in front of your potential customer… and get instant feedback!
Here are the 3 basic steps to quoting a countertop job fast:
- Draw your countertops (as easy as using your mouse or touch screen)
- Layout countertop on slabs (even upload a photo and show your customer how the finished counter will look)
- Print or email the quote (even find out when they viewed the quote!)
If you’re drawing up quotes without any kind of countertop software, we can tell you you’re spending way too much time on it!
You don’t want to be stuck behind your desk putting together quotes when you could instead be spending that time getting more customers and providing better service to the ones you have. Even worse – you don’t want to spend money hiring someone else to do quotes for you!