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QuoteFlare

You run a business, so you’ve read the books and articles, watched the videos, and listened to the webcasts looking for answers. Ways to increase sales, decrease costs, improve systems, and most of all, increase profits. You’ve heard the basics: Make a good impression - Do one thing and do it well -Effectively communicate your message - Make incremental changes and measure the results - Keep good records - To grow you must delegate - and how bout, Learn from your mistakes. But how can you implement any of these theoretical ideas into your real business?

For window cleaning companies, the first impression your prospective customer has of your business is most often your website. Based on that impression, for better or for worse, they may spend a split second there or they may spend some real time. They may visit once and never come back or they may book mark your site and visit multiple times. They might glance at a page and leave, or carefully read much of your content. Though every visitor to your website is different from the next, your website stays the same. This makes it a powerful business diagnostics tool and if properly taken advantage of, an even more powerful sales tool. It deserves the kind of attention you might pay to your very best sales agent who doubles or triples the sales of any other agent, while costing you far less money.

Your website has only one job, that’s conversion. It’s your only ‘sales person’ that truly only needs to do one thing. When a prospective customer finds their way to your website that’s called a visit. When that visitor interacts with your business in a meaningful way, calls you, or requests you call them, or gets an estimate, that is a conversion. The number of conversions divided by the number of visits is your conversion rate. For most window cleaning companies, it’s a very hard thing to find out and even harder to keep constant track of. But for those who do, the rewards can be immense! Consider this: If you have 100 unique visitors to your site in a period such as a week or a day, and 2 of them either call you or fill out your estimate request form that’s a website conversion rate of 2% – which believe it or not is about average. That means that 98 others came to your website then bounced. They looked at a page or 2 and then hit that ever more simple to activate browser back button. They went back to the search results where they came from to try the next one on the list. While it’s the job of your website to convert visitors, it’s your job to figure out what your website needs to do it at the highest rate possible. Figure out what was missing that caused the other 98 visitors to leave without a trace. Imagine the impact on your business to increase your website conversion rate from 2% (or whatever rate yours happens to actually be) to 4% or 8%, or more!

What does your website need to do to capture more of those conversions? The answer lies in the number one desire of the prospective customer, who is looking at your website even as your read this magazine article. They desire your price, they want it for their house specifically, and they want it in the next 60 seconds! This means that in order for your website to convert more visitors into leads, it either needs to list your pricing (which you should never ever do unless you plan to be the extreme low price leader, since by doing so, you would just be inviting people to shop your competition to beat your price without ever interacting with you), or, it needs the technology necessary to provide what QuoteFlare calls an instant online quote. See, communicating your message more effectively is easy when you know what the person you are communicating to desires, and you can provide it in a way that is mutually beneficial. Remember, they may have come from other websites already having hit their back button not finding what they were looking for fast enough. When they see a button or link on your site that says Instant Quote, it’s a real indication they have actually found a website with answers to their questions.

The first step in being able to make measurable changes in your website is to have a meaningful way to measure site performance. It doesn’t do you that much good to make changes to your website, or your business, if you don’t have a good measurement tool to compare the results. QuoteFlare lets you do both. With QuoteFlare installed on your website, you can make any change to your quoting system at any time and they are updated on your site immediately. Raise your prices, lower your prices, change your packages, fiddle with wording, you can customize nearly anything. Then see the results to follow in your QuoteFlare dashboard. QuoteFlare has powerful reporting features that let you track performance over time. Identify marketing campaigns that are working, ones that aren’t, and grow your business.

Keeping records well is hard for every new business. Scratch pads and envelopes don’t build much of a marketable database and often lead to inaccurate or lost customer information. How many times have you recorded notes from your new customer phone call on a scratch piece of paper only to lose the paper before it ever gets added to you schedule? QuoteFlare provides a quoting environment that results in perfect records. Each quote created becomes a searchable document in your QuoteFlare account and even in your email inbox. Turning that quote into a sale becomes more efficient when the data in the quote is more reliable and served up to you instantly when a customer gets a new quote.

If you had to do every single thing in your business, from answering the phone to cleaning every window, to sending every invoice and collecting every payment, your business could not grow. Like a goldfish in a small fishbowl. You have to delegate. One area of difficulty to delegate out for many window cleaning company owners is the quoting. You feel it must be done by you since you know the pricing, the numbers, the system. QuoteFlare changes all that! With QuoteFlare you are able to create what we call a Quote Center. A Quote Center is your very own custom quoting system. It uses your pricing structure to automate the quoting process. Any customer or employee can easily go through the steps in your Quote Center to accurately get or provide a detailed quote. The correct price every time, and in a format that lets your customer shop your service, even upsell themselves. 24/7.

Learning from experience is an important characteristic in any responsible business owner. Another is learning from other’s experiences. After endlessly driving all around town doing estimates, trying to give them over the phone in an organized (chaotic) way, and looking for a way to make my website actually pull some weight, my quest began to improve that area of my own window cleaning business in Arizona. I began building a quoting system that would allow the prospective customers that visited my website to get what they were looking for faster, without the need to set an appointment to look at their house and drive across town to see it. That would improve the effectiveness of my website, turn more of my website marketing effort and money into actual sales. That was 5 years ago.

Today QuoteFlare is the most flexible instant quoting platform there is and trusted by window cleaners, pressure washers, and companies in related industries across the country. QuoteFlare enables any business to create and manage their own quoting system and seamlessly install it on any website. New features and updates are regularly added to the software.

An associate member of the IWCA, an advertiser in The American Window Cleaner Magazine, and co-founded by Josh Lawlor, a window cleaner, QuoteFlare has always catered to the window cleaning industry first. Visit www.quoteflare.com to learn more about QuoteFlare.

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Mike and Kelly Sanders
Each Issue we highlight someone from the industry that we find most interesting. It could be the way they come into the business, how they run a successful business or something really cool they have done. We hope you enjoy it!

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