Avoid Distractions During a Sales Pitch

Making a sales pitch (or a presentation in general) is tough. It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of 1 person or a whole room of people, you need to speak clearly, directly, keep a good pace, and most importantly stay focused! Here are a few tips to avoid distractions during a sales pitch.   1. Plan Ahead Plan your presentation based on what you want your customer to know about you, your company, and the work you are presenting. Make and follow an outline! Not sure how to begin an outline? PEP’s Basic eBid template is a great tool to help you navigate a sales pitch.   2. Visual Aids Go into your sales pitch with materials and visual aids to walk through with your customer. These could be digital, like PEP’s eBid presentation, or a slideshow of past-work photos that the client can explore. They could also be physical – a photo album or samples of paint finishes to demonstrate the end result.This will not only help you stay on topic but it also makes your clients feel included in the presentation.   3. Location If possible, choose a location for your sales pitch that is free of distracting noises, people, and things. For example, a busy coffee shop would not be a good choice of places to make a sales pitch.   4. Prepare for Questions Before your presentation, take a moment to think through some  potential questions your customer might have. If you don’t know the answer to one of their questions, make some notes so you can get back to them.   Distractions are...

Estimating Hack: Make a Job Template

  We’ve talked about the importance of implementing process before. Process is teachable; process is consistent; process is a key ingredient in business growth. Whether you care about consistency, speed, or teaching someone to follow your process, this estimating hack can help! PEP doesn’t officially have “Job Templates”, but don’t let that stop you from building some. PEP can help you make a job template that can be copied and used as the foundation for other jobs. TIP: Build blank templates (areas without items) and teach your team how to add items using forms.   In a Nutshell: You’ll make a “Templates” client – to organize your job templates You’ll make jobs for this client – these jobs will be your templates When starting an estimate for a real client, you’ll copy one of the template jobs to kickstart the estimate.  Step 1 – The “Templates” Client: The easiest way to organize your job templates for quick access is to save them at the top of your client list. You can do that by creating a pseudo “templates” client using punctuation or number as the last name (i.e. “Templates . ”). Bonus Tip: If your client list is organized alphabetically by last name, punctuation and numbers show up before the letter A. Click the + sign to make a new client Enter First Name (i.e. Templates) Enter Last Name (i.e. “.”) If your client list is organized alphabetically by last name, this will ensure your templates are at the top of the list  Click SAVE No need to enter contact info because this will be used only as a place...

Make a Form Using Production Rates

In our last post we introduced you to Production Rates and how they make estimating quick and accurate by calculating how long a task will take. Now we’re going to walk through customizing your own form using Production Rates.  A form is list of pre-saved items you can access quickly and easily when building your estimate. PEP has a number of forms ready for you to use, or you can make your own to save materials and notes you use regularly. Forms are made inside of a job so start by selecting a client and a job, then make a new area (enter basic measurements) and get ready to add items (click ADD ITEMS if the window doesn’t automatically pop up). FYI – Everyone can use forms, but only PRO Subscribers can customize forms and make their own.   Step 1: Decide what items/tasks you want on your form and which Production Rates you want to use for each task. Focus on a single area that you regularly work on; a basic interior room for example.  Make a list of all the tasks you regularly do there (what goes into prep, what gets painted, etc).  Explore the Production Rate Library.  Identify which Production Rates you want to use on those tasks.   Things to keep in mind: : You can use the same Rate for multiple tasks. You can use Production Rates for some tasks and hourly lines for other tasks. You can have multiple lines for the same task, just remember that you’ll want to delete one when you’re estimating. For example, you can have a line for Siding...

Understanding Production Rates

We’re going to build  auto-calculating estimating forms, and to do that we need to understand where the information comes from. So we’re here to discuss  Production Rates. Production Rates are used to figure out how long a task will take.  PEP’s Production Rate library contains  hundreds of rates. Each one can be modified. New rates can also be added to the library.  What is a Production Rate? A Production Rate is a record of efficiency – TIME, not money. The Production Rates record how much work can be done in 1 hour. When you’re estimating in PEP, you select the Production Rate, indicate the size of the task, and the program calculates how long it will take. That time is multiplied by your hourly labor rate (including overhead and profit markup) to come up with the price of that task. PEP offers an entire library of Production Rates for you to use in your estimating. You can think of the Production Rate library similarly to a physical library: You have shelves that hold all of the books, and books that contain chapters, and chapters that tell all of the information. Note: You can explore the Production Rate Library by clicking SETTINGS >> PRODUCTION RATES.   How to Navigate PEP’s Production Rate Library: Select the RATE CATEGORY, this is the general task you are working on and the “shelves of a library” (i.e. Sheetrock, Painting). Select the RATE, this is the type of material you’ll be working with- smooth vs. textured- and the “book on a shelf” (i.e. Sheetrock, Smooth). Select the METHOD, how you will be applying the paint-...

How to Make a “Time & Materials” Form

With PEP’s library of production rates, you can make a detailed estimate that calculates time and material based on the surface (sheetrock, smooth trim, rough trim, brick, etc), the method you plan to use (brush, roll, spray), the number of coats, the difficulty level, and the height of the work. But sometimes you just need to record a list of labor hours and materials. This is especially helpful if you come across something you don’t have a production rate for. To help your estimating process go faster, you can make a Time & Materials Form with itemized tasks you frequently do.   Step 1: Decide how you want your T&M estimate to look to clients There are a few ways to go about setting up a Time & Materials form in PEP. The real difference is how it looks when you present to clients in the proposal. Check out the samples below and then jump to steps #2 and 3 for the option you like best. Option A – Simple A list of itemized tasks with one line labeled “materials.” This does not show customers what specific material is being used for each task. Option B – Use Materials from Your Library Shows itemized tasks and specific materials within each line item using the Materials Library. Option C – Note the Material Make a note on each task line to indicate the intended material. Step 2: Begin your estimate Forms are made inside of a job so start by selecting a client and a job, then make a new area and add items. Note: Time & Materials does not...