Keys to Project Success – 3. INCREASING YOUR CONVERSION RATE
In the final part of this mini-series we’ll look at how you can use example projects to increase your conversion rate.
If you think back to my previous article a few months ago you should remember the part where I spoke about our US training trip where we met with several wise US integrators. These were the people who told us to follow a repeatable pattern, installing the same systems again and again for each and every client just tweaking them to suit that client and their property.
Well, this is a great starting point for creating those example projects I have been mentioning throughout the series. Once you have repeatedly installed the same systems in numerous properties you will have started to build up a good library of example jobs. It just becomes a case of preselecting the correct jobs that are as similar as possible to how you interpret the client’s needs and what their property requires.
I also mentioned previously that I had parted with my business partner to set up my own design only business. This may sound a bit strange but the benefit of doing this for my old installation company was very tangible. By taking the proposals and designs outside the company’s internal environment and working with other integrators, the quality of what I was able to produce increased rapidly. This had benefits for all the integrators involved, raising the standard of my proposals and designs and exponentially expanding my knowledge of different brands and equipment.
This is the story of how my company designflow was formed and we now work with many integrators all across the UK and through parts of Europe, and even as far afield as the US. We help them avoid the ‘time trap’ I spoke about previously, by focusing solely on producing proposals and designs on their behalf.
By externalising these two aspect these integrators are able to focus their precious time resources on their clients and their needs, whilst also having more time to prospect for new business. Now they never miss an opportunity to quote on a project due to the daily time pressures of running a business. They never have to worry about whether the pricing in their proposals is up to date. In fact some of them don’t even have to maintain a product database at all, saving them masses of time.
But that’s not the only way you can do this...
The best way to implement this within the internal environment of your business is to assign the task of creating proposals and design to a single person within your company. They should not be responsible for anything else, just proposals and design.
The answer to your first thought: ‘we do not have enough work to keep one person busy’ is easy. Firstly, remember the person responsible for creating proposals and designs is also responsible for maintaining your product database, ensuring every product you specify is up to date and has the correct buy and sell prices, so this is actually much more work than appears on the surface. Secondly, once you are free of this burden you will have more time to go prospecting for new clients and take really good care of existing clients, which means you will have more proposals and design work to do (which will ultimately translate into more revenue and greater profits).
What if it’s just me on my own in my business? Then my advice would be to allocate a part of each day to proposals and design. It’s probably best to keep each morning free to do this as that is the part of the day when we are most alert, rather than doing it in the evenings when mistakes are more likely to creep in. Unless you are really bad a selling and client relations this is the part of your business where your main focus should be. In my experience bringing in sales people to sell your business on your behalf is never as good or successful as doing it yourself.
Imagine the effect implementing the process I have outlined in this mini-series would have on your business – how much would your revenue increase by moving your conversion rate up a notch or two?
Do you remember back in my first article in this mini-series where I mentioned the how we work document we used to use? What if you were to implement something similar to this and charge your clients a 5% design fee on every project? That should instantly increase your revenue and filter out all the time wasters at the same time, its tried and tested by my old installation business and it works.
Thank you very much for reading the mini-series. I hope you have enjoyed reading and gained some useful insight to help move your business forward.
Read Part 1. HOW TO WIN MORE JOBS.
Read Part 2. HOW TO AVOID THE TIME TRAP.
Keith Jones studied Product Design at Central St. Martins where he graduated in 1996. Since then he worked in numerous high end audio outlets, culminating in owning and running his own successful AV installation company from 2001-2008. After a career break he started Jones designs in August 2009 which morphed into a Ltd. company called designflow, in 2015. Designflow aims to increase awareness of design in AV and help installers win more jobs and create proper documentation for them.