Quoting vs. Estimating: Elevate Your Trade Business

Importance of estimating and quoting [0:04:12s]

Quoting and estimating play crucial roles in the sales process, guiding clients through pricing expectations. We discuss the differences between quoting and estimating in business processes and how training sessions are used to educate clients on effective quoting and estimating strategies for better client communication.

Estimating and quoting in construction projects [0:07:18s]

Software tools can be used for calculations and to create customer-facing quotes to help with the process of estimating and quoting construction projects.

Estimating involves calculating material, labor, and subcontractor needs for a project. Quoting is the customer-facing aspect where the calculated values are presented to clients. Specialised software can assist in both estimating (takeoffs, quantities) and quoting processes.

Job or project management software is used to create quotes based on the estimates. Different perspectives exist on estimating and quoting depending on individual preferences and business needs.

Estimating tools can be adjusted to suit individual business processes. Tools may offer features like kits or assemblies for combining labor and materials components efficiently.

Outsourcing Estimating Services [0:08:54s]

Outsourcing estimating services can be beneficial for builders who require accurate estimates but lack the time or expertise to do it themselves.

Some builders opt to outsource estimating tasks due to complexity or time constraints. Outsourced companies provide takeoff breakdowns, allowing builders to focus on creating accurate quotes.

If you're a small business and you're doing service and maintenance work and you're doing quoted work, you still want to have some visibility of "how did we actually go on that on that job that we quoted?"

Challenges with estimating software [0:09:52s]

Using estimating software comes with challenges related to accuracy and reliance on generated numbers. Software-generated numbers must be accurate as they will have a direct impact on the project profitability.

Quoting in Job management systems [0:13:30s]

There are a large variety of job management systems that all quote in different ways. For example ServiceM8 can produce a simpler quote while a software like Simpro has the ability for greater detail. Accounting software can create quotes also but Job management systems offer more detailed quote breakdowns compared to accounting packages. 

Small businesses will also benefit from tracking actual costs against quoted prices using job management systems.

Evolution of client Interaction in Quoting process [0:17:59s]

Traditional quoting workflow involved site visits followed by delayed quote delivery and minimal follow-ups. With Technology you can create the quote onsite, share and talk through the inclusions with the client, gain instant acceptance of the quote and even collect payment on the spot. 

A lot of those softwares enable you to turn a estimate into a quote and a quote into an invoice.

Importance of Time Management [0:19:26s]

Efficient time management leads to improved customer experience and better outcomes. Success in sales is not just about site visits but also about securing deposits early on. High success rates in closing deals are achievable with thorough discovery and effective questioning.

It’s important to adopt new methods in sales processes like technology for enhanced efficiency and client satisfaction.

Leveraging Technology Tools [0:20:45s]

Technology tools can be used to streamline sales processes and improve communication with clients. Tradies today leverage technology to transition from traditional quoting methods to achieving job acceptances and securing payments during site visits.

Having the technology to create and share quotes onsite helps tradies to managing objections proactively, achieving better client understanding and satisfaction. Email templates and digital communication tools are other great ways to inform clients about the job process effectively.


Providing accurate quotes [0:25:12s]

The initial step is to assess if the project aligns with the client’s budget and needs. Calculations are crucial in generating an accurate quote, often these are done using tools like Excel or specialised software. Modern software like ServiceM8 allows for interactive proposals with multimedia elements, enhancing client engagement and making your business stand out from the competition.

Always following up on open quotes is important to either achieve a sale or avoid cluttering up your system.

Something we've talked about for years is this whole connection between the job management system and the data that's in your CRM and your marketing tools. That whole workflow around nurturing the clients and getting them to the point of buying.

Nuturing existing leads [0:19:26s]

Businesses tend to focus on generating new leads rather than nurturing existing ones. Technology makes it easier to nuture your existing leads, following up on quotes or payments until a result is achieved.


Effective client communication [0:32:40s]

There are some challenges and strategies for ensuring effective client communication. Primarily it is important to ensure the message you send is received. Increasing spam filters can affect email deliverability but utilising SMS as a critical follow-up method can result in high open rates.

As a buisness, it is important to spend some time on optimising and refining follow-up processes for client interactions.

Customise follow-ups based on client preferences for better engagement. Balancing automation with personal touch points like phone calls for the most effective communication.

data management for sales success [0:36:13s]

Collecting essential contact details for effective sales and nurture sequences should be top priority for every business. Ensuring accurate information is documented in the right place where it can be easily accessed and used for future correspondence. It can be a nightmare if your CRM is lacking essential components like email addresses of clients. Starting afresh sometimes is necessary to establish best process and clean data.

Estimating vs quoting and system integration [0:19:26s]

There is a big difference between estimates from basic systems versus job management tools. For a more detailed breakdown please see our blog “Quoting Software For Tradies”  



Matt Jones - The Site Shed

The Site Shed is about helping tradespeople get access to information that can help them run a successful business. The vision started many years ago as a way for the founder, Matt Jones, to give back to the industry that had served him so well.


Clinton is driven by a passion to help the construction and field services industries evolve through the use of technology and education.

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