10 Tips for Quoting a Pergola Kit & Install
Many of our new Area Reps don't have any experience with giving customers "quotes" for products and services. And even those who are experienced preparing quotes need to know how to figure out what pergola types, dimensions, options and upgrades are available and how our pergolas are priced.
This article provides our top 10 tips on how to present quotes that lead to sales. (Note: Tip #5 focuses on how our pergolas are priced and how to actually generate the price quote.)
Tip # 1. Know the Products
There's no substitute for taking the time to get to know the products. You're not selling $20 trinkets here... you're selling pergolas that cost thousands of dollars. You need to know your stuff.
At a minimum, you should take 15-20 minutes to read through the following:
Before you go out and start promoting Sunset Pergolas (see our Top 10 Promotion Ideas article), please take the time to go through the resources linked to above so you have a foundational understanding of our products. It will be time very well spent, as it will likely mean the difference between a "yes" and a "no" on your first couple of quotes.
Tip # 2. Go Prepared
Giving a pergola quote isn't a "just show up and wing it" type endeavor. You need to go prepared.
Following is a list of things you should take with you to the customer's home (you don't necessarily want to bring all of these items with you when you knock on the front door, but you should take them with you):
- The white and tan pergola samples we sent you when you became an Area Rep
- A quote sheet (which also has key info, features and selling points on the back side)
- A pen or something else to write with
- A flyer (or at least a business card) you can refer to and leave with them at the end of the visit
- A tape measure (so you can measure the dimensions of the area the customer wants the pergola to cover)
- Your smartphone or, if possible, a tablet or laptop computer (so you can pull up product pages on the SPK website)
With all of these resources in hand, you're prepared to have a professional, informative conversation with the customer.
Tip # 3. Look and Be Professional
We send new Area Reps a nice Sunset Pergola Kits polo shirt so you can wear it when you visit customers to give quotes. Please do so!
If your appointment was scheduled a few days out, it's a good idea to call (or at least text) a few business hours ahead of time to confirm the appointment. And then, of course, make sure you arrive to your appointment on time. Also, be sensitive about a) whether the customer would like you to remove your shoes before going inside, and b) whether the customer would like you to wear a mask (make sure to have one with you).
This goes without saying, but be polite and respectful to the customer and his/her family. You are a guest in their home. The terms "sir" and "ma'am" are more appropriate than "dude" and "bro" (at least until you get to know them and build a rapport).
Tip # 4. Focus on What The Customer Wants
You're there to help the customer get what they want, not to tell them about our products and your installation services. Your main focus should be finding out exactly what the customer is after.
The logical first step is to go outside to the location where they'd like the pergola to go. Ask the customer...
- what dimensions they want (this is why you'll need a tape measure),
- what color they want (white or tan),
- whether they want the pergola to be freestanding or attached to their home (or another structure), and
- how they intend to use the pergola throughout the year
Before you try to "sell them something," make sure you understanding exactly what they want... and why they want. With that knowledge, you'll be able to present options that meet their desires.
Pergola Kit Pricing
The vast majority of customers are going to want one of the 384 "standard" square/rectangular pergola kits already listed on our website, which are:
Freestanding traditional pergolas (with overhangs) - 8' - 32' width (options are 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 28 and 32 feet) and 8' - 24' depth (options are 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 24 feet) - available in white and tan
Attached traditional pergolas (with overhangs) - same options as above
Freestanding modern pergolas (no overhangs) - 10' - 16' width and depth (options are 10, 12, 14 and 16 feet) - available in white and tan
- Attached modern pergolas (no overhangs) - same options as above
If your customer wants to order one of these "standard" kits (which will probably be the case 95% of the time), you can create the quote for the pergola kit by doing the following (which is demonstrated in the demo video to the right)...
- Go to SunsetPergolaKits.com and click the "Build My Pergola" link in the menu
- Go through the 5-question "wizard" to select the pergola type (freestanding or attached), dimensions, style and color the customer wants
- Go through the additional configuration options with the customer (i.e. posts, end caps, shade coverage, etc.)
Once you've selected all the options, the page will show the exact price for the pergola kit, which includes free shipping. (Note: It will also show the monthly payment amount if the customer chooses to finance their purchase over 36 months through Klarna.) All you have to do is plug that number into the quote sheet.
If your customer wants something other than our standard pergolas, you'll need to write down their exact specifications and tell them you'll get back to them with a quote within 1-2 business days. You can then send those specifications to us, and we'll prepare a custom quote for you.
If your customer wants a custom quote, it's useful to make sure they understand that we price every pergola (standard and custom) on the components included in the kit... the number (and size) of posts, beams, rafters, purlin holders, shade purlins, etc. We don't "jack up the price" simply because they're ordering a "custom" pergola. Our quote calculator is completely component-based.
We've covered how to quote the price for the pergola kit itself, but you also need to provide your customers a quote of how much you will charge them to assemble and install it for them. This is completely up to you, but most of our Area Reps seem to be charging $500 - $600 for small, simple installs up to $1,200 - $1,500 for larger installs.
Installing a smaller pergola (i.e. under $10,000) should take two people no more than 1 full day to install. Larger pergolas (and installs that require additional work to prepare the "base" that the posts will be secured to) may take 1.5 to 2 days.
Tip # 6. Be Proud of Our Products... They're Worth the Money!
Sunset Pergola Kits are not the cheapest pergolas on the market. We don't claim to be. What we do claim - and what you should emphasize to your customers - is that our pergolas are:
- extremely high quality, with a premium extruded vinyl exterior, heavy-duty aluminum frame and stainless steel fasteners;
- virtually maintenance-free (we find it's useful to bring up how amazing it is to own a vinyl fence vs. owning a wood fence);
- not just for decoration, they provide real shade (it's almost like adding another room to your home!);
- are guaranteed to never sag, bow, bend, break, rust or discolor;
- are certified by licensed engineers;
- protected by a lifetime warranty;
- made in the USA; and
- worth every single penny!
If the customer seems to have "sticker shock" when they see the number, don't panic. And don't apologize for the price... our pergolas are worth every penny! Instead, use it as an opportunity to 1) brag about our pergolas (highlighting the points in the bullet list above), and 2) talk about our 36-month financing option (which is "Tip #7" below).
This is when you'll want to show off the pergola samples you brought with you. Really talk up the quality. Point out how the vinyl is colored throughout (not just "coated" with the white/tan color). Talk about how the vinyl exterior is virtually maintenance-free (no sanding, re-staining, painting, etc.) and how all the main structural components (the posts, beams and rafters) have a heavy-duty aluminum frame.
It's worth pointing out that a lot of the people who buy our pergola kits are not first-time pergola owners. A large portion of our customers are replacing a wood pergola that they're tired of re-sanding, re-staining, reinforcing and repairing year after year. Buying a cheaper wood pergola is just signing yourself up for ongoing maintenance (not to mention the fact that vinyl just looks better).
One last point... You can also talk about alternatives to get the price down (smaller dimensions, removing post upgrades, etc.). But make it clear that our prices are what they are and that we don't negotiate on pricing. The only discount we can offer is the $150 discount they'll get when they use your unique coupon code.
Tip # 7. Highlight Our 36-Month Financing Option (if deemed necessary)
If it's clear to you that the price is simply out of the customer's price range (or what they're willing to spend), make sure to point out our 36-month financing option. We've partnered with Klarna to allow customers to spread out the payments over 3 years, making the purchase much more feasible for a lot of people. Read more about Klarna financing here.
In case you're wondering, it doesn't matter to you whether customers pay with credit card, check or use Klarna financing. You get paid the same commission right up front no matter what.
Tip # 8. Don't Be Overly Pushy
PLEASE don't use any gimmicks or scare tactics to try to close the deal today. For most people (even those who are well off), buying a several-thousand-dollar pergola is a big decision. Most people won't make a decision right on the spot. Pressuring them to do so will only put a sour taste in their mouth.
Instead, let them know you're available to answer any additional questions they have, leave them with something tangible (Tip #9 below), and make a plan with them to talk again (Tip #10 below).
Tip # 9. Leave Them With Something Tangible (And Intangible)
When you leave, you want to make sure to leave them with something tangible (i.e. something they can hold). At a minimum, leave the quote sheet with them. It shows the quote(s) you gave them on the front side, with a nice overview of Sunset Pergola Kits on the back side. Make sure to write your name, phone number and coupon code on it so they know how to contact you.
Additionally, you should get the customer's email address so you can send them some additional information and PDFs. Following are a few of the digital documents you may want to send them via email:
Tip # 10. Follow Up
Here again, you don't want to be overly pushy... but you also want to follow up with the customer regularly. Usually, a phone call, email or text every couple of days is appropriate (unless the customer has indicated they want more time). Phone calls are preferable and more personable.
When you call the customer, focus on answering any questions they may have and meeting their needs and wants. Be a problem solver, not a salesman. Offer to meet again in person if they'd like to.
If you have a question about any of this information about giving quotes, please don't hesitate to ask.