When a job comes up that you like the look of, you can send the customer a quote or message. Your first message is your first impression on the customer, so it’s important to get right! Here are some handy tips for writing a great first message.

  1. Introduce yourself, and tell them about any relevant experience
  2. Discuss the job, including likely size and cost (if possible)
  3. Let them know your availability
  4. Tell them the next step to proceed

The better your first message, the more value the customer gets, and the more likely you'll get the job.

Here’s an example of a good first message:

Hi Mary,

My name is Bill from Bill’s Painters. I’ve specialised in home painting for the last 10 years. I’ve had a look at your job and photos, and we can definitely help. We’ve recently done a similar job in your suburb.

An estimate based on the information I have is $500 +GST. This excludes any materials which is likely to be $50 or so for paint. More than happy to come onsite and give a more accurate estimate, does this Saturday at 3pm suit?

Looking forward to hearing back.

Including some form of pricing is usually important to manage the expectations of the customer, and to ensure they’re likely to proceed. Pricing doesn’t have to be a fixed quote, it can be a cost estimate, or a just time estimate with some hourly pricing.

Here’s an example of a good job estimate:

 Hi Mary,

My name is Bill from Bill’s Painters. I’ve specialised in home painting for the last 10 years. I’ve had a look at your job and photos, and we can definitely help. We’ve recently done a similar job in your suburb.

My hourly rate is $60 +GST, and a job like this would usually take between 10-15 hours (I would need to do a site visit to confirm). So you’re probably looking at about $900 +GST. I can start as soon as Monday. 

Does this Saturday at 3pm suit for a site visit?

Looking forward to hearing back.

Remember: Your first message is all about selling yourself to the customer and letting them know you are experienced, have great communication and should be their first option. 

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