For those of you currently using a takeoff and estimating program in your construction business, you probably use it only as a tool.  Just like you would your hammer and level.  That is what tools were designed for, and it is great you are using it.  These programs can easily cut your takeoff time by 90% and greatly improve your estimates.

However, there is another use you should consider for this program, helping you get more business.  Yes, this program should be a part of your marketing.  When done correctly it will help you achieve greater results with the marketing you are already doing.

How is this possible?  People like to work with professionals, people they know will get the work done the right way, the first time, especially when dealing with large ticket items like most construction projects.  The more professional you appear during the estimating process the more likely you are to get the business.

Take your truck for example.  If you show up to estimate a job in an old “rust bucket” that barely runs, leaks oil and hasn’t been washed since Reagan how well do you think you will be looked upon?  Would this mean you would not be able to get work?  No, we all know contractors who drive trucks just like that and still get work, often by low balling bids.  Yes you still may be able to get the good jobs but not without a lot of extra work.  That is why you should have the “good” truck for estimating jobs.  It puts forth a professional image.

You should view good takeoff and estimating software the same way.  Using it will allow you to put forth a very professional image.  Most people now work with computers all day, at work and at home.  They expect professionals to do the same.

With these programs, you can present your proposals with detail and professionalism.  Numbers calculated exactly and easy to update when changes happen.  List set in nice orderly, consistent formats.  You can even show people your work on your computer and do updates live!  How impressive is that – not always getting back with updates.

So how should you go about using construction estimating software in your marketing?  First talk about it, tell people you use software, list it by name and tell how good it is.  I.e. “At Jim’s we use PlanSwift Construction Estimating Software, the leader in accuracy and speed to insure you are give exact quotes every time.” You don’t need to say a lot just a bit, something to show you are a professional using 21st century technology.

On your website, you do have a website don’t you, spend a bit more time talking about the software.  A page to itself talking about “we use the latest technology”.  If you are inclined, even a quick video showing how you estimate to great accuracy with the program.  Walk customers thru a sample estimate process from start to finish.  People love to see how things are done and to know you are not just pulling numbers from the air trying to get the most you can out of their pockets.  If you are not up for doing the video yourself contact the software company, the good ones should be able to provide you with a stock video.

As a final selling point play up the program in you proposal.  Put across the front page “This proposal was done using ___________ construction estimating software to insure you receive the best.”   Now when the customers are looking over the proposal all laid out on the table yours will stick out just a bit more, remove a bit of the worry and help you win more projects.

Remember, in your business you can use tools in many ways.  Make sure you are getting the most out of the construction takeoff and estimating program you already have. Take a moment and put your use of it as a part of your marketing.