Invoices

Ok, finally decide to ask.

I’ve been reading thread after thread about invoices, watched Kevin’s contest video today, even when talking about Micah’s printer on his truck …and I’m still stuck with my old NCR (carbonless sheets).

Let me explain my operation a little better so you can better understand, and better help me to work this out.

Go to give a quote, have my quote sheet, fill that up, one part for me , other for customer - they accept, I go, do the work and get paid. If customer doesn’t ask for an invoice (99% don’t) nothing happens, if they ask I tell them that the quote has the amount of $, and service provided and we use that as an invoice or if that’s not enough I can print another one for them at the office and mail it (99% say that is fine with what they have)

I WANT to make a better invoice - use it as another marketing tool (personalization, offers, etc … yeah, I have Kevin’s book)but I cannot find a good way to implement that.

I know it easy, print the invoice before you go to the job site and give it to the customer once you’re done … but lots of times I upsell other things and don’t want it to look all sketchy with things added to the final invoice.

Same thing with estimates … I do them in person, not over the phone, so there’s not mailing estimate or similar, everything’s done right there right now - seems like I’m gonna have to setup a printer in the van.

Thanks for your time, because I know it takes time to read my questions.

Carlos

Hey man.

I mail out those invoices the day after, or prepare them the night before, and send them out with the guys, to leave behind when the jobs are done.

Glad that you’re still awake (are you?) :slight_smile:

As I was typing I realized that the invoice was an easy fix, I should have focus on the estimates because you don’t have much prep time, you have some info about the customer but limited. I hope you get the idea of what I’m trying to achieve here, because I don’t even know at this time of the day, gotta quit posting at night, it sucks :smiley:

get thecustomerfactor.com. it has estimates and invoices. you can fax,email or print them on your computer. or if you have a website, you can even put the pdf invoice on your server and just give the customer the url. then all they have to do is just print it.

I think that the convenience of the customerfactor is pretty sweet, no doubt.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to factor in the fact that an invoice should be a marketing tool, loaded with all kinds of valuable stuff, besides “we did this, we’re awesome, and you owe us money”.

Of course, I may be wrong about the cf’s capabilities, but based on Steve’s videos, I think that’s about it.

Carlos,

I understand where you’re at with this. I wonder though, would you be able to design an estimate/invoice, with all the bells and whistles of marketing genius, and a picture of you cleaning some glass (an up-close pic, not one from far away), and leave a small blank line where you can fill in the price/estimate/amount due in hand before you hand it to the customer.

I think that this is not 100% the best way to deliver these customized invoices that have become so popular, but a very nice step in the right direction.

I’ll help you put it all together if you’d like. Let me know.

Kevin, you can put that on your invoice.

Interesting.

Steve, could you show us a tricked out customer factor invoice? I didn’t realize that it had comprehensive and extensive customization.

i just made an invoice for you kevin, remember that you can put any image or use and font you want too…

Cool. Can you place more images on it, or just one on the top right?

I guess what I’m wondering is how much freedom you have with its look and feel. Any font control? Text location?

you can only have one image location and as far as text. it starts where i started typing and can go all the way down to the bottom of the page.

do you put your text in other places of the invoice?

if so, dont you think the customers get confused with the invoice service items and invoice totals?

I like clean crisp invoices like the one i just posted.

Well, it all comes down to the details.

Expensive stuff in expensive settings often come with expensive looking bills, in expensive little invoice holders, even.

Expensive (fancy-looking) invoices make clients feel good about spending more, and make them feel special, supporting your higher price points. Of course, the line between cheese and elegance is sometimes thin, but its worth the walk, I’ve found.

Confusion has never been a complaint thus far.

That’s why I ask.

Everything from our company that goes to a client can become a marketing tool, including invoices.

I didnt go to college, what did you say, can you speak in english please???

hmm, I may need to discuss this. How did you come up with “the more expensive invoice makes people feel better” theory? We also need to define “expensive things in expensive settings”.

This evaluation to me is very subjective. My personal response to a bill is not elevated if it is pretty, is yours? If they get a really nifty fancy bill do they go tell everyone they know to go get billed by us?

As for expensive, hmm, is it? says who? Most would not get their windows cleaned if they perceive it as “expensive”. A Mercedes is expensive, a couple hundred bucks for a window cleaning, not so much.

For me the invoice needs to be clear, the follow up needs to be excellent. (I am not against fancy invoices by the way).

As for the invoice shown by Doug, that’s basically what I do now. What is different about that one?

I believe a “more professional” invoice reinforces the “more professional” service provided.

“More professional” defined subjectively.

Two months ago, a new customer – who was dissatisfied with two other WC’ers – not only complimented my work, but told me that the paper my invoice was printed upon was too nice/heavy. I think it reinforced the total package I am trying to convey – quality.

Same thing this weekend on a new roof & gutter customer. I was replacing another service provider. The customer was very pleased, and commented about my service – from my printed quote to my thorough work to my printed invoice.

Is a fancy-schmancy invoice measurably more valuable? I don’t know…I am terrible at marketing, and have a lot to learn from you all.

those things are not marketing as it is not leading to money. That may at best be a brand building thing, but we will never be known for our bills (I hope). I do understand we like to convey quality and I am surely all for better invoices to add to our perceived quality… but it is not marketing.

Just add up what you made from it next year and post the results.

actually, I need to be honset. I am just trying to get you guys fired up lol

How do we know? Too subliminal?

What if the customer decides an add-on is worth the money next visit due to the invoice/marketing (special offer, personalized message, beer mug image :rolleyes:, etc.)?

What if a referral is made due to the perceived quality of the invoice?

Probably hard to measure, but I’m sure that between you and Kevin, you’ll find a way.

Subliminal? oh, and an invoice is not treated the same as say a beer mug (more so at Phil’s pad.) However if we would like to think that they are gushing over the thing, that’s cool.

Referrals [I]because[/I] of the invoice? I like that :slight_smile:

An invoice is treated as a beer coaster at Phil’s place.