Dine Em And Sell Em

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-25-2007, 02:48 PM   #1
Proprietor
 
MattCoops's Avatar
 
Trade: TILE!
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Haverhill, MA
Posts: 1,847
Rewards Points: 1,060

Dine Em And Sell Em


We've been using a new tactic and it's been working great.
On bigger jobs, remodels, we go to initial meeting and find out what the customer wants. Then the estimator goes back to shop to work on numbers, and put together a presentation.
We call the customer back and invite them out to lunch to go over our solution to their project.

Taking them out to eat puts them in a better mood, relaxes them.
We start to show them our presentation about mid way through the meal.
And when we're finished eating we present a price.

I think it compells the customer to do business with us. Sort of pay us back, in a way.
It's been working great.

The only thing you have to be careful with is that a legal contract can't be signed by a party that has been drinking.
__________________
Matt Cupan TileWorks:
Bathroom remodeling & custom tile projects for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Union County, North Carolina.
(978) 476-0662 | cupantile@gmail.com
MattCoops is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 07-25-2007, 03:02 PM   #2
Fentoozler
 
Celtic's Avatar
 
Trade: Professional Pie and Pastry Taster
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,623
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCoops View Post

The only thing you have to be careful with is that a legal contract can't be signed by a party that has been drinking.

Isn't whiskey for sippin' ?

Advertisement

__________________


The UD is quite possibly man kinds finest accomplishment.
Celtic is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 03:35 PM   #3
Pro
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,321
Rewards Points: 2,718

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Does that mean at politicians cannot vote on laws?

I have a friend that is a buyer and he cannot accept lunches from salesmen, but he can pay for the lunch on his expense account so he does not feel he has an obligation to the salesman. It also provides a paper trail if purchase questions come up.

In some states, the state legislators can socially serve alcohol in their offices to avoid the unstructured bar element.
__________________
Dick

Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.

Last edited by concretemasonry; 07-25-2007 at 03:41 PM.
concretemasonry is online now  
Old 07-25-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
Thom
 
thom's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/Homebuilder
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Albuquerque NM
Posts: 4,137
Rewards Points: 4,748

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Does that mean at politicians cannot vote on laws?
Not if their name is Kennedy anyway.
thom is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 03:42 PM   #5
Custom Builder
 
Glasshousebltr's Avatar
 
Trade: From dirt to ridge vent
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: South Central Illinois
Posts: 4,406
Rewards Points: 2,000
Send a message via AIM to Glasshousebltr Send a message via Yahoo to Glasshousebltr

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCoops View Post
The only thing you have to be careful with is that a legal contract can't be signed by a party that has been drinking.
Well that takes a load off my shoulders .......I guess technically I've never been married then?
__________________
Bob
Glasshousebltr is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
Pro
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing and Gutter Specialist
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,573
Rewards Points: 2,000
Send a message via AIM to Grumpy

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


All jokes aside it sounds likea great idea. I wouldn't do it for a $5k roof, but a 150k additiona... where would you prefer dinner Mr Customer? Actually lunch is a good idea. Most people don't drink at lunch. However most people also work so lunch isn't always an option.

Do you really close many contracts IN the restauraunt?

One of my estimators called a customer. I was in the office so I eavesdropped. The guys was ready to go awhead with a $3200 gutter job if we dropped the price to $3000 We have 5% in the price for negotiation and heck I'd have eaten the other couple bucks. The guy was drinking because he said he was at the cubs game and the only thing to do in wrigley field is DRINK. However my estimator messed up and didn't ask for a verbal commitment. Now the guy downgraded and wants to go ahead with repairs instead of the replacement for $3k. Ethically would he have taken advantage of the customer? I dont know. However I personally would have set the appointment to come back and close at the customers $3k price.
Grumpy is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
Pro
 
Mike Finley's Avatar
 
Trade: Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 14,078
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


I love this concept.

Already guys are trying to figure out how to charge for an estimate and 99% of us don't. Now we are going to dig the hole even deeper and start paying customers for estimates.

Can see this in 10 years from now when it's common place, customers want to go out to dinner so they call up 3 contractors. Can see the posts on Contractortalk in 10 years. Hey, how do you guys deal with all these meal expenses and no deals? I'm thinking of taking customers out to more expensive steak houses, because I don't seem to be closing as well anymore taking them to the local diner. or How much do you spend on customers? Do you base it on the size of the job? Do you buy them dessert? Glass of wine or a bottle of wine? What's common?

Nothing against you Matt, cudos for at least in theory thinking outside the box and stretching the boundries.

But to me this would just be silly to me. I think the day I have to buy a homeowner lunch or dinner to have them see the value in hiring my company for their project is the day I will put a bullet in my head.

I totally understand the concept behind it, but the bad precident it sets isn't worth the short term gains to me.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 07-25-2007 at 07:12 PM.
Mike Finley is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 07:31 PM   #8
Pro
 
ruskent's Avatar
 
Trade: Outdoor D/B
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,907
Rewards Points: 1,028

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


I think its a great idea. I am looking to do 5-7 projects a year. Never many more then that. Just every year those projects get larger.

I do not do many estimates. If i go out on a job and have no interest in it, i'll give the people a price, but i will not follow up on it or put much effort into it. Now when i get a lead for something i really want, i concentrate all my effort on it. I met with someone 6 times over the last 8 weeks going over different lay outs and plans. (With no retainer even) Some may think its a waste of time. I do not. When i put in this much effort i have a 100% closing rate. My main compeititor meets once with the customer then mails the plan and price.

Instead of looking at 5 other jobs i have no interest in, i just met with the client i want 6 times.

flame away
ruskent is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 07:37 PM   #9
Pro
 
Mike Finley's Avatar
 
Trade: Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 14,078
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


I know that attitude is one of the most powerful forces when it comes to selling jobs. Customers will always respond positively to positive attitude and enthusiasm.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 07-25-2007 at 08:03 PM.
Mike Finley is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 08:21 PM   #10
Pro
 
ruskent's Avatar
 
Trade: Outdoor D/B
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,907
Rewards Points: 1,028

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
I know that attitude is one of the most powerful forces when it comes to selling jobs. Customers will always respond positively to positive attitude and enthusiasm.

That is the truth!!!!!!! Its my #1 sales tool. Some many people see the jobs i am doing and are shocked i am able to sign these jobs when i am up against companies with 15-20 years experience, 15 million dollar profolios, gorgous websites, etc etc etc. I have what they do not have, enthusaism. The customer picks it up right away.

There is a big difference between being just qualified for a job, and being truly passionate about what you do.
ruskent is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 09:55 PM   #11
Pro
 
Bone Saw's Avatar
 
Trade: decks
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,831
Rewards Points: 2,076

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
I totally understand the concept behind it, but the bad precident it sets isn't worth the short term gains to me.
ditto
Bone Saw is offline  
Old 07-25-2007, 09:56 PM   #12
Pro
 
Tscarborough's Avatar
 
Trade: Monkey Scratching Cat Herder
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin
Posts: 6,269
Rewards Points: 1,260

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


There are 2 sides to the coin for regular customers:

You can reward good customers or you can buy new ones.

For one time customers, I would cost those expenses as advertising.

The most important facet of the exercise for any of the examples is that the meeting takes place on neutral ground, which is generally the most advantageous to close a deal.
Tscarborough is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 05:36 AM   #13
Pro
 
Danno6102's Avatar
 
Trade: Deck Builder
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 311
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Make sure they sign the contract BEFORE the bill comes. If they don't go dutch! Hell just dine & dash!

Sounds like a good idea, but I think I would save it for clients that I thought were pretty much in the bag & the very large jobs. Even if you have the job it would still be nice to take them out to go over project details. So when they talk to their neighbors/friends & say, "we went to the neatest/coolest/best restaurant last night to go over some stuff with our contractor for the deck we're building! blah blah blah blah."

However, I need clients to return my calls first...
Danno6102 is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 02:17 PM   #14
Pro
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing and Gutter Specialist
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,573
Rewards Points: 2,000
Send a message via AIM to Grumpy

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Mike I see the logic to your theory and I agree with what you are saying and in theory it'd be a total waste if we were doing jobs for what we do them for... BUT let's say I have a 35% markup now. Now let's say a $100 dinner was the difference between a 35% markup and a 100% markup. If I were dealing with the Movie Stars and the News Anchormen of the world I can totally see the dinner presentation working.

heck commercial sales people take their good customers out to ball games and lunch all the time. SOme of the manufacturer's reps with whom I do business often take me out to lunch, infact I have a scheduled lunch next week with one. I knew a GC who pretty much only worked for property managers and his expense account for customer gifts was insanely high, but he beleived that was the difference between him and everyone else. The customers wanted to do business with him repeatedly so they could keep getting these gifts.

I know the residential and commercial scenarios are different because there is usually less repeat work in residential, after all how many roofs or kitches, additions or siding jobs can you do on ONE house?
Grumpy is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 02:44 PM   #15
Pro
 
welovepainting's Avatar
 
Trade: Professional Painting Contractor
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 296
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Great Discussion Guys!
welovepainting is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #16
Pro
 
Ed the Roofer's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 7,157
Rewards Points: 2,054

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Another point in favor of having them sign your proposal agreement at a local restaurant instead of at there home is, you have now legally and ethically avoided the "Mandatory 3 Day Right of Recission" guidelines.

The 3 day right of recission is intended ONLY for contracts that are signed at the home owners residence.

Ed
Ed the Roofer is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
Business Operations
 
realpurty2's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contracting / Electrical Contracting
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 936
Rewards Points: 500
Send a message via ICQ to realpurty2 Send a message via AIM to realpurty2

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post

The 3 day right of recission is intended ONLY for contracts that are signed at the home owners residence.

Ed
Not debating, just asking... but are you sure about that Ed? We have the clients come to the office and meet in the conference room for the presentation and proposal, but we still include the 3 day clause and subsequent waiver form just the same. I don't plan on removing it from the contract just for added security, but you raised a curiosity now. Are you certain it isn't required if they aren't in their home when signing the contract?
__________________
Woman in a Man's World.
realpurty2 is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #18
Pro
 
Ed the Roofer's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 7,157
Rewards Points: 2,054

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Yes, I am sure about that.

State variances regarding a localized version may differ, but the national 3 day is intended to prevent "buyers remorse" from being high pressured during a cold call spur of the moment appointment.

Similar to you not having a 3 day right of recission when purchasing a vehicle at the car dealership.

I know I have read the explicit instructions, but do not have them readily on hand. Maybe a Google search will find it, if I don't retrieve the precise information by the end of the evening.

Ed
Ed the Roofer is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:39 PM   #19
Member
 
cbtexas's Avatar
 
Trade: Marketing
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 62
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


I think it is an excellent idea for customers that REALLY seem interested. Most of the time you can arrive at this determination after some questions to qualify them. I would talk with them a few times more than the initial meeting to make sure they are qualified for a project like that. I think the dinner just helps push them over the edge. Especially if they are getting bids from other contractors and you are the only one wining and dining them. It makes most people feel obligated to you which is what you want. I don't see it as trickery or anything. Only good customer service.

CB
cbtexas is offline  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:46 PM   #20
Pro
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing and Gutter Specialist
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,573
Rewards Points: 2,000
Send a message via AIM to Grumpy

Re: Dine Em And Sell Em


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
Another point in favor of having them sign your proposal agreement at a local restaurant instead of at there home is, you have now legally and ethically avoided the "Mandatory 3 Day Right of Recission" guidelines.

The 3 day right of recission is intended ONLY for contracts that are signed at the home owners residence.

Ed
I've only had one customer cancel on me. It was the day after they signed the contract. In retrospect they had good reason. They wanted to meet at 8pm, this was our second meeting. But they also wanted to get on the roof with me so we could talk about details. Well we went back in the hosue, I didn't leave until 9:30 or so, and in the dark I left my ladder. In addition I left my clip board on their lawn. It was so dark and i was so damned tired... anyways who would want a fool like me installing their new roof? Now where did I put that ladder?

The only guys who have to worry about the 3 day right of recission are high pressure closers.

BTW Ed is right, it only applies in IL if the contract is signed IN the home.

Advertisement

Grumpy is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Somebody sell some Gass Rooms Glasshousebltr Construction 2 03-04-2004 09:46 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?