Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor.... - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
Pro
 
rdr8887's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 292
Rewards Points: 250

Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


So, I had a customer show me a price from another contractor they had received for the work I had bid. It was a handyman and he had out-bid me by about $1,500. I reviewed his quote and my own over the weekend to see if there was anything I could do. I decided to hold firm.

I sent the customer a nice email (they don't answer phone calls) explaining that I would be unable to provide them with a quality project at that price. I told them we have a level of customer service and quality that we deliver on every project with no exceptions. At the price quoted, we would be unable to deliver what we stand for.

About two hours later I received an email back telling me the final granite color selection and asking if I could take Amex as payment.

I never find that it is good practice to cut your own number to get a job. Had I done that, I might find myself looking for ways to cut corners like most of the low guys do. Rather than do that, I was honest and upfront that I could not match the price an why.

Anytime I am asked if I match prices, I typically say no. My price is my price. I will help you all day long to reduce the cost of your project by changing scope and materials. However, my markup doesn't change.

Just figured I'd share....
__________________
I can do anything your bank account will allow....
rdr8887 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to rdr8887 For This Useful Post:
AlbacoreShuffle (05-27-2012)

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 05-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
Contractor
 
tgeb's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavation, Foundation, Professional Painter!
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,299
Rewards Points: 918

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Well done!

Advertisement

__________________
Tom

www.gebcon.com
tgeb is offline  
Old 05-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
Pro
 
donerightwyo's Avatar
 
Trade: custom builder
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,804
Rewards Points: 320

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


I always say the only way to get it cheaper is to change it or hire some one else. Lots of times they hire someone else and change it
donerightwyo is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to donerightwyo For This Useful Post:
Jaws (05-25-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-25-2012, 09:10 AM   #4
Pro
 
Tiger's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 929
Rewards Points: 718

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


About 5 years ago I bid a large addition after doing the 200 amp service and basement remodeling wiring. The quote was $11k and the GC made a LOT of changes. He may have wanted the changes for free but it brought my quote to $22k. The GC wouldn't sign the contract.

A few months later I got a call from the homeowner that the GC had abandoned the project and the wiring was a mess. There were live wires hanging out of outlets (they had small children & a dog). Their kitchen was short about 8 circuits for all their custom equipment. In the end the repairs and rewiring came to about $22k.
__________________
www.TigerElectrical.com
Tiger is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Tiger For This Useful Post:
cwatbay (05-27-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


I never understood how anybody could ask a contractor to lower his price. Do these same people ask the cashier at the store if they can lower the price? Or ask the waitress for a better price at a restaurant? Or asking a doctor if they can lower the bill?

These people wouldn't ask any other business for a lower price just contractors

Also I think it's highly offensive to even think of asking a contractor for a lower price.

When I hear this from potential customers...

"oh that price sounds high" I say based on what?
"can you give me a better price?" sure what did i say? $1,000? how about $1,500 is that better now? oh you mean BETTER FOR YOU....THAT'S NOT FAIR WHAT ABOUT ME?
realelectrician is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to realelectrician For This Useful Post:
Aaron Berk (05-26-2012), fjn (05-25-2012), GRB (05-25-2012), jamestrd (05-27-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
Pro
 
katoman's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kirkfield,Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,102
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Well done

I've always been of the opinion that if I will discount my price then I was gouging in the first place.
katoman is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to katoman For This Useful Post:
dom-mas (05-25-2012), Lockejaw (05-25-2012), wookie (05-27-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
Pro
 
BamBamm5144's Avatar
 
Trade: Everything Exterior, Mostly Roofing.
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,181
Rewards Points: 2,786

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


People are funny. I went on a bid last year to look at building a cricket behind a chimney, replacing the shingles around it and installing new chimney flashing. I told him the price and he says wow, that seems like a lot for such a simple job. Truthfully, I didn't even know what to say. I ended up sputtering out that the price I quoted is what is needed to not only make a profit but to also stay in business in case there is ever a problem with the job.

Never heard from him again.
BamBamm5144 is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamm5144 View Post
People are funny. I went on a bid last year to look at building a cricket behind a chimney, replacing the shingles around it and installing new chimney flashing. I told him the price and he says wow, that seems like a lot for such a simple job. Truthfully, I didn't even know what to say. I ended up sputtering out that the price I quoted is what is needed to not only make a profit but to also stay in business in case there is ever a problem with the job.

Never heard from him again.
I never justify my price and explain. No other type of business does it why should contractors?
realelectrician is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
Pro
 
katoman's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kirkfield,Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,102
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Usually the first thing out of my mouth after hello is if you have to ask how much it's going to cost, you can't afford me.
katoman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to katoman For This Useful Post:
SC sawdaddy (05-30-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
Pro
 
donerightwyo's Avatar
 
Trade: custom builder
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,804
Rewards Points: 320

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


I was thinking about this the other day when the lady that owns the convience store was haggling me on her kitchen remodel. What if I rolled up to the counter in her store with a chicken samich and candy bar and said " Boy that sure seems high, isn't there any wiggle room on this?"
donerightwyo is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to donerightwyo For This Useful Post:
AustinDB (05-25-2012), Jaws (05-26-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
Pro
 
dom-mas's Avatar
 
Trade: masonry
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 8,133
Rewards Points: 626

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by realelectrician View Post
I never understood how anybody could ask a contractor to lower his price. Do these same people ask the cashier at the store if they can lower the price? Or ask the waitress for a better price at a restaurant? Or asking a doctor if they can lower the bill?

These people wouldn't ask any other business for a lower price just contractors
You've never haggled about anything before. There are someplaces i don't like a grocery store but I do it often enough with my suppliers. I tell them I want to give them the business but their cometition can sell it to me for such and such a price, can you match it. Materials, tools etc... 50% of the time they can match it. better to make $10 rather than $20 when the other option is loose a sale. Circumstances can make you drop or raise prices. I know my pricing isn't standard across the board.

I understand it's not the same thing because they're offering apples against apples. contractors have various levels of skill and quality so it's not the same, but to say that it's insulting is nuts. People haggle, haggle back, or stay firm but don't get insulted, it's just human nature.
__________________
New & restoration masonry construction
www.dominionmasonry.ca

Last edited by dom-mas; 05-25-2012 at 06:42 PM.
dom-mas is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by dom-mas View Post
You've never haggled about anything before. There are someplaces i don't like a grocery store but I do it often enough with my suppliers. I tell them I want to give them the business but their cometition can sell it to me for such and such a price, can you match it. Materials, tools etc...

I understand it's not the same thing because they're offering apples against apples. contractors have various levels of skill and quality so it's not the same, but to say that it's insulting is nuts. People haggle, haggle back, or stay firm but don't get insulted, it's just human nature.
It's an insult to ask any contractor to lower their price. If the price is too high simply say thank you for your time and call another contractor.

Like I said before these people never ask doctors, restaurants, supermarkets, and other services to lower their prices so why contractors? You know why? because of guys like you who WILL HAGGLE that are part of the problem.

The old saying goes "take it or leave it"
realelectrician is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to realelectrician For This Useful Post:
GRB (05-25-2012), katoman (05-25-2012), svronthmve (05-26-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
Pro
 
rselectric1's Avatar
 
Trade: Licensed Electrical Contractor and Remodeler
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 11,780
Rewards Points: 870

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


I'm "negotiating" with one just like this right NOW.

The basement electrical came in at $9300.

I gave him a 20 percent discount right off the top since it's new construction.

He wanted more. Every time I counter with a lower offer I take something away.

I'm pretty much done with this guy right now, but my final offer was to allow us up to 4 months to complete the rough in and use his job as a "filler". So a week job might last up to 4 months. That would put him in the category of a second class customer in a way. It's not going to change the cost of the job that much either due to travel time and set up.

Being cheap is always pretty expensive, but some just don't get it no matter how many times you explain it.

__________________
220...221...whatever it takes!
rselectric1 is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 07:13 PM   #14
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by rselectric1 View Post
I'm "negotiating" with one just like this right NOW.

The basement electrical came in at $9300.

I gave him a 20 percent discount right off the top since it's new construction.

He wanted more. Every time I counter with a lower offer I take something away.

I'm pretty much done with this guy right now, but my final offer was to allow us up to 4 months to complete the rough in and use his job as a "filler". So a week job might last up to 4 months. That would put him in the category of a second class customer in a way. It's not going to change the cost of the job that much either due to travel time and set up.

Being cheap is always pretty expensive, but some just don't get it no matter how many times you explain it.

Nothing wrong with knocking the price down if you remove some items they want. When contractors just lower the price and do the same work that's crazy.
realelectrician is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to realelectrician For This Useful Post:
cwatbay (05-27-2012), rselectric1 (05-25-2012), TNTRenovate (05-27-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #15
Pro
 
fjn's Avatar
 
Trade: mason
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,020
Rewards Points: 10,686

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


I love it when the potential customer asks,are you firm on your price? Isay absolutely not---------if you are inclined to pay more we will take it.
fjn is online now  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to fjn For This Useful Post:
chris klee (06-01-2012), cwatbay (05-27-2012), DavidC (05-26-2012), fez-head (05-26-2012), Metro M & L (05-26-2012), parkers5150 (05-26-2012), pinwheel (05-27-2012), realelectrician (05-25-2012), svronthmve (05-26-2012), TNTRenovate (05-27-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #16
Pro
 
dom-mas's Avatar
 
Trade: masonry
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 8,133
Rewards Points: 626

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by realelectrician View Post
It's an insult to ask any contractor to lower their price. If the price is too high simply say thank you for your time and call another contractor.

Like I said before these people never ask doctors, restaurants, supermarkets, and other services to lower their prices so why contractors? You know why? because of guys like you who WILL HAGGLE that are part of the problem.

The old saying goes "take it or leave it"

Guys like me who haggle huh. There's a job just down the road from me that I gave a price in at $9.50 sqft. my competition came in at $8.50. I'll use maybe $50 in fuel for a months worth of work and be able to leave the house @ 6:50 rather than 6:30. To come down $0.25 a sqft as a gesture and get the job is more than worth it.

Every job is different, every job has it's own parametres. I seem to remember you saying a few weeks ago that you weren't that busy. Maybe I know why. i also seem to recall you saying that you could do a one day job and float for 3 days on that one job. I don't know if I'll be taking any business advice from you

Haggling is human nature, don't haggle if you don't want to, it's not something i do routinely, most often someone asks me to do work because they want me to do the work and aren't even getting other prices, but if someone does haggle i don't get insulted. i either figure if there's a bit of wiggle room or no. Yeah I can come down 5% or Nope sorry can't do it, i only get insulted if they push the point which isn't haggling it's just attempted bullying.
__________________
New & restoration masonry construction
www.dominionmasonry.ca
dom-mas is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #17
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by dom-mas View Post
Guys like me who haggle huh. There's a job just down the road from me that I gave a price in at $9.50 sqft. my competition came in at $8.50. I'll use maybe $50 in fuel for a months worth of work and be able to leave the house @ 6:50 rather than 6:30. To come down $0.25 a sqft as a gesture and get the job is more than worth it.

Every job is different, every job has it's own parametres. I seem to remember you saying a few weeks ago that you weren't that busy. Maybe I know why. i also seem to recall you saying that you could do a one day job and float for 3 days on that one job. I don't know if I'll be taking any business advice from you

Haggling is human nature, don't haggle if you don't want to, it's not something i do routinely, most often someone asks me to do work because they want me to do the work and aren't even getting other prices, but if someone does haggle i don't get insulted. i either figure if there's a bit of wiggle room or no. Yeah I can come down 5% or Nope sorry can't do it, i only get insulted if they push the point which isn't haggling it's just attempted bullying.
I was slow roughly a month ago and just got off an 11 day straight run and now taking 3 days off for memorial day.

What if you lower the price and the customer says "cool so why didn't you just offer me that price to begin with?" I'd love to see your face when they ask that

Don't take advice from me who cares not me. I save the haggling for the used car lot.
realelectrician is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #18
Pro
 
dom-mas's Avatar
 
Trade: masonry
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 8,133
Rewards Points: 626

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by realelectrician View Post
What if you lower the price and the customer says "cool so why didn't you just offer me that price to begin with?" I'd love to see your face when they ask that
My answer would be the truth, i want to do this job and i'm willing to sacrafice a bit to get it. I won't go down to the point where I'm not making money, including profit, and I won't lower my price that often, but i certainly don't get insulted if someone does ask. It's a part of life, just another part of dealing with the public.
__________________
New & restoration masonry construction
www.dominionmasonry.ca
dom-mas is offline  
Old 05-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #19
Handymen are people too
 
realelectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: electrician
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 403
Rewards Points: 356

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by dom-mas View Post
My answer would be the truth, i want to do this job and i'm willing to sacrafice a bit to get it. I won't go down to the point where I'm not making money, including profit, and I won't lower my price that often, but i certainly don't get insulted if someone does ask. It's a part of life, just another part of dealing with the public.
whatever works for you
realelectrician is offline  
Old 05-26-2012, 05:49 AM   #20
DavidC
 
DavidC's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NNY
Posts: 2,550
Rewards Points: 2,006

Re: Sometimes, It's Best To Decline A Project. Sometimes, It Works In Your Favor....


Quote:
Originally Posted by realelectrician View Post

What if you lower the price and the customer says "cool so why didn't you just offer me that price to begin with?" I'd love to see your face when they ask that
If this is the case then I would guess that you, your client or both have missed the point.

The only way to change the price is to justify it. Either change the scope of the work or demonstrate that some value is exchanged for the concession. At the end, if they ask why you didn't offer that price to begin with you should be embarrassed. Obviously they weren't offered anything they saw as a trade.

Good Luck
Dave

Advertisement

__________________
www.CookContractingLLC.com
DavidC is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to DavidC For This Useful Post:
fez-head (05-26-2012)


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
Looking to team-up with someone for commercial project partnerships Help Wanted or Looking For Work 7 01-22-2011 10:04 PM
Western Maine project Kent Whitten Carpentry Picture Post 79 12-09-2010 08:38 PM
DIY Network's Indoors Out Project Captainsls Masonry Picture Post 15 11-07-2010 06:31 PM
Outsourcing Project Management waxavier Business 5 04-21-2010 01:32 AM
Alternative to Microsoft Project Server Anna Smith Technology 0 02-02-2009 07:28 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?