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Calling After You Give Estimate

 
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:58 AM   #21
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


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Originally Posted by THINKPAINTING View Post
selling while you are in there house works if and only if you are the only contractor they call or the last one in with a lower price or if they like you.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:27 AM   #22
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I'm surprised no one mentioned e-mail. It's easier, less obnoxious, doesn't catch the customer off guard and they think about you every time they check their e-mail that day or until they decide.

Something real quick, like how much of a pleasure it was to meet them, just asking them if they had any questions and tell them to feel free to call you. Ive tried this a couple times- I'm sure it has its positives and negatives. Definitely depends on the customer too.

Just another thought!
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:20 AM   #23
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I'll give em a week - ten days depending on where I'm at paperwork wise, and I'll type up a little follow up letter. Making it unique to the experience the potential client and I had (i.e. not a 100% generic form letter) and stating that I'll be looking forward to future work, projects to discuss from them, their neighbors, friends or family.

Stick a couple business cards in with it, hand write the envelope and toss it into the mail.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:47 AM   #24
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


o/p...if someone called me every day, I would completely freak out on them and then not use them just for driving me crazy.

1. Ask for the business while you're there. Probably won't work because they have other estimators coming out but it doesn't hurt to ask. Be sure to ask them how soon they are planning to have the work done and how soon they expect to make the hire. Also, before you get to writing the estimate, ask about them/their family/their home/their hobbies. it will relax them. People LIKE to talk about themselves. If you see photographs, use them as clues to what you can relate to them with. If you dont see photos/clues just ask about family or what they do for fun. Take 2-5 minutes of the time there to "bond" with them by talking about them and be genuinely interested. IT WORKS, try it and compare the end result of 10 of these calls to 10 write it and leave calls.

2. When you return to the office that night, HAND write a thank you note for the opportunity to bid and mail it the next day. Don't put your card in it, don't say call me...Just "Thank you for the opportunity to bid, I enjoyed meeting you" or something close to that. Sign with your first name only...no last name, only put the company name it it's not preprinted on your note card. Don't try to sell in the card otherwise it's just a marketing ploy to the customer...just be sincere in the gratitude and they are more likely to see you as a person/friend than a sales guy. People buy from friends before they will a sales guy. Most people don't take the time to write/mail TY notes so you will likely be the only one to send one and it will stick in their mind.

3. 1 week later, give them a call. If they don't give you an answer say "When should I call back to check on the decision, a week? 2 weeks?" Vary this based on the answers you got about the job/hiring time when you were there.

You want to be respectful and not a PITA but at the same time you don't want them to feel 'loved' by the other contractor.

Email is wonderful but be careful not to over-do it. Check out Ace of Sales for some really cool html emails. It's free for the first month then only $20/mo. You can see who has opened the emails, which is QUITE handy. You can even use it as a CRM if you want.


Everyone is different and is comfortable with a different approach. Pick this one apart and maybe if you can't use it all, you can try part(s) of it.

Happy Estimating! Wishing you all a bang up season!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #25
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


Email is fine. But I will phonecall them after an estimate, about 1 week after and I will tell the client, that I am planning my diary works, months in advance, inorder to be able to give the best services and that I am calling them, because most of the time clients wants their jobs to be done the next day of their confirmation. Sometime I will tell them, for the timber flooring jobs, it's not the same type of service as the KFC or MCDonalds.I need some time for preparation.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #26
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


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Email is fine. But I will phonecall them after an estimate, about 1 week after and I will tell the client, that I am planning my diary works, months in advance, inorder to be able to give the best services and that I am calling them, because most of the time clients wants their jobs to be done the next day of their confirmation. Sometime I will tell them, for the timber flooring jobs, it's not the same type of service as the KFC or MCDonalds.I need some time for preparation.

I think that it's a smart way not to look as if I am starving, without jobs, but look professional, and I am phoning them in their own interest.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:39 PM   #27
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I would never call, to me that sounds horribly needy. When I give a customer a bid I say Ill try to fit you in mid next week or mid two weeks from now. If i have a feeling its not going my way I explain my quality of work and my warranty to my craftsmanship. If they dont want my business oh well.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:27 PM   #28
 
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


Sorry I took the time to give my proposal and experience , I have the right to know if they have decided and who else they called. I call and ask politely or leave a polite message and send a follow up thank you card, I'm not nagging or hounding anyone.

I been buying my tires from the same guy for years, the biggest reason I know he appreciates my business. He sends me a birthday card for my tires , sends a thank you card after each purchase and calls to assure me he wants my business.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:50 PM   #29
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I call for two simple reasons:

1.) To make sure my proposal didn't wind up in their spam box if I emailed it.

2.) To ask if they have any questions at all. I sell my jobs becasue I "over educate" my customers all the time and this builds trust.

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Old 04-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #30
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


Not calling to me sounds like you are all afraid of the rejection.

Call your potential customers, how in the world are you going to get feedback on how to approach your next potential customer.

Stop being afraid of being told no and call.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #31
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


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Originally Posted by Framer53
Not calling to me sounds like you are all afraid of the rejection.

Call your potential customers, how in the world are you going to get feedback on how to approach your next potential customer.

Stop being afraid of being told no and call.
People need to grow a pair!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #32
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


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a free pen....that ought to do the trick.

Mike
oh ,please... the man its asking for advice, I mean, seriously... gosh
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #33
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


i send a small "thank you" card, like the cards sent for shower gifts.. inside i write some bs, thanks for you consideration etc... i send them 2 days later... they usually pull for me, i call them my "get off your ass and sign" cards.. people are busy, its a stand out way to get their attention and prompt action.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:19 PM   #34
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I follow up with a call if I dont hear anything.
Actualy I'm probably going to start including with the qualifying questions,
'If I come out and provide an estimate and we dont work together, will you let me know so Im not left hanging'

Tired of spending time and people not letting me know.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:36 AM   #35
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


Call them one day after, ask if they have any questions. "Just want to make sure I answered any questions you might have." Two days later, call again with a trump card - "By the way, I want to stop by and share with you a "special" we decided to start offering, would Wednesday at 4:30pm be good or would Thursday at 6pm be better" either/or question.

(PC) "Can't you just tell me about it over the phone?" (you) "No, it's important that I show you in person so you know exactly how the numbers work and why this option will be of benefit to you. Will Wed at 4:30 be good, or would Thurs at 6pm be better."

Every estimate costs money and time. I give my time and in exchange for that time (that I'll never recover) I have no problem expecting the potential customer to either, well you know...Sales are lost repeatedly by people afraid of looking needy or greedy or just plain desparate. Instead, they want to be seen as "nice".

The customer tells those guys how "nice" if was meeting them before telling them they went with the cheap guy who couldn't sell but had lots of orders. Neither the contractor of the customer wins under that scenario.

As I've said before, in every case where a potential customer and a contractor discuss potential work, either the contractor will sell the pc or the pc will sell the contractor. Being a "nice" guy never puts money in the bank. Being a professional contractor of good character who understands how money is made and knows how to sell as well as they know how to install, does.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:45 AM   #36
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


No downside to following up on the estimate. You spent the time and money to do the estimate.

You should be following up, no negitive can come from this. The customer will NOT hire you because you followed up. I can asure you that.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:03 PM   #37
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I already added my 2 cents so now I guess this is 4 cents

People just wanted to be treated right and get a good product at a fair price. If someone calls me a day or two later and "suddenly" came up with a special, I'd smell a rat and walk away. Give a fair price the first time and stick to it.

Ask questions. Keep up with what kind of timeline they are working with. Follow up but dont annoy the crap out of them. People naturally want to go with a person of power, even if they don't realize it. Acting greedy, needy or desperate will turn more away than reel in because it shows your weakness. It's not greedy to want to business, just ask for it and show the value you bring to the table vs competitors.

"The fortune is in the follow-up"
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:44 PM   #38
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


Getting back to recent bids is EXTREMELY important.

Do you think you're the only one bidding on this job? If that's actually the case, then take your time if you want.

My thoughts? If you're not following up, I'll bet the farm that another company is.

Calling them the day after you couldn't close in the house, to "drop your pants" with an all-of-a-sudden discount? Might come off as typical salesman/ tacky/sleazeball-ish.

I give my estimates 3 days. Then, follow up with what we call a "rehash" call. Yes, are you trying to feel 'em out, maybe offer some sort of discount if they are ready to pull the trigger? ABSOLUTELY. Call it "manufacturer incentives or whatever, but it works.

We did over a quarter of a million dollars in REHASH alone last year, and combined with our regular sold jobs brought in over 2 million of business.

Call it what you want, but REHASH works!

Last edited by handyhands; 04-04-2011 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #39
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


I've been asking myself this same question for some time now. I usually wait a few days before doing a followup, but the truth is if I'm going to get the job usually I no before then.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:57 PM   #40
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Re: Calling After You Give Estimate


It depends on my conversations with them. If they say something like "yea, we want the work done but have to do ***X first, I will ask them "okay, well would you like me to follow up with you in another month or so?" That question will usually get you a good idea of WHEN/IF you should call them back. They will either say "Yes" or "no" which means, keep trying or stop trying.

If I leave a message or email, I will usually follow up again a second time after 2 days or so and repeat the same process a couple times.

One thing that is certain, I almost ALWAYS ask about making another follow up because nothing gives you a better idea of if/when your customer would like you to gather more information concerning their project than them telling you a date and/or time to call them to progress further into the project.

cheers.

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