How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates? - Business - Contractor Talk

How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-09-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Ashevillain's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman services
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 8
Rewards Points: 20

How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


My husband makes custom cabinetry (built-in bookshelves and the like) and recently we've had a number of estimates turned down.

I think part of our problem is our audience. We've been relying on SEO to get customers, and I think that's drawing the IKEA-budget crowd. So we're going to try mailers to reach a more affluent market, as well as targeting interior designers.

But I'm also wondering if there's a better way to deliver the estimate.

For those of you who do work on the higher end of the price range, what are some of the sales techniques you use when you're handing out estimates?

Some of the options we've considered:
- Linking to a page on our website that educates them on the reason for the price difference (we do custom 3D models, use better materials, etc)
- Meeting more people in person before doing the ballpark estimate, so we can sell ourselves better (but this is a huge time sink)
- Just working to get more leads, and putting our pricing right out there online to pre-screen the IKEA crowd

The only thing we don't want to do is lower our standards and start using particle board.
Ashevillain is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Ashevillain For This Useful Post:
Mordekyle (09-09-2019)

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 09-09-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 9,030
Rewards Points: 14,513

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


How and when (how soon, etc.) do you deliver the estimates currently?

Advertisement

MarkJames is online now  
Old 09-09-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
Registered User
 
Ashevillain's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman services
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 8
Rewards Points: 20

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
How and when (how soon, etc.) do you deliver the estimates currently?
We have a pretty quick turn-around, within a day or two.

Right now we're getting a basic idea of what they want and sending a ballpark estimate by email, just to make sure we're within their price range. (A lot of people don't know what to expect.)

We've also been experimenting with drawing up a quick 2D design to send with the estimate, to show them what they'd get for that price. Or sending an inspiration photo from Pinterest of what it might look like.
Ashevillain is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-09-2019, 02:13 PM   #4
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 9,904
Rewards Points: 10,842

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


That is a sure way to lose a sale. They see a price and it is 2,000 higher than the one they already have and they just trash it.

If you are there, you can explain the difference in hardware, lumber, build quality, etc.

You also can commiserate with them about the higher price. Being understanding when they don't want to spend the extra goes a long way towards helping them understand why it is more, and what they are getting for thier hard earned money.

Being there in person is the only way to sell a high priced item or job. There are exceptions, I have sold some and never met the customer, but day to day work is sold in person around here.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to VinylHanger For This Useful Post:
Ashevillain (09-09-2019), hdavis (09-09-2019), TheConstruct (09-09-2019)
Old 09-09-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
Registered User
 
Ashevillain's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman services
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 8
Rewards Points: 20

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
Being there in person is the only way to sell a high priced item or job.
That's the answer I didn't want, but probably needed to hear.

I noticed a big-time guy in NYC has a "minimum project cost" on his website, presumably to chase off the IKEA crowd, but he also appears to do his estimates in person. So maybe that would be a good balance.
Ashevillain is offline  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:59 PM   #6
Official CT Greeter!
 
CScalf's Avatar
 
Trade: General Construction
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,390
Rewards Points: 730

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


You have to sell yourself!!! Explain why your price is likely higher. Explain that you do NOT sacrifice quality etc. Explain to them how to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

They need to see the value. Sometimes even having a completely different scope isn't enough. You have to spoon feed 99% of people.
__________________
"Your problem does not constitute an emergency on my part"

Little Giant Siding & Construction
Our face on the book
CScalf is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CScalf For This Useful Post:
Ashevillain (09-09-2019), TheConstruct (09-09-2019)
Old 09-09-2019, 04:20 PM   #7
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 9,030
Rewards Points: 14,513

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashevillain View Post
We have a pretty quick turn-around, within a day or two.

Right now we're getting a basic idea of what they want and sending a ballpark estimate by email, just to make sure we're within their price range. (A lot of people don't know what to expect.)

We've also been experimenting with drawing up a quick 2D design to send with the estimate, to show them what they'd get for that price. Or sending an inspiration photo from Pinterest of what it might look like.

I would suggest calling those web inquiries to let them briefly tell you what they're looking for, and see if you're a match. You get to feel them out and see if an appointment is worth scheduling.

Also, think outside the box for your marketing. Find the high end real estate folks and get to know them. If you want to focus on built-in's, let them know..and win their trust, etc. Same for your art galleries, custom audio folks, designers, etc.
MarkJames is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MarkJames For This Useful Post:
Ashevillain (09-09-2019), Rio (09-11-2019)
Old 09-09-2019, 05:02 PM   #8
Pro
 
Fishindude's Avatar
 
Trade: Industrial
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Indiana
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 942

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


I agree that you need to close these deals face to face.

Would also start with a budget price to see if they are serious or just tire kickers, then a trial close such as ....... At this time I would guess this job will be approx. $00,000 +/- 20% one way or the other. Is this a price you are willing to spend and if I bring back a proposal to you within this range are we going to be able to work together?

If you don't get a yes or get some answer like ..... We are getting a couple quotes but would love to work with you if you have the best price, your response should be ...... Okay, that's fine, you know where to find me and approx. how much our install will cost. If you get serious about the job and would like to work with us, give me a call and we'll put together your deal, exactly the way you want it built.

Point being, don't waste your time and money crunching numbers and writing up proposals until you are pretty confident they are going to work with you.
Fishindude is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Fishindude For This Useful Post:
Ashevillain (09-09-2019), Bull Trout (09-09-2019), MarkJames (09-09-2019), Rio (09-11-2019)
Old 09-09-2019, 07:30 PM   #9
Pro
 
Big Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor Grunt
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,289
Rewards Points: 4,930

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Carrier pigeon
Big Johnson is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Big Johnson For This Useful Post:
SmallTownGuy (09-10-2019)
Old 09-09-2019, 07:37 PM   #10
Pro
 
Mordekyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,358
Rewards Points: 4,956

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


If someone stops me at the hardware store or when they see me at a job, I will generally ask if they are just looking for a cheap price. That eliminates a few people.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mordekyle is offline  
Old 09-09-2019, 09:32 PM   #11
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,373
Rewards Points: 35,402

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


You're selling a high-end product... would you buy a Mercedes through Craigslist site unseen?...

Your in person demonstration and closing is about differentiating yourself from the field... hard to do in just text and pictures...

People respond to people, like to touch and see what they are getting especially on the higher range...

There are exceptions to every rule...

If your concern is wasting time/money on estimates, how much time are you wasting on the ones you're not getting with your current strategy...

ANYONE can put together some numbers on a page and email it off (aka- throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks)... you're there to CLOSE the sale, not just deliver an estimate... If you're closing the sale, you have to be there ANYWAY, so why wouldn't you want to be there improving your chances of doing so...
KAP is offline  
Old 09-09-2019, 09:51 PM   #12
Pro
 
Bull Trout's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Salish Sea
Posts: 1,029
Rewards Points: 614

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


You are selling you, there is any number of carpenters can do the same thing as you, only you can convince the customer why they should go with you, hard to do that over a screen
Bull Trout is offline  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:28 PM   #13
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 22,058
Rewards Points: 3,042

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


You seem to be mentally beating yourself before you make the presentation. You will not be selling yourselves to the best of your ability.

Your "high" bid is a result of you & your husband's experience, knowledge and expertise and reflects the high quality materials and craftsmanship you put in to your work.

If you have it in your head that the bid is high it will show in your presentation as you will be thinking that you are wasting your time.

Get your mental attitude straight.

IMO, you are fishing in the wrong pond.

As others have said contact people that may have access to higher end clients. Have a compact, professionally done pamphlet outlining what you do.

Don't recall who said it but IMO the handyman title does not go well with custom cabinetry. Although there are many skilled, competent handymen, the title implies low cost home repairs. Not something that instills confidence in a potential client.

DO NOT PUT YOUR PRICES ON THE INTERNET.

This will come back to bite you on the arse.

Put a line on your website indicating the high quality standards & craftsmanship that you put in to your work.

Also make mention your work is custom and you do not intend to compete with mass retailers or discount establishments.

Get out and meet people to get your name out there.

Pass out business cards but do not make each contact like a sales presentation.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
Bull Trout (09-10-2019), Dirtywhiteboy (09-11-2019), Rio (09-11-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 06:58 AM   #14
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,585
Rewards Points: 8,308

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


In-person and I bring heart medication just in case
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to greg24k For This Useful Post:
KAP (09-10-2019), SmallTownGuy (09-10-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 07:05 AM   #15
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,465
Rewards Points: 4,080

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


"How Do You Deliver Your Estimates High?"

Never a good idea.
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is online now  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:26 AM   #16
Pro
 
NJ Contractor's Avatar
 
Trade: Design/Build
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 398
Rewards Points: 1,846

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


For those of you who do work on the higher end of the price range, what are some of the sales techniques you use when you're handing out estimates?

As a design/build firm we try and pre-qualify clients before we schedule an in-person initial consultation and talk ballpark budgets during this phone or email conversation. Once they pass through the first gate, we meet for an initial consultation and then either offer a construction proposal or a design agreement, depending on the size and scope of the project. We do very little work for free, including estimating and design.

Most of the custom cabinet companies I know of (including those offering online purchasing) offer free design as part of their sales process. Some have general pricing on their website as well. I suggest you develop a pre-qualification questionnaire to use as a guideline during your initial contact before moving on to either an in-person visit or "free" estimate. No sense in spending time with a client if you are not in the same ballpark pricing wise.
NJ Contractor is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NJ Contractor For This Useful Post:
Jaws (09-10-2019), Rio (09-11-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #17
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 23,699
Rewards Points: 6,078

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Always in person. I am good salesman, good chance I overcome the sticker shock and get the project - but not if it's an email

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
__________________
"The sound of the saftey clicking off is the only warning your gonna get......., so cover your ears" Northeast Wyoming 2016

John
Jaws is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jaws For This Useful Post:
Big Johnson (09-10-2019), Irishslave (09-11-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 05:53 PM   #18
Pro
 
NJ Contractor's Avatar
 
Trade: Design/Build
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 398
Rewards Points: 1,846

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
Always in person. I am good salesman, good chance I overcome the sticker shock and get the project - but not if it's an email

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
I agree, in person is best for larger projects.
NJ Contractor is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to NJ Contractor For This Useful Post:
Jaws (09-10-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 06:44 PM   #19
Member
 
eastcoastjoe's Avatar
 
Trade: GC aka adult baby sitter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Rewards Points: 116

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Very , very rarely do I deliver an estimate anymore. Most work between 30k and 150k. That's word of mouth and a lot of high quality jobs. Years ago it was probably 60% in person. I'm not a salesmen just enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

"Time sink" is a double edge sword. How much time are you spending "ball parking" instead of meeting clients? I'm at the point I look at all jobs on work hours M-F 8 - 4:30. If they can't commit to an hour out of their work day, they aren't serious.
eastcoastjoe is offline  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:56 PM   #20
Pro
 
NJ Contractor's Avatar
 
Trade: Design/Build
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 398
Rewards Points: 1,846

Re: How Do You Deliver Your High Estimates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastjoe View Post
Very , very rarely do I deliver an estimate anymore. Most work between 30k and 150k. That's word of mouth and a lot of high quality jobs. Years ago it was probably 60% in person. I'm not a salesmen just enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

"Time sink" is a double edge sword. How much time are you spending "ball parking" instead of meeting clients? I'm at the point I look at all jobs on work hours M-F 8 - 4:30. If they can't commit to an hour out of their work day, they aren't serious.
I spend very little time ball-parking compared with meeting clients. If a prospect calls and wants a kitchen that looks like the ones we typically build and have in our portfolio on our web site, I will ask what their budget is. If they are looking at a $100k+ kitchen and they want to spend $40k then we have a discussion to determine if it is worth even meeting at this time. I just saved myself from wasting an hour or more meeting them with a 10 minute phone conversation.

Advertisement

NJ Contractor is online now  


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


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?