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How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?

 
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
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How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


when you turn in an estimate to your client how do you

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Old 04-07-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


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when you turn in an estimate to your client how do you tell them that you are flexible on your prices and to pretty much to consider you if another reasonable bid is lower than yours without sounding so desperate or stupid?
if thy heggel yu dwn they will thnk you wer gona overcharg thm to begin wth youlose trust an respec

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Old 04-07-2013, 11:45 PM   #3
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


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Originally Posted by redeye
when you turn in an estimate to your client how do you tell them that you are flexible on your prices and to pretty much to consider you if another reasonable bid is lower than yours without sounding so desperate or stupid?
I would never tell them "I'm over charging you now so I can drop my price later" because that is how it will sound to them more then likely.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Wow that is so true thank you for opening my eyes
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:01 AM   #5
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


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Wow that is so true thank you for opening my eyes
if thy wan cheeper aks thm what thy would lik to chng about th procjec
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


I pull out the this price is only an estimate, and the price can go down and up depending on changes and if something can be purchased on sale. It usually works, but my regulars never question pricing.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:19 AM   #7
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


How do you win a contract?

Typically homeowners care less about price as they do about craftsmanship and reliability. The exception to this is first time homeowners with little to no experience with renovation or home improvement (this is a fairly small chunk.)

Most homeowner who have had a few projects done have already suffered from having gone with the lowest bid. Then either possibly paying more than one of the other reasonable bids they had because job was bid inappropriately and the contractor had to ask for more money mid-job. The other situation that often arises is that the project has problems in a short amount of time and the contractor will not fix it or worse the entire project has to be re-done. So quality & reliability > price (to a point)

Much like wooing a woman the key is confidence. Know you have an amazing product, bid a fair and profitable amount, and make the customer feel confident about you.

But here is the real trick that most contractor miss out on. Follow-up.

It is amazing how little contractors follow-up with their bids, not all contractors, but many. Usually the bid goes into a stack or a cabinet and then they wait for a phone call from the desperate customer who could not possibly get the work done from someone else, but the contractor is left wondering why they are not making as many sales as they should be, oft times blaming it on outside sources such as the economy.

Here are five questions you can ask when you give an estimate that will help you get a proper follow-up and secure a project.

1. "When should we meet again"

Usually they will have a timeline figured out but if not do not be afraid to ask, let the customer know you care about their project and that you want their business.

2. "What happens between now and then"

Find out their agenda (details are important) ideally you want to know everything that will happen between now and a contract being signed. Most likely they will tell you they have other bids to get (which is fine) and they have to talk to a spouse or in the case of a commercial project perhaps a partner.

3. "Is there anyone other than ***** that you have to talk to?

Find out if there are any other people involved in the decision process that maybe weren't immediately obvious.

4. "What do you need from me"

Maybe it is a brochure, samples, or written estimate but it could be anything. Find out what they need.

5. "When we meet on (date) what will we accomplish"

This feels weird to ask the first few times you do it but it is amazingly powerful. People will think about it for a second and usually tell you the next step. Some examples "I'll let you know if we decided to go with you," "You'll be going over with my spouse what you told me," "Well know when we are going to do the project"

Basically with this question you want to avoid "I'm just calling to touch base" touching base is a pointless phone call. If you don't have a reason to call your call may go through but it won't be as welcome as one pre-scheduled.

So with this you get to look like some sort of mind reader because you will know what happens before it does. It also gives you the opportunity to follow-up and handle any objections that the customer may have.


Price Flexibility: Don't worry so much about being flexible on the price as being flexible on the project. If they cannot afford the premium option, don't sell them the premium option. They'll feel inadequate, your bid will look high, and nobody wins. Bid according to need and the customers budget.


Also, if you arn't tracking your customers, track them. Even if you have to scrawl your open bids on the walls everyday with your fingernails.

Last edited by ChaseAucoin; 04-08-2013 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


My price is my price. I don't barter or bargain.

Why would you invite clients who are price shopping. Learn to sell your value and the difference between you and your competition.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:29 AM   #9
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseAucoin View Post
How do you win a contract?

Typically homeowners care less about price as they do about craftsmanship and reliability. The exception to this is first time homeowners with little to no experience with renovation or home improvement (this is a fairly small chunk.)

Most homeowner who have had a few projects done have already suffered from having gone with the lowest bid. Then either possibly paying more than one of the other reasonable bids they had because job was bid inappropriately and the contractor had to ask for more money mid-job. The other situation that often arises is that the project has problems in a short amount of time and the contractor will not fix it or worse the entire project has to be re-done. So quality & reliability > price (to a point)

Much like wooing a woman the key is confidence. Know you have an amazing product, bid a fair and profitable amount, and make the customer feel confident about you.

But here is the real trick that most contractor miss out on. Follow-up.

It is amazing how little contractors follow-up with their bids, not all contractors, but many. Usually the bid goes into a stack or a cabinet and then they wait for a phone call from the desperate customer who could not possibly get the work done from someone else, but the contractor is left wondering why they are not making as many sales as they should be, oft times blaming it on outside sources such as the economy.

Here are five questions you can ask when you give an estimate that will help you get a proper follow-up and secure a project.

1. "When should we meet again"

Usually they will have a timeline figured out but if not do not be afraid to ask, let the customer know you care about their project and that you want their business.

2. "What happens between now and then"

Find out their agenda (details are important) ideally you want to know everything that will happen between now and a contract being signed. Most likely they will tell you they have other bids to get (which is fine) and they have to talk to a spouse or in the case of a commercial project perhaps a partner.

3. "Is there anyone other than ***xx is there anyone else you have to talk to?

Find out if there are any other people involved in the decision process that maybe weren't immediately obvious.

4. "What do you need from me"

Maybe it is a brochure, samples, or written estimate but it could be anything. Find out what they need.

5. "When we meet on (date) what will we accomplish"

This feels weird to ask the first few times you do it but it is amazingly powerful. People will think about it for a second and usually tell you the next step. Some examples "I'll let you know if we decided to go with you," "You'll be going over with my spouse what you told me," "Well know when we are going to do the project"

Basically with this question you want to avoid "I'm just calling to touch base" touching base is a pointless phone call. If you don't have a reason to call your call may go through but it won't be as welcome as one per-scheduled.

So with this you get to look like some sort of mind reader because you will know what happens before it does. It also gives you the opportunity to follow-up and handle any objections that the customer may have.


Price Flexibility: Don't worry so much about being flexible on the price as being flexible on the project. If they cannot afford the premium option, don't sell them the premium option. They'll feel inadequate, your bid will look high, and nobody wins. Bid according to need and the customers budget.


Also, if you arn't tracking your customers, track them. Even if you have to scrawl your open bids on the walls everyday with your fingernails.
Some great advice here. You want a lower price where what would you like to cut first.

Also, don't be shy on asking for their budget. It's not a dirty word.
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Quote:
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You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:32 AM   #10
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseAucoin View Post
How do you win a contract?

Typically homeowners care less about price as they do about craftsmanship and reliability. The exception to this is first time homeowners with little to no experience with renovation or home improvement (this is a fairly small chunk.)

Most homeowner who have had a few projects done have already suffered from having gone with the lowest bid. Then either possibly paying more than one of the other reasonable bids they had because job was bid inappropriately and the contractor had to ask for more money mid-job. The other situation that often arises is that the project has problems in a short amount of time and the contractor will not fix it or worse the entire project has to be re-done. So quality & reliability > price (to a point)

Much like wooing a woman the key is confidence. Know you have an amazing product, bid a fair and profitable amount, and make the customer feel confident about you.

But here is the real trick that most contractor miss out on. Follow-up.

It is amazing how little contractors follow-up with their bids, not all contractors, but many. Usually the bid goes into a stack or a cabinet and then they wait for a phone call from the desperate customer who could not possibly get the work done from someone else, but the contractor is left wondering why they are not making as many sales as they should be, oft times blaming it on outside sources such as the economy.

Here are five questions you can ask when you give an estimate that will help you get a proper follow-up and secure a project.

1. "When should we meet again"

Usually they will have a timeline figured out but if not do not be afraid to ask, let the customer know you care about their project and that you want their business.

2. "What happens between now and then"

Find out their agenda (details are important) ideally you want to know everything that will happen between now and a contract being signed. Most likely they will tell you they have other bids to get (which is fine) and they have to talk to a spouse or in the case of a commercial project perhaps a partner.

3. "Is there anyone other than ***** that you have to talk to?

Find out if there are any other people involved in the decision process that maybe weren't immediately obvious.

4. "What do you need from me"

Maybe it is a brochure, samples, or written estimate but it could be anything. Find out what they need.

5. "When we meet on (date) what will we accomplish"

This feels weird to ask the first few times you do it but it is amazingly powerful. People will think about it for a second and usually tell you the next step. Some examples "I'll let you know if we decided to go with you," "You'll be going over with my spouse what you told me," "Well know when we are going to do the project"

Basically with this question you want to avoid "I'm just calling to touch base" touching base is a pointless phone call. If you don't have a reason to call your call may go through but it won't be as welcome as one pre-scheduled.

So with this you get to look like some sort of mind reader because you will know what happens before it does. It also gives you the opportunity to follow-up and handle any objections that the customer may have.


Price Flexibility: Don't worry so much about being flexible on the price as being flexible on the project. If they cannot afford the premium option, don't sell them the premium option. They'll feel inadequate, your bid will look high, and nobody wins. Bid according to need and the customers budget.


Also, if you arn't tracking your customers, track them. Even if you have to scrawl your open bids on the walls everyday with your fingernails.
vry thoughfull poss
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:37 AM   #11
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTSERVICES View Post
Some great advice here. You want a lower price where what would you like to cut first.

Also, don't be shy on asking for their budget. It's not a dirty word.
Absolutly right, also ask what are- to them- the most important features they want when asking about budget. Explain that you are asking so you can better help them get what they really want for their money.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:47 AM   #12
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Wow. Thank you so much guys You.have such wonderful advise and I.really cherish it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #13
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseAucoin
How do you win a contract?

Typically homeowners care less about price as they do about craftsmanship and reliability. The exception to this is first time homeowners with little to no experience with renovation or home improvement (this is a fairly small chunk.)

Most homeowner who have had a few projects done have already suffered from having gone with the lowest bid. Then either possibly paying more than one of the other reasonable bids they had because job was bid inappropriately and the contractor had to ask for more money mid-job. The other situation that often arises is that the project has problems in a short amount of time and the contractor will not fix it or worse the entire project has to be re-done. So quality & reliability > price (to a point)

Much like wooing a woman the key is confidence. Know you have an amazing product, bid a fair and profitable amount, and make the customer feel confident about you.

But here is the real trick that most contractor miss out on. Follow-up.

It is amazing how little contractors follow-up with their bids, not all contractors, but many. Usually the bid goes into a stack or a cabinet and then they wait for a phone call from the desperate customer who could not possibly get the work done from someone else, but the contractor is left wondering why they are not making as many sales as they should be, oft times blaming it on outside sources such as the economy.

Here are five questions you can ask when you give an estimate that will help you get a proper follow-up and secure a project.

1. "When should we meet again"

Usually they will have a timeline figured out but if not do not be afraid to ask, let the customer know you care about their project and that you want their business.

2. "What happens between now and then"

Find out their agenda (details are important) ideally you want to know everything that will happen between now and a contract being signed. Most likely they will tell you they have other bids to get (which is fine) and they have to talk to a spouse or in the case of a commercial project perhaps a partner.

3. "Is there anyone other than ***** that you have to talk to?

Find out if there are any other people involved in the decision process that maybe weren't immediately obvious.

4. "What do you need from me"

Maybe it is a brochure, samples, or written estimate but it could be anything. Find out what they need.

5. "When we meet on (date) what will we accomplish"

This feels weird to ask the first few times you do it but it is amazingly powerful. People will think about it for a second and usually tell you the next step. Some examples "I'll let you know if we decided to go with you," "You'll be going over with my spouse what you told me," "Well know when we are going to do the project"

Basically with this question you want to avoid "I'm just calling to touch base" touching base is a pointless phone call. If you don't have a reason to call your call may go through but it won't be as welcome as one pre-scheduled.

So with this you get to look like some sort of mind reader because you will know what happens before it does. It also gives you the opportunity to follow-up and handle any objections that the customer may have.

Price Flexibility: Don't worry so much about being flexible on the price as being flexible on the project. If they cannot afford the premium option, don't sell them the premium option. They'll feel inadequate, your bid will look high, and nobody wins. Bid according to need and the customers budget.

Also, if you arn't tracking your customers, track them. Even if you have to scrawl your open bids on the walls everyday with your fingernails.
Hell of a first post. Welcome!
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #14
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


You also need to have some discipline in your pricing. If you're in a competitive situation, then your bid needs to be the lowest price for which you'd be willing to do the job. Any lower, and you're willing to walk away.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


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Originally Posted by CarpenterSFO View Post
You also need to have some discipline in your pricing. If you're in a competitive situation, then your bid needs to be the lowest price for which you'd be willing to do the job. Any lower, and you're willing to walk away.
Do you guys really have low and high pricing for residential? I just don't get that. Either you are what you are worth or you are not. The only separate pricing that I have is between other contractors and to home owners.

My price is my price. If I lower it, that means I was charging too much. When I give a price reducing it means items are coming off of the project list. Not the other way around.
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Quote:
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You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #16
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


The best way to deliver a proposal is in person and CLOSING it.... not waiting around...

The only time the price should change is if the project changes... don't give up something unless they do... otherwise, they know your numbers are not real...

Set the expectation upfront... tell them that you will present them with a quote, not a guesstimate, and it will either make sense going forward or it won't, but that you won't waste their time in the process. If the quote is more than they are willing to part with, there are alternative materials than can be used, but you have to determine whether or not that is of value to you.

Then I give them an example to set the process in their mind... a customer I quoted wanted to save about 7% off a new kitchen. The quote included hardwood, dovetail-joint drawers and top-of-the-line solid-stainless steel undermount glides. So I told them we could get very close to that 7% by using ply instead of hard maple, and side-mount nylon runners. Now of course, I can do whatever you want, but consider that 7% (in this case, close to $1K) comes out to very little over time. In fact, over 10 years (and the average person updates every 15-20 years), that's only about $8/month. People waste much more than that on miscellaneous every month. So really when you look at it, is it of value to you to have the better product? Which one would make you happy everytime you open the drawer?

And then let them decide... This is one of the reasons why it is so important to present and close in person... They may not even know it's an option...
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #17
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


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Do you guys really have low and high pricing for residential? I just don't get that. Either you are what you are worth or you are not. The only separate pricing that I have is between other contractors and to home owners.

My price is my price. If I lower it, that means I was charging too much. When I give a price reducing it means items are coming off of the project list. Not the other way around.
I'm not sure if you were asking me that question about high and low prices. I agree completely with you: you need to have your price and if you can't get it, be willing to walk away from the job. That applies to everyone, including contractors who participate in competitive bidding situations.

I generally disqualify myself from low-bidder residential situations, leaving the door open if something changes. If I can't disqualify myself from a low-bid situation, my proposal has no information to help the low-ballers put together their bid.
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Last edited by CarpenterSFO; 04-10-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:59 PM   #18
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseAucoin View Post
...
Price Flexibility: Don't worry so much about being flexible on the price as being flexible on the project. .... Bid according to need and the customers budget.
I don't completely agree with this. I think a contractor needs to stake out a territory, including his or her standard level of quality. If you go lower, you're sacrificing your reputation for quality and abandoning the price point that you should be trying to protect.
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Last edited by CarpenterSFO; 04-10-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #19
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Re: How Do You Win A Contract? How Ca You Be Flexible Without Sounding Desperate?


It truly sounds like what you need to tell the customer is you don't know how to make an accurate bid........ You are gonna have to work on that. But here are some pointers.

To me, winning bids is about being specific in the materials and services proposed. When I follow up, and they want to compare my price with another, 9 times out of ten, they can't answer me when I ask "is so and so using 'x product' and did they include 'y' . Most bids don't have that, so they don't know what they are getting with the other guys.

If they tell me...." Well I was hoping it would be such and such price.".

My reply is always "If there is anything I understand, it is staying within budget. You can save $x by using this other material, or by doing the demo and haul away the waste yourself." Etc. Etc.

Don't drop your price to meet a customer's needs. Set your price according to your needs and the needs of your business.

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