Well, How’d You Get To That Number? - Business - Contractor Talk

Well, How’d You Get To That Number?

 
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
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Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Not sure where I read that quote. Use it when a client says, well the price is a little high, I think $***xx is fair.

Was doing work for a family friend, the next door neighbor brought me in to do some work for him. Sent proposal. He accepted. At the end of the job he told me, when you’re done we will negotiate.

Shrugged it off. He ended up claiming final payment should be $***x.

So what did I say? “ well how did you arrive at that number?”

Stumped.

Got full payment.

Pretty stupid simple but throwing it out there and maybe it’s that simple statement that helps another guy out... simple but really it works.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


I've been burned too many times with verbal agreements.

I don't mess around, I use a signed contract with specific details. And a percentage collected up front. Done deal.

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


He did sign an agreement.. problem is he is old. Didn’t mention that he was old initially because I didn’t want to get into detail and didn’t want it to be misconstrued as taking advantage or being mean, etc. but with a kid on the way, I don’t appreciate haggling after the project is done - now more than ever. Think it stems from some clients thoughts that a contractor is a thief for making a few bucks and all bills can be negotiated. Some have little respect for the trades even if you carry yourself in a way to gain their respect.

But my price was not only reasonable, it was cheap.. just needed some filler projects and it fit in nicely.

Oh my favorite part of the story!!!!!

At the end of the discussion he hands me a credit card.

I said unfortunately I’ll need a check. Folds arms, says “sorry no checks, I only have a credit card. Sorry don’t know what to tell you” thank god I have the QuickBooks app and was able to get a credit card patment( my first, as all are checks) about twenty minutes later.

I think he literally thought he was going to be off the hook since I didn’t have a credit card reader....

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Also makes me wonder, all smaller projects are taken off in quik books and turned into estimate-the invoice.

Wonder if a signed estimate in QuickBooks(digital) would hold up in court.

All larger work is run through and billed through Buildertrend now, Contracts signed and notarized AIA 104 for larger work.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:17 PM   #5
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
...............I think he literally thought he was going to be off the hook since I didn’t have a credit card reader................
There's no law that says you are required to accept CCs.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
Also makes me wonder, all smaller projects are taken off in quik books and turned into estimate-the invoice.

Wonder if a signed estimate in QuickBooks(digital) would hold up in court.

All larger work is run through and billed through Buildertrend now, Contracts signed and notarized AIA 104 for larger work.


If it has the essential elements of a contract, I do not know why it wouldn't.


I do all my estimates and invoices through Joist, then ttransfer invoices to QuickBooks.
I like joist because it's fast; I can present an estimate for a smaller job when meeting the client for the first time. It also has the option of attaching a contract to the estimate. I think even a positive email response agreeing to the work would constitute a valid contract.

I do it all on my smart phone. As long as there is Internet access, I can prepare an estimate, add and caption photos, add a contract, and email it to the customer for their signed approval. Very convenient.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
Not sure where I read that quote. Use it when a client says, well the price is a little high, I think $***xx is fair.

Was doing work for a family friend, the next door neighbor brought me in to do some work for him. Sent proposal. He accepted. At the end of the job he told me, when you’re done we will negotiate.

Shrugged it off. He ended up claiming final payment should be $***x.

So what did I say? “ well how did you arrive at that number?”

Stumped.

Got full payment.

Pretty stupid simple but throwing it out there and maybe it’s that simple statement that helps another guy out... simple but really it works.
I would not ask him how he got to that number because that statement informs the customer that you are willing to argue. You need to make it clear that there will be no negotiating and no arguing.

When a customer tells me they want to negotiate after the work is finished I tell the customer with a 'mad dog' attitude that I made a deal, stuck with my part of the deal and I expect them to do the same.

We have the same problem a few times every year and some customers are crooks and never intended to pay the entire amount due. We usually take what they will pay and move on to the next job because arguing and suing in court only causes you to lose even more money. Non-paying customers is an expectation, the cost for doing business and an insignificant portion of gross sales.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Was speaking to a buddy in the industry.

This is a story we can all learn from.

He bid a job for about 20k in low voltage. Client said he worked out of town frequently, verbally approved proposal and said start ASAP. After that, he promptly paid the 20k bill. Apparently a few days later the client disputed the charge with AMEX and he was SOL..

Not signing a contract was first mistake, but didn’t realize a client would be able to literally pay you via CC then cancel it days later... something to keep in mind
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
Was speaking to a buddy in the industry.

This is a story we can all learn from.

He bid a job for about 20k in low voltage. Client said he worked out of town frequently, verbally approved proposal and said start ASAP. After that, he promptly paid the 20k bill. Apparently a few days later the client disputed the charge with AMEX and he was SOL..

Not signing a contract was first mistake, but didn’t realize a client would be able to literally pay you via CC then cancel it days later... something to keep in mind
I had customers dispute credit card charges with legitimate contracts and the credit card companies often take the customer's side. I think the credit card company making decisions to give the customer back their money like the credit card company is a court judge is totally wrong. When the customer takes the action to give you their credit card then any credit card company decision should favor the contractor and the customer should have to initiate a court action to get their money back. But, with the way the credit companies give customers their money back it is the contractor who needs to initiate a court action and everyone knows that going to court is time-consuming and expensive. So, now the contractor is out all of his money and he has to pay more money to get back what the customer already paid.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


if they using a credit card 9 times out of 10 it means they don't have the money to begin with
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:13 PM   #11
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
if they using a credit card 9 times out of 10 it means they don't have the money to begin with


Or just like the perks you get from using one.


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Old 02-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #12
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


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Or just like the perks you get from using one. ......
I recall getting paid with a CC for a repair job. While I was finishing up the transaction on my phone, the customer picked his phone up and starting tapping it.

He was making a payment for the amount of my invoice to his CC issuer. He didn't have to pay any interest by doing that, but got credit towards airline miles.

He said he does that all the time.... charges to his CC, then immediately makes a payment for the same amount.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:17 PM   #13
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


I just never have payment issues. I have full blown contracts though. It lets them know right away I'm serious and mean business, without needing to say anything.


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Old 02-19-2018, 07:30 AM   #14
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


If there is a legitimate mistake on my bill (which there normally isn't since we carefully review our bills before they go out), I'm happy to talk to the customer, and amend the bill. But, if the customer thinks they can negotiate a discount I'd stand firm. If a customer outright refuses to pay, you have no choice but to place a lien on their property or go to court.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:18 AM   #15
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


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Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
I just never have payment issues. I have full blown contracts though. It lets them know right away I'm serious and mean business, without needing to say anything.


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I just never have payment issues either, but I hardly ever have a signed contract, just a written bid so they know how much to write the check.

Course, 95% of my work is for repeat customers or WOM. I'm sure that makes a difference.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:05 AM   #16
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
I recall getting paid with a CC for a repair job. While I was finishing up the transaction on my phone, the customer picked his phone up and starting tapping it.

He was making a payment for the amount of my invoice to his CC issuer. He didn't have to pay any interest by doing that, but got credit towards airline miles.

He said he does that all the time.... charges to his CC, then immediately makes a payment for the same amount.
How's that any different from just paying off the balance before the end of the cycle?

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Old 02-19-2018, 09:08 AM   #17
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


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How's that any different from just paying off the balance before the end of the cycle?

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No interest charges.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:45 AM   #18
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
Was speaking to a buddy in the industry.

This is a story we can all learn from.

He bid a job for about 20k in low voltage. Client said he worked out of town frequently, verbally approved proposal and said start ASAP. After that, he promptly paid the 20k bill. Apparently a few days later the client disputed the charge with AMEX and he was SOL..

Not signing a contract was first mistake, but didn’t realize a client would be able to literally pay you via CC then cancel it days later... something to keep in mind
You could put a stop payment on a cheque as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
if they using a credit card 9 times out of 10 it means they don't have the money to begin with
No it means they like points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavy_d View Post
How's that any different from just paying off the balance before the end of the cycle?

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It's not.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:15 AM   #19
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Re: Well, How’d You Get To That Number?


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No interest charges.
I haven't had interest charges for years. Just gotta pay the balance before the end of the monthly billing cycle...

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Old 02-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #20
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I haven't had interest charges for years. Just gotta pay the balance before the end of the monthly billing cycle...

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Which is, amazingly............. exactly what he did!

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