Why Do They Even Call ? - Business - Contractor Talk

Why Do They Even Call ?

 
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
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Why Do They Even Call ?


Demo 420 sf. treated deck and railings, build new porch 8'x13', pine t&g flooring,gabled roof with 1x6 V-grove pine ceiling,architectural shingles, 4' wide stairs and railings. Deck ht. is 36" above grade. Amish quote allegedly includes permits, trash removal, material and labor.

$3,500.00

Did this lady think I could beat this price?
You want to know what the going rate is? Thats the going rate
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


So the lady told you the price the other guy bid it for but she didn't sign with him/her?

You should have asked her why she is still looking then...

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamm5144 View Post
So the lady told you the price the other guy bid it for but she didn't sign with him/her?

You should have asked her why she is still looking then...
She probably thought that was too high.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


We tell customers we are happy to quote their project, but experience has taught us that unless it is in writing with all materials specified, that it is usually a formula for disappointment for the customer and akin to what they read and hear about in consumer reports, as it is usually nothing more than guesstimate.

We then tell them if they fax us over the written estimate they have, we would be happy to review it for them for free. We saved customers many times from being misled with gotcha' proposals that almost always end up being too good to be true...

So Mrs. Customer, would you like us to take a look at it for you? No?... saved everyone time and aggravation as you know the "$3500" is bogus. Yes?... you put yourself in the position of being the expert you are and them having confidence in your pricing...

Even if they don't want to fax it (tells you they don't have it), schedule the appointment anyway as you just upped your chance of closing it...

Best of luck... 8^)
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


There is no way that quote is legit. I can't believe the lady tried to scam me into beating such a low ball price. At first she didn't want to give me an idea of her budget (big secret), but when I pressed, she gives me that. It burns me that she wasted my time like that.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I always insist on a ballpark budget from the customer. otherwise I'm wasting my time and their time. they dont always want to give it. but.ifyou press hard enough. I've had it with people expecting you to match everyone's price. I just tell them. I'm not crazy eddie. take it or leave it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


So from now on when they balk at budget give them a starting range for that size deck.

"The last deck we completed in your area and about that same size ended up around 10k", then listen to their response.

The I dont have a budget crap goes on all the time.

I will ask them 7 different ways until I get a response which is usually either, "thats all we have to spend or I pulled the number out of thin air".
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


It's Rough out there.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I think she meant $35,000... That's what I would tell her, "Ma'am I believe you meant $35,000, that sounds more in line with a high quality project that we produce"
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I'm not looking to start a fight/rant here, but........

No one wants to give the HO a "ballpark" price. I don't either. But you want them to give you a balpark budget?

It just occured to me in this thread. A little hypocritical, no?
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #11
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


When people say they dont know what their budget is, it could be because they dont have any idea what a project should cost. I dont really have a clue what a nice deck would cost, I would imagine the materials would be about 5-10k? and labor should be about the cost of materials, but I really dont know. That could be why people dont give any information on budget.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


That's right, most HO have no idea of costs. It really doesn't matter to me what their budget is. The job costs what it costs. Either they can afford it or they can't.

Just wondering why some here want the HOs ballpark budget when most won't give a ballpark estimate. See what I'm getting at?
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:05 PM   #13
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


katoman,

[/B]"It really doesn't matter to me what their budget is. The job costs what it costs. Either they can afford it or they can't."

Well said... as much as we'd like, not everyone is your customer...
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by katoman View Post
That's right, most HO have no idea of costs. It really doesn't matter to me what their budget is. The job costs what it costs. Either they can afford it or they can't.

Just wondering why some here want the HOs ballpark budget when most won't give a ballpark estimate. See what I'm getting at?
Not a carpenter but the reason I like to know a budget is because I may be able to wire your home to code minimum for $5,000.00 or jazz it up and cost you 5 or ten times that much. If you have in mind a 20k job in mind but only 5 to spend, no use wasting my time.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I was commenting on the example given, where the scope of work was known.

But I understand. If the HO only has 5 grand and you know already it will be at least 10, then yes, we're wasting out time.

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #16
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I have a ballpark, it's right on my website under "package deals" it's a sweet bargain, but if you come to me wanting a cover, fireplace, built in kitchen, and glass walls and you've only got $30,000 to spend then it's a waste of time. I can sell hard all I want but if you don't have the money in the bank it does no good.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:48 PM   #17
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


I have no problem qualifying a lead by ballparking. Time is money and so is gas and wear and tear on my vehicle. I need to know if the lead is willing to buy a 'ticket' to the 'game', even if their 'seat' will be way up in the 'bleechers'. I get as much info as I can over the phone then take a stab at it. I tell them that this is at the low end of the price scale. Then as stated, I wait for a response. If I get a "it can't possibly cost that much!" or any of the other various flavors of the same reaction, I know that the 'sticker shock' will take some time getting used to. I will ask for a fee to give them a in-home consultation, refundable when we sign the contract.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:09 PM   #18
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


Most homeowners have no clue what construction cost. In most cases they are extremely low with thier original cost estimate.

If that was her first quote then of course she is going to get at least a second opinion on pricing.

For any substantial project I assume most HO's are going to get 4+ quotes.

It's just part of the business, accept it.

The problem with many of "US" contractors is that we do know "the going rate" so we tend to bid lower than need be.

I tell potential customers that we Guarantee that we will not be the cheapest contractor to bid on their job. If they want cheap, we ain't it.

Asking pre-emptive questions on the first phone call can give you an idea what you're up against. Many contractors are just happy to get a phone call, whereas I will ask many questions.

I ask many questions via the phone to determine if I should waste my time to even see this prospect. In many ways it sets me apart from the others who appear to be desperate to get work.

By asking important questions upfront can also set you apart from other contractors. I was the 4th contractor on a job last year and also the last to bid.

The HO said he was so excited to see me because the previous contractors were so UNprofessional he actually thought about canceling the remodeling job he had planned.

His lowest price was 12,000, 2nd was 18,000, 3rd was 22,000, I came in at $37,000 with a lot of upgrades and recommendations.

Guess who got the job?

The HO told me that one of the contractors actually smoked in his living room and spat on his porch. Hello!

I had another HO tell me a contractor asked to use his bathroom. 20 minutes later the guy walks out and stunk the place up. HO said his wife was pisssssssssssed.

I'm always amazed at the stories I hear about other contractors.

There are a lot of hacks out there, you need to rise above the fold and cherry pick your work.

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #19
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by katoman
I'm not looking to start a fight/rant here, but........

No one wants to give the HO a "ballpark" price. I don't either. But you want them to give you a balpark budget?

It just occured to me in this thread. A little hypocritical, no?
It depends on the interaction, but often I am setting the price expectations:

"Now, a project like what we've been talking about typically costs between $20,000 and $25,000. With extras and depending n the options, it could be over $30,000... But if we streamline things and prioritize, it's possible to be under $20,000. Did you have an initial ballpark budget in mind?"

I know what things cost, so let's start with honest numbers.
Let's let them know things could get higher, and extras have an extra cost.
But let's not discourage them, if they have lower financial ability, we offer hope.

At this point I usually get an honest answer from them.ll and I offer more comfort: "I think we can work with that. I will do what I can to respect your budget, and we can always explore some of the items as options, and scale back or ramp up as needed".

My goal is to get a reaction to what things cost, flesh out any prior shopping, get a feel for their real priorities, and continue the conversation. I try to keep words moving back and forth... And this helps to keep the chatter. Sometimes I tell the story of the time I designed a 50k deck for a wonderful gal that had a 5k budget... And how awkward it was for both of us, because I didn't ask..l and that's why I try and make sure I understand my clients budget and expectations now!


Sorry, I just kinda jumped in here.ll but it's a great topic!
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:21 AM   #20
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Re: Why Do They Even Call ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BreyerConstruct
"Now, a project like what we've been talking about typically costs between $20,000 and $25,000. With extras and depending n the options, it could be over $30,000... But if we streamline things and prioritize, it's possible to be under $20,000. Did you have an initial ballpark budget in mind?"
"Yes, I'd like all the things we discussed, & my top budget is $3500. After all, tv's "Big Shmuck's Renovation" just did it in 2 days for $1000, so you certainly ought to be able to since I'm including such a bonus profit margin."

Seriously though, I do understand what you're trying to accomplish with what you stated in your whole post. However, to me, your low to high range, with an extended high plus range, coupled with bargain basement no frills, is a lot for the average homeowner to process these days. People just don't seem to be able to absorb things like they used to. I find your process to be a little overwhelming, imho.

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