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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a reader of this site for some time, being that we just celebrated our 100th year in business and two depressions maybe I know a thing or two about the construction business. As I read the posting they remind me of all the times I felt the same frustrations and faced all those challenges. I have seen so many companies come and then go due to management errors or unwillingness to change with the time. You should never become set in your ways, always be willing to listen and most importantly seek out new innovative ways to improve your bottom line.
I have always been know as a strait shooter, a guy that says it like it is. I see a lot of guys on here talking about estimates, prices, customers and the right thing to do or say. I recently read a post regarding should you ask to see the other estimates? Why would you not, it saves time and money. My time is worth money, why would I want to try to “guess” what it takes to earn their business. I’m not always going to be the lowest bid so I know that my credentials better speak for them self.

Being that my entire company is built off “bids” I find this particular subject very important. How can you expect to win the job if you do not know what it takes to do so.. The market has changed, today it is largely based on price. If you think it’s not your going out of business.

We use every tool offered to obtain project leads and just recently sat in with a firm that has introduced an entirely new way of obtaining leads through the Internet. We were asked what we want to see, and how we want to do business. We discussed the cost factors associated with existing lead companies out there and what we felt would be a fair cost of service. You see they are the future, they did not want to talk about all the failures of the lead management sites out there. They wanted to talk about how to build the perfect site that would work for the service providers, not the white collard guys setting in the sky rise. My point is this “Change nothing, nothing changes, change everything, everything changes”
 

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Can you illustrate your point with specific examples of how your company has adopted over the past century? How exactly did you "change with the times" to guarantee your continued success? By providing specifics (timeline, economic and market conditions, 'status quo' at that time and finally how your company adapted in light of all those circumstances) you can add some real value to this forum.

What angle is your, I mean the lead generating firm, taking that hasn't been done before in terms of supporting the service providers/contractors?
 

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DavidC
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Welcome Ben.

I have the greatest respect for some one operating a 100 year old business. I don't believe, however, that we are in a new era of price only sales and doubt we ever will be. Techniques and presentations change over time without a doubt. But the tighter money gets the more important it is for consumers to get value for their money. The best value is seldom delivered at the lowest price and never guaranteed by the highest.

Price selling persists because of the salesmen (and women) that employ it as their main tool. It is the path of least resistance. Wind and water will take that path without fail and produce some very beautiful scenery over time. They will also produce a lot of mayhem and suffering. The result is random and the outcome has more to do with the affected surroundings than the force of the wind or water. It is the same with sales based on price.

You stated that your company was built on bids. I think we should remove the word from the contractors glossary. I'll bid at an auction. If I really want an item on the block I am apt to get caught up in the excitement and bid too much. Conversly if I get into a bidding situation to win a job, well truth is I have bought them for too little and regretted it.

I will agree that things always change and we must be flexible, at the same time some things do not change and we must work with that. Our economy has changed and we will adapt, bidding remains a race to the bottom.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Kerdi & Ditra Specialist
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You're absolutely correct, it is now a market based largely on price. However, that does not mean that you need to be the lowest bidder to get the job. This particular mindset has taught me to emphasize the benefits of my service more so than I have in the past.

I present my 'bids' (I don't use that word in my business, it's a proposal - take it or leave it) based on the value of my service to my client. Anyone basing their pricing structure on the mindset that they have to be lower (or at least equal to) every other bidder is frankly pricing themselves right out of business.

That's fine with me, though, the customers that shop like that will keep my company in business over the next couple of years because someone is going to have to come back and do the job correctly eventually.

Changing does not necessarily mean that you must lower your price because that's how everyone is shopping. Change can also mean learning how to explain to your potential client that your service is worth what you charge (no matter what that may be) and they will benefit in the long run by choosing your company. Why does everyone think the only thing you can change is your pricing structure simply because that's what the 'mindset' is?

Ben said:
“Change nothing, nothing changes, change everything, everything changes”
Absolutely correct, but it goes both ways. If you are running a successful company there is no need to change everything. Doing so may, in fact, remove the 'successful' part of that.



.
 

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Change we can believe in?

I heard that one from someone who is running the country into the ground?

It sounds like he is getting sucked into Service Magics line of s--t

For your information ,I have been going through all my leads from SM I started with 2004, 120 leads I received I closed 5 . Some of you may think that I might be a poor salesman, I beg to differ. I read all my notes on every lead. People would never answer the phone, called 5-6 or more times. I would use the tools via emails, very rairly would they respond at all. I would mail news letters and my post cards, no response.

Then I would, when I had time just walk to the house and introduce myself to see what happened. I was told 75% of the time that I never requested any information, I had the police called on me because they thought I was scamming and trying to rob them.

Next I used constant contact , in the heading I used SM because of their association with them, I got remove me from the list and some even wrote their comments, the biggest complaint was not four contractors called, it was 15-20 and more and the phone didn't stop ringing. The clients didn't want anything to do with SM at all ever again.

I have worked the list I paid dearly for and have made some sales. but it is a lot of work.

I have stopped being scammed by lead service companies that get rich off of contractors backs. For them it's like printing money legally.

So when you get something for nothing the homeowner, as service magic advertises: get free estimates on all your homes repairs somebody pays for the abuse, the contractor in his wallet.

My advice to the 100 year company, IM me or read some of DavidC posts, before you waste your hard earned money.

I now do direct mailing to new homeowners in neighbor hoods I want to work in and walk up to the door and personally introduce myself to some of them.

I have gotten positive results and estimates right on the spot. My partner and I who own both a construction company and landscape company have seen a good return from our investment by personally walking up to doors.

We have started a handymen service and it opens doors up to bigger future work.

So if any SM rep wants to challange me on my efforts I have my proff to show you.

What was once good SM has turned into a scam, so watch out contractors.

My 2cents for 2010:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I heard that one from someone who is running the country into the ground?

It sounds like he is getting sucked into Service Magics line of s--t

For your information ,I have been going through all my leads from SM I started with 2004, 120 leads I received I closed 5 . Some of you may think that I might be a poor salesman, I beg to differ. I read all my notes on every lead. People would never answer the phone, called 5-6 or more times. I would use the tools via emails, very rairly would they respond at all. I would mail news letters and my post cards, no response.

Then I would, when I had time just walk to the house and introduce myself to see what happened. I was told 75% of the time that I never requested any information, I had the police called on me because they thought I was scamming and trying to rob them.

Next I used constant contact , in the heading I used SM because of their association with them, I got remove me from the list and some even wrote their comments, the biggest complaint was not four contractors called, it was 15-20 and more and the phone didn't stop ringing. The clients didn't want anything to do with SM at all ever again.

I have worked the list I paid dearly for and have made some sales. but it is a lot of work.

I have stopped being scammed by lead service companies that get rich off of contractors backs. For them it's like printing money legally.

So when you get something for nothing the homeowner, as service magic advertises: get free estimates on all your homes repairs somebody pays for the abuse, the contractor in his wallet.

My advice to the 100 year company, IM me or read some of DavidC posts, before you waste your hard earned money.

I now do direct mailing to new homeowners in neighbor hoods I want to work in and walk up to the door and personally introduce myself to some of them.

I have gotten positive results and estimates right on the spot. My partner and I who own both a construction company and landscape company have seen a good return from our investment by personally walking up to doors.

We have started a handymen service and it opens doors up to bigger future work.

So if any SM rep wants to challange me on my efforts I have my proff to show you.

What was once good SM has turned into a scam, so watch out contractors.

My 2cents for 2010:thumbsup:
I agree with you in regards to SM, any company that has to have their reps join blogs and do full time clean up has a problem. We do not deal with them due to the fact that we deal with commercial accounts or government bids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can you illustrate your point with specific examples of how your company has adopted over the past century? How exactly did you "change with the times" to guarantee your continued success? By providing specifics (timeline, economic and market conditions, 'status quo' at that time and finally how your company adapted in light of all those circumstances) you can add some real value to this forum.

What angle is your, I mean the lead generating firm, taking that hasn't been done before in terms of supporting the service providers/contractors?
We have always seeked a solution to the problem rather than adapt to the issues at hand. My father used to say "if the front door is locked, check all the windows and if that fails cut a hole in the roof" What he meant was there is always a way to achieve your goal, you just have to seek it out. We have adapted this type of logic in to our company and for that we have been able to withstand the trials over the years. We always seek out a better way to conduct business and never accept just the way it is.

As for the firm you are referring to, they have taken our advise and established their entire network based on our advise. Why would they not, we are the one's that have been in the business. the reason i used the words like "never before" is because it is just that. They have an open bidding room that allowes all bidders or estimaters to see the bids, with the ability to lower your bid if desired as well as a notifaction process that lets you know if you have been out bid. You are able to review the bid prior to paying for it along with a free membership, that was my input:thumbup: Our company has been using the site for about two months and now we ask our clients to post their projects on the site so we can have a better idea of where we stand before the project is awarded. Now i would have to say that, that is different. I believe we have posted a link to the site on our website at benhurconstruction or you can just google "inside the bidding room" and that should direct you in their direction. I would rather not be the one to post their name on here. Hope this may help.
 
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