Whatever you do, don't forget their phone number. They will often say they'll call you when they decide, but forget, lose your number, are deciding to go with someone else, etc. In response to your question, call them back in 2 days, politely, when you think you'll get them and not the answering machine.
Before I'd sit down with the customer to discuss the final contract I'd point blank say to the customer: "if you're satisfied with everything I have to offer you today I assume you're ready for us to get going on this job?"
If they say no then I'd try to find out why at that point and go from there. Somepeople just can't be rushed. If I couldn't get them committed right then I'd tell them to call me when they're ready and leave. Don't leave them any prices.
If they say yes, they are ready to start, then balk at signing on, then find out why and resolve the problem right then and there. Always gently remind them they told you they were ready.
I got a lot of jobs just by reminding the customer I was there and ready to begin on a particular date.
I found out very early on that giving estimates and waiting for phone calls didn't feed my family.
I guess I ought to elaborate on my process a little bit.
The first meeting with a potential client is to measure their site, get some ideas, discuss budget, arrange financing if necessary, and set up an apointment for a presentation.
When I go back for the second meeting I have photo realistic renderings of their project, CAD drawings, material list, estimate, and a contract ready to sign. After showing them the project, explaining what plants/materials I wil use, showing them renderings, and going over the plans I tell them the price and show them the contract. If at this point they get "the look" and say they need a few days to think about it I know that they can't afford it. I'll ask if I need to reduce the scope of the work to get a lower price. Sometimes that works, other times they'll say something like "we'll call you".
If I leave the second meeting without a signed contract I don't worry about it. No need to hound them and embarass them because they can't afford it. I got paid for my time and my design. I refocus my energies onto another client.
important to create excitement.let them know how beautiful their house will look make sure you give an aura of confidence and expertise.
my problem is NOT being pushy enough.some customers need to be budged a bit or else they will never commit to anything. its amazing they go food shopping.
If I know I'm leaving without a contract I will make an appointment to call them within a few days. When I call I remind them that I am following up on a promise (to call) and ask if they have had a chance to compare quotes and check references.
If they answer yes, ask how did it go and how did we compare with the other guys.
If they answer no, ask how they will choose the right contractor.
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