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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does everyone think about this subject. There seem to be a lot of customers that will hire a contractor just because of his shiny new work vehicle pulling up to the jobsite to give the free estimate. A lot of the times, it seems to me that this is how we are judged. Not so much by the quality of the work, but by the vehicles that we drive. Any opinions.:rolleyes:
 

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I dont think its Irrelevant. Maybe it is if you already signed the job and showed up with other trucks that have more wear and tear on them.

I am not saying a truck by any means is how you can tell if a contractor is good at what they do or not but I do think if I see a guy show up in a van with a rim falling off, the side doors being held together by string and a sheet of plastic over the back windows (as ive seen) next to a guy that has a nice clean lettered truck, I may not be interested in the guy with the van since he cant even take care of his own equipment.
 

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Carpe Diem
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It's called impression. Would you show up to a customer's home wearing a sleeveless Jack Daniels t-shirt and jeans with holes in them?

Is it necessary to have a new shiny vehicle? No. Does a new fancy truck make you a better contractor? No. Does it help to have a nice looking clean vehicle to create a positive impression? Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a friend of mine, who is a roofing contractor, tell me that he was told by a homeowner that the reason that he ended up hiring him was because he had the nicest vehicle of every roofing that came to look at the job. He had never seen his work and hired him anyway. Contractors, paying attention to the quality of your appearance (truck, clothes, how intelligent you speak to a customer, It's all relevant. Thanks for your replies.
 

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i think whats important is if the truck is clean. not so much about how new and shiny it is, but neat, a nice button up shirt/khaki's/jeans whatever the case is. everyone knows a work truck is a work truck, but theres a difference between a work truck, and a person who's too lazy to keep his truck clean and presentable.
 

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What does everyone think about this subject. There seem to be a lot of customers that will hire a contractor just because of his shiny new work vehicle pulling up to the jobsite to give the free estimate. A lot of the times, it seems to me that this is how we are judged. Not so much by the quality of the work, but by the vehicles that we drive. Any opinions.:rolleyes:
I used to years ago do business in the "nicer" section of town.
If you drove through when different guys were working you would swear they must not have been paying enough to have their work done.

I have been told to my face that if I was driving a new truck, they wouldn't do business with me. Why you ask? Because they figure they will be paying for it.

Now, if you show up with a clean truck 5-8 years old, you will not have a problem.
At one time I had 6 trucks on the road, newest 6yrs old oldest around 20 yrs old. Painted and kept lean is the best I can offer, from my experience.:thumbsup:

Leave the fancy cars at home on an estimate!:thumbsup:
 

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What does everyone think about this subject. There seem to be a lot of customers that will hire a contractor just because of his shiny new work vehicle pulling up to the jobsite to give the free estimate. A lot of the times, it seems to me that this is how we are judged. Not so much by the quality of the work, but by the vehicles that we drive. Any opinions.:rolleyes:
so, in your opinion is the "shiny show vehicle" one that has decent paint and not a rust bucket?...kinda sounds like it, or you're just jealous of anyone with a decent vehicle...from reading your post.
 

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A guy I worked for showed up in a borrowed Porsche 928 Turbo to deliver a turntable. Woman saw the car and said "holy crap how much are you making on that thing!"

It depends on the client, but for the most part if you make a good impression in person the truck being old isn't going to make that big of an influence.
 

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I always drive my truck to price jobs and have never had one customer say anything about how nice my truck is. I aint been turned down for one job since moving here. I think it's more inportant to be dressed proper and like someone already said not turn up in a Jack d sleeveless shirt, Long hair that dont look like it's been washed for 5 year.and jeans with holes in like the roofers who truned up at a job im doing. I def wouldnt have hired them just because of the way they dressed. Smelling like a trash can also dont help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a 2002 Ford F250 pickup in great condition, I'm just getting other contractors opinions on this subject. Im not jealous nor do I need to be. Thanks again.
 

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I want to give the impression that I have a successful company and showing up in an old beat up truck does not do that.

If I had to give someone a deposit check of 50k or better to build me a home I would not want to give it to someone that could not even afford a decent vehicle.
 

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I think having a newer, clean, presentable work truck Does make a good first impression vs. a guy driving a clunker.

At the other end of the spectrum, I knew a guy in Toronto that went to his bathroom remodelling estimates driving his new convertable corvette, and then wondered why he wasn't selling as many jobs as he thought he should.
 

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In speaking over the years with many customers about why I got the job it seems to be a combination of reasons. A nice, clean well organized truck seemed to always top the list, then being dressed like a contractor with jeans & either a button carhartt shirt or a collard shirt usaully from a supplier & a business card that states the facts. It also helps to be a little articulate & knowledgeable about your business & listen to their concerns & ideas.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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I've got a 10 year old f150 that still looks great, had it since it was new...and its shiny too ... you don't have to have a 50k vehicle to make an excellent first impression. :no:
+1...It doesn't have to be new and/or super expensive. Just keep it looking nice and professional.That will go a long way.
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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What does everyone think about this subject. There seem to be a lot of customers that will hire a contractor just because of his shiny new work vehicle pulling up to the jobsite to give the free estimate. A lot of the times, it seems to me that this is how we are judged. Not so much by the quality of the work, but by the vehicles that we drive. Any opinions.:rolleyes:
It's all physycological (misspellin!).

If you appear successful, "you must be doing something right and i want to be a part of it" misconseption! but, since this is what drives customers to hire you, strive to get a newer vehicle! If you riding new, you must be good at what you do!

However, amor-all your beat-up work truck and have that b**** shinin'

make sure your truck is well organized -- even if it is old -- and ready for the task of satisfying the customer! you will gain more jobs -- being organized, clean, and neat. Then you don't be cheap! and reinvest in your operation. Get a new truck (or close to new). you got to show off to the customer and let them know! -- you serious about construction and they see you investing in yourself, well there you have it!
 

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To me, first impression is everything, I never keep a vehicle longer than 3-4 years tops! Always looking shinny before an estimate, just like it got detailed.. I've gotten compliments from customers and I've also heard stories from home-owners making jokes about the "sandford & son" looking truck pulling up to do an estimate and not taking him seriously.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Guess I'll chime in here while waiting for my bachelor-style supper (ribs :chef:) to get done festering...

There's an important factor missing in the OP's question, and I have't seen it directly addressed: What is your target market?

It's just as simple as that.

For Middle America, really new & expensive doesn't get it, nor does an old beater. You need something reasonably current, possibly with an excusable ding or two, neat, clean and organised.

For a trailer park schlub (no, Shane, not your people! :laughing:), a beater could be just the thing.

Really glitzy upscale clients are the ones who will go for the poke-your-eye-out sparkle (usually), but I honestly doubt that's the average for the folks on here.

All three categories are valid targets from which good money can be made. But you have to tailor your approach differently for each--and that includes much more than just what you drive. Many of us can deal successfully with one or two of them, but I'd say it's pretty unlikely anyone would do well with all three.
 

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Guess I'll chime in here while waiting for my bachelor-style supper (ribs :chef:) to get done festering...

There's an important factor missing in the OP's question, and I have't seen it directly addressed: What is your target market?

It's just as simple as that.

For Middle America, really new & expensive doesn't get it, nor does an old beater. You need something reasonably current, possibly with an excusable ding or two, neat, clean and organised.

For a trailer park schlub (no, Shane, not your people! :laughing:), a beater could be just the thing.

Really glitzy upscale clients are the ones who will go for the poke-your-eye-out sparkle (usually), but I honestly doubt that's the average for the folks on here.

All three categories are valid targets from which good money can be made. But you have to tailor your approach differently for each--and that includes much more than just what you drive. Many of us can deal successfully with one or two of them, but I'd say it's pretty unlikely anyone would do well with all three.
Hey!What's that all aboot?!?!
:laughing:
 
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