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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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Ok guys.

This has happened to me three times in the past three months. I gotta find a way to nip it, and I dunno how.

Scenerio: Lady wants a price on a LR, two BRs, and a hallway. I go over get out my contract with all its superb language ( thanks to a member of this board).We are in the house, I'm talking to the lady, and taking notes on what she wants done. The entire time I'm ofcourse jotting down what needs to be done, when we're finished I tell her gimme about 30 minutes and I'll have a qoute ready, so I excuse myself to the truck and start. Under scope of work on the contract I detail everything that needs to be done.

When I'm finished and I have the total, I go back in two copies of the contract in hand. I time everything....took me 40 mins on that qoute. I first give her a short description of what it is I'm about to give her along with some info about this prep, that prep, yada, yada. I then hand the contract to her. Shes looking at the scope of work and the price, everything seems cool, I ask..any questions? She says no, I will get back with you. I say ok and come home, next day followup call, hows it goin I say, were you able to make a decision yet, no still thinking..ok I say. 2nd/3rd followup same thing. I ask are you sure there's no questions? Nope she says..still thinking. Never got a call back.

That happened a couple times...time spent detailing a contract with no sale.

So I decide ok, I'm not gonna waste my time detailing contracts, they want an estimate, I'll jot down a few paragraphs in job scope on my cheap Home Depot proposals, and give em a price ..total time 10 mins. I give the lady the proposal she takes it looks at it, flips it over to see if there's anything on the back, I tell her thats a general description of scope of work, with the firm qoute. I say if you should decide to accept the bid I will write a detailed contract. I got the distinct feeling from her that she expected the detailed qoute first.

I'm not in the business of writeing qoutes I'm in the business of writeing contracts. It takes too much time for write a detailed contract for no sale. :evil: How do you guys handle this, do you give a short proposal with a firm price, then the contract?

I really could use some input here.
 

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Deck Designer/Builder
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You can always charge for giving out quotes, call them "consultations". If what you described is happening a lot then charging for your time will help weed out "shoppers" - IMHO.
 

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I never give free quotes, I learned that the same way that you are. Like Deck's said, it weeds out the tire kickers and I really don't want to deal with somebody who is trying to save $50.00 on a $5000.00+ job.
 

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Deck Designer/Builder
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I have to jump back in and agree with Teetor. When people pay for a quote they're more likely to hire you. Besides, you're providing a service and should be compensated accordingly - your time is valuable, isn't it?

An alternative to help your potential customers absorbe the idea of charging for your quotes is to offer them the cost of the quote off the final price of the work. That way they're only paying out of pocket if they go somewhere else.
 

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The one thing I learned in sales is that you establish a system and stick to it.

Take 2 salesman who are of equal skills. One guy is too smart for his own good. He pre-qualifies everybody, he short cuts every sale. He makes $60,000 a year.

Take guy number 2 who is so stupid he is brilliant. He never pre-qualifies, he follows every step of the sales process no matter what the prospect is telling him, he just nods, smiles and goes back into his sales system and goes from start to finish. This guy makes $100,00 a year.

This is no lie and no bs, anybody with sales experience of managing sales people will tell you it's deadly true.

Stick to your sales process and don't second guess the system. Keep at it, if it has been successful in the past, it will be successful in the future, the problem is often not the quote or the way it is written, but the way you are following your system. Are you asking for the sale? Are you overcoming objections, are you finding the true objections. Just going to a customer, looking at the job and writing it up and handing it to them is going to get you the same results no matter if you write them a 10 page proposal or a 100 word short quote. It's everything you do inbetween getting there and handing them the quote that matters.
 

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Stick to your sales process and don't second guess the system. Keep at it, if it has been successful in the past, it will be successful in the future, the problem is often not the quote or the way it is written, but the way you are following your system. Are you asking for the sale? Are you overcoming objections, are you finding the true objections. Just going to a customer, looking at the job and writing it up and handing it to them is going to get you the same results no matter if you write them a 10 page proposal or a 100 word short quote. It's everything you do inbetween getting there and handing them the quote that matters.
VERY WELL SAID :Thumbs:

Don, in the system you are using, try pre-writing all your bits and pieces of scopes of work for most every common situation. Then just copy/paste them into the contract as you go. You usually will have to add a custom line or two, but the bulk of it that you write all the time (we will prep, sand, caulk yada yada yada) will already be there. It wil take a while to get them all down, and even longer to become comfortable with the system, but as Mike said, keep at it and it will pay off in the longrun. Taking the time to do it as you are already is blowing the doors off most of your competition.
 

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Great idea! My invoicing does this automatically but I never thought of it for proposals/contracts. I am still doing it the hard way but not for long.
Thanks for the tip, Pro.
 

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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys.
Mike...yup you got a point, after reading these post I pondered (can you smell brain cells fryin?) and I realize, that my techniquie leaves something to be desired. I will work on that...hard.

Yes I think the way I do it does blow away most of the contractors around here....think I will stick to it...and I'm adding the common place stuff to my contract as we speak...again, you guys are fat....my daughter says that, is that a good thing?
 

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ProWallGuy said:
You usually will have to add a custom line or two, but the bulk of it that you write all the time (we will prep, sand, caulk yada yada yada) will already be there.
I started working on a layout for new bid sheets yesterday. This will be a time saver and I can already see how it will simplify when I get into the swing again. I want to come up with a company logo and eye catching phrase but I’ll wait on that until I see the area I’m moving to.
 

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One of the most important things Mike said is, are you asking for the sale? Dont feel like you are putting high pressure on them, its just part of sales. Your their, you took the time to give her a quote so say "Now, can we work together building your dreams?" or "Can I brighten your world by painting your walls?"(but sincerely)
Now if you've been following a winning system between meeting her and giving her the quote, then she will be excited about getting the quote and this final "question" won't seem at all pressured. Build up the job and help her to visualize the end product with her hugging her beautiful new walls.
This may sound crazy but..........and it dont work every time. you know very well that there are those people who are, as Teetor put it, trying to save that $50 on the $5000+ job. These folks are'nt going to like your quote no matter what it is if it isnt for free, so automatically I try to read these people and jack the price cause I dont want to be around them cause they dont want me to make one cent.
Anywhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.........best of luck, I gotta go make room for that new pool table I'm ordering from Glass.
 

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chris n said:
1/2 Way Farted

Where did this name come from and where in Md. are you? I am in Hagerstown
Chris n. Hiya neighbor. I’m in Frederick County near Woodsboro. The user name is just something stupid that happened on a job. I was carrying paint up into a very high skylight and my buddy was working at the top. About half way up I let loose of an unintended stinker that to this day is a legend as far as my hiney burps are concerned. It was silent and deadly. :cheesygri

My buddy up top had no where to escape, and the heat rising into that skylight was intense. He had a weak gag reflex and threw up his lunch while I was still on the ladder. I ended up covered in half digested chunks. The name just kind of stuck and has been a conversation piece on other boards so I keep it.

I wish I’d decided on a different name for this board because the name isn’t very professional :rolleyes: but then I had no idea this was a professional board. Most contractors and subs I’ve been around are loons. I looked at the amount of active members and not the forum contents before I registered. Oh well, its just a tiny name on the information super highway ½ way between here and there.

Oh it may come as surprise that I’m a passionate Stevie Nicks fan and déjà vu she has a brother named Christopher. Are you Chris Nicks getting ready to tell me Stevie is in the hood? :Thumbs: Please let it be so.
 

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1/2, have you heard of the album "What in the H*ll is She Saying"?
Not a fan.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
1/2, have you heard of the album "What in the H*ll is She Saying"?
Not a fan.
No I havent but I’ve heard about it. I can see where it would fit in. Stevie is known for saying some off the wall things. Especially in her Klonopin days. I have a pretty extensive collection of audio and visual rarities and a massive portrait collection. The woman is fascinating and her stage presence is enchanting. I’ve been a fan since Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her twice briefly but when it all comes down to it… I love her music, even if the engineers and record labels screw up the final cuts. I stopped drinking alcohol after one of her concerts in Reading, PA. a few years ago, and never looked back. The way she sang “Landslide” that night was chilling. I’m just a fan. Not a fanatic LOL.
 

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Mike Finley said:
There is still time to change your name but you have to publish the announcement in 3 national periodicals and it will be all legal like. :)
Or I could reformat this old PC :rolleyes: to get a new IP address and register under a new name, but nooo way. :eek:
 

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½WayFarted said:
Or I could get a new IP address and register under a new name
New IP address?? Dude, if the handle's bugging you half as much as it disgusts me, just register again and let it sit idle. Sorry, but I just can't get past the old grade school chant "Here I sit all broken hearted, I thought I s*hit but [half-way] farted". :(
 

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PipeGuy said:
it disgusts me(
I’m sorry my handle disgusts you. It’s a simple little name. You can’t really be sweating something as insignificant as a user name can you? :( Life is to short my friend.
 

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paper hanger,painter
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[

Oh it may come as surprise that I’m a passionate Stevie Nicks fan and déjà vu she has a brother named Christopher. Are you Chris Nicks getting ready to tell me Stevie is in the hood? :Thumbs: Please let it be so.[/QUOTE]

She is also my favorite female singer but I am not her brother and I doubt she wou ld be caught dead in this town!
 
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