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Fence Builder
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey CT
So I am a newer start up. Just started my own company in January. I've stayed very busy up until this week. I have work booked this fall but nothing in the next week or two yet. I have done over 20 estimates in the last 2 weeks that I am waiting to hear back on. Should I follow up on these? Does that make me look desperate or interested?
Also, I have no idea where I am in the bid line up. I have won a large portion of the bids I've placed this year (probably 70%) so I have been slowly raising my prices to bring that down a little (work less make more money). So my question is this, how do you ask the HO where you stand price wise? Or do you? Do you only do this on jobs you've won or also on jobs youve lost?
Any direction would be appreciated! I want to know if I am the cheap guy, which would be very surprising or if my pricing is now too high. I just have no idea where I stand compared to other competitors.
 

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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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53,168 Posts
Yes, do follow ups. Most of the time when I get responses from people they are pleased to hear that I am interested in their project.

If you want to know those answers the only way to get them is ask. If they tell you that you didn't get the job don't be afraid to ask why not. Most of the times it will be price. Since most people assume apples to apples therefore the lower price is the better deal. So if there answer IS price then ask them where you were in the price range of their estimates and if your bold ask the price they went with.

Sometimes it's just an interaction problem with getting a job, they liked so and so better than you, it happens.
 

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Radical Basement Dweller
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27,186 Posts
Chances are...it took me some time to sit down and figure out what a job is going to cost. Most customers don't give all that time a second thought.

If I took the time, I deserve to know (within a reasonable period of time) just where I stand.

My follow-ups are usually in the form of a new idea for their project that I just wanted to share.

Sneaky, eh?
 

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Fence Builder
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha, I figured it was a common courtesy that if someone provided you with a free estimate and put the time in to it that you would at least let them know that you have 1 received the estimate and 2 who you are hiring.. Guess not.
When I send estimates I always ask that my estimate and any drawings not be shared with any other competitors.. maybe I should add that I would appreciate knowing when the estimate decision has been made? Or maybe following up is the better route
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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53,168 Posts
Lately I've put in my proposals a note that tells them to please notify even if I didn't get the job. Explaining exactly that...That I have put a good effort into getting this proposal to you including driving out to your home, looking at your project, offering my expertise to guide you to a final design, working out all the numbers including finding prices of special order items, writing up a proposal and submitting it.

You'd think that after all that they might have the courtesy to take 35 seconds out of their life to say 'sorry, we went with someone else, thank you for spending your time looking at our project.'
 

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Depending on the project and the customer I always offer good better best. That way you offer a way to cater to your cheap customers without pushing away your high end clients with a cheap bid. Everyone wants to save money, but some customers have already had it bite them in the ass a time or two or heard the horror story's. Teaching your customers a little product knowledge on the differences in your estimates will make you customer feel more informed and a little more scared to go the cheap route. I land 85-90% of my jobs with my middle bid and tend to get referrals for the honesty, and product knowledge followed by the quality of workmanship.
 

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I'm The BOSS
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1,904 Posts
I always check in with the potential customer.

usually the following week.

I call and ask,
if they received the estimate .
if they have any questions about the proposal.
if there's anything I missed or needs to be clarified.

usually they will let me know if I'm still in the running.
if not I always ask why. if money I try to
get the amount .
 

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819 Posts
i dont do follow ups anymore

cant say that i ever got 1 extra job because i followed up.....it always seems to annoy people.....it may have some value for you just to see where your prices are compared to others.....as far as it winning you extra jobs? from my experience it will do nothing

if they want to hire you they will.....if they dont they wont.....calling them asking them if they made their decision yet wont help either way...it makes you look desperate and the one thing ive found is the less desperate you are the more work comes your way...attitude gets you jobs.....begging doesnt.....to me follow ups are begging
 

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Contractor of the Month
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26,075 Posts
i dont do follow ups anymore

cant say that i ever got 1 extra job because i followed up.....it always seems to annoy people.....it may have some value for you just to see where your prices are compared to others.....as far as it winning you extra jobs? from my experience it will do nothing

if they want to hire you they will.....if they dont they wont.....calling them asking them if they made their decision yet wont help either way...it makes you look desperate and the one thing ive found is the less desperate you are the more work comes your way...attitude gets you jobs.....begging doesnt.....to me follow ups are begging
I only do it if work is slow, but you are correct.
 

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I'm The BOSS
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1,904 Posts
I use the follow up as part of my sale process. While onsite doing measurements and sales call. I let them know I'll be sending the estimate by email, with a hardcopy in the mail with all my Certifications and a reference list.
I tell them I'll check in a week to see if they have any questions.

It works for me. I did follow up calls this morning. Got THREE jobs. Two people had questions that that I think will help me close, because the other bidders didn't catch the issue that I commented on.

So, follow up works for me, for now. But everyone has a sale approach that works for them and their business sales process.
 

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I only do follow ups if I really want the job. Not because I'm sitting on my ass but if they decide to go with me I have to schedule them in. Some people will just take the bid that can get to it the quickest. If I have competing bids it also gives me an idea where I stand or why they chose someone else.

I've bitched a few people out for not having the decency to return my call. I had one where I left a nasty message, she calls me as if she never even got the message. Very, very few will call to tell you they awarded the job to someone else.

People all think differently while you think it makes you look like begging and you're slow, people may think you're really interested and you're on top of the customer service side of your business.

I find that some people are just too busy. They take the time to get estimates but then don't make any decisions for weeks.
 

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Radical Basement Dweller
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27,186 Posts
I consider not contacting me after I have taken the time to perform a free service (an estimate) to be rude.

I tend to address that rudeness.
 

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water re-locater
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7,511 Posts
I think in earlier days it was more of a pain to do a follow up before email and texts. Thought of calling people i already gave a price to after calling the new people that called your machine that day not my cup of tea. Some of the bigger jobs or ones i have a good feeling about with a potential customer ill send a very brief follow up email asking if any questions and thanking them for chance to bid on job. One sentence done. Few times a month.(never do more than once per customer) Prob should be a regular thing i do but at times feel like im begging for work. Have never been a big phone person but do it cause i have no choice so Text and email have really helped me when just not in the mood to talk to customer. If i get a few jobs a year because of follow up then id have to say its worth it.
 

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I have never done follow ups. But, I have done a lot of drive-bys.

Edit: drive by and see if someone else is working on the job I bid - that's what I meant.
 

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I use the follow up as part of my sale process. While onsite doing measurements and sales call. I let them know I'll be sending the estimate by email, with a hardcopy in the mail with all my Certifications and a reference list.
I tell them I'll check in a week to see if they have any questions.

It works for me. I did follow up calls this morning. Got THREE jobs. Two people had questions that that I think will help me close, because the other bidders didn't catch the issue that I commented on.

So, follow up works for me, for now. But everyone has a sale approach that works for them and their business sales process.
Always end the email with a simple project question.
 
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