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"Be honest,but don't be stupid"....
that is something that was told to me years ago. I now bring this up because another home improvemnt contractor mentioned how honest he was and how he always encourages his potential customers to get at least 3 estimates. i looked at him and said that was the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. why in the world would you tell a homeowner to get a few more bids? because you are such an honest guy? if thats the case,become a priest not a contractor. of course we need to be honest and have integrity but my god,why in the world would someone say something like that! bottom line: offer a high quality product,make sure its installed properly,treat your customer with respect(its their home you are in),and then charge whatever you think you need to make. if you need to make 5k from a siding job then charge accordingly,10k,the same thing.
but never say,"mr and mrs Jones,it was an honor showing you my products and discussing all the solutions that would fit into your home. however,before you decide to go with us,get a few more estimates...what the hell is that all about!
 

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I get many that say they're getting more estimates. I say "That's fine. I can assure you I'm going to be the highest" If not, call me and let me knwo so I can see what I missed and add it in."


And, I've said ' Get more estimates if you care to. I'll still be the highest, and give the best job." :w00t:
 

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Right on Tinner 666

I tell them something similar. I ALWAYS tell them that they will find a lot of bids cheaper than mine, but also offer to go over the other bids once they recieve them all to see why they are cheaper.

Last in every time and that's good. Also, I do almost always find that the competitors forgot a few things, etc. that they plan as charging later as extras or honestly didn't notice.

OK my secret is out!
 

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We listen carefully on the initial call. If we here the word "bid", we ask "are there other contractors looking at the project?" We then let them know that we do not "bid" projects and our real competitors - who are at our level of craftsmanship and service - also do not "bid" projects.

We explain that the "bidding process" is designed to identify the best price not the best value. "If you were to use the bidding process for your dinner plans, you would eat fast food all the time!" "You would never enjoy a great steak and bottle of wine."

We further ask them: "If me and my real compitition (those that offer our level of crafsmanship and service) do not do bids, who is bidding on your project?"

"We would love to help you with your project, but bidding is not something that we do." "Good luck and please call us if we can be of service."
 

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We listen carefully on the initial call. If we here the word "bid", we ask "are there other contractors looking at the project?" We then let them know that we do not "bid" projects and our real competitors - who are at our level of craftsmanship and service - also do not "bid" projects.

We explain that the "bidding process" is designed to identify the best price not the best value. "If you were to use the bidding process for your dinner plans, you would eat fast food all the time!" "You would never enjoy a great steak and bottle of wine."

We further ask them: "If me and my real compitition (those that offer our level of crafsmanship and service) do not do bids, who is bidding on your project?"

"We would love to help you with your project, but bidding is not something that we do." "Good luck and please call us if we can be of service."

Good job of killing the competition :notworthy
 

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We listen carefully on the initial call. If we here the word "bid", we ask "are there other contractors looking at the project?" We then let them know that we do not "bid" projects and our real competitors - who are at our level of craftsmanship and service - also do not "bid" projects.

We explain that the "bidding process" is designed to identify the best price not the best value. "If you were to use the bidding process for your dinner plans, you would eat fast food all the time!" "You would never enjoy a great steak and bottle of wine."

We further ask them: "If me and my real compitition (those that offer our level of crafsmanship and service) do not do bids, who is bidding on your project?"

"We would love to help you with your project, but bidding is not something that we do." "Good luck and please call us if we can be of service."
I think we could all learn alot from you and help drive the pricing for our work back up where it needs to be.

Thanks Davinci! Great analogies!
 

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When a contractor says, "Get 3 more bids" after giving a lengthly Sunday sermon and sticks his hands in his pockets, this usually means the contractor has nothing to hide and is giving a fair price. Not!
 

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I think we could all learn alot from you and help drive the pricing for our work back up where it needs to be.

Thanks Davinci! Great analogies!
Thanks rs. :thumbsup:

I like to think I'm a better salesman than crafstman - but I gotta tell ya I'm one hell-of craftsman.

I have gotten a lot of great info from this site - mostly regarding craftsmanship - what I think I have to offer is salesmanship and service advice. When I see the thread I'll jump-in.

Thanks to all for contributing. :clap:
 

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You are thinking too much!

It is very annoying when a sales person answers and argues every question. It becomes a 'battle of the words."

When a customer tells you he is getting 1,000 bids, just ignore the statement like you never heard it. It doesn't matter because the majority of contractors I run into give terrible bids. The bids don't make the scope of the work clear and on and on.

Stop worrying about what other contractors are doing and just do your own thing.

I disagree with most of the posts that say they try to pre-qualify a customer. We spent several hours with customers and we knew we were not going to get the job, but because we are so professional many of these customers still recommended us to other customers.

We went to many homes where we knew we were not going to get the job and we sold a job to a relative or neighbor during the same visit.

I started this year off with a post that stated my New Years Resolution. It was to never turn down an estimate and go to every customer's home even if they want a light bulb screwed in.
 

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It is very annoying when a sales person answers and argues every question. It becomes a 'battle of the words."

When a customer tells you he is getting 1,000 bids, just ignore the statement like you never heard it. It doesn't matter because the majority of contractors I run into give terrible bids. The bids don't make the scope of the work clear and on and on.

Stop worrying about what other contractors are doing and just do your own thing.

I disagree with most of the posts that say they try to pre-qualify a customer. We spent several hours with customers and we knew we were not going to get the job, but because we are so professional many of these customers still recommended us to other customers.

We went to many homes where we knew we were not going to get the job and we sold a job to a relative or neighbor during the same visit.

I started this year off with a post that stated my New Years Resolution. It was to never turn down an estimate and go to every customer's home even if they want a light bulb screwed in.
pc - I'm happy for you - you have a model that works - for you!

In 1999 I too made a New Years Resolution - that:

1. I would not spend my time chasing projects I can't win.
2. I can educate a potential customer about the facts of "bidding".
3. I would rather play golf than spend 20 - 40 hours "bidding" a project.
4. Get paid for every hour spent on a project.

If "bidding" works for you - keep going!

Regarding my pre-qualification of prospects, we keep track:

This year to date: 71 inquires - 11 projects produced - 9 in the pipeline!

13 projects that we submitted a proposal for (we lost 2) but got paid to produce the proposals - we don't do free proposal.

Our average project $102,100. Down from last years $164,800 per project.

We're a small company and at 52 years of age, I'm a proponent of doing less work for more $. I've done it the other way. I wish I had learned faster. :thumbup:

Do what works for you! Please don't criticize me for doing what works for me.
 

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Bid,proposal,estimate.They mean the same thing to most customers.
 

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We listen carefully on the initial call. If we here the word "bid", we ask "are there other contractors looking at the project?" We then let them know that we do not "bid" projects and our real competitors - who are at our level of craftsmanship and service - also do not "bid" projects.

We explain that the "bidding process" is designed to identify the best price not the best value. "If you were to use the bidding process for your dinner plans, you would eat fast food all the time!" "You would never enjoy a great steak and bottle of wine."

We further ask them: "If me and my real compitition (those that offer our level of crafsmanship and service) do not do bids, who is bidding on your project?"

"We would love to help you with your project, but bidding is not something that we do." "Good luck and please call us if we can be of service."
:clap:

If you don't mind, I'm going to try to remember and quote this at times. I say something to that effect, but never had it right before. :blink:
 

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We listen carefully on the initial call. If we here the word "bid", we ask "are there other contractors looking at the project?" We then let them know that we do not "bid" projects and our real competitors - who are at our level of craftsmanship and service - also do not "bid" projects.

We explain that the "bidding process" is designed to identify the best price not the best value. "If you were to use the bidding process for your dinner plans, you would eat fast food all the time!" "You would never enjoy a great steak and bottle of wine."

We further ask them: "If me and my real compitition (those that offer our level of crafsmanship and service) do not do bids, who is bidding on your project?"

"We would love to help you with your project, but bidding is not something that we do." "Good luck and please call us if we can be of service."
That's pretty slick....But not very smart..No offense please. Sorry, I would say ok:thumbsup: on the "bid" just to get the opportunity to get into the house. That is #1 goal to get into the house so you have an opportunity to sell your case. Another opportunity to make money. To have that extra lead in this tough economy.
I wouldn't buy the fast food line....and the steak and wine scares me off...sounds expensive...sounds like a pitch.....and sounds like too much selling on the phone. The phone conversation should be geared only towards setting the appointment. Let the salesman do his job in the house before he gets robbed of his opportunity to make a living.
How about trying this.
Yes! Mrs Jones we would love to put in a bid on your project. What day and time is good for you this week so i can send an associate to look at your project and provide you with your free bid.
Simple.....now go there and show them why you are the best choice and the other bids will not matter.:thumbsup:
 

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I think we could all learn alot from you and help drive the pricing for our work back up where it needs to be.

Thanks Davinci! Great analogies!
Its simple...if the subs would just sub for the generals they would still get the work at the same price they were bidding to the customer...and the general can pay his overhead by getting what he wants for the job. Instead of the sub trying to bottom out the market for the guys who actually have companies to support. Good generals always have work that's who a sub should be selling not a homeowner.
 

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Good Reading. It is always nice to prescreen. I love being the first guy out there to give them my information first. Then right off the bat they have something to go off of. Usually they do say "I am getting other estimates" in which I always reply, "thats good you really should. I can promise you though that you will find cheaper prices but they may not be the same high quality products, have the same warranty we can offer or have an owner who limits his installers to nothing but the highest standards. In order to compare prices, make sure you compare apples to apples."

If someone says I need an estimate and theyve already recieved 4 or 5, I push them off unless I have nothing else to do, or I mention to these people that there is a 130 dollar estimate charge that will come off the price of the job once a contract is signed. That helps get rid of these people right away.

Looking forward to hearing others ideas on this topic.
 

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Your absolutely right bambamm, If your the first one in house and they insist on shopping around, if you did your job correctly......every other company that rolls through their door will be compared to yours.......


I say set the bar high enough that none of your direct competitors can reach.....Then "always" deliver more than expected! :thumbsup:
 
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