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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How would you handle this? we sometimes have to special order wood products from manufacturers if we dont make them in house. My prospective client is asking who the manufacturer is if its not us so that they can research the quality of their workmanship.

Anyhow, i feel like i don't want to give this information out because if this person decides to go with another company, he can just tell them to go there and order the things he needs and basically ive done their homework for them.

Whats the best way to handle this. it seems like if i respond to the customer and tell him im not going to divulge that information, he'd probably just walk. thoughts?
 

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I would just tell him that you don't disclosed any of your subcontractor details. What would be next they want to talk directly to your electrician and plumber and painter.
If they are hiring you as a GC then they should trust you to control the quality of your subs
 

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I tell them because my suppliers don't sell to end users.
 

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Some folks are just into that kind of detail. What kind of special order products? Based on the overall picture, does it fit their profile & other requirements?
 

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Don't do it - they just want the specs in order to give them to the CraigsList guy they've already chosen to do the work. Unfortunately he doesn't know how to do a takeoff or design cabinets, or figure out how big a door should be, or talk to a supply house....

Don't worry about them walking away. No one who's legitimately planning to give you the job will care about that information.
 

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I wouldn't do it until I had a signed contract, deposit and started the work. As a GC they have to put their trust in you and just them wanting to go that far to investigate would make me question working for them.

I don't want to work for anyone that doesn't trust my abilities or the decisions I have to make.
 

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Telling them sucks but so does losing a prospect if it can be saved with some selling skill. What you need is something to say that will not offend but will put them at ease another way about quality.

Suggestions based entirely on honesty and straight talk.

"I understand completely why you might ask. Much to my disappointment I have been burned before disclosing that information to other prospective customers I have dealt with. I am very confident you will be pleased with their quality since I chose them very carefully to satisfy my customers over many years. After much thought on a reasonable approach to my hesitation. I would be happy to provide that for you after an agreement between us for the balance of the project, contingent only on your final satisfaction with my supplier. I am not suggesting in any way you would take advantage of that information. It's just that I am very uncomfortable putting the cart before the horse since I have been burned before"

or

"Although I am uncomfortable disclosing that information, I have been using these suppliers for over ___ years. I would be happy to offer you references of customers that have the same cabinets, take you to see their cabinets or provide you with a sample of the product to satisfy your concerns about the quality of my very reliable and competent supplier"

You are sometimes able to ignore this type of objection the first time it comes up to see if they persist with it again. IF you ignore objections like this, often the customer will drop it. If they do drop it then press on and don't look back. If it comes up again, then use the scripts above if it's worth saving this sale.

What I would not do is disclose that which you are not comfortable.
 

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"ms. Client, for products we don't make ourselves, we have relationships with multiple manufacturers and/or vendors. Because of the level of quality we ourselves offer, we only work with those who are focused on the same level of quality. Because these manufacturers don't deal with the public directly, a website or some literature isn't going to give you any sense of their product. I'm like you, which is why, once we have come to an agreement, we provide you with a sample thermofoil door that you can see and touch. This will actually be one of your doors so you don't have to pay for a sample."

Now, when you place your order for this job, be sure to get some samples (you can usually get them to provide some with an order gratis because of how they are made) so this isn't't an issue next time... also comes off as more professional being prepared... anticipate your objections in advance and be ready with a solution...

Best of luck... 8^)
 

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I guess I'm the oddball here, because I don't have a problem telling a client who the manufacturer of a product is. In this day and age of technology (Google searches), people like to do their own research on the products they're spending good money on. The downside of that is they may want to switch to a mfr you're not familiar with. Paint is a good example - I have a preferred brand (Porter) and 2 others I will use when pressed (Ben Moore - Interior only, and SW). I refuse to use anything else.

I explain to the client that I've been using XYZ company for X amount of years, their product is outstanding, and they stand behind it, to alleviate their warranty concerns.
 

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I would have to agree with SectorSecurity and PoleBarnsNY. The end users are constantly using the internet to attempt to drive down price. It's the internet age and unfortunately the way it is now. Best bet is to side step, then if they press on go to something similar to PoleBarnsNY script. Also there are manufacturers who are aware of this ( insert shameless plug ) and have established independent brand names that can be sold to the end user without connection to that manufacturer. A Ghost brand if you will. That way you are 100% covered. Only problem is I'm not to sure if they're any in your industry yet, but with the way things are there should and probably will be.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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If they want to know who the supplier is, I would just outright lie and make up a company name that nobody has ever heard of. Who I do business with is none of their business.

But as far as the manufacturer goes, I gladly share that with them. If they want to look up prices, one of two things will happen- A. They will see the "list" price and know that I am giving them a better deal or B. They will see it much cheaper on a website that's half way around the world and out of stock on some of the items that they are getting from me.

I'm not a big box retailer so I don't offer to match or beat anyone's price.

But I once had a HO ask for the manufacturer of the equipment because they wanted top quality and got screwed over on their previous house. They demanded Door King gate openers that cost 4 times as much as the "Mighty Mule" that they sell in Home Depot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I don't mind disclosing it if they signed on the line but the fact that they haven't makes me feel like they're just kickin the tires. So for now I've just ignored the question and keep answering the rest to see if we'll move forward.
 

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If they want to know who the supplier is, I would just outright lie and make up a company name that nobody has ever heard of. Who I do business with is none of their business.

But as far as the manufacturer goes, I gladly share that with them. If they want to look up prices, one of two things will happen- A. They will see the "list" price and know that I am giving them a better deal or B. They will see it much cheaper on a website that's half way around the world and out of stock on some of the items that they are getting from me.

I'm not a big box retailer so I don't offer to match or beat anyone's price.

But I once had a HO ask for the manufacturer of the equipment because they wanted top quality and got screwed over on their previous house. They demanded Door King gate openers that cost 4 times as much as the "Mighty Mule" that they sell in Home Depot.
Lying is a great idea Ted, especially if they find out.:rolleyes:
 
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