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Is there ever a case of too much advertising? A freind in the business stays away from it becouse of his fear of "tire kickers". He has since come up with the policy of the first visit being free and all other visits T&M which he pro rates if he gets the job.

Any thoughts?
Sparky
 

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Well there are tire kickers no matter what... even on word of mouth referrals. I think your friend's policy is a good one if it works for him.

As for too much advertising... I can think of two possiblities. a) You can sink too much money into a method that doesn't prduce results. b) You can advertise so much you have to turn down work.
 

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I no longer advertise, belong to the BBB or give free estimates.
I always have start dates booked 6-9 mos. ahead and turn away 60-70% of potential business. Why don't I grow? I have a hard time keeping my guys from reverting back to their old habits. If they know that I will be stopping by every day for inspection they do it right and I can only visit so many sites in a day. That's how I get business, quality.
BBB costs a lot, returns little. My last year with them cost $325.00. They claimed that they had 7 calls about me, I recieved 3 and got 1 job that was so far out in the hinterlands that I only ended up making a couple hundred bucks, not even enough to cover the dues. Byebye BBB.
My last free estimate landed me in court. I gave an estimate to repair what a previous contractor had done, the clients did not inform me that they were going to use it to sue the original guy. Result, I spend half a day working up the estimate and another day at the courthouse or about $1,000.00. I now charge $50.00 per hour, travel time included. Good clients understand and even respect my decision, cheapskates won't pay and are thus weeded out before we have more serious problems.
It may be different in your area but this is what has been working for me.
 
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