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I mostly sell a specialty roofing product from a particular manufacturer. And cover about 50 mile radius.
I got a call today from an individual who wants an estimate. ( pretty common to have tire kickers') An 'online' lead generated by specialty product manufacturers. The prospects area is not known for its income. I am not. And is about 40 some miles away.
So I ask a few questions to see if in fact this person is in the market to 'substanialy upgrade'. even give area of price to go by. I dont run to every estimate anymore because there is a lot of rejection, not everyone is realy in the market. The prospect can not even recall what product line I offer though he responded to a lead generated e-mail of mine.
I ask him if we can begin the process by sending some literature to him detailing the various products. He replied , he would rather deal with someone who he doesnt have to go back and forth with.
I replied ok, thank you...end of conversation.
 

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I strongly suggest that you should trust your instincts.
My Spidey Senses tell me the guy is kickin tires at best, maybe bored and just looking for something to have a chat with his pals at the barber shop.
I hate when that happens.
 

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I don't go on every estimate either. I can't. I do a lot of advertising, so the phone rings all day. I can only do so much. I just respond to the larger jobs, and select the ones that are the most fun, and the ones that are the most profitable. Some of the rest I give to my Trade Contractors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mikesewell said:
That's not relevant, as far as I'm concerned.

I don't go on every estimate either. I can't. I do a lot of advertising, so the phone rings all day. I can only do so much. I just respond to the larger jobs, and select the ones that are the most fun, and the ones that are the most profitable. Some of the rest I give to my Trade Contractors.
I know it doesnt realy mean anything,
I was just giving some insight to how my mind views things in regard to customers.
 

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In reply to you all above and below . I run a company here in Houston Tx (south east)
I stay small and dont do alot of advertisement because what you refer to as tire kickers . I call them HOMEMAKEOVERFREAKS. Same thing . I want to comment on a estimate i just did on a custom detailed deck . The lady called me out 2 times to meet with her and i calmly did so . Second visit she mentioned to me that she kind of had a design idea on paper and i the good guy looked at it. Well needless to say i design decks also . Well we conversed via email about the designs and she requested that i see what i can come up with . So being the good guy i am i designed it , On my program i paid for . I put the time and labor and into it sent it to her along with the bid/ Cost and Labor structered . Even mentioned that i would price match any builder to get her business . "NEVER HEARD FROM HER" Oh also i forgot to mention that she told me she was a home and do it yourself project nut from tv during the second meeting . After all i am stuck having to bill her $120.00 for my time. Well know she refuses to pay the bill . So basicly she used me for my services ! If you want good business for your company yes screen your customers . I recomend a full body cavity search . www.crosswindsconstruction.com
 

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red_cedar said:
...( plus he sounded black) I am not...
Having one of those "Did I say that outloud?" moments? Just when you think you've seen it all.

One of the things I've seen discussed is the idea of charging for estimates in circumstances where you're otherwise too buy to make sales calls or other circumstances, like 80 miles worth of driving, makes the call costly. You can always roll the estimate fee into the price of the job if you get hired. Sounds like a viable practice that will weed out the shoppers with too much time on their hands from those genuinely in the market.
 

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You do enough quotes and sooner or later you get to the point where you begin thinking you need to start prequalify and screaning prospects, trying to cherry pick them, about that time a prospect that by all rights I would never be standing in front of if I prequalified him over the phone before meeting with him ends up being a gold mine. The chance of finding those diamonds helps keep my prequalifying and screaning to a minimum.

That's the rub of being the boss and the salesman. Being both you end up doing things you would never want an employee to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I realy do appreciate the input from everyone. I was just second guessing myself on this because ' you never know' who is going to buy what. People are motivated by different things.
 

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Grumpy said:
40 miles is far IMO. I sometimes pass on these types of estimates also. I usually try to give em away to my colleagues.
Mileage is the exception for me in turning down prospects. I don't like to work more than 10-15 miles away, but I also limit my advertising geographically so almost all the calls are within my work area.

This thread reminded me of the lady who called wanting to have her grout cleaned. For whatever reason, I made the appointment to look at it, it ended up turning into a complete tear out, and then led to a second job and will probably lead to another. Even knowing all that I would have a hard time heeding my own advice and showing up to another prospect wanting a grout cleaning estimate! But the lesson is certainly there.
 
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