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View Full Version : Anything wrong with e-mailing estimates?


JeffW0011
09-20-2007, 02:25 PM
The last few weeks I have just been swamped with people wanting estimates. Mostly on aeration and overseeding, but other things as well. I have noticed there are a lot of tire kickers out there. I wouldn't get 4 estimates if I was putting on a room addition!! I interrupted a busy work day and drove several miles out of my normal service area to give an estimate on a big aeration and OS job. The lady was like "well now that I have my fourth estimate...." Later that night I e-mailed her an estimate. I even said in the e-mail I would be happy to drop a written estimate in the mailbox or hand deliver it to her the following day. She wrote me back a sort of snippy e-mail saying I blew my shot by not delivering the written estimate to start with. Is she just a jackass or was I wrong. I have had about a dozen requests this week....I have not got time to hand deliver them all and don't want to waste time and postage mailing them to tire kickers....Is there anything wrong with e-mail estimates?

gandk06
09-20-2007, 02:32 PM
If she gave you her e-mail address she must have felt it was ok to use. I wouldn't't worry about it. Imagine what she would be like if did get the job and she found even the smallest thing wrong with it. Consider yourself lucky.

grassnazi1
09-20-2007, 02:37 PM
at the end of june I actually found myself swamped with work to do and emailed out quite a few estimates and not had any bad responses. just my 2 cents.

GREENTIMEJG
09-20-2007, 02:44 PM
Has anyone ever tried charging like 20.00 dollars for estiments and deducted the cost off the service if you got the job. It seems like this may cut down on the tire kickers and save time and money. I do not see why using email would be a bad thing. It would keep your cost down which could make it better for customer in the long run and she got it faster than she would have by mail or you taking it over the next day.

SLR
09-20-2007, 03:06 PM
She wrote me back a sort of snippy e-mail saying I blew my shot by not delivering
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And there good sir is your red flag of a close call with future anerisms&headaches.

JeffW0011
09-20-2007, 03:07 PM
Has anyone ever tried charging like 20.00 dollars for estiments and deducted the cost off the service if you got the job. It seems like this may cut down on the tire kickers and save time and money. I do not see why using email would be a bad thing. It would keep your cost down which could make it better for customer in the long run and she got it faster than she would have by mail or you taking it over the next day.

The only thing I can figure is she must have been trying to get a lowball estimate from somebody so she could dangle it in the face of the guy she really wanted. Maybe she was just pissed about my price.

carcrz
09-20-2007, 03:28 PM
probably so. I email invoices & estimates all the time. People are busy, not to mention I don't get time some days until after 9.

grassnazi1
09-20-2007, 03:33 PM
true, I have seen a lot more of exactly what you are talking about the last month or so in my area. I had one person who was a referal from a very satisfied customer, her lawn was bigger then his but didnt have as many trees or trim spots so I charged her the same price as the referal, she told me I was too high in price and she would be going with someone else, a week later her grass was a mile high and she called and said, leave it on my porch in writing and i will pay you what we agreed upon last time we talked and schedule it in for tomorrow, she was having people over that afternoon and needed rushed, called her back and informed her it would need to double cut and the price would be adjusted accordingly, now she told me I am just trying to rip her off and she will let her friend who refered her know about it. I said "good...you do that, and if he takes your side and agree's with you, I will cut HIS lawn for the rest of the season for free" 3 days later there was a "inconvience check for $45.00" in my mail box from my good customer apologizing for sending me to a PITA he refered. I guess the morale of the story is, email or written contract, some people are always going to be jerk off's and others are diamonds.... needless to say, I'm not mowing for free and no one's cutting her lawn either! :) So I wouldn't think twice about it, IF i had gotten every job I priced I wouldn't be here writing this... I would be getting a tongue bath from the swedish bikini team and sipping mai tai's!

Horsepower Lawns
09-20-2007, 08:33 PM
I E-Mail stuff all the time. No one has a problem with it.

On my website people can tell me if they want me to call them or E-Mail the est.

MowHouston
09-20-2007, 10:29 PM
Same here. I email a lot of estimates to customers but I -do- call them in the same day to talk to them over the phone.

Sounds like she was just being :dizzy: :hammerhead: :nono: or any other explicit word I could think about.

FIREMAN Q
09-20-2007, 10:46 PM
I agree that if they gave it to you then they probably don't mind getting them. I try to sell the email. I send my invoices through email when I can. It saves me postage. When I have questions for my regulars, i just email them and they can get back to me when they get a chance. Works for me. Wish all of them used it.

topsites
09-21-2007, 09:39 AM
I just quote high prices to anyone I don't think is a straight player, that includes tire kickers, call it pre-screening, for any red flags the price goes up, too many red flags on the phone and I save myself the trip.

toac
09-21-2007, 12:06 PM
i do just about everything through email - estimates, invoices, newsletter, etc. As stated earlier, if they provide the email address I'm gonna use it.

topsites
09-21-2007, 03:56 PM
Oh I forgot to mention, no I don't see anything wrong with email estimates.

I wish I could do everything online, but the spam gets in my way...
I've got my dang spam filters set so tight, it's horse crap because on the one hand I am sure I miss customer email, on the other hand my server deletes well over a thousand unsolicited nuisances a day... I don't even have a clue how many exactly, but I do know a year ago I had to turn the filters off for a few hours or so, and I mean hundreds of spam mails came in during that short time frame.
I can't deal with it, what can you do?

But if you don't have spam problems, by all means.

coonman
09-21-2007, 05:20 PM
I would love to email estimates, bills etc. But 90 percent of my customers are seniors who don't have a computer. I think my youngest client is in his 40's everyone else is 65 or above.

TTPRODR
09-22-2007, 04:42 AM
about emailing paypal invoices to give the customer a way to pay you with either a credit or debit card for those
who might prefer that method?
paypal charge is only3%, $1.05 from a $35 job and customer don't need to sign up for an account to send payments.

RICHIE K
09-22-2007, 05:42 AM
My wife send 40% of the invoices and estimates via-email

LawnMowerMan2003
09-24-2007, 01:43 AM
If you are going to look at the lawn can't you just leave a written estimate there? I don't know that that would be any better than emailing but just curious.

verant
10-01-2007, 06:44 PM
e-mail....big mistake. Talk to them face to face. You will be set apart from other businesses by being personable. and of course good work

txgrassguy
10-01-2007, 10:53 PM
I almost always e-mail or fax estimates after the first face to face meeting.
Then I call to follow up to see if they have any questions and to confirm receipt of the email/fax.
I personally do not hand write estimates in front of customers for several reasons.
I like to have a computer copy, I need to check with vendors to determine price fluctuations, and feel a type written estimate on company letter head is more appealing than a hand written one.
I considered carrying a lap top/printer combination in my truck but with day time temps over 100*F most of the time I was thinking it would shorten the life of the equipment.

LawnMowerMan2003
10-02-2007, 07:58 AM
I almost always e-mail or fax estimates after the first face to face meeting.
Then I call to follow up to see if they have any questions and to confirm receipt of the email/fax.
I personally do not hand write estimates in front of customers for several reasons.
I like to have a computer copy, I need to check with vendors to determine price fluctuations, and feel a type written estimate on company letter head is more appealing than a hand written one.
I considered carrying a lap top/printer combination in my truck but with day time temps over 100*F most of the time I was thinking it would shorten the life of the equipment.

I put my laptop in the ice chest with the beer :laugh: