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BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 08:41 PM
I get a call to estimate a job from a referral. I ask if you're getting other bids cause I'm not out to waste my time to be "shopped". I told him I wasn't the cheapest and I'm not the most expensive either. I also told him that I would come in around maybe $500 difference between anybody else, and this could be negotiable. He says, "well one guy stopped by and gave me a quote, but let's see how the numbers work out." I explained about the machines I have that the other guy doesn't. (explaining quality here) So anyway, I spend almost 3 hours in the cold going over this job. I come home and figure it up and call him with my $19,000.00 price. He says, "I'll go over my #'s and get back with you." I get the call back about a week later and he says, "I got 3 bids, and you and this one guy both came highly recomended and he was about $500 cheaper, so I decided to go with the cheaper one. But thank you and I will definately keep you in mind for future work." I said O.k. and thanks for the call. And he said thank you go "click" od bye. I hung up on him. I know this "other guy" and I know I am well worth the $500 extra.

This guy doesn't know I offer free estimates, should I send him an invoice for $150.00 and see what happens?? What a dink!

dvmcmrhp52
12-09-2004, 08:43 PM
I get a call to estimate a job from a referral. I ask if you're getting other bids cause I'm not out to waste my time to be "shopped". I told him I wasn't the cheapest and I'm not the most expensive either. I also told him that I would come in around maybe $500 difference between anybody else, and this could be negotiable. He says, "well one guy stopped by and gave me a quote, but let's see how the numbers work out." I explained about the machines I have that the other guy doesn't. (explaining quality here) So anyway, I spend almost 3 hours in the cold going over this job. I come home and figure it up and call him with my $19,000.00 price. He says, "I'll go over my #'s and get back with you." I get the call back about a week later and he says, "I got 3 bids, and you and this one guy both came highly recomended and he was about $500 cheaper, so I decided to go with the cheaper one. But thank you and I will definately keep you in mind for future work." I said O.k. and thanks for the call. And he said thank you go "click" od bye. I hung up on him. I know this "other guy" and I know I am well worth the $500 extra.

This guy doesn't know I offer free estimates, should I send him an invoice for $150.00 and see what happens?? What a dink!



If he made up his mind over $500 on a 19,000 job do you think you'll get $150 for an estimate?

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 08:45 PM
I don't know? But I'm so pi$$ed about that deal I should do it and see what happens? I'll prolly get a call from him about it, and then I can let him have it?

Mueller Landscape Inc
12-09-2004, 08:59 PM
Why would you want to do a stupid thing like that. First rule of business, don't take it personal. The smart thing to do would be to put this guy on your mailing list and continue to work him.

Gatewayuser
12-09-2004, 09:04 PM
Quote:
"Why would you want to do a stupid thing like that. First rule of business, don't take it personal. The smart thing to do would be to put this guy on your mailing list and continue to work him."

I agree totally!

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 09:12 PM
I don't know, cause I was up front and honest about everything. And right on the money with everything, did everything I could to sell the job so there was no escape. And still shot down..........to worse quality at that. :dizzy:

jaybird
12-09-2004, 09:13 PM
sore loser, no dont be one thats close bidding.

mbella
12-09-2004, 09:20 PM
Like someone else said, don't take it personally. Some people will not inform you at all. I'd be happy that he let you know so soon so you can close it out and move on.

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 09:21 PM
Oh, I'm moving on, but what a friggin' stinger.

cantoo
12-09-2004, 09:22 PM
You would feel pretty silly if you pissed this guy off and then the other guy screwed up on the job. Do you think he would call you back. Walk but call him every couple of weeks and see how things are going. He might refer someone else to you. I hate to burn bridges. You have already spent the time on the estimate give it some time you might still get it, especially if you are better than the other guy.

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 09:25 PM
You would feel pretty silly if you pissed this guy off and then the other guy screwed up on the job. Do you think he would call you back. Walk but call him every couple of weeks and see how things are going. He might refer someone else to you. I hate to burn bridges. You have already spent the time on the estimate give it some time you might still get it, especially if you are better than the other guy.


I was looking about that, but if I did get a call again, I would always have the "i'm being shopped and wasting my time" thing going on in my head.

RedWingsDet
12-09-2004, 09:29 PM
Man that really stinks. Just give him a cal in a few weeks and ask how things are going.

One question, I see your in michigan, well, for about 20grand I would anticipate this job takign at least 2 weeks. Wont there be snow on the ground then? Or is that not a factor for ya?

Anyways, good luck. Maybe the other guy will screw up, and he'll call you back.

Or maybe, he decided to wait until next year, but didnt want to tell you, so he thought of an excuse to not have it done, and maybe he told the other guys that you were 500 cheaper, and then next year ask you guys again.

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 09:40 PM
Thanks :) no it's not a factor, but I am leaning to calling in few weeks to see how it's going. I'll be a bug in his ear. I'll be the nice professional that I am......and not the guy that everytime I've seen him he's driving around with an open beer between the knees. A real pro there. Sorry, I'm being a sore loser again. :D

Mo Green
12-09-2004, 10:01 PM
I don't know, cause I was up front and honest about everything. And right on the money with everything, did everything I could to sell the job so there was no escape. And still shot down..........to worse quality at that. :dizzy:


I'm not trying to be rude, but... life is full of disappointment, get used to it. In a profession such as this, it can happen more often that you may like. I know you are just venting, and I can't say I blame you. Just do the right thing, and your conscience will always be clear.

tonygreek
12-09-2004, 10:09 PM
i agree with every post so far.

- you both came highly recommended. this means "referral". and you hung up on him? if you only kiss away the $19k, i'll be surprised.

- since you both were recommended, you were higher. so if he was impressed enough by the other guy, you came in too high and lost. you obviously feel differently, but this happens every day and is a fact of business.

- attempting to send him an invoice for the estimate is petty, and you'll recall that this guy was a referral. you need to set aside your obvious anger and think of what you are possibly doing to your pipeline. if this 19k job is indicative of your market, seems like a rather risky and costly gamble.

and just because i can't stress it enough, the guy was a referral.

BryPaulD
12-09-2004, 10:29 PM
That makes me feel better :) I do get a lot of work by word of mouth. Just telling him though that I'm not the cheapest and not the most expensive and that I'd be within $500 and that could be negotiable (meaning if he's gonna him haw about it, I'd knock her down) I just wanted to price it fairly and get a call back with input on what he was thinking or leaning toward and work from there. Not just shut right out just like that. Whatever, win some lose some, can't win em' all. Such as life.

Thank you all for the input on this :)

mbella
12-09-2004, 11:38 PM
Yeah, and in this business, if you're winning them all, you're probably underpriced.

Randy Scott
12-09-2004, 11:44 PM
I get a call to estimate a job from a referral. I ask if you're getting other bids cause I'm not out to waste my time to be "shopped". I told him I wasn't the cheapest and I'm not the most expensive either. I also told him that I would come in around maybe $500 difference between anybody else, and this could be negotiable.

To me, you already sound arrogant. If you expect people NOT to get bids, I suggest quitting the business. I TELL my prospects to make sure and GET other bids. I'm ready to go up against anyone. If someone doesn't check bids, it may bite YOU in the arse.

Secondly, telling someone your prices are negotiable, puts you in the used car salesman status if you ask me. You should give an accurate bid the first time and thats it. So if you had the opportunity to drop that $500, does the other guy now get a chance to counter offer that? It's a vicious circle that creates hacks and low-ballers.

Thirdly, just because you think you do better work, and may tell a prospect your better (which should never be done) doesn't indicate anything to the person choosing the company. He is taking his chances on either one of you.

Lastly, a person taking bids and making a decision is a tough thing to do. Going back and forth after your bid has been submitted, will only make their decision more difficult. You had your chance to make a first impression, to sell yourself, and that's it.

I would have to say that over 3/4ths of our work is priced higher than others and we still land the jobs. Those that choose solely based on the dollar amount, are better left on the table. There's more to this than just the almighty dollar. Just keep plugging away and that's all any of us can do. Learn from past customer relations and use it in the future.

After four years in this industry, entering it with NO experience whatsoever, the most valuable things I have learned are how to talk and handle customers. Everything else is an easily obtainable and self-taught function. Mowing, fert apps, pavers, retaining walls, plantings, design, easy, easy, easy. Selling yourself and your company, that takes work. It's probably one of the most exciting parts to owning my own business, earning the trust and respect of a customer, that's where the gratification comes from. Any monkey can mow lawns or put down pavers if they have any ounce of a brain and some sort of self-pride in their work.

All you can do is suck it up, let them know that if anything changes in the future, you are there to take over if need be. About 6 weeks ago I had this same discussion with a customer. We lost the bid this season. They were beyond happy with our work in every aspect. We just lost out for some special circumstances. I told the gentleman that if something doesn't work out, don't be afraid to call us and we'll see if we can accomodate you and get you through whatever went wrong. I think the guys jaw hit the floor. He thanked me about 5 times and said thank you. He NEVER expected to hear that. Sure, I was dissapointed, but bad mouthing someone else, or telling them the other guy will give you troubles, would have surely sealed my fate. I guarantee you, someday, at sometime, I will get more work from them. We may never get the specific service back, but someday, something, will stem from that.

Albemarle Lawn
12-10-2004, 12:18 AM
Thank him for HIS time even though you feel he "shopped" you and wasted your time. We all go shopping, for trucks, mowers, services, etc.

If/when the other guy falls through, he will call you to take over.

When he calls ready to buy, explain that you can no longer offer the $19,000 price, that you have booked up your vacancy, and that additional work will push you into overtime.

Tell him you need to re-figure based on overtime.

Call back the next day with your $21,500 price, take it or leave it. He'll take it because you were bidder #2 and chances are #3 was over $25,000.

KB

Shuter
12-10-2004, 12:21 AM
I would move on. If a customer will go with someone else for such a small amount less, how much of a headache would this customer be.

ironhead
12-10-2004, 10:47 AM
Maybe you should of heard him out instead of hanging up on him. I don't think it was a coincidence that the other bid came in $500 cheaper than yours and that was the exact amount that you told him was negotiable. Maybe he realizes that you do quality work and was just fishing for you to offer a lower quote. That's all in hindsight now though, best you can do is call and check in on the job a little later.

BryPaulD
12-10-2004, 11:23 AM
he was just saying good bye

jtrice11
12-10-2004, 11:26 AM
Randy Scott--good post. I agree 100%. We are becoming a service oriented society, service, service, service. People like to be treated well, and professionally. YOu'll always encounter some dinks, but that's true with anything. It is those who can move past those people that will accel.

BryPaulD
12-10-2004, 11:31 AM
yeah randy good post, I am a bit arrogant. It's happened before and it'll happen again. This ain't my first rodeo. Basically told him everything right up front.......let's get er done, I'll take care of ya. Well ladi da, hum-ho, yabba scoo.........whatever dude I'm busy, bye.

Harleyboy52
12-10-2004, 09:37 PM
What a great post from Randy Scott!!! BryPaulD you need to listen to this advise and don't say whatever dude I'm busy. You need to sell yourself in this business. If you sell yourself first then a lot more bids will be won. There is some great advise here so take it all in.

BryPaulD
12-10-2004, 10:28 PM
What a great post from Randy Scott!!! BryPaulD you need to listen to this advise and don't say whatever dude I'm busy. You need to sell yourself in this business. If you sell yourself first then a lot more bids will be won. There is some great advise here so take it all in.

when I said whatever dude I'm busy, I didn't actually say that to the guy, that's the way I felt when I hung up in the middle of his good bye. I tried my a$$ off to sell myself to this guy. So I guess now I'll have to sell myself by saying "tell you what. Have I got a deal for you. Today and today only, I'll do it for $20.00" Yeah right. These people are just going cheap, like quality out the window. Or they of course want their cake and eat it too. It's over and I'm past it, and like I said before it ain't the first and won't be the last time. I was really dissapointed though.

Harleyboy52
12-11-2004, 07:20 AM
I don't think you understand what selling yourself means. It's not reducing your price. That is the worst way to try to sell a job. That makes your work look like it isn't worth as much. Selling yourself is letting the customer get to know you and your company. Make him like you and want to do business with you no matter what the price. I know that seems hard to do in a short time but that is what you have to do. Always have a good attitude and if you lose a job just smile and say Thank you sir maybe we can do business later.

BryPaulD
12-11-2004, 09:15 AM
I think I do. I explained the machines I have that others don't for specific reasons. I explained other certain things I do to avoid future problems. I've been cut out many times by people wanting cheaper. I had to say that little change was negotiable because $500 really isn't much on $19.000. I just priced the job fairly, and let him know that on top of really wanting to do this job, I needed to do this job, and if $500 was going to be a major factor, then I could work with him on it. I couldn't have been nicer to him. But now he has an extra $500 in the bank to call someone else to come and fix this other guys crap, (not me) I don't do that, or to invest it someplace else. I was very timely (dropped what I was doing to come and meet him to go over this job, figured the estimate right away, made sur my schedule was clear to be ready to go on it right when he was.) I just don't know what I could have done differently to aquire this job but be cheaper.

Harleyboy52
12-11-2004, 09:50 AM
[QUOTE=BryPaulD]I think I do. I explained the machines I have that others don't for specific reasons. I explained other certain things I do to avoid future problems. I've been cut out many times by people wanting cheaper. I had to say that little change was negotiable because $500 really isn't much on $19.000. I just priced the job fairly, and let him know that on top of really wanting to do this job, I needed to do this job, and if $500 was going to be a major factor, then I could work with him on it.

Did he give you a chance to come down $500.? According to your post I don't think so. So there must have been more to it than him wanting the cheapest price. If he was just interested in the cheapest price he would have played you against the other bid. You come down $500 and he calls the other guy to see how much he will come down and so forth. I think it might be your attitude. I can see that you have an attitude just reading your post and I'm not even face to face with you. Now don't get P Oed about what I'm saying. I'm just trying to help you figure out what's wrong. If you had the correct attitude you wouldn't have posted this thread anyway. You would have sucked it up and gone on to the next bid.

BryPaulD
12-11-2004, 10:00 AM
No he didn't, he just said both of us came highly reccomended, so he went cheaper. It could be my attitude (and no I'm not PO'd :) ) I was very nice and subtle with the guy. I just get tired of jumping through the hoops to be short changed I guess. There are a lot of cut throats out there, and I just try to come across as "I'm not in it for the experience" Is this bad?? Thank you for the input on this Harleyboy. I like constructive criticism Vs. rudeism :)

Harleyboy52
12-11-2004, 10:23 AM
Keep your chin up and keep bidding the jobs will come. Good luck.

treedoc1
12-11-2004, 12:15 PM
The client certainly doesn't care what kind of equipment you have. Myself, I want a clean, neat final product. I don't care how it gets that way...21" mower, ZTR, scissors on your knees. I want a responsible, timely operation to take care of my property. I want a quick reponse to my phone calls if I have a problem. I want to be able to talk to a decision maker and not have to run around finding out who can help me. I want the workers on the job site to look and act professionally. My decision as a property manager as to who maintains the property is viewed by all the people that utilize my property. Don't make me look bad...who makes me look the best and that I made a good decision.

That's how we sell a service...not how wide or how fast or how expensive our equipment is.

MMLawn
12-11-2004, 12:26 PM
This guy doesn't know I offer free estimates, should I send him an invoice for $150.00 and see what happens?? What a dink!

Sure you should. Then that way you will 1) have time to do the jobs you are suppose to be doing and not and also pay your bills that you are not paying (See Below) thus killing two birds with one stone......

I have maintained these properties for a while now with no real determined amount of money. I can be late with a payment and that's alright he has keys to the shed I stored my 21" mower in. He is my landlord and I owe him some money, and he is my step father in-law, but still, why couldn't he have asked or called me and told me he needed that chunck of property done? Argghh he erks me :angry:

BryPaulD
12-11-2004, 02:38 PM
Harleyboy - Thank you :) that's all we can do right.

Treedoc - We'll keep you in mind for future work

MM - still thinking about it ;)

Precision
12-11-2004, 08:03 PM
I used to be a "stock broker" until a little after 9-11.

Any idea what my usual conversations with potential clients involved.

If you guess anything to do with money you are wrong. Sure the first time but only as part of the getting to know him and what makes him tick.

Talk about golf if that is his passion. Talk about his old muscle car in the garage. Talk about his grandkids displayed on the mantle. Talk about his dog. It doesn't matter what it is so long as it interests him personally. Engage him, get him to open up, become a person to him.

Sure be professional, talk about what he wants done and how you will do it, why you are the person to hire, but everyone does that. No one says, yeah I can do a good job, but if you really want it done right call BryPaulD. Oh and by the way BryPaulD is actually cheaper too.

It is all about differentiating yourself but my machine is bigger better faster, is all just blah, blah, blah to them. Showing that you like his 71 hemi charger or whatever differentiates you in a way he will remember.

lawnman_scott
12-11-2004, 08:16 PM
I used to be a "stock broker" until a little after 9-11.

Any idea what my usual conversations with potential clients involved.

If you guess anything to do with money you are wrong. Sure the first time but only as part of the getting to know him and what makes him tick.

Talk about golf if that is his passion. Talk about his old muscle car in the garage. Talk about his grandkids displayed on the mantle. Talk about his dog. It doesn't matter what it is so long as it interests him personally. Engage him, get him to open up, become a person to him.

Sure be professional, talk about what he wants done and how you will do it, why you are the person to hire, but everyone does that. No one says, yeah I can do a good job, but if you really want it done right call BryPaulD. Oh and by the way BryPaulD is actually cheaper too.

It is all about differentiating yourself but my machine is bigger better faster, is all just blah, blah, blah to them. Showing that you like his 71 hemi charger or whatever differentiates you in a way he will remember.
That is great advise, and it works. Besides your big fast mower could be a 32inch walk behind in his mind.

BryPaulD
12-11-2004, 08:54 PM
I like that approach :)

arborist-28
12-12-2004, 12:36 AM
I wouldn't bother with him anymore, but wouldn't say a bad word about him cause you never know word of mouth carries fast...he might be saying in a few months to his friend whose looking for a 25k job I went with so and so but I sure wish I would have used Brypauld ...know what I'm saying ...c

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 12:50 AM
I wouldn't bother with him anymore, but wouldn't say a bad word about him cause you never know word of mouth carries fast...he might be saying in a few months to his friend whose looking for a 25k job I went with so and so but I sure wish I would have used Brypauld ...know what I'm saying ...c

That is exactly the way I really feel (done with him). I only called him a dink here and to my wife. :) But a part of me still wants to send him a bill for my time involved. It would have been a free estimate if I got the job. I'm a pro and offered exceptional quality at a fair price and was all set to get er' done right now on time and clean. Well, you went with someone else and that's fine, that's your decision, here's my bill for time spent. Maybe we can do business again, looking forward to it, have a nice day. :waving:

HOOLIE
12-12-2004, 12:56 AM
I think Precision hit it on the head, you need to make some kind of connection with potential clients. Most people like to do business with the "good guy", people they like. Its much more pleasurable than doing business with an a-hole. So you make you sales pitch, maybe he says youre higher than the other guy, you tell him that's the price you can do the job right for, and then you say "That a Harley in your driveway? How long you've been riding?" And it takes off from there. By the time you leave, that $500 price difference won't seem that big a deal to him. Doesn't work every time, but you'll see results, you'll get more jobs for YOUR price.

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 01:05 AM
Yeah, isn't that a neat psychological way of "getting in". I'm game for trying it. I know I wasn't an a-hole with the guy, but I did do it as though I know what the he!! I'm doing and am not a fly by night. I just didn't want to waste time.

HOOLIE
12-12-2004, 01:52 AM
Until they sign the contract, you're still "advertising" your company. $500 is $500, but its a relatively small amount of money on a $19,000 job. Getting to know the customer a bit can go a long way toward negating that $500. I wasn't saying you were an a-hole, just using that term for sake of comparison. Everyone would prefer to work with someone they like. Give it a shot, the half-hour you spend BSing should pay off well.

Harleyboy52
12-12-2004, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE=BryPaulD] But a part of me still wants to send him a bill for my time involved. It would have been a free estimate if I got the job. I'm a pro


Please forget about sending him a bill. You don't want to burn that bridge behind you. You say that the estimate is free if you get the job, and then you say I'm a pro. A pro would be working on the next job and not worrying about this one. Try advertising "Free estimates if I get the job" and see how many calls you get. You're taking this WAY to personal. I think the other guy sold himself like we're all trying to get you to do and that's why he got the job. He didn't ask you to come down $500. so he had already made his mind up on this guy. Remember, work on that ATTITUDE.

cbelawn
12-12-2004, 09:31 AM
I have to say that if your started this thread with " i just won a bid by only 500 everyone woul dbe patting you on the back. The 2% you were high was a very close price. i wish every customer was willing to tell me what the other guy was charging. in a former life i sold construction materials and some bids could cost thousands to put together and never get anyting from it. A customer is not a customer till the check clears! peace

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 09:59 AM
Both good points. I won't send a bill harley, I can see your point. It just gets so frustrating to run around and take all this time and "kiss butt" to get him hawed and no goed. I have work going to get by but I was putting in perspective over the last 2 months or so, $30,000.00 worth of business out the window. Tried to make some desicions that didn't work in my favor and so on. Aaaah, eagerly anticipating the New Year. payup

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 10:11 AM
And how about not advertising free estimates to save this "time wasting"? I know the advertisement is good to get calls but, like others have said and I have to agree, people take advantage and don't value your time.

mbella
12-12-2004, 10:23 AM
How many guys in your area charge for estimates? I think you will really limit your opportunities to bid on residential projects if you charge. As for commercial projects, forget about it. You can't charge.
I'm not sure what types of questions you ask or what you do to qualify a lead before investing time preparing an estimate, but there are measures you can take if you don't want to run after every lead.
Personally, I go after just about everything, keep my prices where I need them to be and get told "no thanks" on a regular basis. I'm also told "yes" on a regular basis.

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 10:43 AM
I'm not sure, but I needed a refrigerator guy to come fix my fridge and they wanted $65 to come over and look at it and tell me what's wrong with it, and if they fixed it, they would apply that towards the bill.

Harleyboy52
12-12-2004, 03:36 PM
Did you use that refrigerator man? Probably not. You probably called around till you found someone to come that didn't charge for an estimate. That's what most customers will do also. I think BobbyGedd said that he charged $45.00 for an estimate and that was reduced from the price of the job if he got the job. Maybe that would work, but then again isn't BobbyGedd the one that post all the problems all the time. Just something to think about.

BryPaulD
12-12-2004, 03:53 PM
Actually "chuckles" It's still not fixed. Was just debating about buying a new one and putting the old one in the basement or garage.