View Full Version : interviewing a contractor, what the customer sees

03-12-2005, 08:31 AM
this week i've had the opportunity to see exactly what the client sees, as he calls and meets with different lawnboys about signing up for a program. how, you may ask? well, i shopped for a painter for interior work at my house. i figured it was similar to the lawn field in that the painting business has a low startup cost, no licensing, and very little skill required. what i saw, was a nightmare. i bet our customers go thru the same crap during thier interview proccess with lawnboys. i called a bunch of them from the paper, and yellow pages. most didn't call back. the ones that did call back, half never showed up, some quote on the phone, the ones that did: alot of them quote by room, without even looking at the house. one quote was, "$500 per room, AND I had to supply paint,brushes, rollers, and tarps, and cover anything i didn't want painted." another guy:" $150 per room, same thing on the supplies." i went through quite a few, and i'll tell you the skill /experience level went from none at all, to "i am the 3rd generation in my family to do this for a living." one thing they had in common was using the words **** and **** at least once in every sentence. i couldn't narrow it down, so i just hired the guy that had the most teeth. now i see what the customer sees, when they call services for estimates, and i won't blame them ever again for being scheptical. it was scary. there was no consistancy whatsoever in pricing, or procedure

watch your language

03-12-2005, 08:35 AM
u slacker u could have painted the house this winter instead of what if post bobby
u r 2 funny

03-12-2005, 08:37 AM
i think NORM from cheerer's needs a job

03-12-2005, 08:37 AM
Unfortunately, that's how the "service industry" is...from one spectrum to the other (and God only knows what's in between).

03-12-2005, 08:44 AM
I have been doing both sides of the business for years! what I mean is my construction end of the business requires the use of many sub contractors and unfortunately it is horrible to have to depend on some of these guy's showing up half of the time, I sometimes feel like I am running a day care center dealing with a bunch of immature moron's day after day!

03-12-2005, 09:30 AM
Lol @ painter with the most teeth. True very true. I've seen some pretty scraggly ones. How about .30 cents a sq. ft. I'll supply all the materials, you just supply the paint? That's what it should be. Oh and the ones that never showed up were prolly really hungover.

03-12-2005, 10:13 AM
u slacker u could have painted the house this winter instead of what if post bobby
u r 2 funny
me? paint? i need my rest

03-12-2005, 10:22 AM
me? paint? i need my rest

You would'nt want to over work that typing hand for lawnsite LOL

03-12-2005, 11:58 AM
So the moral of this thread is to have good teeth...

03-12-2005, 12:25 PM
i couldn't narrow it down, so i just hired the guy that had the most teeth.
So image is everything then?

The Dude
03-12-2005, 06:40 PM
The image of competance is important. Being clean and speaking in a manner becoming of a professional.

03-12-2005, 06:46 PM
Dudes the painters on paintsite.com are probably talking about the idiot lawnboys that keep hanging flyers on their doors and never call back :D Painters are about as professional looking as bulkheaders.

03-12-2005, 06:56 PM
Bobby , question for you , If one of the painters showed up looking pro. you know uniform , clean, respectable, had all his teeth and brushed them. He wrote out a contract that was professional BUT and here it comes it was for quite a bit more than the other "painter" would you have hired him and why or why not.

03-12-2005, 07:41 PM
mac, i may have, or may not have. i never had painting done for me. i had no idea what it may cost. i DID have a figure in my head that would be my "point of resistance." in other words of it were above xxx dollars, i'd say screw it and do it myself. i did not go with the highest price. the highest bidder was $500 per room, plus materials. my feeling on him was that he was not experienced enough to know how to give a competitive price. there is no way in hell i was paying $500 per room, for labor only. the real cheap guys seemed like pure knuckleheads, rednecks i think you call them. the guy i hired was not $500 per room, but he WAS the second highest bidder. he was able to tell me he would use flat for the cieling, semi gloss for the walls, another stuff for the trim, etc. i liked him, he seemed experienced, had a real painting van, brochures to look at, and, believe it or not, the fact that he had on a wedding band made me more comfortable too. i got the sense that he was working for his family, not his drug habit. he is typing up a contract, and will require a small deposit before starting. i was impressed. i guess it wasn't the fact the he was so professional, but more the fact was, what i had to compare him to.

03-12-2005, 09:43 PM
So you chose him not so much on appearance but more on his knowledge of painting and how he portrayed it to you ? Just getting a feel for what potential customers that have never used an lco might be looking for in there determining factor. I agree that everyone has that price ceiling that they will not cross no matter what, and I believe the "average" customers does not consider the low bid, there looking for something n the middle. I think appearance , professionalism, and most of all your ability to sell you and your company is what gets jobs and if your a great salesman you can get the job for more money either by up selling other parts or convincing a customer that your company charges more $$$$ because they get more. Experience cost!!!
Great thread payup payup payup Something to always think about.