Originally Posted by PaperCutter
If the argument is "well everyone else does free designs", well, that's fine if you're no better than everyone else. When I'm on a sales call and someone asks "well why would I pay for a design, I've had two companies give me plans and estimates?" my response is always "if you think their plan is the absolute best way to go for what you want, you don't need me. But my job as a designer is to come up with the best plan for your needs." I don't negotiate, I don't back down, and I usually get the job. So the other companies not only wasted their time for nothing, they're not even going to get a crack at bidding the job because when we're done, the homeowner trusts me and anyone I recommend.
EXACTLY! Amen to that! I've had the same exact experience many times and handled it exactly the same way. For those of you who are still sort of new and interested in building your business to become one of the premier companies in your area, take notes! This is how you should do it.