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  #11  
Old 12-20-2007, 09:31 AM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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Location: South Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly Prof. Lighting View Post
Demos, Geeez, All I have been doing is demos. I do on average between 2 and 3 a week right now. Average size from 16-50 lights. All the houses in the various neighborhoods I am demoing in are from 500k to 1mil. in value. I know it is like "prospecting' for gold, and that is the way I think about it when I set them up. The homeowner I set it up for may not be initially interested but it gets me set up in the neighborhood to be seen for 2-3 days and I don't care who you are, that is pretty cheap store front space. I will usually get 1-2 calls from other homeowners in the neighborhood that are interested and I will then demo at there house after, and give them a bid. Just seems like everybody around here is waiting until after the holidays to pull the trigger. I guess I can't blame them, I probably would too.

Oh, well. Like Mike said it gives me something to do and spread exposure a bit more. If all it does it keep me top of mind when the mailers hit, that is extra reinforcement.
At this point in the game I just don't feel right charging for demos when I am fishing for the whole neighborhood and am such a young company. I know the time will come this year when time may demand me to do that.
alot of people will not want workers around their homes for the holidays. We are going to have our cabinets redone and some other home improvments but we are waiting til the holidays are done. We are just to busy right now to let someone toss a wrench in there.

Try asking for a very small schedual deposit or offer an incentive to prebook now. If you inform them they may need to wait several months when every one calls quickly after the holiday they might be willing to lay out a 200 dollar booking deposit and then place them on your calandar. Contact them a week before to obtain deposit and your in like flynn.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2007, 04:54 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro-Scapes View Post
Try asking for a very small schedual deposit or offer an incentive to prebook now. If you inform them they may need to wait several months when every one calls quickly after the holiday they might be willing to lay out a 200 dollar booking deposit and then place them on your calandar. Contact them a week before to obtain deposit and your in like flynn.
The scheduling deposit is a very good strategy. I am currently booking summer 2008 work for outdoor and Spring 2008 work for interiors. I offer my clients a locked price based on my 2007 Quote as long as I have a signed contract along with a 10% deposit by January 10th 2008. This is followed by a 40% deposit on April 2nd. If they miss the deadline, then they can still book the job, but the deposit is 50% and the final invoice will be adjusted to reflect 2008 pricing.

Taking 'very small' deposits can be risky as some might be inclined to walk away from a couple of hundred dollars if their situation changes over several months. 10% now is enough to keep their interest and 50% equals a lock and key.

Have a great day.
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James Solecki
INTEGRA ~ Bespoke Lighting Systems ®
JSLDesign Inc.


www.integralighting.com

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Affiliations: IESNA, IALD, IDA, AOLP, LO, MBA
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2007, 05:03 PM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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if thier situation and needs change you will be either not getting the job or re proposing the job. I agree that 10% is fair. If they are a serious client 5 to 10% should be of little issue and should get your attention enough to place them on your calendar. This will also seperate casual winter time shoppers from a serious client.

Keep in mind the booking deposits can also bite you should there be a rapid increase in materials costs. Use caution and your own judgement. Another wise idea might be to book as XX% and purchase and store your materials now. If the client knows you have their best intrest in mind and you are trying to save them money on the rise in materials they will be grateful
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2007, 05:09 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro-Scapes View Post
Keep in mind the booking deposits can also bite you should there be a rapid increase in materials costs. Use caution and your own judgement.
Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention one critical component of my contract booking program....

I have a great relationship with my distributor. I am able to book my supplies forward to spring at 2007 prices as long as I have orders in place by mid January or so, before 2008 pricing is set in stone. ( I simply provide them with a "booking order" that looks like a normal Purchase Order with unique terms attached.) This is a critical component of the program, without it the booked jobs could come back and bite you if materials jack up in price.

Have a great day.
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James Solecki
INTEGRA ~ Bespoke Lighting Systems ®
JSLDesign Inc.


www.integralighting.com

www.facebook.com/INTEGRA.Lighting

Affiliations: IESNA, IALD, IDA, AOLP, LO, MBA
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:02 PM
bmwsmity bmwsmity is offline
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Originally Posted by pete scalia View Post
Free Demo? You are setting yourself up for some real time wasting my friend. I realize that you have to start somewhere but I'd rather hire the guy at the top of the hill and not the guy with the FREE demo. At least get a C note from them. Your going to attract alot of un qualifieds with a free demo. Something free brings cheapos out of the woodwork like nothing else.
I just read an article by Robert Kiyosaki in Entrepreneur about this free thing and how it attracts "freeloaders" who don't want to spend money but rather be as cheap as possible.

To some extent, I agree with demos. For instance, it's more exposure to the neighbors, since you're there more. Exposure is always a good thing.

I think it really comes down to preference. If you don't mind doing the extra work and taking time away from your personal life, then demo away. The main thing is making sure it's not costing you time that could be spent making money. As long as there's no opportunity cost of doing demos, and you don't mind, I don't see how they are a bad thing.

For me, I've never had an issue not doing demos, and until I do have issues, I will not add it to my pitch. I'm fortunate enough to have a great website that I get lots of compliments on, and this has sold many deals for me --- customers tell me this explicitly. That's all I need to hear.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:09 PM
pete scalia pete scalia is offline
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I just read an article by Robert Kiyosaki in Entrepreneur about this free thing and how it attracts "freeloaders" who don't want to spend money but rather be as cheap as possible.

You'd better believe it.
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:25 PM
Mike M Mike M is offline
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Well, on my next mailer, it will state my nominal fee of sixty-five bucks. That's cheap, but a lot different than free. We'll see how it pans out. Kinda funny, charging for a sales demonstration. But then again, they are getting some snapshot design ideas, too. At least I am getting exposure and extra problem-solving and design practice in return.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:34 PM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwsmity View Post
I'm fortunate enough to have a great website that I get lots of compliments on, and this has sold many deals for me --- customers tell me this explicitly. That's all I need to hear.
What is this web address bmwsmity? Could you add it to your profile?
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:36 PM
pete scalia pete scalia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Well, on my next mailer, it will state my nominal fee of sixty-five bucks. That's cheap, but a lot different than free. We'll see how it pans out. Kinda funny, charging for a sales demonstration. But then again, they are getting some snapshot design ideas, too. At least I am getting exposure and extra problem-solving and design practice in return.
Sales 101- First you must sell yourself before you can sell others on your ideas. By your comments you seem to think your demo is not worth even $65. Well if you don't think it's worth $65 then you should do something about changing it to deliver more than $65 worth of value to the prospect. Correct me if i'm wrong but demo's are very time consuming and you have an investment in materials right? Do you drive to your prospects home in a vehicle that consumes gas , is registered and insured. Sit down and figure out what that costs you and then tell me if your $65 "sales demonstration" is worth it or not. I'm not even mentioning the shop at home convenience for the homeowner. You have to really think this out better and start valuing your time and charge for it. You are worth it.
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  #20  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:58 PM
bmwsmity bmwsmity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
What is this web address bmwsmity? Could you add it to your profile?
Sure man...www.s2lightscapes.com

I definitely need to add some more pics....need a better camera too. That should help out even more.
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