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  #11  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:29 PM
2ndNature 2ndNature is offline
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DVS- I feel your pain man, but no way i can charge for it around here unless it is a big, involved design. Just too many competitors.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:01 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Not all of us contractors are there to "chat" LOL

We're there to educate and share experience and most importantly.....knowledge.

We all have tricks up our sleeves to intrigue folks so that they call us. And usually we exhibit our competency and experience and our knowlegde in our advertising and marketing. So, with that said, folks are not just picking a name off of a black and white list. They found interest in us via the content used in our advertising.


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  #13  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL Ponds and Waterfalls View Post
They should be prequalifying you as well, this way they are not paying for a chat.
it goes both ways. No way would i pay contractors at a first visit when i dont know if their qualified.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punt66 View Post
it goes both ways. No way would i pay contractors at a first visit when i dont know if their qualified.
That's kinda a scarey mentality.

Because as a consumer, I would NEVER call upon anyone that I wasn't sure of their qualifications. Again, the days of pulling names out of a hat are long long long long gone. I think this goes for most of the general population.

I was seeking legal representation back in July. So I spent about about 6 hrs researching firms that specialized in what I needed assistance in. I didn't just pull a name out of the yellow pages.

And I think thats how most intelligent people shop
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"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:42 PM
FLCthes4:11-12 FLCthes4:11-12 is offline
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In your statements I think you did the best you could in pre-qualifying them. The $30 bucks or so up front may have made the difference especially if they were just checking yo versus a competitor. And ones like that always leave us a little bitter cause we like to think that we are the best in our area in what we do, are the easiest to get along with and how could people not like us. Thats my thinking I normally try to get some scope of the project before going out. But I 'm still kinda new in this this side of it so I generally chase a led we it presents itself.
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:43 PM
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punt66 punt66 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post
That's kinda a scarey mentality.

Because as a consumer, I would NEVER call upon anyone that I wasn't sure of their qualifications. Again, the days of pulling names out of a hat are long long long long gone. I think this goes for most of the general population.

I was seeking legal representation back in July. So I spent about about 6 hrs researching firms that specialized in what I needed assistance in. I didn't just pull a name out of the yellow pages.

And I think thats how most intelligent people shop
For a lawyer? yes. For a quote? maybe. But most people get a tip on a contractor through word of mouth or advertising. Part of doing the research is meeting you. A consumer should not have to pay for that.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:32 PM
vtscaper vtscaper is offline
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we dont. However I have thought of this many times DVS and agree with you that it would be perfectly fair to charge a modest fee for an initial consult. I also think most half serious people - probably even the folks in your story would cough it up.

But for me there is just no class in it. If the prospective client on the other line has made it through my casual screening, im getting a good feeling that they are serious and its a project that we would want. It would just kill the flow of enthusiasm and raise a bit of a red flag. It just doesnt fit into how i start building a relationship from t hat first phone call.

Dont get me wrong. If I am even slightly on the fence about how serious folks are I will throw out all kinds of scary numbers about design fees, permitting how we did a similar sounding job that was X amount.

If I called a contractor about a large scale project and he said he was going to charge me $30 refundable or not, it would put a real bad taste in my mouth. I couldnt help but wonder is he cheap? Will he nickel and dime the whole project. I just think it starts the subject of money/compensation off ont he wrong foot.
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  #18  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is online now
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Commenting on your initial post DVS:

I don't charge for a consultation fee when doing estimates. Where I do retrieve that expense is through my design charge.

The design for me is also my way of seeing who is serious and also refunding that cost if we get the job.

Even if 1/3 of my consults don't progress into a design, ultimately between all the designs I do, I end up breaking even on fuel/time.


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  #19  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Gardens View Post
Commenting on your initial post DVS:

I don't charge for a consultation fee when doing estimates. Where I do retrieve that expense is through my design charge.

The design for me is also my way of seeing who is serious and also refunding that cost if we get the job.

Even if 1/3 of my consults don't progress into a design, ultimately between all the designs I do, I end up breaking even on fuel/time.


...


..
yes, that is what i do as well unless they already have a drawn design.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:05 PM
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tadpole tadpole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Gardens View Post
Commenting on your initial post DVS:

I don't charge for a consultation fee when doing estimates. Where I do retrieve that expense is through my design charge.

The design for me is also my way of seeing who is serious and also refunding that cost if we get the job.

Even if 1/3 of my consults don't progress into a design, ultimately between all the designs I do, I end up breaking even on fuel/time.


...


..
That sounds to me as if you are making your legitimate clients bear the expense of giving free estimates to 'dead ends'. Is that fair?

Charging for estimates/consulting has neither increased or diminished my business. What it has done has reduced operating costs and freed up time to devote to more productive matters.
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