consult fees

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Pro-Scapes, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I know Mike G charges it but are any others of you charging for initial consult ? I do only if they are outside my 30 mile radius. An interesting thing brought this up. I emailed my doctor and told them I need them to sign something for my insurance for me. They said sure just mail them to us along with a check for $25 to complete the forms. The forms are complete so I am basically paying $25 for him to sign it.

    We just sent out new post cards and one of the sales points was free consultation. I will be pre screening these clients tho and if they are serious we will meet. No more chasing price shoppers for free tho. I just got burned on a landscape consult like this. Client called... Let us know they were seeking an estimate. We went out... Discussed it with them. One of my friends also turned in an estimate to them for landscape work. I bet we go by in a month and she has taken our ideas and used them herself!
     
  2. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    I've gotten burned this way a couple of times ... now I try as best I can to screen them on the phone before I go out !!
     
  3. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

    Billy, I can lead you to water but I just can't make you drink or can I?.

    "We just sent out new post cards and one of the sales points was free consultation"

    C'mon Billy we've talked about this before. How is offering a free consultation a sales point when everyone and their sister is doing the same? Wow! Billy wants $75 to come out and meet with me , he must be good. Those are the clients you want . The ones who say why do you charge a fee when everyone else is free are not the ones you want anyway. Number 1 it means they are shopping because they've called others and have probably gotten other bids. If you believe the information you share with a prospect has value then put a dollar amount on it. If you don't, the perception is that it doesn't have much value because it comes for free.
     
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    ya know what... screw it. Im gonna do it. As soon as the call to action date on this post card has run its course... no more free consults .... im not mocking you. Im serious... My wife and I spent an hour last night in the dark with a client. While I wouldnt of charged this client as we have done 10's of thousands of dollars in business over the last year together I would of been pretty irrate had this been a new prospect with nothing to show for. We really have a great closing rate but If I get stuck chasing my tail and being away from my home at night i am at least gonna get a REALLY nice dinner out of it.

    I been worried this wont fly here but like i said.. the doctor wants 25 bucks just to sign a form. Why shouldnt I get paid on the house call. Its not like I am going to give them an estimate on thier lawn.:laugh: I dont really think its the money involved... If they are not serious they wont ven pay you a 29 buck consult. I am now targeting a more elite client. If the plumber or electrician come out they get paid a service fee. Why shouldnt we! Are we that desperate to meet someone new ?
     
  5. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

    Billy you are about to take your first step towards great success in landscape lighting. You're as mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore. Keep us posted as to how it goes.
     
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Hey Billy, I feel your pain. I just got burned on a free demo. Came back a week later after handing them my estimate for the work, and what should I behold, but a home cheapo special amazingly in all the places I put my lights for the demo. Imagine that. I'm with you guys. I am fed up with tire kickers and walmart shoppers. No more free consults or ideas. This ends today!
     
  7. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

    I think we are finally having a break through here. A revolution in itself if you will. This is a very special moment in time. Personally very rewarding to have a positive influence on the industry. Now go out and get em.
    :clapping: :dancing: :clapping: :dancing: :) :) :cool2: :cool2: :cool2:
     
  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Mike, I think you and I are probably the only ones still awake at this hour. All the East coasties have long since retired for the night.
     
  9. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    Mike G gave me a bit of advice a long time ago that made good sense: test the market. If you find that people in your area aren't responding to the consult fee, then you can always go back to your free quote method. I feel your pain though, it still scares the hell out of me too.
     
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I have not gone that far... I have a release I make clients sign before I light the demo up! States if they use me... The design will be free and no charge... If they do not use me and mimic my design in anyway they owe me $329.00 Had 1 client cut me a check for this 2 weeks after my demo. He was a doctor and enjoyed working outside and wanted to tackle it himself. He went and bought good vista lights... Asked me about a few techniques for splicing. He has always taken good care of me in the past including saving me thousands of dollars by giving me free sample meds so I didnt have to buy expensive prescriptions. While I could of done the system alot cleaner he did do a quality job for a homeowner. Took him a month to install 30 lights tho.
     

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