Demo fees

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    For those who demo;

    Do you charge a fee, if so, how much?

    My first mailer had "keep this for a free demo" I sent out 1400 and closed three nice jobs directly from the demo's.

    I just completed another quantummail order for the same 1400 plus 600 more, this time with free consultation, demo $65.

    I will keep anyone interested posted on the response details in the next few weeks.

    For anyone interested in the Mike M things blowing off my truck saga, yesterday I lost a roller box full of materials, connectors, and some tools including my new amp probe. My wife had to work at 3:30, so I rushed home and forgot to close my gate. Funny, I knew I didn't visually "clear" the back before entering the truck--an old habbit from my landscaping days. I will anymore! Stuff never found. :hammerhead:

    Mike M
     
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    im going to bet you gtet half the calls from charging the demo. But... I bet they are more quality ones and less price shoppers.

    Of all the demos you been doing latley whats the closing percentage on em ?

    I wouldnt list a price on the post card. I would let em call... go meet with em... if they dont buy with no demo and they are on the bubble or question your design then offer the demo for 65 or whatever then credit that twoards the installation.

    On the tailgate... smooth move exlax.... what you gonna do now for us ? garggle some peanut butter ? lol just playing... I have done some oops things before too. We all have. I think my best one was driving 20 min to a job and looking back and noticing I forgot to hitch up the trailer.
     
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike, I don't do demos as you probably know by now, nor do I market with mass mailings. I do however suffer from CRS (Can't Remember S--t) also known as CRAFT (Can't Remember A F-ing Thing). As a result I have occassionally driven away with my tailgate open... enough times now that I actually have begun to curse GM for not installing a simple pressure switch on the tailgate to trigger a warning lamp on the dash. I mean really, how simple would that be? My truck already has enough electronic gizmos and do-hickeys that it is probably thinking on its own anyways! My worst tailgate loss ever was a box filled with power tools... about $1500 worth.... at least I got all new tools that day, so maybe the glass was half full?

    In regards to the demo fee. 1: Raise it! what do you get for $65 these days? Certainly not a top notch lighting designer setting up a demonstration at your convenience at your home!! You need to value yourself more my friend.

    I would take the price off the mailer, and then when you are prequalifying the client let them know that a demo comes at a cost. If they buy the system the cost is discounted from the system price. Make the cost of the demo worth your time.... $200+ I would hope. (The hidden long term benefit of this is that you will be able to write down those fees as a discount on your books. ask your accountant)

    Here I charge cold call prospects a "consultation fee" for my first visit with them. I also charge a "design fee" to all my clients which covers my initial meetings, site visits, design time, etc. Last time I checked, I wasnt getting anything for free or discounts from my Lawyers, Accountants, Dentist, etc etc.
     
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,941

    curse GM for not installing a simple pressure switch on the tailgate to trigger a warning lamp on the dash. I mean really, how simple would that be? My truck already has enough electronic gizmos and do-hickeys that it is probably thinking on its own anyways! My worst tailgate loss ever was a box filled with power tools... about $1500 worth.... at least I got all new tools that day, so maybe the glass was half full?

    :laugh:

    This was my exact conversation with my helper!!

    As far as professional fees, you and Pete may have a lot more in common than you think.

    I have a question for myself: why do I ask for advice after I execute ideas? Postcards were ordered last night with price printed. My first round went out last month with "free demo, (reg $65)" After the present one, I plan on going back to "keep this for a free demo (reg $65)" (with the same list).

    Once my networking/exposure/referrals takes foot, I will have less time for free demo's and may charge accordingly to compensate for opportunity cost.

    Great advice, but next time try to anticipate what I'm thinking and doing a few days before I post my info.

    Mike M
     
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Hey Sure Mike, no problem buddy.... I will get right on that. Perhaps some form of long distance Vulcan Mind Meld would work.

    As for going back to "keep this for a free demo (reg $65)" on your next mailer.... well hmmm how do I put this so you will get it? NO NO NO NO NO !

    If anything at all, you should state; "keep this for a free demo (reg. $250)"

    It took my advisers a long time to drill into me the real value of my time, expertise and talent. Please Mike DO NOT UNDERVALUE YOURSELF.

    Bill Locklin had an amazing one line piece of advice that he regularly shared. Your homework for today is to do some digging and report back here with that advice.

    Regards.
     
  6. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    Buy a Ford. Our F150 that has the reverse sensing system starts beeping if you put the truck in gear and the tailgate is down.

    We don't charge for demo's....I look at it this way. If we were new in the business and didn't have the capital to send out mailers we would be hitting the pavement anyway and doing cold calls. Time, money, gas....all expenses that would be a factor in that as well. At least with demo's they are calling us and we can pre-qualify them over the phone before we head out to their house. Charging for demos isn't a bad thing, just something we haven't adopted yet....I suppose when it gets to the point where we might be completely wasting our time, then maybe.....but if you have a strong phone presentation and pre-qualifiying skills then you can turn those phone leads into good demos which will then sell the project. I feel it's all based upon your sales ability. Just my opinion though.
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I suppose I could buy a FixOrRepairDaily, but then I would have to drive a Ford every day! :dizzy:

    That reverse sensor system sounds cool, except I really don't drive around much in reverse! What happens when you pull out in forward with the tailgate open?

    :)
     
  8. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    The reverse sensing system works great. What I was saying that if the tailgate is down, it will start beeping when it's put into gear....any gear...not just reverse. Those trucks are bulletproof in my mind. Our 04' has just over 100K miles on it...about 70K of those are pulling an enclosed trailer and it's been perfect. Never had any problems. Just like anything else though, if you keep it up on maintenance it will last a long time....kind of like a lighting system!
     
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Where Dave is at it will rust out before even a Ford dies. When I was in college near him I had an 87 dodge daytona... 60k miles on it and looked good and ran great but pull up the floormats and there was a hole the size of kansas. I think I rememeber "borrowing" some old road signs and riveting them in as floorboards. Afterall... how many rusted our street signs have you seen.

    68k on my silverado... no issues to date besides the regular stuff like brakes... couple of lamps and tires.
     
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933


    let me guess, you had to change out your running lamps? Is it just me or does every Chevy truck on the road only have one driving light working?
     

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