Pre-Qualifying

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I know many of you that do installs and/or landscaping, do some sort of pre-qualifying on potential customers that inquire about a bid. What do you ask in pre-qualifying? Since I only do service/repair and did not pre-qualify back in the day, I don't know the process. What kind of questions do you ask them?

    The reason I'm asking is we may start doing a few more installs this year. Already have one inquiry referred to us by a master gardener that sends us some work. What I don't want to do is run around with my head cut off giving bids and never getting any jobs.

    Oh by the way, this was post #6000!!!!
     
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    Congrats. You should be so happy!

    Money down is the only pre-qual I need. Half for irr installs for us.
     
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    What I'm trying to do is eliminate the tire kicking riff raff. I always get 1/2 down on installs.
     
  4. Why don't you emphasize a design fee? Probably not a good idea. I guess I'd ask how they got your name and try and sell the system over the phone. If they respond well to your pitch then go out there and look it over. I'd also try and meet them, come up with the price, get it signed, and receive the down payment all in one shot.
     
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    If I was doing more installs, maybe I would get some design software. But I'm not. I don't like trying to get someone to sign on the spot. I personally will not make a $2000-$10,000 purchase lightly without thinking it over.

    Below is part of the email conversation I have had with this one potential customer. This isn't pre-qualifying, but I'm trying to let this person know what i expect, and what they can expect from me.

    Yes I can look at this project with you. To let you know, my company is primarily service and repair oriented, but we do install a few new systems, time permitting. May, June, and usually most of July is out in terms of when we could install a new system. So it would either need to be done in April, or sometime after mid to late July.

    Our bid will also not be the least expensive if you are price shopping. We will design the system for maximum efficiency while minimizing water runoff and waste. Part of our business model is to make existing systems better and more efficient, so we also practice that with new systems we install. Quality components are also used, which helps the system from wasting water. The proper building permits will be issued, and required backflow prevention device will be installed for protecting your drinking water supply.
     
  6. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    I think you're on the right track
     
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,218

    I ask them how many bids they have so far.When do they plan on doing this job.
    A lot will come out if you start bullshatting with them when you get there. Look at the beemer , comment its a nice car . If their reply is ," yes , I dont mind paying more for what I feel is a quality product" that is a good thing . If their reply is " yeah , I effing stole that thing " not so good.
    I have done surveys in the past to all customers I installed on said yr. Price always was answered as least important, while went with contractor I felt the most comfortable with was always listed as most important.
     
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    I always respond at some point with, " we will not be your lowest bid"
     
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Same here, I like to let them know what they are getting into. I'm not selling a KIA, and I'm not selling a Porsche. More like a good durable Subaru or low end BMW. :) I don't want to waste their time, and I don't want mine wasted either.
     
  10. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,888

    I ask the same. If the answer is more than 3, I'm moving on, they're tire-kickers. I've also found that the "come by, take a look, and leave your bid in the mailbox" calls are a waste of time. If you can't get face time, move on.
     

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