Best advice for giving good estimates?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by CAPT Stream Rotar, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,201

    I need some suggestions here guys..

    I got a list of estimates coming up...

    Ive done a few...
    Any good advice you all would care to divulge to a young squire as myself?
  2. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Listen to the customers needs and don't promise what you cant deliver.....
  3. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    Sounds common sense but I really don't think people are aware of there actual costs. And you being an employee your pricing structure should already be set in stone for you by the owner.

    Overhead (almost everything under the sun falls under this category)
    Parts for system plus plumbing parts
    warranty money
    paper work: bonds & permits and citys regs
    Irregular aspects of job

    Your boss should be instructing you how to bid, not a bunch of irrigators stretching from the East to the West Coast in a 100 different markets.
  4. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,201

    ICS-sorry if you miss understood me....I know my prices and costs....I know my boss wants me to bid high...our clients are on the high-end on cape.

    I was asking for more suggestions as to how to read tire kickers and push overs.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    The trick for me is trying to determine how much time you should spend on the estimate.

    This requires being able to size up the potential client and quickly determine if they are serious shoppers or tire kickers. Some people will talk your ear off or are just looking for free advise. Before you know it, 2 hours have passed, and that is not a good thing if you don't get the job.

    For serious shoppers (or even fence sitters), it would be well worth some extra time on the estimate answering questions and letting them get to "know you".

    For the tire kickers, make a graceful exit as soon as you have given them enough to chew on without completely dismissing you as an option.

    As far as sizing people up, that can only come with experience.

    BTW, your bid should be the same regardless of the income level of the client. Bidding and billing higher just because the client is rich IMHO is dishonest.

    Messages: 18,668

    practice, practice, practice. When it comes to people experience is the only teacher. I sell well to people who want to learn and suck up the info. When people start behaving indifferent to the things I think are important I don't try and fool myself. Time to move on.

    Messages: 18,668

    I don't completely agree with this. The rich have higher expectations and that needs to be factored in. Single moms raising children always get a break from us. Senior citizens do not get discounts but we are more patient with them and will go the extra mile. For us it's as much about relationships as it is business and I will tell a rich customer who wants a break that I won't give it to him but I will to the next single mom I see.
  8. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    Sorry about that Ed,

    The goal is to try to find out if price is the only thing they are concerned with asap so you don't waste your time or their time.

    If price is their main issue then you just tell them you are proposing a Basic system.

    Actually if they don't give you a budget then ask them are they looking for something basic, excellent value or if they want you to design it if it were your own.

    Remember: you are not there to sell Hunter or RainBird you are there to sell yourself and the company. People are buying you and the company not the PGP's.

    The longer you stay the better your chances are. I will just spend 45 minutes with a price shopper and usually average an hr to an hr and a half on most bids.

    Good Luck
  9. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,201

    Thanks man....

    Sounds good...Last wed i sold this customer of ours on a zone of drip for 750..The drip system is not that big...I felt her out...went a lil high cause i felt the lock down...Next thing I know she is asking when i can put it in.

    of course pics will be taken.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Dang... I'm gonna burn my AARP card in protest. :)

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