Discussing Budget With Clients

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
It's often very difficult to get a client to discuss budget. It can be very frustrating for contractors if we can't get that information before we design the landscape.

The following article, I thought, does a great job of both explaining the problem and providing a way to get your answer. One of the best articles I've read on the subject. I thought I'd share it with you all.

http://www.landscapemgmt-digital.com/landscapemgmt/201203?pg=56#pg56


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DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
County Jail
Good article.

But it pretty much is line from line with what we have discussed on this forum.


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Gilmore.Landscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ontario
Yea it great untill they say....well I was thinking 5k...haha.

Good read, I have done this in the past with good success, also find having pictures of yards and telling them how much that particular project was.
 

Gilmore.Landscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ontario
Yea it great untill they say....well I was thinking 5k...haha.

Good read, I have done this in the past with good success, also find having pictures of yards and telling them how much that particular project was.
 
OP
JimLewis

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
Yea it great untill they say....well I was thinking 5k...haha.
See, I don't see that as a problem. Because it's way better than spending a lot of time creating a design, writing up a comprehensive proposal, etc. and then finding out that their budget is way under what is realistic. I'd rather find that out at the first meeting and then either work to help them come up with a more realistic budget or politely back out of the bid process if it's obvious that it's not going to be a good match (because their budget doesn't even meet our lowest price).

If I can get an answer for the budget - whatever the answer is - I'm happy. I just hate not knowing. I think the method he describes in the article is a great way to bring the price out of them.
 

GreenI.A.

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
North East
Thanks for posting, definitely something a lot of contractors would be better off for reading. I am still shocked when I know the potential client has called a couple other contractors for proposals as well and they don't have an idea of what they are expecting for a budget. What shocks me even more is how many of those potential clients tell me that the other contractors didn't ask for a budget. They often get a little defensive, almost like I'm asking to see the balance of their checking account or something. Usually I explain I need a budget range to give them the best design possible and use a kitchen remodel as a analogy. Basically I tell them that they can call different contractors to design their kitchen, but without a budget their designs will vary greatly; one might come back with a 10k proposal but it is for bargain basement cabinets and appliances, while another my have a 100k design with custom cherry cabinets, granite, marble, and top of the line stainless steel appliances all covered under warranted. Seems that usually makes it easier for the clients to understand how two different contractors could vary so much on a patio/wall/outdoor kitchen

That usually gets them to relax and come back with the "I guess around xx,xxx". Then I usually go over some ideas of what we can do in their range to see what they think before we start any type of designing. I definitely agree that getting the budget is needed.
 

DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
County Jail
on my website I even address budget in detail.

I even mention that its an uncomfortable yet important subject.

On my website I use the analogy of buying a home. to get the point across.
 

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