All of the above, but I do not leave the digital designs with them without a deposit or a fee to keep them. This ensures you aren't wasting your time designing a layout so they can install it. The more complete your estimate, the less left for the homeowner to question. Makes you look very professional as well and that is what alot of people look for.
I use a computer print out of the job . This program shows just what it will look like when the job is finish. With the bid I have all Bid information spelled out for them. We walk out to the location were we are going to landscape and look at the picture of what it could be. I don't leave the print there, and no marking of the layout . When they sign the contract I use a Tru Print layout with all the installation points and sprinkler layout , that shows sun location ( at that time of year or summer time) this shows them just what there property is going to look like. At a lot of jobs I may leave a similar job that was done with a warning at the bottom of the picture , This picture and layout is owed by Cultural Landscape and copy rights implided (date) .This works for us , and other landscape companies know my work or design because we use our trademark on what we install.
We will be starting landscape installs and charging a small design fee to potential customers which will be fully credited back to the install if they choose to let us install it. Otherwise we made decent wages on the design and they may do with it as they please. Not really looking to make a living off of design, just an efficient way to weed out potentials.
Mac.........excellent post. I needed a good laugh this morning. I just finished looking over about 10 pages of listings on this message board and I have determined that the self-confidence and self-worth of a number of posters is in steep decline based on the repetition of the following examples:
Am I charging too much?
What do you think of my business cards?
I sent out 200 flyers and got no response!?
Here's my new (fill in the blank). What do you think?
Should I add 10% to my costs for mulch?
C'mon guys.......You had the balls to go into business for yourselves, but now you're looking for some kind of validation from people you don't know to justify your actions.
Don't be afraid to turn a profit. And I don't mean 10%. 10% = a loss in any kind of business activity. Look your customers in the eye and throw out a price. They'll be able to read you immediately. If you quote a price of $300 while looking at your shoes and I come behind you and quote $450, 7 times out of 10 I will win that job. A customer's comfort level is usually higher around a self-confident individual than it is around someone who has sheepish mannerisms.
You'll have to excuse me now while I go get another cup of coffee. I feel the caffeine wearing off.
i had a good 1 yesterday went on the estimate nice guy long winded. i am righting up the proposal and waiting to get a word in edgewise. i finally decided now or never i turned the clip board around and said sign here. i got it
t edwards, you must understand, alot of us have been on here for years, and post "senselessly" just for the sake of conversation. and along with all the trash talk, and nonsense, i learn a tiny bit from every thread. the "lack of self confidence" issue, i believe goes both ways however. the new guy asking silly questions may be lacking self confidence , and the veteran giving the answeres certainly may be lacking confidence as well. my logic on that? simple, who in thier right mind, kills them self to start a business, gets through the growing pains, makes it out alive, then GIVES OUT INFORMATION, TO THIER COMPETITORS, FOR FREE? i can only see this, as an effort on thier part, to "validate" themselves somehow. but again, i enjoy the garbage threads and useful ones as well, if for nothing else, for the sake of conversing with some really nice people. now you'll have to excuse me, while i get a refill, my beer buzz is wearing off.