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Old 01-19-2012, 12:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by sendit6 View Post
Does anyone close in the spot when giving the estimate on the spot? I highly doubt it. I say that because most people are getting at least 3 estimates.

I wouldn't even consider submiting an estimate on the spot. Too many variables to consider, have to think it out. Maybe it's just me.
It depends. Probably 70% of my jobs come through referrals. As a result many already feel inclined to use my services - they just want to know the price. If it's within the range they were expecting I'm usually able to close before leaving. I've been doing this long enough that I feel pretty comfortable with my bids (unless they are really complicated jobs). I also only do interiors so the variables are often less and bids are easier to do - at least for me. Sometimes they want to talk it over (or think about it) and get back to me. Usually that means the price is more than they expected. Of those I usually get about 80% positive call backs.

On a non-referral I'm still usually able to give the bid before I leave. On those I'm able to close about 75% of the time either then or on a callback.

I'm always surprised how many people don't get multiple bids or how many other contractors never bother to respond in a timely manner. I've lost track of the number of jobs I've gotten just because I was the one who did the bid promptly and was ready to put them into my schedule - often before they've even gotten any call from the other painting outfits they've contacted. Seems to be human nature that once people have made up their mind to move ahead with the work they want the bid ASAP and to be put on the calendar. Don't ever put people off if you can possibly avoid it. Do the bid, sell your service, and close the deal. No need to be pushy like most car salesmen but think about it: if you've ever gone to purchase a car from a dealership did the salesperson ever tell you they'll get back to you in a few days?
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:57 AM   #22
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #23
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If it is a small job, a few hundred dollars, I give them a price during the bid process. I generally always follow it up with an email showing the price I quoted them and the exact steps and scope of the job so there is no misunderstanding.
If it is a big job I always send them an email with my bid usually that day. This allows me to do several things. One, I might need to call my supplier with a question on the right product to use for a particular job and the current price of the materials. Two, it allows me to really analyze the price I am quoting them for the job and check my figures. Three, I am able to give them a detailed description of the work I am going to perform.
I always ask them to send me a reply to let me know if they got my email so I won't be left wondering. They don't have to commit just let me know they have recieved it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:01 PM   #24
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My business is tiny compared to most of yall's. I give estimates on the spot the old fashioned way, I write them on carbonless pre printed forms. I get about 50% of the jobs I bid on, on the spot.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #25
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Having come from a sales background I can tell you that you should be trying to close all deals on the spot. Specially if you have a good rapport going at the time. Using trial closes throughout the process will give you an idea on how close to yes they are.

I hear that "well they are getting multiple estimates" but can't help think that makes getting them to say yes to you now is even more important. Most people don't have the balls to even ask for the sale.

If you think that trying trial closes and asking for the sale is pushy, you need to learn about sales. Pushy is not what its about.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #26
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My business is tiny compared to most of yall's. I give estimates on the spot the old fashioned way, I write them on carbonless pre printed forms. I get about 50% of the jobs I bid on, on the spot.

Cajun Dave,

Thats what I am working towards. Have my estimating program (fancy excel sheet) just about done. If it works on my tablet, the estimate will be done on the spot, I'll fill out the sheet and hand it to them.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bikerboy View Post
Cajun Dave,

Thats what I am working towards. Have my estimating program (fancy excel sheet) just about done. If it works on my tablet, the estimate will be done on the spot, I'll fill out the sheet and hand it to them.
I've basically ignored any of the threads on estimating software because I can't believe it's possible with all the variables in painting...Can you show us yours and work us through an estimate?....I've seen the software that you pay for and it looks like complete bullchit to me...
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #28
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I've basically ignored any of the threads on estimating software because I can't believe it's possible with all the variables in painting...Can you show us yours and work us through an estimate?....I've seen the software that you pay for and it looks like complete bullchit to me...
what I am building is simple. from left to right are columns that are, setup, prep, time to paint, clean up and the last would be a total. you enter your time into each cell with the total of all cells being under (what else) the total column. the cell next to that multiplies it by my target per hour price. that's all i need for the labor end.

under that will be another row with individual cells for differing product,or another sheet that adds up the products plus the labor from the previous sheet .
if you know how much time you need for each task and how much you need to charge per hour to make your numbers, boom. it's done. add your product pricing and you have a total for the job.

i break down each room individually. i know it's a hassle but its something we did in sales called "reducing it to the rediculous". the idea is to make the price more palatable by breaking it down into smaller more manageable parts.

pardon my grammar, punctuation, and spelling. i am sick and typing this on my blackberry playbook. (and lazy)
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:30 PM   #29
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That sounds pretty good BB.

I've been thinking about the same kind of thing off and on for years..but if you make one (and share) I could quit thinking about it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:38 PM   #30
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That sounds pretty good BB.

I've been thinking about the same kind of thing off and on for years..but if you make one (and share) I could quit thinking about it.
i'll share it. you' d have to put your own per hour price in it. if you are excel savvy (i am not) its easy.

am doing it so all i have to carry is this tablet a pen or pencil and two part invoices. all of that will fit inside my current clipboard.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #31
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Does anyone close in the spot when giving the estimate on the spot?
A good referral or repeat work - all the time.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:45 PM   #32
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Great feedback everyone!

I asked a few customers about this topic today. They said they’d prefer the immediate gratification of a bid right on the spot. Handwritten verses typed didn’t matter, and following up via email with a detailed proposal would be good. That's just a small sampling tho...

I’m remembering a bid I did on the spot a few years ago. I told the couple to think about it and give me a call. While I was starting up my van, the customer knocked on my window and said they’ve already thought about it and want to hire me. They were also going to cancel an appointment they had later that day with another contractor. This was a pretty large job, and who knows what would have happen if I walked away without giving them the price on the spot. Something to think about anyway...

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:47 PM   #33
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One think I am going to start doing when giving on the spot bids for interior work: Go out to my van and write it up so I can think WITHOUT the customer staring at me. I can’t think under pressure! This applies to exteriors too when the customer is following me around two feet away. Doh!!!

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
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One think I am going to start doing when giving on the spot bids for interior work: Go out to my van and write it up so I can think WITHOUT the customer staring at me. I can’t think under pressure! This applies to exteriors too when the customer is following me around two feet away. Doh!!!

Yep, sometimes they even try to peak at my calculator to find out what s my hourly rate
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:03 PM   #35
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With the greatest of respect to both methods, I am wondering if this topic is being over thought.



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Old 01-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #36
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i'll share it. you' d have to put your own per hour price in it.
Damn

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Old 01-19-2012, 10:11 PM   #37
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I’m remembering a bid I did on the spot a few years ago. I told the couple to think about it and give me a call. While I was starting up my van, the customer knocked on my window and said they’ve already thought about it and want to hire me. They were also going to cancel an appointment they had later that day with another contractor.

Over the years I have had several customers call and cancel the appointment, due to various reasons. I would bet at least half the time I did not get a chance to bid due to them already getting one and had already decided.

Pat
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #38
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With the greatest of respect to both methods, I am wondering if this topic is being over thought.
Over thought? On PT? Never!
At least it's about something relevant. Not four pages of replies to something like "I'm Outa Here...".
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:13 PM   #39
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Why not just ask the customer what they prefer, based on their needs and time frame?
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:56 AM   #40
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Why not just ask the customer what they prefer, based on their needs and time frame?

Why not try to close now and later? You are giving them both.

If you are asking the right questions you should be able to determine weather they are ready.

Everybody is going to have a favorite method, some of it based on personality (fear, shyness, lack of sales knowledge or just plain prefference) but I think you sell your business short if you perform the estimates and fail to learn about and use every tool at your disposal.
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