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Old 05-15-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Homeowner excuses

The other day I got a call to give an estimate on a exterior repaint. When I was on the phone I stated I could swing by and take a peek today and the homeowner said " Don't worry about it, As long as you can give me a price within the next few weeks! ".

The house is a vacation home so neither husband or wife would be around. I stopped by to take a look and called the homeowner later that night and left a voicemail saying " Hello_____ this is Robert calling with your complimentary estimate for the painting of your homes exterior. I would say it is going to cost $________ which would include both the cost of labor and paint/supplies. Please give me a call back at your earliest convenience and let me know what you think. Thank you "

I get a call back not 15 minutes later and the homeowner says " Well, I am going to have to talk to my wife about it. I've got your number, Thanks. "

I think the ole' talk to my wife talk is their way of saying " Yeah right, With your crappy looking signs I thought I could get the job done for free ".

It's happend to me more than once. I know now when the homeowner says this it means I don't have the job.

What things do homeowners say to you that trigger you to think you lost the job?
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:16 PM   #2
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Firstly, I never give a bid/proposal price in the phone. I want either one or both of the HO's present when I'm walking around the house. That way we can talk about what needs to be done, the labor and materials involved, etc., to justify the price. Congratulations, you just made a price shopper out of them.

It has nothing to do with your signs, but maybe with your lack of salesmanship experience. I'm not trying to be harsh with you, but just pointing out something that might help you.

If, you are a professional painter who does quality work, you've got part of the package, work on your presentation to complete it.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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With all due respect and helpfulness, I agree with the Wolf.

It sounds like the HO is a tire kicker.

When they say to just swing by and take a look, explain to them that you like to meet with the HO as you look over the house to understand their needs and concerns.

With a meeting you can sell your professionalism and dedication to quality.

Another problem with a phoned in estimate, is they only have a number (that may not remain firm in their memory). With a well written proposal, they can compare what they are getting for the money with all the other prices they are collecting.

Hope that helps.



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Old 05-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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With rare exceptions I won't bid a project unless the home owner can meet me there. If they're at work then I'll meet them later to discuss the price. If they say they just can't meet with me then I won't bid it. If they can't take time to meet with me they're going to have a hard time finding time to write the check too.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
 
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Just move to your next job give price time line never ****er unless you have to. If you do people good your name will get around your phone will ring with many jobs......
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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doesn't sounds like a HO excuse to me. Big investments need to be a joint decision.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthecoast View Post
What things do homeowners say to you that trigger you to think you lost the job?
While we are wrapping up the final details they begin to fold the estimate that I just handed them into eighths, always a bad juju type of signal.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #8
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Default Proposals......

As previously stated, proposals are hard given without the recipient there to explain what's involved for a quality job, with quality coatings.


Otherwise, it's just a number..............
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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I hate the old, "I gotta talk to my wife/husband" routine. My former boss called it the "tag team". Sounds like your potential clients are certainly just shopping around. Maybe they are uneducated about picking the right contractor and are only doing what they know how: dollar comparison.

I agree, it's best to meet with them both and go over everything. Homeowners tend to create a gut feeling about a contractor once sitting with them and getting to know them a bit. My customers always comment on the fact that I am dedicated to the work, which I'm not necessarily pushing- it comes out on its own. That gives them confidence in the product that will outweigh the numbers...sometimes anyway.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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The homeowner said to get around to looking at it within the next few weeks. I said I can check it out today and he said if I am in the area to take a look. I took a look, Left a packet with my info on front door and called him with a figure. It was sorta his idea.

Atleast I provided quick service beyond his expectations LOL
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #11
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This thread is great, made me think of how I have done in the past and what I can do to correct it in the future. I am off to do 4 estimates right now. Wish me luck.. oh and positive vibes sent your way man Hope you get the job!
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #12
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This thread is great, made me think of how I have done in the past and what I can do to correct it in the future. I am off to do 4 estimates right now. Wish me luck.. oh and positive vibes sent your way man Hope you get the job!
Lucky Bastard!

I hope I get the job too. Can't wait to quit my job. They've been pushing me and pushing me
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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The great thing about this forum is that if you've got an open mind you can learn a lot here. If you are starting out on your own it really helps to do it right the first time. I'm not saying you cant get lucky every once in awhile by not doing it right, but as time goes on the odds will stack against you....and you know the old adage that old habits are hard to break.

Part of having your own business is the control you can exert over certain things. When you start letting the customer control you, your getting yourself in some deep doodoo. It will happen occasionally over time anyway, but your best bet is to come across as a professional because you are.
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Lucky Bastard!

I hope I get the job too. Can't wait to quit my job. They've been pushing me and pushing me
You are going to quit your job if you get 1 for next week?
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:54 PM   #15
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I don't do drive by's. You would think that if the parties involved are going to be exchanging painting services for potentially a few thousand dollars, they might want to meet one another.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:58 AM   #16
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You are going to quit your job if you get 1 for next week?
No No No, I am saying I can't wait to quit my job in general.. I have a feeling I am far from being able to quit.


As for the "Drive by", Was not my plan. And technically I didn't just drive by. I got out, took a look around and determined the needs of the property.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
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As for the "Drive by", Was not my plan. And technically I didn't just drive by. I got out, took a look around and determined the needs of the property.
Oh c'mon, don't we all aspire to work for College Pro.

When I hear of a true "drive by" estimate, I cringe, just as much as when I see





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Old 05-17-2009, 01:12 AM   #18
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Oh c'mon, don't we all aspire to work for College Pro.

When I hear of a true "drive by" estimate, I cringe, just as much as when I see

Arch, If they did paper you know you'd be the first to apply for the foreman position!
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:14 AM   #19
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Also, I am giving up entirely on exteriors totally. I am strictly advertising interiors. Hmmmm.... Maybe I can figure a way to do driveby estimates on interiors?
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Arch, If they did paper you know you'd be the first to apply for the foreman position!
I think after 60 years on the planet and 37 in the business I've learned a tad more than that

HOWEVER, I did meet one of their foremen once and he was an anomaly - he actually knew what he was doing.

"a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters given a thousand years would write something intelligible"



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