Had "the talk" with this lady - Paint Talk - Professional Painting Contractors Forum
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Had "the talk" with this lady

No, not the birds and the bees.....price=quality talk.


Did an estimate last week for a lady of about 65 years of age. She wanted the baseboard changed in her living room and hall/Painting of it.
Also a couple of bedrooms to be painted.

Anyway, as we are doing the walkthru she's already trying to set me up with crying poor mouth.

"Now can you do the estimate separately because I gotta see how much I can afford to do"

"Gee whiz, I just got done putting in duct work for my AC and having my sunroom totally remodelled...Really drained my finances"

"Can ya give me a ballpark right now"---trying to lock me in to low number.

There were more but you get the idea.

Let me preface this by saying this is a client of a senior program that I do work for...I am their paint contractor but they also have handymen that are seniors which paint for cheap.

Now estimate is just about done and I said, "listen it seems like price is your priority so why dont I have them send over a handyman, cause they are very affordable at 12 dollars an hour."

"Wait, wait....My priority is quality! I had some really bad work done by so and so and I was so upset....I have such a high standard....I just want it at a good price too....And I heard those handymen take forever and their work is lousy"


It was at this point I had to educate her that you get what you pay for. I was very polite and just told her what she already prolly knew. I have seen the handymen's work before also and IT IS PISSPOOR and they are slow as hell. Anyway I told her I would send her an estimate on what she def. wanted done asap and she can make her decision. Its funny cause their was hvac guys there while I was doing the walkthru, some other contractor just did the sunroom, and Im sure she had no problem paying those guys and here she is trying to chizzle me to save a few bucks.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #2
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That's because anyone can paint
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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Quality is comensurate with price, if we back down as a trade - we can only blame ourselves if people get away with it.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Those sunroom salesmen are sharp.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #5
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Yeeep...this place is helping to reinforce the idea that dealing with people who have price as their priority is not even worth it. I just want to clear the air, and save us both time.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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Guys, I dont think its unreasonable for a customer to want to know if it is going to be in the range of $2000, $5000, $10,000. This is their way of asking a question to determine how much painting they can afford to get done. Often, they lead themselves to their own scope reduction. You cant always assume they are trying to beat you down. Sure, sometimes they will end up with someone who will do their desired scope within their low budget, but often times they wont. If they have $2000 to spend, provide them with $2000 worth of services.



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Old 08-06-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
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If she only asked for a rough estimate I wouldnt jump to judgement. It was the barrage of comments related to her not being able to afford what she is asking me to provide.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cappaint View Post
If she only asked for a rough estimate I wouldnt jump to judgement. It was the barrage of comments related to her not being able to afford what she is asking me to provide.

That still does not mean she is trying to low ball you. She could just have no freaking idea of what something like that costs and was just curious.

Pat
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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That still does not mean she is trying to low ball you. She could just have no freaking idea of what something like that costs and was just curious.

Pat
My wife and I go through it as consumers. We have $1000 available right now to put into X; $800 we want to put into Y.

We try to be responsible and not bring people in and mislead them in the amount that we are prepared to get done. It doesnt mean we are trying to get something for nothing. We are just trying to spend responsibly and be upfront.



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Old 08-06-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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Awhile ago had some issues with my transmission and thought I needed a new one. went to a shop and asked how much something like this was going to cost. I did not know if it was going to be $1500 or $3000. I just needed to know. I was not trying to low ball the guy by asking, I just had no idea on what it would cost.

Pat
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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Are you guys saying that people dont try to drop hints during your estimates to influence your price.

"Hey just so you know I have 3-4 other guys giving me estimates and Im going with the lowest"

"Dont kill me on the price, Im giving you a lot of work"

"And if you take care of me now, I will have lots more work in the future"


People can be very manipulative...some fall for it some dont. Whether she was trying to manipulate me or just didnt have the money doesnt really matter to me....either way clearing the air is in your best interest. let them know what you offer, get to know their expectations, and convince them why to use you at a higher rate...its sales folks.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vermontpainter View Post
Guys, I dont think its unreasonable for a customer to want to know if it is going to be in the range of $2000, $5000, $10,000. This is their way of asking a question to determine how much painting they can afford to get done. Often, they lead themselves to their own scope reduction. You cant always assume they are trying to beat you down. Sure, sometimes they will end up with someone who will do their desired scope within their low budget, but often times they wont. If they have $2000 to spend, provide them with $2000 worth of services.
That is so true working with most people now a days. Before the credit crisis almost everyone would just go to the bank and have an equity loan within a day and get the work done.

It isn't that simple now as anyone who has borrowed money in the last few years knows. I have plenty of clients who now get done what is in their budget, and months or a year later call me back for other things.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #13
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Cappaint - you know what customers are going after. Just because guys tell you about some miniscule probability that a customer isn't price shopping after dropping 214 hints that they are - go with your gut. People start asking me to itemize an estimate - and I tell them right from the get go that certain projects cannot be broken up - I do from A to Z and it's a single price. I've learned which people are just trying to get an honest feel for what something is going to cost vs. which ones are looking to chisel you down.

I assume everyone develops this feel for a prospective client - but probably not everyone develops this kind of perspective.
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