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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread probably pertains to the 1 to 2 man operations. With gas going up it is getting real old going out and giving tire kickers estimates who love to chat it up. Do any of you have good screening techniques to screen out the I’m just wondering :censored: crowd?
 

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We all pay alot for gas these days ********! One thing I recommend is when someone calls, ask them how they found out about you. If they were referred by another customer, they probably have an idea of what to expect price-wise. Alot of our work comes from our suppliers who in turn attract customers who want quality. Its the absolute cold out of the blue caller that you have to use some intuition on. Be a good listener. Let them talk all they want.
 

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I'm not sure exactly when I know someone is a tire ticker, but it's usually pretty far into the process. I've pulled up to houses and thought, "No way I'm getting this job". And 3 weeks later we are painting the house.

I know I'm going to deal with a certain number of tire kickers/ price shoppers. Oh well. If I try to get too cute so I can eliminate all of them, I'm also going to eliminate some potentially good customers.

We don't try to do any pre-qualifying. If they will meet with me, live in my service area, and want something I do, I'll be there.

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but I have a lot of confidence in what I offer, as well as my sales skills. When I show up to look at a job, my attitude is that they will want to hire me, but wonder if they can afford me. After all, who could resist my boyish smile and that little twinkle in my eye? Actually, a lot of people can, but that's beside the point.:mad:

Seriously, I think it's a mistake to try to prequalify or weed out tire kickers. Often the customer simply doesn't know what they want or need, and if we spend some time with him/ her we can open their eyes to other possibilities.

Brian Phillips
 

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I do not try to "weed out the tire kickers" but have spent a lot of wasted time listening to folks who either are lonely, oldsters who used to do it themselves, or simply put weird people. One time I drove 20 miles and then spent 2 hours looking a place over and listening to a woman who told me that I had Hoary Hair, which from the bible, meant Graying. :eek:
I did pass her "character test' un be knownst to me that I had been tested.
And she gave me several jars of canned goods, including canned chicken, beef, navy beans, and turkey, all of which were at least 4 years old by the label. I had to be polite and accept her generous gifts, but my wife said NO WAY she would eat any of my treasures. :sick:Did not get the job, by the way. I guess tire kickers are people too. I'll talk to any body. :bangin:
Happy painting , Paul
 

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I did pass her "character test' un be knownst to me that I had been tested.
That's something we can't do over the phone. And when we pass that test, the customer is often willing to spend more than they orginally planned.

Sales is primarily about trust and confidence. If the customer has trust in us, our company, and the job we propose, we have a good chance of being hired. It's usually pretty hard to develop that in a short phone conversation.

Brian Phillips
 

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Brian, I totally agree. Phone conversations are like the internet, You never know what you will get. Face to face we see expressions and body language that tell more than words. I was never schooled in sales, but I do have very good people skills, IMHO. I think that a major key to successful sales and customer satisfaction is a well defined and executed contract.

Happy painting, Paul.
 

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This thread probably pertains to the 1 to 2 man operations. With gas going up it is getting real old going out and giving tire kickers estimates who love to chat it up. Do any of you have good screening techniques to screen out the I’m just wondering :censored: crowd?
It's annoying sometimes, especially w/o a full time sales person....or if you are the salesperson and the technician
But it's part of the deal you know....you will never sell them all, and will always have people trying to get a feel for you and your company

You'll want to keep track of your closing rate, then you can tell if your getting excessive tire kicking going on
If that's happening, you may want to change your marketing strategies and/or advertising techniques
 

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It's annoying sometimes, especially w/o a full time sales person....or if you are the salesperson and the technician
But it's part of the deal you know....you will never sell them all, and will always have people trying to get a feel for you and your company

You'll want to keep track of your closing rate, then you can tell if your getting excessive tire kicking going on
If that's happening, you may want to change your marketing strategies and/or advertising techniques
Bingo. If you don't like the results you are getting, then don't keep doing the same thing.

Further, identify and accept the nature of the animal you are petting. If you are trying to tame a tiger, you might get bit once in a while.

Brian Phillips
 

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who love to chat it up.
These types are the ones i like most because this is where i become their friend and not their painting contractor. It's the people who yell for you to come in when you knock on the door without getting off the couch and tell you...."oh, my wife never told me you were coming, what did she tell you we need painted."(had this type 2 days ago). I told him i was there to look at the 2nd floor hall and 1 of the bedrooms for plaster repair due to a roof leak. He said, i don't know why you are here cause we lived with it for over a year now, go on up and take a look." After doing my assessment i ask him a few questions with replies of " you are going to have to ask her"(i'm thinking, no wonder i'm here, you can't get off the couch smacka$$). Later that day i call "her" with a price and questions i had about the repair and paints. Her reply was with an attitude"I don't want prices for painting, we do that kind of work. We just wanted a price for repairs". I gave her a price for repair only and she responded with "i'll have to talk it over with my husband and we'll get back to you".:no: Please don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
- I like the ones you gave an estimate 2 years ago call you and say ‘hi, this is Mrs. Smith, we are ready for you to start as soon as possible’. Yeh, like I was put into a deep freeze to be awakened at your beckon call and remember what the job and price was.

- Then there are the ones who someone else gave them an estimate a year ago (not you) but in forgetting who they had talked to call everyone in the yellow pages trying to remember who, realize it was not you, and hang up.:mad:
 

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- I like the ones you gave an estimate 2 years ago........ like I was put into a deep freeze to be awakened at your beckon call and remember what the job and price was.

:mad:
Just for this reason, i keep all records of my estimates.:yes:
 

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A craigslist ad I once ran generated no work and plenty of tire kickers.

I was unable/unwilling to compete with the uber lowball painters.

A possible solution is to include consultating with your business.

Charge for estimates, and apply that to a signed contract.

:jester:
 

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Along with the standard marketing to the general public, try and network with friends, relatives and other people in your "sphere of influence".

Networking is the best way to avoid tire kickers.

I've run across the elderly who think in terms of 1960 pricing, and I've run into people who actually do try to give you canned goods from God knows when. If they would rather give me the canned goods than throw them away, it speaks volumes about their willingness to stick to a contract and pay my prices. I usually skip those people for business, but they may be perfectly fine to socialize with.

The standard proposal starts out with a prewritten line that goes, "I propose to funish the materials and labor...."

At the bottom of that form is also a preprinted area to enter an expiration date for the proposal. If they don't hire you by that date, the proposal is no longer valid.
 

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A Ben Moore event I went to a few years back had a great speaker, who went over this...in fact I bought his book...I'll look around....but he said when a new customer calls and describes the job to you, ask how much money they have budgeted for this project...and then shut up. Whatever you do let the customer respond no matter how long the silence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The standard proposal starts out with a prewritten line that goes, "I propose to funish the materials and labor...."

At the bottom of that form is also a preprinted area to enter an expiration date for the proposal. If they don't hire you by that date, the proposal is no longer valid.
I do the same thing with my submittals. I give it a 30 day window, although at times I have given in 3 months later when I was slow.
 

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Phone conversations are like the internet, You never know what you will get. Face to face we see expressions and body language that tell more than words.
It can be very easy to misinterpret words, particularly written words.

As an example, a few weeks ago someone wrote something on this forum that I thought was a direct insult to me. But I wasn't totally sure, so I PMed the person. It turns out I was completely wrong.

I could have easily tore into this person and created a problem where none really existed. (And believe me, much to my chagrin I've done that a few times in the past.)

My point is that communication occurs in many different ways. And effective communication is a two-way street. When we start trying to pre-qualify or "weed people out" we are really engaging in one-way communication. We have an agenda, and if the customer doesn't provide the "right" answer, they get "buzzed" and kicked out of the show.

I think that's a disservice to the customer-- how do they know what the "right" answer is? And I think the contractor is cutting off his nose to spite his face (I hate that expression but it seems appropriate)-- a particular person doesn't fit his image or say the right words, and he's done with that person.

Brian Phillips
 

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To me its all a numbers game, and what i mean by that is I do a certain amount of estimate, I close a certain amount jobs, plain and simple, the more est I do the more jobs I close. I welcome all leads well almost all lol.

With that said, if they dont want to meet me, heck Ill give them a estimate and leave it in their mailbox, my estimate package is a silent salesmen. I prefer not to do it this way but I will.

Now estimating is my job, I no longer have to paint all day and then give estimates, if I was doing that I know I would feel much differnt. because I have done that. lol

Now I just want to see as many estimates as I can every month. Referalls and repeat clients are far much better in terms of closing.

So when I here a no, i know im that much closer to a yes.

dave mac
 

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Yes--

A Ben Moore event I went to a few years back had a great speaker, who went over this...in fact I bought his book...I'll look around....but he said when a new customer calls and describes the job to you, ask how much money they have budgeted for this project...and then shut up. Whatever you do let the customer respond no matter how long the silence.
Now--that is one great way to cut to the chase Kelly! And, btw a page borrowed from some of the very best sales people in the world.

So Mrs. Jones, you'd like us to paint your entire house. How much is budgeted for your project? If you don't cave and wait for an answer, you will have a very strong idea of where to go with pricing.

Until you mentioned this Kelly, I forgot all about that line--and it works very well for closing a job.

JTP
 
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