Another Clueless Customer

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LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
unless your presenting to an EE. Than you just need to be second from the highest.
yep....but to know that would be collusion and price fixing...it would be illegal to have that information....
He didn't say "Be second from the highest on purpose." ;)


Added: Seriously, whould it be equally illegal to offer to beat a competitor's bid by, say, 5%?
 

aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
Folks, if you go on 5 estimates, and only close one, you need some serious help.

Even worse is using this as an argument to prove a mute point.

Learn how to market, and learn how to close a sale.

You'll complain less on the internet and make more money.
My wife's always telling me I need some serious help.

I'm really not trying to prove anything.
I just enjoy complaining on the internet and stirring things up a little.
It's one of my hobbies. :)

Complaining to the wife isn't nearly as fun.
She just nods her head in agreement. :)
 

aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
Their estimates were $1300, $1400, $1900, and $3300.
The sad part is the guy that was $3300 probably spent a lot of time learning about running a business and how to properly estimate a job.

His price is probably about where the others should be, but hey they need to charge the going rate if they expect to get any work. It doesn't matter what their costs are they can make it up with volume.

Now if only the $3300 guy could just learn how to market and close a sale. :)

Seems I remember reading a magazine article years ago that talked about how contractors will leave out some overhead expenses that they know they should be factoring into the estimate for fear that if they include these in the estimate their price will be too high and they won't get the job.
 

gardiner

Senior Member
Location
Canada
Something that tends to amaze me is everyone thinks about taking classes in upgrading their trade qualifications, be it code courses, electronics etc... but very few think of taking a course in sales as a natural part of the trade. It is not only a natural part but in truth a very intergate part of the trade today. I mean this not only for the owner and estimators of the company but also the guy in the service truck, if you know how to sell your service/product then you can compete with anyone including the low-baller.
I myself had the Dale Carnegie course in sales ( about 25 years ago) and it has been something I use in business (even when I was on the service truck) to today. I know what I market today is not the lowest cost item on the market and I don't go about promoting it as such I promote it using other methods. When I talk on the phone to a client they feel that they are really important to me and I care a lot, which I do and I believe many of you do to only I learned how to show it to the client without them thinking I am doing it on purpose.
Think at time about educating yourselves and your people in methods of educating your clients.
 

aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
I agree selling is the most important thing.

Whether you're an employee or a contractor being able to sell yourself and your services is what's going to determine how much you make.

As an employee the ability to sell yourself and your services to employers will determine how much they will be willing to pay you.

As a contractor the ability to sell yourself and your services to the customer will determine how much they will be willing to pay you.

You can be a great business man, estimator, electrician and know exactly what you need to charge, but if you can't sell your services at that price then none of the other things really matter.
 

gardiner

Senior Member
Location
Canada
I believe every apprentice should be handed a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" when they get in the trade and be expected to read and understand it. Maybe with that we might raise the bar on how we handle clients and close sales while at the same time maybe (just maybe) raise the bar on how we are perceived as professionals.
 

Teaspoon

Senior Member
Location
Camden,Tn.
I had a cluless customer call yesterday. This lady called said she was adding on a bed room. Her husband had did the carpenter work. But he wasn't sure what to do on the electrical.She asked me if I would come out and tell her husband what to do?
My reply was no mam I am not an instructer I am an electrician. I will do the work for you but I will not tell you how to do it.Doing Electrical work is what puts food on my table. Oh she replied we will pay you for your time. Some folks will ask you for your eye balls!
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
Location
UK
The sad part is the guy that was $3300 probably spent a lot of time learning about running a business and how to properly estimate a job.

His price is probably about where the others should be, but hey they need to charge the going rate if they expect to get any work. It doesn't matter what their costs are they can make it up with volume.
If you lose money on the job then, the more jobs you take on at that margin, the more money you will lose.

That said, there may be times when you want to "buy" a job just to get your foot in the door.
 

emahler

Senior Member
What happens on the next job? When you try to get the correct price, and another contractor attempts to 'buy' that job?

Buying jobs are almost never winning propositions.
 

Rewire

Senior Member
at the risk of flames but.....
i must say, we are prob the most bunch of cut throats goin out there..:D
The truth is I want you to fail,everything I do is geared towards making you fail.Its not personal it's just business. I have no statke in your succes but I do in your failure.

The basis of capitalism is for me to win you then must loose.For me to be rich requires you to be poor.It's not personal it's business.

When someone says that they would pass up work before lowering their price that is music to my ears because they have just told me what I need to do to make them fail.Making your competitors fail in the market place is capitalism.

Many will say lowering your price will put you out of business,two guys on a deserted island one has food the other is starving who will be the last one alive? It doesn't matter how I got the food the point is to make you starve to death.We both have overhead the difference I have income and now have the option of lowering my overhead and surviving. Lowering your overhead is pointless without income.If all I have left is a pair of boots and side tools I will survive ,and I really don't need the boots.

The idea that competition should be fair and the playing field level is just not what capitalism and the free market are about.
 

360Youth

Senior Member
Location
Newport, NC
The truth is I want you to fail,everything I do is geared towards making you fail.Its not personal it's just business. I have no statke in your succes but I do in your failure.

The basis of capitalism is for me to win you then must loose.For me to be rich requires you to be poor.It's not personal it's business.

When someone says that they would pass up work before lowering their price that is music to my ears because they have just told me what I need to do to make them fail.Making your competitors fail in the market place is capitalism.

Many will say lowering your price will put you out of business,two guys on a deserted island one has food the other is starving who will be the last one alive? It doesn't matter how I got the food the point is to make you starve to death.We both have overhead the difference I have income and now have the option of lowering my overhead and surviving. Lowering your overhead is pointless without income.If all I have left is a pair of boots and side tools I will survive ,and I really don't need the boots.

The idea that competition should be fair and the playing field level is just not what capitalism and the free market are about.
Stay in the Ozarks, if you don't mind. This is about the scariest post I have read in a while.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
My reply was no mam I am not an instructer I am an electrician. I will do the work for you but I will not tell you how to do it.Doing Electrical work is what puts food on my table. Oh she replied we will pay you for your time. Some folks will ask you for your eye balls!

You don't really have to be an instructor to do a job like this. I do jobs like this and call it a consultation fee. Charge a two hour minimum just like any other service call.

Even doctors and lawyers will consult with you over any sort of problem, for a fee. If the customer is on the clock then you are doing electrical work.
 

aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
I was just sitting on my favorite magazine reading chair reading an article in a magazine that's giving advice to homeowners on finding the right person to complete their home projects and this is what the article said;

Do not use big companies. They cost twice the money because they have to pay for insurance, unemployment benefits and hourly workers.
 
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