Here are 7 ways to tell if someone’s wasting your time (before touching that estimate).
1. “Your price is too high”
Why people say this: This is a tactic they use to get you to negotiate your price to match a competitor.
How to turn it around: Explain how your company increases the value of their property: You use high quality materials and you don’t cut corners. You do exceptional work that withstands the test of time. Explain that your customers are your priority and you stand behind your work with your warranty. If the job isn’t in their budget, negotiate the scope of the project. If they resist, walk away.
2. “Just email us your quote”
Why people say this: They’re price shopping for the lowest bid.
How to turn it around: Explain to them that every project is different. You do custom work so you can’t send them a cookie cutter quote. Set up a meeting to go over all the job details. If they hesitate or refuse, they’re wasting your time.
3. “I don’t have a budget in mind”
Why people say this: They don’t know exactly how much the project costs, but they have a ball-park number in mind.
How to turn it around: Give the average price for similar projects you’ve done. Start with the base price and give price ranges for upgrades to see where they stand. Watch out if they keep refusing to talk budget.
4. “We’re just getting ideas (bids) for now”
Why people say this: They’re looking for a design that fits within their budget range. Their budget might be too low and not worth your time.
How to turn it around: Show them several designs with ball-park price ranges. Or offer to do a paid custom design that fits within their specific budget range. If they show zero interest, move on.
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5. “We want three separate estimates”
Why people say this: This screams TIRE KICKER – but most likely they’re just following advice from almost every how-to-hire-a-contractor website.
How to turn it around: Give them a better offer than just a free estimate. Offer a free consultation with a custom design. Show them how gorgeous their patio will look. Charge $500 for the design and credit the amount towards the contract. It’s a simple technique that cuts out 100% of tire kickers. Honest customers will pay you for your time – tire kickers will fall away.
6. “We want to supply our own materials”
Why people say this: They’re trying to save money by not paying your markup on materials.
How to turn it around: Explain to them that you guarantee only the materials you supply. If they get the wrong materials or defective parts, that will cost them more in the long run. They’ll cover replacement expenses, damages, time, etc. (This never ends well.) The fastest way to get rid of this tire kicker is charge a 50% fee on owner supplied materials for taking the risk.
7. “Cut me a deal now and I promise more work later”
Why people say this: It’s a predatory move. In the unlikely scenario you do get more work as promised, the client will hassle you for more price cuts every step of the way.
How to turn it around: Be firm on your price. No discounts – take it or leave it. Save special offers for your favorite repeat customers. Give them out on your own terms and not as a bribe.
Working as a contractor is tough business. That’s why we created the Unstoppable Customer Magnet to fill your pipeline with high-paying customers and get paid more for your hard work.