Suggest Politely decline...
Respectfully even....perhaps a "sorry but we're just totally booked right
Otherwise, kinda like you'll gonna come across as being extremly
arrogant..what with your demanding money just for the "opportunity" of their
"allowing you" to submit a quote...
One other thing--personally and fwiw, MY time is ALWAYS UP for
auction...just that it's definately not some kinda of a "no reserve"
situation and starting out at $.99
That would only work if all the a/c companies in your area were doing
the same thing.It would also elimanate a lot of potential customers from
calling two or three contractors to get the best price and open the
flood gates to the unlicensed guys who can underbid because of no
Im with you 100%. Unfortunately you will be a minority. Charging for a
bid when everyone else doesnt will be a huge uphill battle.
Fortunately, I dont do a lot of residential bidding. Its repeat
customers and word of mouth so I do get a big portion of what I quote.
I of course also run through spells where it seems everything I bid I
do NOT get.
You can always try it and see if it works. I hope for you it does.
Right now I'm implementing it for new prospects. Current, long time clients
will still benefit from my services, unchanged. As they have experienced top
quality service and understand true value.
A GREAT idea!!!! Car dealers could also charge potential customers for
a quote for a new car, appliance dealers could charge for inquiries
about appliances they sell, and grocery stores could charge customers as
they enter the store because they spent time posting the prices of their
items on the shelves.
From your suggestion it sounds like you would rather work for someone,
rather than run your own business. I am sure that dealing with
customers has its disadvantages, but it also has its advantages.
Placing yourself in the other person's shoes can often answer questions
such as the one you posed.
I see you don't understand OUR business... as NONE of the above examples are
even close to figuring an exact furnace quote/proposal. As each job is
completely different. It's not as simple as furnace A is $2000 and furnace B
Remember, we are the end manufacture, our product doesn't get set on a shelf
as a "plug and play" device. It requires skills to insure reliability while
providing personal comfort. Each job is designed to meet your
specifications, goals, etc... When was the last time you received a "free
blueprint" from an Architect?
Let me get this right......... It costs over $4,000/mo to keep my doors
open, and my truck on the road and you want me to run around 9 counties
doing nothing but burning my time, giving free prices to tire kickers that
may or may not even want to put in a new system??
I don't think so.
How you run your business is your choice. It sounds as if you are
intelligent enough to realize you are competing with other people who
perform the same type of service you do. You also must realize that
EVERY business has expenses, you are not unique. An example is
advertising. When you purchase this item, only a small percent of those
who see it are likely to call you as a result of it. It is however a
cost of doing business. As I stated above in my examples of a car,
appliance dealer, or grocery store, they too have expenses in order to
appeal to new customers. If you make poor decisions in attracting
customers or retaining those you had, you will pay the price. Isn't
I am NOT in business for myself, but I DO have an idea of how I
would manage a business if I were. Since word of mouth is the best
advertisement you can possibly acquire, I would deal with my customers
in a way so they walked away believing they received a quality job, a
fair deal, and would get one in the future. I would also recognize that
in acquiring them as a customer the first time would take more on my
part than dealing with them on a subsequent visit. This is called
"Investing my time."
Finally I often read about how the "Professionals" in this news group
criticize homeowners who attempt to repair their own units. Do you
suppose your comments and others like them could be motivating them to
Actually I only have one or 2 other companies that I even consider as
"competition". A little competition is healthy. What *isn't* healthy, are
the jacklegs and spec house builders that figure they can do it for nothing
and screw up the market for those of us who are actually in business to make
a profit, instead of just doing it cheap. As another regular on here is fond
of saying, 19,000 HVAC contractors go our of business every year because
they didn't charge enough.
I have been in business for over 10 years. 'nuff said
Its investing a lot of time and a lot of money.
My comments are generally aimed at safety issues and keeping some clueless
idiot that isn't qualified on anything sharper than a crayon from doing
damage/harm to life, limb, anod/or property. If I think somebody may be able
to handle it without doing more damage, I will e-mail them privately. If
they have a bogus e-mail address listed, thats on them.
You're missing one small point Junior Ken. As a potential customer,
you hop in your car, truck, bicycle or golf cart and drive off TO the
In our case, WE bring EVERYTHING to your freakin door AND install it!
As soon as a car dealership drives over to my home, fills it with gas
and drives me everywhere and anywhere I want to go anytime I want to
go............THEN I might just think about paying for his quote.
Would you like like to try again now with a little bit better example?
I have come up with a unique solution to this problem which has saved me
thousands of dollars.
I am willing to share this with you, but first I'll need a cheque from
Seriously, I tell people that we don't go door to door offering quotes
because we could spend all day, every day doing that.
Then I ask them some pertinent questions regarding their particular case,
explain to them some options such as mid or high, builders grade versus
high-end 2 stage, the reasons my company is the best one to deal with, and
by doing this the customer usually says something like "You sound like you
know what you're talking about, nobody has explained it like you have, I
think I want to go with your company.
I also tell people right from the get-go that we are NOT the Walmart of
HVAC, in other words, if you want the cheapest guy in town, you called the
If you want the best job done, properly sized, properly installed, properly
setup afterwards, polite workmen in your home, someone who'll respect your
home, your flooring, your furniture, etc..., someone who'll answer the
phone in the event of a warranty issue, then you called the right place.
I usually finish my speal with this analogy...
"Furnaces/ air conditioners, are like cars. Anyone can sell you one. Not
everyone who sells them knows how to fix them or set them up to operate
properly. The lowest bidder usually isn't a service tech capable of repairs
or a proper installation. He'll install it, take your money, and promise
you a nice long warranty, a warranty he isn't capable of honoring."
Apologies for the long winded response. :-)
Thanks for the information Bob.
I have tried a similar scenarios, but there are many people that listen to
you talk and know they can 'benefit' from your 'on-site' visit. So they
schedule an appointment 'only' to further benefit with absolutely no
intensions of hiring you for your services.
If they know it's going to cost them for a complete analysis (the prices
shoppers) will no longer be wasting your time. If they are truly interested
in your proposal, they'll be willing to pay a small fee that will be going
towards the overall cost anyway.
get back to us in six months with your report on how you've increased
your closing ratio on sales & net income.
obviously you've never competed in the commercial enviroment, and with
your current game plan, never will.
Kenny, you talk about 'marketing' your company. Why fuck around
asking inane questions on usenet when there are 100% legit companies
associated with our industry that do nothing but marketing !!
Of course, if you were a member of SRT, you would already know this
and wouldnt have to resort to querying faceless strangers on usenet.
The direction of this post is towards the residential market.
My commercial accounts don't 'price shop', they want their shit fixed.
Correctly, as they don't want to be bothered with it again.
And then take for fucking ever to pay! Most commercial accounts have a
"payables" and eventually pay, just seems to take them forever. I "had" one
account that was fairly large and seemed they were always about 3 months to
the rear. Always owing...
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