Latest topics
» Expansion of services.
by Freemind1 Yesterday at 9:35 pm

» So I bought a......today
by Matt; My carpet cleaner Yesterday at 8:18 pm

» Going back in time
by Mo Yesterday at 8:16 pm

» That's a shame
by Matt; My carpet cleaner Yesterday at 7:59 pm

» Trying to get on the forum
by Mo Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:40 pm

» Log in problems
by Mo Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:48 pm

» Scaring a Millenial.....
by milspec6 Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:09 pm

» Worst experience ever
by milspec6 Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:43 pm

» The real problem with telemarketers
by dp1 Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:16 pm

» Stair wands
by Matt; My carpet cleaner Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:10 pm

» Labor day????
by Matt; My carpet cleaner Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:50 pm

» Calling Mr. Wonderful
by dp1 Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:09 pm

» I’m humiliated !
by dp1 Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:55 pm

» Good used parts
by ACE Services Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:08 pm

» It's been a while !
by milspec6 Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:45 pm


Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post new topic   Reply to topic

Go down

Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:18 pm

An issue that has reared it's ugly head over the years I have been in business, is the price shopper/price sensitive people.

This year as you know, I have been bombing postcards. On the card, I give a price for 20 windows. The $199 is my minimum, but I do not state that fact on the card. I mean, who doesn't have 20 windows?!

The other day I went out to a home that received the postcard, to do a quote. I gave her the prices for the 2 options she asked for. One with less windows, one with all. The lesser line, was a minimum price job at 199. The other, with all exterior glass, was 250. Granted, IF I was charging for glass only on the lower count quote, it would have totaled about 125, but I don't clean residential for less than 200, considering set up, clean, and tear down, with drive time both ways. We all have our minimum, where ever that may be for each of us.

I can't give ball park guestimates over the phone. Each job HAS to be seen before I can do the work, for each job. A returning client, no. No need to see it there. I already have a handle on what I am up against.

The reason this is a issue, is I am tired of my time/money being wasted with people who seem to be too stupid to get what I charge. Even when I clearly have prices posted on advertisements. I get 90% of my bids. But that 10% is what frustrates me.

I said it before, and I am at the point, I am ready to start charging a estimate fee and make it refundable off the price of the job. It's the only way I can see to either be compensated for the wasted effort/ stop penny pinchers from wasting what little time I have.

I mean, I just don't get what I am missing. Price posted? Check. Additional window price? Check. Window type/count graphic? Check.

So what would you guys suggest to maybe "head" this issue off? I really don't want to sound like a jerk every time someone calls to say "My MINIMUM is 199 just so you know".
What other ways work to convey it will cost you at least "X". If you are not willing to spend at LEAST "X", then look elsewhere?

Freemind1
Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts : 1254
Join date : 2013-09-20

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:46 pm

Maybe just spell it out as "$10 per window with a 20 window minimum" so that those with smaller homes wouldn't pester you at all. For my old 1860 home, I wouldn't qualify as I only have 11 windows, so rather than have a guy like me get confused why $110 worth of work should equal $199, you just avoid me completely.

Do you really need to see the property prior to providing the estimate? Is it just a matter of how many and type of window that matters or the condition...how dirty is it?

I ask that because you say that you don't need to pre-qualify on return customers even though the conditions may have changed since the last time you cleaned them.

Personally, I never hire a company that doesn't offer free estimates. I think that if you charged for the estimate, you would be cutting your throat.

This might just be one of those things that requires time to educate the public or just a huge bottles of tylenol.
avatar
milspec6
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 10046
Join date : 2013-09-21
Location : Nebraska

http://castledefendersllc.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:19 pm

Smaller homes are fine with me. I don't care if they live in a postage stamp sized house, or a mansion. I have yet to see any home in my area, including mobile homes, that do not have 20 windows.

Even my 1200 Sq Ft home, has 30 windows.

It's when people want the outsides only, like in my example, that they think you should come out for 50 bucks. Outsides are by far the WORST to clean.

Yes, I actually need to see new clients. You have to see where windows are, and what condition they are in. You may have hardwater stains, oxidized frames/glass, tons of bird or bug crap, etc. Window are not always placed in the flat surface of the side of the house. Sometimes a roof extends several feet away from those windows, making a ladder set necessary.
And to be honest, NO ONE can seem to count their windows, even given a graph.

Returning to a client, the worst that could be is hard water stains. You are going to see them right off the bat, and can discuss it with them. People that actually keep their glass clean, are never a problem. It's always the people that live like pigs, that I have issues with. (Like the lady I just did an estimate for today)

It boils down to this. We are service contractors. We are not unlike electricians, HVAC techs, or plumbers. When you call these guys, they charge a fee to show up and tell you what the problem is, and how much it will cost to fix it. I don't know of any of the mentioned, that show up for less than $100. Even my neighbor, who lives beside me, would charge a $100 show up fee to diagnose my furnace or AC.

Now, I usually don't have an issue offering estimates. It's just that the PRICE seems pretty clear. If you want windows cleaned, it's 199 PLUS additional windows/services.

If I call and HVAC company for a "tune up" of my A/C for $79, then I know it is going to cost $79, since the mail piece said as much. And truth be told, I also know they are probably going to try and upsell me SOMETHING in the process.

Freemind1
Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts : 1254
Join date : 2013-09-20

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:55 pm

Every time I read about your area I am always surprised by how different it is compared to around here.

Here, the winters include brutal North winds so many homes do not have many windows (if any) on the North sides. A 20+ window home in this area is multi-story or a mansion....trailer homes here have 6.

The other difference is in the service call. Estimates are free around here for services (gutters, lawns, painters, plumbers, etc.). Service calls to come out and "repair" something does come with a service fee for diagnostics, but to come out and give an estimate on say a new furnace....free.

To me, having to pay a cleaner to come out and decide if he wants to clean my windows and at what cost would get you chased off my lawn.

Different regions / markets require different business practices. Only you know what that market is, so I really can't offer any opinion that would be valid as we operate in different arenas.

I am confident that you will figure it out.
avatar
milspec6
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 10046
Join date : 2013-09-21
Location : Nebraska

http://castledefendersllc.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Mo on Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:27 pm

Hey Freemind  i went back to look at your post card that you posted a while back and I'm not sure if that's the one your using but it doesn't really clearly state your minimum service charge is 199.00. It's says 199.00 up to 20 windiwss. A price shipped might assume that it might be less if they had less you cleaned less than 20
avatar
Mo
Administrator
Administrator

Posts : 6647
Join date : 2013-09-19
Location : Arizona

http://www.thecleanerslounge.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by dp1 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:48 pm

Honestly you're not the only one James, I don't advertise prices anymore, estimates are given over the phone but there is always one or two that lied when I get to their place, they lied to get better prices, I usually tell them "do you know I talked to you on the phone when I gave you the price ?" And then they started sputtering thinking of another lie to spit on my face, I hate those type of customers but it's business, I'm sure any business have to deal with these suckers, it's just a matter of how you deal with them, I always try to stay as professional as possible unless if they start screaming or being unprofessional.
avatar
dp1
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 3966
Join date : 2013-09-19
Location : california

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:04 pm

@milspec6 wrote:Every time I read about your area I am always surprised by how different it is compared to around here.

Here, the winters include brutal North winds so many homes do not have many windows (if any) on the North sides.  A 20+ window home in this area is multi-story or a mansion....trailer homes here have 6.

The other difference is in the service call.  Estimates are free around here for services (gutters, lawns, painters, plumbers, etc.).  Service calls to come out and "repair" something does come with a service fee for diagnostics, but to come out and give an estimate on say a new furnace....free.

To me, having to pay a cleaner to come out and decide if he wants to clean my windows and at what cost would get you chased off my lawn.  

Different regions / markets require different business practices.  Only you know what that market is, so I really can't offer any opinion that would be valid as we operate in different arenas.

I am confident that you will figure it out.

You can usually get a free "guesstimate" over the phone with any company, provided you know exactly what you want.

But lets say you call an electrician. You want to change out your 100 amp service for 200 amp. They will give you a guess over the phone, but if you want a solid price, you are paying for a service call. They might take it off the bill, if you go ahead with the work. Most know that they are not the only ones running around doing estimates, and they don't take wasting their time lightly.

No one has ever asked me for a guesstimate price. Everyone wants a bid with a solid price. Everyone seems to understand why I need to be on site, to price a job. Just a few of them think nothing of wasting my time, especially after I have went to the trouble to post prices.

Maybe I am getting more upset about this, than I should. I am not the type to waste other people's time, and I don't like my time and money wasted for foolishness. It's a business, not a social event.

Freemind1
Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts : 1254
Join date : 2013-09-20

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:06 pm

@Mo wrote:Hey Freemind  i went back to look at your post card that you posted a while back and I'm not sure if that's the one your using but it doesn't really clearly state your minimum service charge is 199.00. It's says 199.00 up to 20 windiwss. A price shipped might assume that it might be less if they had less you cleaned less than 20

Well, maybe I should just say when someone calls "So you are aware, my minimum is 199".

Don't know. To me it sets a bad tone, with the call.

Freemind1
Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts : 1254
Join date : 2013-09-20

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:43 pm

Again, different regions man, it really is.

My electrician put a larger service box in my garage 3 months ago. Came out, looked at it, gave an estimate.....no charge. I ended up going with him a week later, but there was never a charge for that estimate. Just the way it is out here.

I think you are getting frustrated because you are indeed busy so time is a premium....that is a good problem to have. I don't know how you avoid it though without sounding apathetic to the customer.

I guess when you run a service business, dealing with dipshit customers are just part of the landscape.

Try this. There used to be a serial killer in NYC that would hit people over the head with a hammer after he asked them what time it was. They would look down at their watch and BAM.

His only defense was that he was only hitting the stupid people. So, when you run into a moron, ask them what time it was and when they look down, savor the moment. Very Happy
avatar
milspec6
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 10046
Join date : 2013-09-21
Location : Nebraska

http://castledefendersllc.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:41 pm

You're right Rob. I just don't know a "nice" and palatable way of stating my minimum price with a new potential client, without feeling like I am coming off as a jerk about it.

I certainly don't want to chase off good clients. But I am getting tired of getting calls from people that want "beer money Billy" to come work for them.

I'll keep working on it. Oh, and asking the time wasters what time it is. Devil

Freemind1
Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts : 1254
Join date : 2013-09-20

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:56 pm

You have been kicking ass with your business and it will only be a matter of time before those tire kickers drop off the radar. I think every business goes through that for awhile.

Just grit the teeth and swing the imaginary hammer. Razz
avatar
milspec6
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 10046
Join date : 2013-09-21
Location : Nebraska

http://castledefendersllc.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Prequalifying prices with customers.

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


Post new topic   Reply to topic
 
Permissions in this forum:
You can reply to topics in this forum