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Thread: Free quotes

  1. #1
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    Free quotes

    So i have a customer calling for a quote ... first question can you drive to site and do a quote ... second question do you do free quotes.

    Lets discuss this ...

    So a customer calls and requests I visit a site to discuss work required ... no problem when i am in the area ... its a simple job to install 2 double socket outlet points .. short 10 m runs ... surface in trunking ... no problem ...lets say R1500 (just as an example).

    On most occassions they will request a per point price ... sorry i dont do per point ... been there done that.

    Then we get the customers who request a free quote with a details cost structure ... if you are smart ... you will give a short description and a number at the bottom of the page ... why because many customer get you to do a quote ... create a bill of quantities then just pass it on to other companies to beat your price ... sucker been there got a few Tee shirts for that one.

    There are the very few who are just looking for a budget to make sure they have the funds for the project ... most of my reguler customers would do it like this.

    Then you get the customer who want you to design everything ... create a job description ... material list ... and expect it for free ... with the phrase ... "you will get the job" ... OK (not really )

    lets hear what you think about "free quotes"

    I have had some interesting cons...

    the one who contacts you to do a quote and while you are on site if you can just fix a few things ... then when you send the quote ... he found someone cheaper

    or the one who talks about the "the big One" ... the big project which is coming up ... so if you can do this one at a really cheap price ... he will make sure you get the "big one" .

    or the one who works for a large company ... he offers you a small project at the company wuith long stories about all the big jobs in the pipeline and expects you to do a project in tens of thousands at home.

    I am sitting here smiling ...thinking about all the cons I have had to deal with in the past 30 years ... one thing I can say as I sit here ... I sleep every night with a clear conscience ... one of the most difficult challenges i have had to face in the past 30 years of running a small bussiness is not allowing myself to bend to unethical means of getting contracts.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    I also got the T-shirts and learned hard lessons, those unethical customers (con artists) will take your quote/report and shove it under the next fools nose and say you got the job if you can beat this price, than they will have the edacity to phone you to come and fix the mess afterwards. Those customers are not worth the time wasted, rather loose them and look after the ethical clients who is honest with you.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    On the other hand you have the artisan who charges R600 to come out and TALK A LOT OF $H!T
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    So what do we learn from these experiences ... no free quotes unless ... it is a regular customer ... or the customer provides a detailed breakdown of work description and a bill of quanities.

    Unfortunately as with everything ... you get the crooks on both sides.

    Word of mouth is by far the best advertsing model by far ... the reference person becomes the middle man ... and basically is both parties insurance of a reduced con in the mix ... however it still happens.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    Word of mouth is by far the best advertsing model by far ...
    This is also problematic. My architect is absolutely brilliant - really really great guy ....but one unhappy person gave him 2 terrible reviews on HelloPeter. The problem is that empirical personal interaction reporting does not necessarily represent the whole truth. The people doing my fence come highly regarded yet their workmanship is quite shoddy. What I am saying is that the opinion expressed by the word of mouth is just that - a personal opinion and the person expressing the opinion may not be qualified to make an objective judgement of the quality of work delivered.

    I don't have answers - like you said: you get crooks on both sides.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    In my game WE pay to Qoute.

    We spend huge money on proposals, with very low hit rate percentage as well. But its the name of the game.

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    It's not recommended to refer an existing client to someone offering a service other than yours.

    The client uses your recomendation, the oke stuffs up leaving you with egg on your face and minus a client.

    I don't do recemmendations, period.

    Peace out .. Derek

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    I have done a free COC report before for a big international client, than when I dropped in two weeks later making a curtesy call as I parked another electrical contractor saw my bakkie with my logo he came to me with the report I done, even my logo was still on it, asking me for more information about my report as his company was doing all the work straight of my report. That report was about two weeks of inspections that I done for free. The contractor complained to me he won’t make any money as the prices were extremely low, It gave me a bit of pleasure as I know my prices were very low at the time. Afterwards whenever that client phoned me for quotes I would send a rough estimate with no bill of quantities.

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    HI ians

    Newbie to the forum and have been reading a ton of posts today, you hit every nail on the head with this quotation crap, New clients/Builders in these uncertain times have become a problem. When I get a call from a random I always ask what happened to your last sparky and when you ask for there name they never seem to have those details.

    In this industry time is money and I do believe we should be paid for our time, word of mouth has always been a winner as you know who to trust and who to tell "I'm to busy".

    Hit rates on jobs has dropped dramatically and I have also caught out some clients calling my staff for small privates, those people will never see me again and I let them know it. Would be nice if the DOL could attempt to sort out the unregistered bakkie brigade but I recon that's wishful thinking.

    Always great to see guys active in trying to improve this industry.

  11. #10
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GQE View Post
    New clients/Builders in these uncertain times have become a problem. When I get a call from a random I always ask what happened to your last sparky
    I am building on to my house and this statement really bothers me. If a contractor gets clever with me he is not going to get my business. I would have thought in these trying times people would go out of their way to get new business rather than try to antagonize possible customers.

    Of course people should be paid for their time on condition that they provide a service. I refuse to pay some idiot R600 to come to make place and spout a lot of $h1T - I will pay a professional for his time to provide me with a well documented PLAN (not thumb suck quotation)
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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