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Old 12-23-2015, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default The free estimate game.

I have been doing free estimates latly and as much as I hate running around doing them I find if I'm prepared to do the job right then and there after I give them the estimate I convert more of my sales.

We used to give estimates over the phone to save from running around but it seems with lead services and the Internet people are shopping prices way to much these days.

Example: today homeowner called gave them the hourly price plus service call fee and they were gone off the phone. (Everyone is hating service calls these days).
So I called them back and told them we do give free estimates and went to the house and sold the job for more than the hourly price.

I have been taking the attitude Latly to get into the house to talk with the customer so they can see who I am and what I am talking about.
What are some thought you all have.
Thx
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:59 AM   #2
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I have been doing free estimates since I started. I do not loose a dime with free estimates. The jobs are already there, they called you for something. I sell myself and all is good. So rare are they "free estimates" I don't worry about the few "advertising" trips.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:41 AM   #3
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Soooo

You are a closer now...


The Cadillac is a helluva lot better than the steak knives...



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Old 12-24-2015, 11:17 AM   #4
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Weve played the free estimate game for years. You can fork out thousands upon thousands on marketing but you still have to do the job. We calculated out that a dedicated person (usually me) checking out the job far out pays then hitting them head on with charges. If you go in with the attitude your pay check is on the line you tend to work a little harder to close the deal. Im the owner and pay myself percentage just like a salesman would get. No sales no check on Friday! Its been a good motivator and i get to see the job first hand which eliminates alot of the bull**** in the field.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:02 PM   #5
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I hate free estimates. We are making ourselves less than....I'd love to got to my orthopedic surgeon and have him give me a free estimate to replace my bad hip. I understand market situations and I've been there so I've both charged a service fee and given free estimates but I hated every free estimate I gave. There are so many tire kickers out there.

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Old 12-24-2015, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seank89 View Post
I hate free estimates. We are making ourselves less than....I'd love to got to my orthopedic surgeon and have him give me a free estimate to replace my bad hip. I understand market situations and I've been there so I've both charged a service fee and given free estimates but I hated every free estimate I gave. There are so many tire kickers out there.

Sean
That's where you need to become a "Closer."

They didn't call you because they didn't have work for you to do...



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Old 12-24-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
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Redwood,
Your spot on! When you own a service business your not only a tradesman your also a salesman. Most people dont want to face it but thats what we are. If i go through the drive thru they ask me if i want to upsize my order. I have 2 choices. That is a pre planned sales technique. Do they get every sale? Absolutely not! But they get their fair share which generates enough profit for the ones they don't! I make everywhere i go a sales opportunity. Ive even done work for a few plumbing zone members. If your in front of 10 people per day 5 will say no, 3 are on the fence, and you will close 2. Do good work, charge a fair price, and those 2 will turn into 10 without one marketing dollar spent!
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldozer View Post
Redwood,
Your spot on! When you own a service business your not only a tradesman your also a salesman. Most people don't want to face it but thats what we are.
Zackly!
And you don't even have to say just owners...
I'm an employee on commission so I'm in the same boat...
So it's "Close the Sale & Be Rewarded."

The plumbing part is easy!

I'm not there to give a free estimate...
I'm there to do the job on the spot...

In most cases the job is so small that, "It's not even worth spending the time to get more prices, I'll do it right now for only $###.## with a 6 month guarantee, and be done before the next guy calls you back."

Even on a big job like a main line replacement, "I'll mark out the CBYD for the utilities right now, and get them right on it, we'll pull permits in the morning, have the mini excavator delivered, and probably be digging before noon. Tomorrow night you'l be enjoying your own shower with a new main line..."

Always Be Closing!



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Old 12-24-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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Is this what you think of sales?


In case you haven't guessed by now I'd suggest seeing the whole movie...
And if you are an owner include it in your employee training...



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Old 12-24-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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Depends on what it is, I do plenty of free estimates on bigger jobs, part of the deal, however on small stuff I'm there to do the job...I can usually tell the tire kickers on the phone...and I will tell them it's rediculous to come out for an estimate on a faucet change out or toilet repair. ..if I'm there I'm charging to do it. ...
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