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View Full Version : Money Do you continue to quote customers who don't buy from you?


Simply Red
06-15-2009, 03:17 PM
Do you continue to quote customers who don't buy from you?

But always want quotes ...

seclark
06-15-2009, 03:19 PM
Do you continue to quote customers who don't buy from you?

But always want quotes ...

.

Katipan
06-15-2009, 03:19 PM
I'm not sure you can call them customers if they don't buy from you.

Simply Red
06-15-2009, 03:21 PM
historically, yes. they've bought from me, but, say they've stopped, suddenly.

tooge
06-15-2009, 03:22 PM
I usually tell mine that when they are serious about getting it done, give me a call and I will provide the best the industry has to offer. I would be a terrible salesman. I dont want to sound pushy.

Lumpy
06-15-2009, 03:25 PM
I have a client that calls up occasionally wanting estimates for the most complex projects and we NEVER get their orders. So, I more or less put their estimate requests on the back burner and eventually get them an estimate.

wild1
06-15-2009, 03:26 PM
Sounds like they are using you for free to judge the prices on what they're buying from someone else.

Maybe you could charge some kind of service fee for a quote to these particular people in order to at least recover your time and effort.

RJ
06-15-2009, 03:29 PM
Maybe a couple of times. There comes a point, though, where you have to cut bait and move on to something more profitable. I'd rather spend time servicing the hell out of an existing customer than spend time putting together bids for people who just want bids. I suppose it also depends on what you're quoting. If it's for something where you know you're very competitive with price and service, sure. Not so much if it's something you're not as competitive with.

Simply Red
06-15-2009, 03:35 PM
Maybe a couple of times. There comes a point, though, where you have to cut bait and move on to something more profitable. I'd rather spend time servicing the hell out of an existing customer than spend time putting together bids for people who just want bids. I suppose it also depends on what you're quoting. If it's for something where you know you're very competitive with price and service, sure. Not so much if it's something you're not as competitive with.

ty, I agree.

blaise
06-15-2009, 05:08 PM
I would just want to be sure they weren't some competitor shopping prices.

Skip Towne
06-15-2009, 10:49 PM
I'll provide 3 or 4 free quotes. If I never get the job, I go talk to them in person then start charging for them.

stlchiefs
06-15-2009, 11:08 PM
I was going to say what Skip mentioned. If possible offer to sit down with them and go over the quote. In essence start the sales process over from square one, introduce what you have to offer and try to figure out what their hang up is and why you aren't getting the jobs. If after a couple of times it appears they are continually using you for a price match/comparison. Dump them. Tell them that time is your asset and you need to focus on customers that you know are serious about getting the best service available and if that's something they'd like to consider to give you a call sometime.

Phobia
06-15-2009, 11:22 PM
I've been charging a service call for estimates. I'll then allow them to roll their $75 into the cost of their project if they hire us. If not then my time and fuel is covered. I can't believe people still do free estimates. I spend 10+ hours a week estimating and researching costs. I have to account for that somewhere and overhead is no longer a viable option for me.

Bugeater
06-15-2009, 11:26 PM
I've been charging a service call for estimates. I'll then allow them to roll their $75 into the cost of their project if they hire us. If not then my time and fuel is covered. I can't believe people still do free estimates. I spend 10+ hours a week estimating and researching costs. I have to account for that somewhere and overhead is no longer a viable option for me.
What kind of reaction do you get from doing that? Are people generally OK with it?

Phobia
06-15-2009, 11:28 PM
What kind of reaction do you get from doing that? Are people generally OK with it?

I get a lot of people who tell me they'll get back with me and then do not. I don't mind that. Those are the people who are going to hire some Mexicans anyway and I can't compete with that. The people in my target demographic understand completely and pay the fee without blinking.

I believe it lets them know I'm a professional and that my time is valuable. They generally respect that. I don't have the balls to enforce it on the older crowd though. They've had free estimates for 40+ years. I'm not gonna try to change their minds.

Bugeater
06-15-2009, 11:36 PM
I get a lot of people who tell me they'll get back with me and then do not. I don't mind that. Those are the people who are going to hire some Mexicans anyway and I can't compete with that. The people in my target demographic understand completely and pay the fee without blinking.

I believe it lets them know I'm a professional and that my time is valuable. They generally respect that. I don't have the balls to enforce it on the older crowd though. They've had free estimates for 40+ years. I'm not gonna try to change their minds.
Interesting, I never considered doing it, but the work I do is pretty straightforward and doesn't require much research or number crunching. I can usually write up an estimate in 10-15 minutes. There are plenty of people out there that will waste your time without thinking twice about it though.

stlchiefs
06-15-2009, 11:40 PM
Interesting, I never considered doing it, but the work I do is pretty straightforward and doesn't require much research or number crunching. I can usually write up an estimate in 10-15 minutes. There are plenty of people out there that will waste your time without thinking twice about it though.

Phobia has a big head, it just takes longer for all the numbers to bounce around in there, that's all. :D

Guru
06-16-2009, 01:41 AM
Why in the world would people call you enough to remember who they are? Are they just the types that always talk about doing something and then never do it or what? Generally, when I am going to have something done, I call for 2-4 quotes and then pick one.

It almost seems as if these people are just purposely wasting your time at this point.

Bwana
06-16-2009, 07:39 AM
I would send Veto and Sal over to their place to go over the sales plan one more time.

Simply Red
06-16-2009, 08:16 AM
I've been charging a service call for estimates. I'll then allow them to roll their $75 into the cost of their project if they hire us. If not then my time and fuel is covered. I can't believe people still do free estimates. I spend 10+ hours a week estimating and researching costs. I have to account for that somewhere and overhead is no longer a viable option for me.



Completely different in your industry, with all due respect.

Iowanian
06-16-2009, 08:22 AM
Very rarely do I turn down an opportunity to get my company foot in the door.


I've had people basically tell me to get stuffed, they're going with the big boys, and call me back 3 days later asking me to help them.

I've also had people with customer A who liked me but for whatever reason was stuck with competition B, until they left for what became Customer B.

jidar
06-16-2009, 08:24 AM
I never quote my customers. They never say anything worth quoting.

Detoxing
06-16-2009, 08:25 AM
If its a small order, idont mind. But when a customer wants a quote for 10k or more worth of parts, Ill break the quote down to multiple quotes that cover different sections of the car. Then I tell them to order the parts from the first quote or two and then ill work out the other estimates.

I won't do a huge quote for someone unless they are from another country or if I can tell they are a high roller.
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gblowfish
06-16-2009, 08:31 AM
I find when this happens its usually for one of two reasons.
1) They need 3 bids because their company dictates it. They've already made up their mind who they're going to buy from, and are just pushing paper.
2) They want to use my price as a hammer on somebody else.

If I've bid for a customer 3 times with no success, I will not give a lot of priority to their request, although I return pricing on all requests. That's my job. They just may not get my numbers back for a couple of days if they continually award jobs elsewhere.

Demonpenz
06-16-2009, 08:45 AM
i will ask for a ball park figure on what job we are talking about weight wise, then go over any other problems like hair, disability, etc. Then the last step is going out to the job site to get a long look at the task at hand, then i give an estimate, too much compitition in the male hooker industry to not think about the customer

Bob Dole
06-16-2009, 08:57 AM
As someone who is required to get at least 3 quotes for anything in excess of $2500, and who is required by the legislature to spend at least a certain percentage with HUB vendors (Historically Underutilized Business - i.e. female and minority owned), Bob Dole often feels guilty about milking vendors for quote after quote when there's no realistic opportunity to purchase from them.

Bob Dole is sure that makes it easier on you to keep sending them.

Iowanian
06-16-2009, 09:15 AM
This is why iowanibiz is half owned by a wifeowanian.



If I had been thinking ahead, I've have held out for a venezuelan, with low self esteem because she only got 3rd or 4th in the beauty contest, so I could cover the minority owned portion as well.

Deberg_1990
06-16-2009, 09:17 AM
Do you continue to quote customers who don't buy from you?

But always want quotes ...

Are you feeling used?

Deberg_1990
06-16-2009, 09:19 AM
I don't have the balls to enforce it on the older crowd though. They've had free estimates for 40+ years. I'm not gonna try to change their minds.

heh....those are the people with the most money yet the stingiest with it. :)

Simply Red
06-16-2009, 09:20 AM
As someone who is required to get at least 3 quotes for anything in excess of $2500, and who is required by the legislature to spend at least a certain percentage with HUB vendors (Historically Underutilized Business - i.e. female and minority owned), Bob Dole often feels guilty about milking vendors for quote after quote when there's no realistic opportunity to purchase from them.

Bob Dole is sure that makes it easier on you to keep sending them.

HA!!!! the last part is funny. But, yes, as is the same w/ a lot of my customer's who are Government affiliates. Actually, the one I was referring to is also a government agency. Yeah, it does get frustrating, but, I understand your/their position w/ it, as well.

Nzoner
06-16-2009, 09:52 AM
I get a lot of "shopping" calls in my advertising business and yes I'll give a quote each month if need be,I have 3 competitors in my market and they're very good at under cutting me and landing the business but I generally hold my ground and more often than not end up getting the business in the future because my competitors can't deliver the results we do.

Simply Red
06-16-2009, 09:56 AM
I get a lot of "shopping" calls in my advertising business and yes I'll give a quote each month if need be,I have 3 competitors in my market and they're very good at under cutting me and landing the business but I generally hold my ground and more often than not end up getting the business in the future because my competitors can't deliver the results we do.

what it's all about, no doubt... nice ...

macdawg
06-16-2009, 05:26 PM
I used to be in sales and hated quoting deadbeats. Never send quotes by email, at least make them tell you no in person or on the phone. Them telling you to email them the quote is code for they are too pussy to say no to you in person. Act surprised when they don't go with you. Tell them you'll pamper them and take good care of them if only you'd get the chance. When they do give you a chance do pamper them and take care of them. They will get the point and either buy from you or stop using you for quotes.