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Ernie's Estimates

HeatingHelpHeatingHelp Posts: 247
edited August 13 in THE MAIN WALL
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Ernie's Estimates

Ever since he made this minor adjustment to his day-to-day life, Ernie’s Wheel of Business has been spinning in perfect alignment.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • ajc1944ajc1944 Posts: 4Member
    Great, as usual...
  • GWGW Posts: 3,416Member
    Great story, maybe too close to home for some hard working folks. If Ernie wants to do all that stuff and not get paid, may the force be with him. I hope Ernies transformation goes well. Tradesmen and psychology sometimes don’t work well together.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • srd357srd357 Posts: 9Member
    I used to give very detailed quotes, until the day I saw my quote on a competitor's dash board, of his rusted out POS Ford van. From that day forward, my free quotes were very vague. If the homeowner wanted details, such as boiler size or the amount of baseboard heat, they paid for that info.
  • geothermalgeothermal Posts: 3Member
    Hi Dan:
    As usual, an outstanding explanation of why the best way to do anything is NOT free. I enjoy your talents every week. Carole and I have relocated to real heating country, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. My phone number is still the same, as is my email address. If you find yourself in Newport, VT, please let us know. Our best to the lovely Mariane and your family!
    [email protected]
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,667Member, Moderator, Administrator
    edited August 13
    Thanks, guys, and @geothermal, I'm glad you're in a place that can sure use your many talents. ;-)
    Retired and loving it.
  • GWGW Posts: 3,416Member
    This just in, we finished a two day install today. Rather technical and a bunch of dough. My custom is to ask the homeowners “how was the contractor interviewing process, can you share any stories or comments?” Sometimes I get an odd look but most of the time people share some nuggets. I’m trying to learn if there’s anything I can do better.

    Today the nice lady says “ we kinda knew we wanted to go with you based on the references we received, when I had other people here we asked them to quote the same think you talked about. One of the contractors I had to go back and tell them to rewrite the proposal to include (xyz details). One contractor was half the price but they didn’t include the (special controls) you did. The sales people didn’t explain things like you did” and she went on to thank me and say she felt comfortable with the process.

    So, almost lost one there. I average roughly 30% close ratio. Not fantastic but things are good, no complaints.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Mike_SheppardMike_Sheppard Posts: 525Member
    Great story. This gives me something to think about.
    Never stop learning.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,667Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Well done, Gary. If you're getting more than 30% you need to raise your prices. Better to get the ones that are "rather technical and a bunch of dough." You do well and have more time to spend with your family. Proud of you.
    Retired and loving it.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,853Member
    I agree with @srd357 too much detail and they sell you out. Makes it too easy for your competition. I used to do the same thing. Too much detail
  • GWGW Posts: 3,416Member
    Thanks Dan, the Wall opened my mind to better practices 20 years ago. If I were a better manager of employees I’d be i the big leagues. Gonna stay small unless I go through another metamorphosis
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,667Member, Moderator, Administrator
    I think you’re terrific just the way you are.
    Retired and loving it.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 540Member
    Anybody have some contact info for Kevin? Sounds like I could use some of his advice. This is a huge downfall of mine- I hate to be vague, so I tend to say a lot more than I should and ultimately stick my foot in my mouth. Kind of a catch 22- if I just throw a number at it, any meatball across town can beat my price when piping in pex and using junk equipment with no real design. If I get into detail to justify the price they'll take that info to the next guy so they can undercut it by 50 bucks. I've started taking an Ernie-esque approach and throwing a ballpark over the phone with little to no info shared and if they wish to proceed, I'll get them a design and "exact" for $X (hourly shop rate for time spent on it) and offer to deduct that number from the "done" when complete. Think of it as a down payment. I don't notice any higher percentage of bid vs won, but it weeds out a lot of tire kickers off the top and effectively saves a lot of time
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