Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

March 30 2016

Shawn McCadden

If you have been getting business by providing free estimates for everyone who calls your business, you are most likely wasting a lot of money-making time. Are you really an expert in your industry if you have been letting those who buy from you tell you how to run your business? If these things have been happening to you it’s time to recognize the value of your time and expertise. It’s also time to limit offering them only to those who find value in what you offer, how you do so, and are willing to pay you well for your expertise. Here are three ways successful contractors reduce their lead flow, improve the quality of the leads they get, and sell more jobs at higher prices.

1- Describe your process on your web site and find ways to entice visitors to check it out

Do you have a defined process for how you do business? If not, create it. If you do have a define process, document it with words and pictures and put it on your web site. By explaining how you do business on your web site you can save a lot of time and make more money because you won't have to explain it to everyone you meet, over and over again.

If they have not yet checked out how you do business when they call your office, send them a link to the "How we do business" page on your web site. Additionally, mutually agree to when you will then call them back to see if they still want to meet with you.

Because the information is presented in writing on your website, prospects won't be able to interrupt you as they typically do when you try to explain your process to them during live sales calls. If the information is well written, they will either recognize that your process works as a solution for them, or they will know why it’s not right for them. This can help you avoid defending your process as you try to explain it to them live and in person. If they don't like your process after checking out your website, they won't waste your time.

2- Charge for creating specifications and a fixed price proposal

Another thing to explain at your web site is why estimates are free but a fixed cost proposal from you requires paying a fee. Think about it. An estimate is just a guess. Any experienced contractor should be able to provide a best guess estimated cost range for project types he or she has past experiences with. In a logical way, explain why you charge to go past a free estimate. If they still call you, selling your services to create the proposal will be much faster and easier. For guidance on what to write, read on below.

If you don't have a website, read on anyway to find out how you can still do this live and in person.

If they want a fixed price, why not help them recognize what it will take to get to a fixed price? Help them

  • discover, say and agree that plans and or specification will be needed before you or any other contractor can determine a fixed price for them
  • identify whether they will need plans to visualize the project before being able to confidently commit
  • decide if they need help finding and differentiating between product options and their price points
  • recognize the effort and hours you and your trade partners will need to dedicate to preparing a proposal for them

If they recognize the need for these things, you can then ask them if they would like to discuss your design and specification process, as well as how you charge for it.

3- Require a return visit to present your proposal and get their decision

Even if you are not ready to charge for them, before committing to preparing plans, specs and a proposal make an agreement with your prospect. Let them know that to prepare a proposal for them you require coming back to sit down to review, discuss and get a yes or no decision on your proposal, and about working with your company. Remember, you will have more time to do this because by being more selective you will be creating fewer estimates and proposals. Those who won't meet with you probably aren't interested enough in working with you anyway. Perhaps they were just hoping for more free ideas from you before hiring the cheapest contractor or performing the work themselves. If they won't commit to meeting with you to review your proposal, that's one less you have to do, freeing you up to concentrate on those prospects who respect you as a professional and value your process.

By committing to fewer estimates and proposals you will gain the time you need to put together and present proposals that differentiate your business from other contractors. By being different you will attract clients who want different. Consumers who want different know they have to pay more to get it. Those who don't want different buy from the commodity contractors who sell on price.


Read more in EIN from Shawn McCadden:

How Contractors Can Build and Protect Their Brand Reputation
3 Ways To Get Fewer Leads But Close More Remodeling Sales
Don’t Underestimate Your Estimating System’s Potential
Tips on Ball Park Pricing and Charging for Estimates
Is A Contractor Really a Salesperson If He or She Hits Send?
3 Ways To Get Fewer Leads But Close More Remodeling Sales
3 Simple Steps to Covering an Employee's Non-Productive Time
Setting the Example: Getting Employees to Think Like Owners
Comparing Contractor Mark-ups Can Be Pointless and Very Risky
Don't Put Your Business At Risk By Guessing At What Mark-up
Simple Profit Sharing Plan for Contractors


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SaskatchewanThe Government of Saskatchewan is engaging the public to help ensure health and safety legislation meets the needs of employers and workers in the province. From August 16 to October 18, 2021 citizens can provide input on part III (occupational health and safety) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act.

"Our province has a plan for growth that includes ensuring we have safe and healthy workplaces" Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. 

 


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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 



 

Desert HomeA combination of stunning design, a spectacular desert setting, and exceptional architectural lighting is a winning combination for a private residence just outside of St. George, Utah. JRC Lighting was hired by the homeowner to create the lighting concept for the showpiece home.

"The house has an almost industrial look to it, with a focus on clean lines," said Kevin Meredith, principal at JRC Lighting. "My goal was to keep the lighting understated and let the architecture, and the views, sell themselves.”

 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

This summer EiKO is launching its Z10 product offering. I know, what is Z10 other than the sports cars some of us remember (’69 Z10 Camaro or a 2009 BMW Z10, but let’s go with an American muscle car!)?

So, since it seemed like a sports car “name” (since sports car naming seems to be in numbers), we reached out to Sarah Eastman, VP Marketing for EiKO, who shared that Z10 is an alliance of manufacturers who have developed standards to support an easier lighting controls process within fixtures (remember, I’m not a product maven).
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Product News

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Milwaukee M12 Cable StripperM12™ Cable Stripper Kit for Cu THHN / XHHW aims to improve the cable stripping experience. With no exposed blades, the cordless cable stripper provides safer stripping than with a knife. The cable stripper's compact, right-angle design allows you to maneuver it more easily in tight spaces with less strain on the wrist. The bushing design and adjustable depth gauge deliver cleaner, more accurate and consistent strips across all sizes.

The cable jacket stripping tool is not only compatible with all MILWAUKEE® bushings but is also compatible with competitive quick-change bushings.

 

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Incoplas HybridThe Incoplas® LED Hybrid is a durable multi-purpose and corrosion-resistant LED lighting solution that can be used in heavy industrial applications where hazardous location lighting is required.

Certifications

Class 1:

Flammable Gases and Liquids

Division 2: The hazardous atmosphere is only available infrequently (i.e. in case of spill).

 

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EarthTronics 25-Watt Emergency Driver for Linear HighbayEarthTronics LED emergency drivers regulate the power supplied to the LED fixture so that it can operate as a light source in the event of a power failure. The purpose of emergency lighting is to ensure that lighting is provided promptly, automatically and for a suitable time when the normal power supply fails.

This insures that people within the building can evacuate safely in the event of an emergency. All EarthTronics emergency drivers meet specific UL, CSA and NFPA requirements. Always consult local code requirements when specifying emergency lighting products.

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Peers & Profiles

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Given the complexity of hazardous locations, Bozek saw a need for education while working in the field and began developing training courses designed.

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Eric TordjmanBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships. “From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.

“How we differentiate ourselves is we’re lighting specific, we do very little in the way of electrical, and really emphasizing our expertise towards solutions selling...

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