Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

May 31, 2016

Shawn McCadden

Any contractor who has been in business for any length of time has probably had to deal with ball park pricing and charging for estimates. Homeowners always seem to want one but not the other. Rather than risk letting a ball park price make them look bad, savvy contractors can use the request for one to help cause the other to happen. If interested in how to do this, read on.

Let’s start with ball park pricing.

How many times in your career have homeowners asked you for a “ball park” price for their project. And how many times did your ball park price end up being nowhere close to the actual price of the project?

I find the whole idea of ball park pricing comical. I’m not saying it doesn’t have value in some selling scenarios. I am saying, however, that when contractors offer a ball park price more times than not they strike out rather than hit a home run.

So, when a prospect asked me for a ball park number, I would respond by asking them which ball park they preferred; Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. That usually stopped them right there in their tracks and helped them think about what they just asked for. And, by asking that question, I was able to get them into a much more meaningful conversation about their project. Let’s face it, a “ball park number” really doesn't have much value unless there are some specifications to help give it any relevance.

Try asking them about which ball park they are looking for. Feel free to substitute the parks you use. I think you will find doing so to be a great conversation starter.

Then there’s the whole idea about charging for estimates.

As contractors we know estimates are not free. Somehow the cost of creating an estimate must be recouped by the contractor.

Some contractors may say they don’t charge for estimating. If that’s true, they are working for free and the cost of estimating is not included in the price quoted to the prospect.

I don’t know about you, but in my opinion if you do estimates for free you are undervaluing your worth and might also be putting your professionalism in doubt. If you are not charging for estimates, and you also are not accumulating enough money to someday retire, working for free might be a good part of why. And, contractors who do so are making things challenging for those who do charge by helping consumers think they should get estimates for free.

On the other hand, many contractors who tell their prospects they do not charge for estimates are actually not charging for the estimate in advance. Instead, they recoup the cost of estimating through their mark-up, but only if they sell the job.

It’s okay if prospects don't want to pay, but why get offended?

So why do they get offended when you tell them you charge for estimates? Did they expect you to work for free? Do they work for free at their jobs? I doubt it.

When homeowners asked if I would do free estimates I would say yes and give them an estimate right then and there. I would say something like, “I estimate the bathroom project will cost somewhere between $15 and $25,000.” Then I would just wait. When they asked why such a big range, it usually led to meaningful conversations about the fact that an estimate is really just a guess and may not have any relevance to the true cost of what they would actually want to buy. And, as a result, having this conversation helped them discover the need for plans and or specifications so I could give them a fixed price in place of the “estimate.”

After all, that’s what most consumers are really looking for: a fixed price for what they actually want.

One option you can try if the homeowner can’t understand why you charge for estimates: suggest bartering? “If I spend the time to collect all the info about your project, seek pricing from my vendors, meet with my subs to get accurate pricing for their work, and then assemble an accurate cost and proposal, how about we do a trade? Maybe while I'm doing that stuff you could either babysit my kids or cut my lawn? Would that be a fair trade?”

A point of clarification that should already be obvious: if you choose to go down the “Which ball park” or “Let’s barter” path make sure you do it in a respectful manner and your purpose for using this analogy is appreciated by your prospect.

How you say it can make the difference between being the contractor of choice and being shown the door.


Read more in EIN from Shawn McCadden:

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

Check out Shawn’s website http://www.shawnmccadden.com/ and blog www.shawnmccadden.com/Subscribe-to-The-Design-Builders-Blog.

* “Understanding what impacts your construction company’s reputation,”

http://www.pn-projectmanagement.com/construction-management-tips/understanding-what-impacts-your-construction-companys-reputation

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
CSA Group, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development ...
This month, IDEAL is challenging competitors to draw an Electrical Power One-Line Diagram ...
EngWorks Inc. and the Alberta Electrical Alliance have announced a strategic partnership as of May ...
David Collie, ESA’s President & CEO, signs the new Leadership Accord, proudly committed to ...
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) represents electrical and automation manufacturers, distributors ...
Demand for electric vehicles in Canada keeps increasing; 68% of Canadians will consider ...
ESA is warning on potential electrical hazards associated with the replacement of metallic water ...
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) has released its latest labour market information ...
The Ontario government is introducing new measures to help tradespeople get their certification ...
MP Scott Duvall has introduced an amendment to the Income Tax Act regarding travel expenses for ...


 

ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 



Read More


 

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

 


 

Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

Read More

 


 



Trilliant Partners with the City of CowansvilleThe City of Cowansville in south-central Quebec is the largest city in the Brome-Missisquoi region, with more than 15,000 residents. Despite being a smaller-sized city, it is known as an economic and industrial hub.

It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 

 

 

Read More


 

Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

The writing was on the wall.  The closures would happen. But a lot of people were upset, and I was one of them. 

In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
Introducing the new in-sourced, upgraded, and expanded vapor tight LED High Bay -- the ...
Klein Tools introduces the new Magnetic Wire Puller, to help professionals quickly and easily fish ...
Siemens new 3VA molded case circuit breakers offer safe, efficient and variable application options ...
Hubbell’s illuminated plugs and connectors are the latest addition to the already broad line of ...
The ABV is a specification high bay that provides high performance and reliability. Available with ...
The Vive PowPak phase select dimming module is a radio frequency (RF) control that operates phase ...
6 functions in one pair of pliers. Multifunctional pliers for the electrical installation; to grip ...
With the ABB StarTeck® selector web app you can match cables with Teck fittings quickly and easily. ...
WPS Gen 4 wall pack series is a classic and familiar design integrated with modern LED technology ...
These new controllers offer indoor or outdoor ON/OFF, photocell, dimming, scene and color tuning ...

 

Lumenquad New VersionsLumenpulse has announced the release of two additional smaller sizes of the Lumenquad, a rectilinear projector for both outdoor and indoor environments. Developed for architectural applications such as lighting landscapes, highlighting details, pathways and monuments, the Lumenquad Small and Medium are compact, low-wattage, high-performance projectors, complementing the two existing products in the family.

The Lumenquad Small and Medium are the latest additions to a family of sleek, elegant, high-performance projectors that has already been validated with honours, including recognition in the PIA Awards in 2019, together with a Lux Awards for Exterior Luminaire of the Year in 2019. 

Read More


 

 

Wiha Lineman's Pliers and CrimpersWiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters are the standard for premium quality featuring ergonomic cushion grip handles for comfort and control, dual durometer construction for long-lasting durability, and handles directly molded to the tool steel for a permanent bond.

The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

Read More


 

 

eLumigen Poultry Lamps - 2000K, 3000K & 5000KIdeal for rough service applications, the A19 & PAR Series are engineered for high efficiency, vibration resistance, shatter-resistance, elevated heat environments, and wet locations. These dimmable LED Lamps help reduce energy costs, labor costs, and the headaches of frequent lamp changes in tough applications.

eLumigen employs a unique 21-point validation process that goes above and beyond industry standards. Our lamps have been tested to survive levels of vibration exceeding 20G forces. Our unique temperature foldback design improves both safety and thermal management of our lamps. 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Bryan Smith started his now 20-year career at the ground floor, so to speak, as a draftsperson and ...
From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been ...
Kyle Manfredi is the owner of ARK Electrical alongside his wife, Shannon. Operating out of ...
Like most major events over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put serious restrictions on the ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
As an advanced networked lighting controls company serving the industrial and large commercial ...
Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid ...
For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...


House of Electrical SuppliesFrom small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment, and construction markets across the Greater Toronto Area for just over 40 years. The company has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience.

As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil