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
 Canada’s National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that IDEAL ...
The Government of Saskatchewan is engaging the public to help ensure health and safety legislation ...
Despite electrical shock being a serious and potentially dangerous event, it is frequently ...
Acuity Brands, Inc. has announced its Care222® filtered far-UVC module with patent-pending ...
LEDVANCE, the makers of SYLVANIA general lighting in the United States and Canada, recently ...
The federal governemnt launched a Call for Proposals under the new Apprenticeship Service, to ...
ECAO and OEL are working on obtaining more contractor experiences with the ESA permit system. ...
Agents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build ...
Schneider Electric is introducing a personalized digital experience for logged in customers ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announced the successful completion of the acquisition of FLIR ...


 

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. 

 


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

 


 



 

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.”

 

Read More


 

 

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).
Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
Atkore’s FRE Composites® BreathSaver® XW fiberglass conduit system uses a non-metallic, phenolic ...
Atkore’s FRE Composites® fiberglass conduit recently experienced increased demand in above- and ...
4 speed Supreme Series fan with an optional speed controller DMD-LED-3.      
Set up, switch out and print faster than you ever imagined with the BradyPrinter i5300 ...
Siemens whole-house protection devices defend the sensitive electronics that are susceptible to ...
LSP05GI Series LED Lighting Surge Protection Modules are designed for use in outdoor and commercial ...
Milwaukee Tool expands their Lighting Solutions once again with the introduction of the M12™ ...
M12™ Cable Stripper Kit for Cu THHN / XHHW aims to improve the cable stripping experience. With no ...
Here’s the easy, NEAT way to mount single or two-gang boxes between wood or metal studs with ...
LEDVANCE, the makers of SYLVANIA general lighting in the United States and Canada, has released the ...

 

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.

 

Read More


 

 

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).

 

Read More


 

 

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.

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...
As a 34-year-old female owner of an electrical contracting business, Danielle Gray may be unique. ...
Mark Klein is Co-President of Klein Tools, managing Sales & Marketing activities, alongside ...
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 ...


EngWorksBy Blake Marchand

EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After a short time we realized there was a niche in hazardous locations, in particular in hazardous area classification design requirements for various facilities. And also helping people understand just how the Canadian Electrical Code applies to hazardous locations.”

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

Read More


 

 

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...

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