Customer Interactions with Quotes

climbingmonkey24

Well-Known Member
Location
Ludlow
Ever have potential customers who you send a quote to and then you never hear from them again even when you try following up, or they are shocked by the price, etc.?

In other words, customers shopping around for a cheap price.

I mean granted I know there are people who just may not be able to afford it at the moment.

But there’s also people who are more so looking for the lowest price, even if you provide high quality service.

Anyone have experiences like this with your customer interactions?
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Sounds like you need to pre-qualify potential clients. No sense spending time out of the one life you have, talking to bottom feeders who ultimately want you to buy work. In this business you're always running a race against every other provider in your market, good-bad and indifferent. You can't do anything about that. You can however choose the direction in which you race.

Instead of racing to the bottom, where all the clients care is how many hours out of your life they can buy for the cheapest rate of exchange, work to become an authority on proper procedures and best management practices for the industry, within your market. Price yourself as such. If the prospect doesn't know what needs done, charge a consulting fee to help them come to an informed decision about managing their trees. That in and of itself will eliminate an awful lot of tire kickers, and save you tons in gas, vehicle wear and tear, and hours of your life that you can't get back.

Of course you have to take the steps necessary to become a regional authority on trees in your market, but when you do, you'll find yourself at least working for people who do appreciate everything you bring to the table, and are much more willing to pay for it.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
In my area, it is common for people to get 3 prices or more for major work. We have a dedicated sales arb (not me!) who still gets around 50%, but there are a TON of companies here and most customers are price shopping. We are not cheap, either.
But being top quality, superior service and having a large range of services including PHC, stumps, and tree work helps balance things out.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Ever have potential customers who you send a quote to and then you never hear from them again even when you try following up, or they are shocked by the price, etc.?

In other words, customers shopping around for a cheap price.

I mean granted I know there are people who just may not be able to afford it at the moment.

But there’s also people who are more so looking for the lowest price, even if you provide high quality service.

Anyone have experiences like this with your customer interactions?
Sure, used to - a lot. Now all my work is by word of mouth. And even that is pre-qualified. When someone wants a price on tree work to use to haggle on purchasing a house or sounds like primarily a tire kicker I point out that what they want is an arborist report and that is $250 and deductible from the price of the job when they choose to go forward.

Very rewarding when someone that sounds like it would be a waste of time anyway chooses to not use me - handled.
 

Benjo75

Active Member
Location
Malvern
I started trying to weed out the bottom feeders and tire kickers about 3 years ago. I started charging more and turning down jobs. I used to try to get every job I went to bid. Now I look for a reason to walk away. In the last 3 years I've made more and worked worked way less of the no profit jobs than in everyone of my previous years. Who could ask for more than that? Actually this year has been my busiest yet due to all the storms. I ask them on the phone if they're just wanting the cheapest price. If yes, then I tell them that's not going to be me and move on. If they tell me they're getting bids then I pass. I may be loosing a few jobs here and there but I stay booked solid for 3 to 4 months pretty much year round. I have plenty of customers that are willing to pay for my work. In the beginning I had to take what I could get. Glad those days are over.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
1/3 of my unapproved quotes are 100% non responsive, about 1/3 just couldn't find it (or shopped and chose me anyway), and 1/3 or less say they got someone else to do the job sooner.
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
I started trying to weed out the bottom feeders and tire kickers about 3 years ago. I started charging more and turning down jobs. I used to try to get every job I went to bid. Now I look for a reason to walk away. In the last 3 years I've made more and worked worked way less of the no profit jobs than in everyone of my previous years. Who could ask for more than that? Actually this year has been my busiest yet due to all the storms. I ask them on the phone if they're just wanting the cheapest price. If yes, then I tell them that's not going to be me and move on. If they tell me they're getting bids then I pass. I may be loosing a few jobs here and there but I stay booked solid for 3 to 4 months pretty much year round. I have plenty of customers that are willing to pay for my work. In the beginning I had to take what I could get. Glad those days are over.
And that's how it should be

"If you're looking for a knowledgeable and incredible arborist company, you've found the right place. If you're looking for a cheap job on a budget, call somewhere else."
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
We have a lot of price shoppers here; we tell everyone when they call that we are not the cheapest around, but we know who they are if that’s what they’re looking for. That cuts down on a lot of the nonsense, but we still get our share. We also look and sound very professional, and thereby expensive, which weeds out more of the bad ones.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Do you guys ever worry about people who are unhappy with your prices coming back and bashing your business, etc.?
Whenever a bottom feeder tries to bash me, my stock always rises. They badmouth me to their friends and coworkers who already know the prospect is a bottom feeder, so in their own backhanded way they edify me when they try to badmouth me. Honestly, there are better ways to spend the time you have left in this life than worrying about what the lowest common denominator thinks and says about you. When you worry about what the losers say about you, you're still facing toward the bottom, rather than the top.
 

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