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Email Bids

Dave Long

New member
Guys I know alot of you like to email your bids as well. But for now on I'm done with this method. I started doing this a month or so ago, I guess cause the convinience, but the last couple weeks I have sent some out and I havent landed some of the jobs, I think I could have in person. When I send them out I usally type a personilized message up, send some attached info about us and our methods, before & after pics, and some times I throw some coupons in as well. But the promblem is when its a higher bid you are not there the HO to reassure them that the reason its a higher bid is because the quality of work. Here in KY alot of people just have the conception PW is cheap! So there's alot of folks that just dont understand. I'm gonna start hand delivering all my bids instead of just doing it for certain ones. So I can be there to close the deal and get more personal with the HO.If its just a email if they think its to high or even if its something else, they are more likely not to reply to you. There was a guy that just straight up will not reply to my emails, I have tried calling him back a couple times, with no luck. That makes me mad! :mad: I took the time to go and measure, type the bid etc. I think you should atleast take the time to say screw you the price is to high, or we hired someone else. So for now on Im gonna get a Yes, or a No in person! I take that back I'm not gonna take a NO!!:cool:

Ken Fenner

Active member
Dave, I know exactly how you feel. I sometimes felt like sending people an invoice for wasting my time. That is, until I would look at the true root of the problem.. my sales. Even though I consider what PW'ing companies charge for services pennies compared to what other contractors charge for theirs (carpenters, eletricians, plumbers etc), we are still asking people to spend their money with us. That requires a level of trust and familiarity. Printed bids do not get that benefit. I have said this a hunded times and I will say it again.

If you give people a price bid without explaining your service, all you are giving them to go on is price. That price is what they will base their decision upon. Its not that people are cheap like some guys may assume. If the customer has three written estimates, the bottom line is going to be price. Remember, each bid is going to say, "We will do this and that and we are insured and the best at what we do, etc". No company is going to leave an estimate saying, "yeah, we are the cheapest because we don't carry insurance, have no long term plan to be in business and we don't pay taxes." So you now have a commodity service. All companies, in the customer's mind, do the same thing. I would choose the cheapest as well.

Its a slippery slope of cause and effect. You as the contractor look at the rejection as your being priced too high. So what do you do? You drop your prices. The problem is, there is always someone willing to step behind you and go even lower. We are not talking about level playing fields.

I'll give you my personal experience, Dave. I get extremely busy in the spring. Its not uncommon to get 25 calls per day. I have two choices. Drop my prices, leave an estimate in the mailbox with some printed literature and hope for a 20% closing rate. Or, eliminate low paying jobs with pricing minimums, keep my level of service and performance high by charging top dollar and meet with every customer I can. I have done both. I abandoned the former very quickly as the only people that were benefitting were the customers and my employees. I wasn' making any money.

I now demand, yes demand and I know that sounds harsh, to meet with the homeowner or I am not interested in the job. By doing this I have raised my closing ratio to 60% on cold sales leads. That is with being two-three times the price of my competitors. I am not overpriced, my competitors are underpriced and offer inferior value. I plan on being here next year. I promise the customer their job will get done when I say it will. The work will be impeccable. I won't forget about the customer after the work is completed. They hear from me with newsletters, follow up calls and customer surveys. The customer is in a database, they do not have to worry about maintenance anymore. In the spring their decks will be ready for usage. All they have to do is send in the check.

Long story short, you don't want to be chasing leads and spending a fortune on advertising forever. By meeting your customers you forge a long term relationship that grows into referals and repeat business. By sending an email bid you are saying you only care about getting that job, that second. That wouldn't buy my confidence and you would not get my business.


New member
Nice post Ken. I have gotten lazy with not demanding to meet the customer in person for the bid. In the beginning I always demanded to meet them. Now that I think about, I'm probably losing some of those bids I could be getting by explaining the benefits of using us in person. Thanks for the insight!