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sales calls


New member
When going on a sales call do you give your proposal on the spot and try to close the sale or do email or snail mail your quote.

Although I have my website and modern technology, I have gone back to giving my estimate package, which contains, job references, before and after photos , warranty, etc. try and leave with check in hand.

I still have alot of customers who want me to just come by when they are not home and email a quote, but a face to face meeting brings better results even if they don't give you the job right there


Ken Fenner

Active member
Nick, I am old school. One of my expenses is advertising and I want to whittle that down to as low a percentage as is possible. One way to accomplish that is to form relationships. I meet with everyone. I have gotten to the stage in my business where I am very picky about who becomes a customer. If they cannot meet with me, they probably are not my type of customer. The hardest part for the owner of any trade is makinmg the phone ring. I don't buy into the high volume model for residential work. I can keep three trucks running 6 days per week with book-outs running approximately six weeks. By meeting face-to-face I also have the opportunity to upsell and close sales on the spot.

It hasn't always been that way though.

My first couple of years I would call a customer back within minutes, be at the property within hours and when I had to, left estimates and followed up with phone calls. I still closed some sales but nowhere near at the percentage that I would have liked. After running the numbers, it was more profitable for me to be out on the road meeting and greeting.

This is just what works for me. Others know their own numbers and have different pricing tiers. I am positive about the economy but I still have to plan for some recision. I have been debating blending margins with volume work..ie more price driven. These jobs will be the ones that involve pure washing (houses, buildings, flat work) If I go that route, these jobs will not include on-site estimates. My website will have to do the upselling. House washes are a much higher margin than decks, so I have some room to play around with this model.

Ken Fenner

Active member
Now the short version:

You have this in the wood section so I'll cut to the chase re: decks. I meet with everyone. There are very few customers that will react positively to the cost of deck resto. Its not that they aren't willing to pay, its that they don't understand the value. You can enclose all the literature, brochures and copty you want in an estimate proposal and 95% of people will flip past all of that to the bottom line. That puts my bid dead in the water.

Terry Miller

New member
I see you are a member of PDCA. Good Choice. The UAMCC is also a good choice for your PWing Business.
The question you ask, would be for us,
We don't estimate over the phone or whithout visiting the actual site. I used to give quotes in the mail box, etc. Not since I relized my time is as valuable as anyone else. If the customer can't find the time to meet with you, forget it. They are price shopping. If a DR. can only meet me at 6am or 11pm, so be it. I do this. Hope this helps. Thank you.


New member
Thanks, was just putting it out there. I agree with face to face meeting is the best, especialy now.

I've been to many sales semminars over the years, Len Fife has a great book called Sell-Sell -Sell which I"ve had in my truck since 2000. Geared towards painting but can be used for any type of contracting, simple read but very good info.

Yes the UAMCC seems very professional, I am going to go to Albany end of March, maybe I will meet some of you there.

Ken, Old School, is the only school.......for winners.

James Foley

New member
Every test spot I have done with the customer there produced a job or they saved for it. I have many where they saved and had it done the next year.