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Ok how would you respond to this? I come it at 1500 all in and other 2 electricians are at 1100 and 1150.
I know my pricing and I know it well. I dont feel like asking to see the other quotes. I just want to tell this customer in a polite enough way that there is more than one way to skin a cat and if they cant see the value in hiring me, I really dont want their business.
 

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Don't discount them 'fishing' for a better price

Let them know you went over the quote, and you don't see anything you've overlooked.

Let them know you do quality work, and to make sure the other quotes are from LEC's.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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Tell them you get that a lot. Then just let them say yay or nay.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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I'll add the reason they are getting ahold of you, is because they want to do business with you. So don't sweat it, just throw it back into their court and let them show you if price is their number one concern or not.
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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I'll do it for $1149.
Do I have to stand in the snow or am I required to do it right?
If not, $1148 is my bid.

He's fishing for a few bucks less.
 

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Ok how would you respond to this? I come it at 1500 all in and other 2 electricians are at 1100 and 1150.
I know my pricing and I know it well. I dont feel like asking to see the other quotes. I just want to tell this customer in a polite enough way that there is more than one way to skin a cat and if they cant see the value in hiring me, I really dont want their business.
"We regret that you have chosen a different contractor."

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey.
John Ruskin"
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Unless the customer is asking why you are so much higher,let it be.
On the other hand, if he wants to know why, then you can tell him that, as you stated, there are many ways of doing work.
Your way, is of a better quality because you spend the effort to insure he gets what he needs.
Possibly you know the nuances of the building and took that into account so there would be no arguments later about site conditions.
No need to get into discussions about overhead costs or some such as the end user really doesn't care.
 

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I have been using the Flyboy response.
“I only put 10% on my jobs. If I take 5% off, I will only make 5%. I can’t run a legit business on 5%.
I have very, very few people say no to that.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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"Did you say $1150? And $1100? Man that is HUNGRY pricing, I can't match it. But, thank you very much for letting me know, I appreciate the follow up, very helpful for me to know. Let me know if you need me."
 

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"Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with an estimate, Please consider us in the future." Simple.

Forget about the "not wanting their business" part, because you do want it, they just found a lower price. People are always going to be cautious when spending their money. It happens, but the last thing you want to do is be resentful.

If you're confident in your number, no need to elaborate, just move on to the next one.
 

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When someone tells me they're taking 3 bids and going with the lowest, I refuse to look at it.
I tell them that I'm not going to be the lowest but I'll do the best work.
I very seldom have anyone bid against me. 100% of my work is referral. I don't advertise, no signs on the trucks, no phone listed in the phone book.
I get almost every job I look at.
I know that's not common. It's just the way it's worked out.
 

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Lots of sound advice in this thread.
 

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What type of work? There was a time when my shop had a lot of left over, paid for materials. It was an accumulation of 15 years that was just piled up. When things got tight and work dried up, I was able to use up the dead inventory. It was either scrap the wire or use it. 2/0, 3/0 . I must of had several hundred feet of assorted shorts. Maybe that is what the others are doing.
 

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What type of work? There was a time when my shop had a lot of left over, paid for materials. It was an accumulation of 15 years that was just piled up. When things got tight and work dried up, I was able to use up the dead inventory. It was either scrap the wire or use it. 2/0, 3/0 . I must of had several hundred feet of assorted shorts. Maybe that is what the others are doing.
Dead inventory is lost profit from those previous projects.
If you don't include the value of that material, you're losing money
 

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Hackenschmidt
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Dead inventory is lost profit from those previous projects.
If you don't include the value of that material, you're losing money
I always figure that it costs a lot more to come up short than it costs to buy a little extra, so I usually have a little extra but it's covered in my estimating. But I guess everybody does that.

The question is, should I just scrap or trash everything when I am done, or store it in inventory? It's already paid for. The space and time it takes to store it does have a cost. However it saves money and sometimes time when I can just pick materials from inventory from the shop rather than ordering it. I do a lot of small jobs off that stuff, or reduce the cost of jobs of all sizes.

I price my jobs based on buying the materials, not pulling from inventory. I wouldn't want to set pricing expectations that I can't repeat in the future if I don't have it in inventory. And I need to recoup the cost of the time and space it takes to inventory those materials, and make a few bucks on top of that. I am not spending that time and space on a hobby, I am doing it to make money.

In the past I'd have said it was debatable whether I should bother. This year, having that inventory has helped quite a bit when things were locked down, in the following months when I was trying to run around less, and when some materials went way up in cost or were hard to find. It was so helpful this year, well, it's settled, keeping surplus in inventory was a big win.
 

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They may just be trying to get your price lower. I would just say "I am sorry that we wont be working together, I know I can do a great job but I cannot do this job for less than $1500
 

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Hackenschmidt
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They may just be trying to get your price lower. I would just say "I am sorry that we wont be working together, I know I can do a great job but I cannot do this job for less than $1500
My answer now in the morning before work is different from my answer after work yesterday :)

Number one, for Pete's sake don't get pissy about not wanting their business, that's pointless. And at some level it's not true, you shouldn't have bid if you didn't want the business. You just don't want to compete. That's fine, nobody does. But guess what that's life in the concrete jungle, everybody has to compete. The important thing is you only want it at your price.

Now I'll hedge there and say if this customer is setting off any spidey sense that's telling you they're going to be a real pain in the ass, yeah, you're off the hook, just make a brief polite response and move along.

But realistically, you have some time and effort involved in getting this far, the smart thing to do based on the OP is spend a few minutes keeping the conversation going and see if you can win their business. The important thing here is even though your price was high, they're still interested in you doing the work, so it may be salvageable.

They may just feel like they ought to haggle. You could offer to just take $50 off as a good will gesture. You could explain to them that while you can't be the lowest priced contractor, your make it a point to be the best value. If you think they're just bluffing you could call their bluff and play hardball. Handling this step in the process well is important.

The main thing with the OP is to keep tabs on your attitude, be professional and realistic, don't take it personally if someone is shopping. Normal people shop when they're spending anything more than front pocket change. If you are not aware that people are shopping, either you live on billionaire island where nobody shops for electrical service because it's chump change like chewing gum, or you just aren't aware that people are shopping.

(BTW, I guess we've just given up on the private section for business? This really ought to be there.)
 

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Interesting point Splatz.
People are asking for my time and resources, in the same way, they ask their grocer, utilities, and auto repair businesses for services. Why should I have to be the only business they "negotiate" with? I remember when I was just starting out and would drive 50 miles to change a couple of light bulbs and charge only for the time spent working on the site, charging $65 per hour. It was not sustainable but, I was trying to develop a customer base. FF to now, that same customer has multiple properties and we are the prefered and usually the sole EC for them. Our rates are almost 3x that now and it isn't even an issue. They are not concerned with the price as much as they are with having work done ASAP.
 

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I like the point I'm taking away from Splatz's post. Don't get upset, it's just business. Keep talking and see if you can SELL your services. Try to close the deal.

As contractors wearing multiple hats we often don't put on that salesman hat. Remember, lowest price can put you in the poor house.
 
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