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Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: ITO] #163116 05/01/07 10:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Z
Zapped Offline
Member
This topic holds alot of meaning right now in our trade. Out here in Cali, there are a lot of problems being caused by the Wal-Mart mentality.

In a good portion of my business these days, I'm dealing with property managers, who are basically expected by the property owners to deliver everything with the bottom line being the predominant factor.

At the same time, crap-quality lighting and "electrical" contractors are coming along, hiring unqualified workers at slave wages, and turning out sub-standard and, at times, down right dangerous garbage, but charging way less than I can even consider charging without losing money on the job.

The result? Some of my work is going elsewhere simply because they undercut my price. As it currently stands, I'm starting to see some clients return to me because the jobs they've gotten done for cheap have failed, but it's a slow process. And, worse, some business does not come back to me because even unqualified people can accidently get a job right sometimes.

What I offer to my clients, that keeps me in business, is professionalism. All the way, in every aspect, I dedicate myself to acheiving quality - show up on time, return phone calls, work quick and clean, go the extra mile to make sure the client is happy, and providing ongoing support for my work.

Also, talking to clients with a genuine interest in what they need and an apparent concern that they are happy goes a long way.

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: Zapped] #163130 05/01/07 06:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
L
LK Offline
Member
"Also, talking to clients with a genuine interest in what they need and an apparent concern that they are happy goes a long way."

The guy working for the bottom line property manager, we have a saying about them I have seen them come and I have seen them go, well today another bottom line EC bit the dust, I was at the gas station and seen his vans there, I said to the owner why is he getting all the trucks serviced at once, he said he's not, they were towed in by the repo company, He spent 8 years low bidding his way out of business.
The problem is, these I got a lot of work guys, just create a false price, over the years, that makes a ligit price look bad to the customers.

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: LK] #163199 05/03/07 07:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
M
mahlere Offline
Member
we've become a society where we believe everything is interchangable...want to find a new dishwasher, go online and compare prices...want to find a new car, go online and shop prices...why not look for electrician's the same way? I mean, there is only 1 code, and we should all follow it, right? So, all of us should do the same job, why not shop for the lowest price?

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: mahlere] #163202 05/03/07 07:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Member
The "car" comparison is appropriate. If you're comparing identical cars, price can easily become the prime consideration. This even applies, to a lesser extent, between similar cars.

Yet, few folks ever consider a minivan and a convertible at the same time. Rather, they get an idea of what they want, then seek out those who might have that item. They will pay little attention to those who don't look promising.

If you were looking for a sporty little convertible, would you visit "Joe's Work Trucks?" Would you expect much service after the sale, from a guy who does business in the Wal-Mart parking lot?

The trick is to NOT become just another ad in the phone book. I've had lots of business develop from casual contacts with customers' employees. The simple fact that their boss hired me is all the recommendation they need, and sets me apart from all the other 'unknowns.' Or, I've had several pump jobs develop after a plumbing company found that they could rely on me.

While everyone says "price is important," I think price only enters the question when the customer has no other way to separate "the sheep from the goats."

NEVER lat the customer see you as just one of the crowd.

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: renosteinke] #163204 05/03/07 08:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
M
mahlere Offline
Member
how would you go about that?

there are contractors on this very board who believe that price is the key selling point.

if we can not convince our own industry, how can we convince someone who doesn't have a clue what it takes to do what we do?

what are your thoughts?

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: mahlere] #163234 05/04/07 11:26 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 272
A
A-Line Offline
Member
I had a guy call me that needed his basement wired. He said he had three other electrical contractors coming out to give him an estimate and if I could beat their price by 10% I could have the job.

When I asked him if low price was his only concern and was he not concerned about the quality of the work, he replied "If you're all licensed your work should all be the same."

I then asked if he felt all doctors and attorneys were the same or did he believe some were better than others. If you're having heart surgery would you be trying to find someone who will beat everyone elses price by 10%?

He replied, "That's a different technology. Electrical work is not the same thing."

You're right electrical work is not the same thing. If the heart surgeon screws up you might die. If the electrician screws up you're house could burn down and your whole family could die.

I had another customer that was a welder. When I asked him if he felt all welders were the same or did he feel some welders did a better job than others he understood my point and agreed that all electricians are not going to be the same. Some will be better than others and picking one based on price alone is not a good idea.

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: A-Line] #163253 05/04/07 07:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
M
mahlere Offline
Member
so...did you get the job? or did you only beat them by 9% and lose it?

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: mahlere] #163280 05/05/07 11:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 272
A
A-Line Offline
Member
Unlike some contractors I keep my overhead very low so I was able to beat these other guys by not just %10 but %20.

I don't have fancy expnensive vehicles.
I don't have high gasoline expenses.

An energy bar and some chain lube is all I need.

I offer 8-hour emergency response service. I guarantee I'll make it out to their emergency in 8-hours. Unless of course I get a flat or throw a chain.

Here's a picture of me heading out to an emergency service call.
[Linked Image from i95.photobucket.com]

This is me taking the client out to lunch after the repair. I'm working on enclosing the back so I can add my name and logo to the sides.
[Linked Image from i95.photobucket.com]

This is me heading out to a larger commercial job.
[Linked Image from i95.photobucket.com]

Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: A-Line] #163281 05/05/07 11:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 361
C
Celtic Offline
Member
Is the triple tandem legal?


~~ CELTIC ~~
...-= NJ =-...
Re: Are YOU a commodity? [Re: Celtic] #163284 05/05/07 01:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Member
OK, I give up .... where in the world do you find either the bike, or the trailers?

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