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Customers are reluctant to...

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by threeputt, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    make a deposit on a job order, if the final amount is not filled in.

    Better put this way. When we have a wrap customer, we like to "tease" with a simple, quick layout. It's far from finished artwork with all the frills, consultation, etc. that goes into a wrap, but it's generally enough of an idea to convince the client we can do the job. We'll then give him a rough idea of costs. But it can never be an exact price, because be can never know how many changes in art there'll be. Right?

    And we won't proceed with the wrap without a signed job order detailing the project...and a deposit. I'm looking for a smoother way of getting that deposit without necessarily having the final amount of the job filled in. (sometimes it's unknowable at the time you wish to ask for a deposit).

    Naturally, some clients are reluctant to give a deposit without a final price.

    Comments on a work-around for this dilemna?
     
    Tags:
  2. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

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    quote it high.
     
  3. Rodi

    Rodi Very Active Member

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    Quote it so that they get x amount of revision time… with 15 minutes being your minimum. So say its 2 hours revision time, they would get up to 8 revisions, if they were all small, or maybe not even one if it is a redo. Have them sign each proof with a time on it left for the revisions on the job. Once they go over, call them and tell them they need to pony up some bux.
     
  4. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Interesting answer. But it doesn't seem to be what I'm looking for. Sure you can always bid in an extra thou, but if you're in a competitive market, that work just might walk out the door on you.

    Looking for more of a business-like answer.
     
  5. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Rodi, I'm liking that idea. Up to say, 2 hours revision time.
     
  6. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Give them the quote for what it will be with one or two rounds of revisions and get a deposit based on that. Just explain to them that most of the time that's all it will take to get finalized artwork ready to go. Let them know up front that any additional changes to the artwork will cost extra and will be added to the final bill.

    If they know the rules up front I've found that most of the time they're cool with it.
     
  7. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    ...or go with Rodi's idea, that's a pretty damn good idea.
     
  8. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

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    I know that people don't really like this much, but we price wraps by the square foot, and that price is based on the complexity of the vehicle (as far as installation goes). Anywhere from $5-6/sf for semi's up to $12/sf for an HHR.

    That price includes art.


    Gary
     
  9. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    There's not a chance in you-know-where that I would sign a deposit contract with a blank for the final amount. Wouldn't happen no matter how great I think you are or how much I trust you. Just not good business practice... and I don't see a way to get around that if you continue to leave it blank... use Rodi's idea :smile:
     
  10. Border

    Border Very Active Member

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    I'll usually try to give them a high end and a low end of the pricing range, knowing that most of the time, you won't be going crazy with multiple revisions. Explain that the high end represents a few (insert your number here) revisions. That way they know if they are easy to work with and not all nit-picky, that the price will be more to their liking.

    Try to encourage them to really look at the first design well and include ALL revisions in one request if possible and that will also help keep their cost down.

    This lets them know you don't expect them to accept your design with no possibility of changes but it also lets them know that you don't plan on doing endless revisions for free.

    I think that would cover you well for the vast majority of jobs. Sure, there's always gonna be the occasional PITA client that lands in your shop or someone else's. You can usually tell who these types are before you ever get to the asking for a down payment part though, and those are the ones to quote a little higher in order to make it worth your time to deal with them.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Break it into two parts if you don't have a concrete way of determining your final cost.

    Design and fabrication cost.
    Give a rough idea of what it's gonna cost to design said project. Break it into three blocks of time and give them a first third of find and determine layout needs and cost.
    Second part is the going back and forth until final details are decided and the third portion being the finalizing and getting all of your areas lined up and into position for your own use. This might entail maybe $1,800 to $2,500. So you get a 1/3, 1/3 and a 1/3. Now you are paid for all of your design time. The middle third will be all of your revisions and decision time.

    Now, you get 1/2 of your production costs and the final half when they show up to pick up the vehicle.

    It doesn't have to make sense to them as to how or why you charge and bill the way you do... just so it makes sense to you and it is standard policy.







    Or, you could just say, $8,800, but today.... have I got a deal for you ??
     
  12. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    I don't get the square foot thing at all. Do you charge for areas that you have to print, laminate and then throw away? We typically will print a piece 54"x210" say for the side of a pickup. A good portion of that is thrown away. (wheelwells, are behind cab, above truck bed, etc.) I know, I know, sometimes you can stick other art in there like bumpers, grills, etc.

    Admittedly, square foot pricing would simplify arriving at a sales price, but you still have the imponderable artwork time. Right?

    Twelve bucks a foot seems like a "one-size fits all" concept. Has it really worked out for you guys? What would that get you for a HHR anyway?
     
  13. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

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    I find that square foot pricing tends to even things out in the end.

    For example, a semi, in this economy is a $5500 job - unless someone is lowballing a fleet. Then you better be ready to do it for $4k, or not do it at all.

    Yes, I charge for the square footage of the vehicle. That is overall length x overall height x 2 x $$ for the sides, and then do the same for the hood, trunk, and if you are covering the roof.

    There's your price.

    I'd say we average around $10/sf.

    If you move this over to the Premium section, I can break that down a bit more for you :)


    Gary
     
  14. grafixemporium

    grafixemporium Very Active Member

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    In the beginning, we tried to "tease" with a basic layout to try to sell the job, too. Hell, we did whatever we had to do to get some wraps through the door. I've learned my lesson and learned it the hard way. We have an extensive portfolio of wraps and other design work. Now, I will not invest one minute of my time or shop time on a wrap without a deposit. We discuss the project, quote the job and begin design only after receiving half down and that is printed plain as day on our quotes.

    We use square foot pricing on wraps, too. But there's a waste factor. We quote based on the square footage of the materials needed for the job... not square footage of the vehicle itself.

    When you buy building materials such as carpet, lumber, shingles, you don't just buy the exact square footage of whatever it is you are building. You end up paying for waste.

    Our square foot pricing, however, is not written in stone. Pricing varies a lot on the complexity of the vehicle, number of vehicles, complexity of the design, etc. It's not a one size fits all thing by any means.

    I'll be happy to delve deeper into how and why the square foot pricing works for us in the Premium section.
     
  15. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Design is X amount per hour with a min. After that a wrap is X amount. You should be able to give them a firm price on the wrap itself, simply tell them the design time is the variable.

    Just think about when you buy something, you want to know what it is going to cost BEFORE you commit yourself. We sometimes forget that in the sign biz. Educate your customers is the best thing to do or they might think you are a Sign Gypsi.
     
  16. grafixemporium

    grafixemporium Very Active Member

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  17. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

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    Quote the art time as a separate line item, noting that revisions add cost.

    Have the deposit credited against the materials and labor only.
     
  18. Patrick46

    Patrick46 Member

    These are some good ideas, but I also like to offer a customer (no matter what kinda job I'm bidding on) a sliding scale of prices, and to let them pick what kinda of work they're going to buy.
    I have a new customer that just came in the other day. Owns a campground/RV park, and wants all new signage....everything from the small signs to a big new one out at the road. I gave him several ranges to pick from, and it looks like he's going to pick the groovy dimentional 3-D fun stuff......WooHoo!!
    I also like to say, at bidding time, that x job's price (maxed out) is on a worst case scenerio. If the job goes smoothly, I'll be more than happy to readjust the price down accordingly. This makes the customer feel good, and make you look like a good guy.....WIN!
    I hope this helps you.
     
  19. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    I find there are 2 different kinds of clients......Those that find you because they are in the market and found you when they were looking and those that come to you because of your own marketing efforts...I count referrals in the latter group....

    Those in the 1st group usually make decisions based on bottom line.....Those in the latter group more frequently value quality work....Those in the 1st group are the ones that get in a tizzy about deposits...
     
  20. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    Dan Antonelli posted a link to his logo design agreement a while back...

    http://www.graphicd-signs.com/logo_agreement.htm

    It's simple, straight forward and would be worth a read to try to modify your existing contract to read more like his.

    I (almost) never include design/artwork in the cost of the project unless we're just talking about a basic layout with no custom art or special effects.

    Checkers
     
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