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Rraaaannttttt

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by laserman70, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. laserman70

    laserman70 Very Active Member

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    Get a call this morning.

    Caller:
    Hello, I am a sign business in North Carolina.
    I have a client in a nearby community of yours that needs a 4X4 sign.
    What would you charge for that?

    Me:
    Ok give me some specifics. Material, High work, Posts involved etc.?

    Caller:
    I dont know that yet, I just need a price.

    Me:
    Sir I need more info in order to give you even a ballpark price.

    Caller:
    I dont know anything besides its 4X4. You cant give me some idea?

    Me:
    No I am sorry without specifics i cannot.


    WT_!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sure it is free cause you have no idea what it is.
    No i am sorry it is 1,0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.00
    put commas where necessary..

    Thank you all for letting me vent :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::U Rock:
     
    Tags:
  2. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    I feel your pain!!! we get these calls not from another sign shop but from the general public. when we ask what kind of sign are you looking for, my favorite answer is "you tell me, you're the sign company" really? OK, here it goes, you NEED a gold leaf sign with black smalt made from ebony wood imported from the deepest darkest part of Africa, hand cut by one old man who cuts the wood with a tooth brush. this will all cost somewhere around $1,000,000 but it wil be worth it. now want to tell me what you have in mind and we'll see if we can meet in the middle somewhere
     
  3. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    you need this...
     
  4. LEGEND

    LEGEND Member

    ...story of my life :banghead:
     
  5. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    You could always just say, "500 dollars, design, installation, application, consultation, estimation, time & materials are extra"
     
  6. thinksigns

    thinksigns SnowFlake

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    That reminded me of this.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Basically, we won't shoot from the hip, so I always tell them I'll give them a written quote.

    I would say we get more than 1/2 of these calls which work out. Most of the time, we get them from totally legit sign companies who may or may not have the necessary information for you to make a final quote, but if you if you write it down, they have something from which to work for their customers.

    Having some patience and asking the right questions up front, has landed us some really nice 3rd party clients over the years. They in turn have become nice repeat customers.
    As for Marlene's problem, we get a lotta that too. Those are the one's you can generally feel out after one or two minutes and it's easy to quote them. You either want it or not... and if you do, be patient and pull it out of them. Otherwise, just give the answer you're hearing.

    Think about it for a minute. If someone calls you on a simple 4' x 4', you know you're gonna have between this much and that much in materials and possibly another 1/2 hour to 3 hours in time. Do you wanna haggle over a $250 to $500. job ?? It's not a hard question to answer, but in writing, at least you're covering your butt if they go with you.

    However, I sincerely understand your stress over such a trivial item. :covereyes:
     
  8. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    simple can turn into nighmare really fast. a few years back, we had a "simple" sign to make and install on the side of a building. asked how high up, he said about 8 to 10 feet up on the side of a building. simple. we asked what the buildng was made of. brick. simple. we got there and what he didn't tell us is the building butts up to a river and you have to park on the bridge and boom over to the side of the building to get to it. there is no such thing as simple as is seems like evey time, there's more to it than expected. we don't give ballpark prices for that reason and also as people wil say they won't hold you to it but do. "I thought you said $500" well that was for a non-illuminated 4' x 4' not a halo lighted LED with push thru copy. we do ask questions and most do know what it is they are looking for but it is those who have no idea that bug me.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's why I said a written quote.

    Now, if someone wants you to instal it, then you either need to include a site survey charge or have them e-mail pictures of the site from two or three angles.

    I'd never go out and instal a sign blindly, other than real estate signs. In over 40 years, I've never had one of those I couldn't figure out on the spot.

    We're doing one right now..... for a franchise. So, I knew there'd be more work then he was initially mentioning.
    I gave him the quote in writing and told him, if his measurements were off, he'd be charged drastically for modifications being made on site..... and indicated the amounts.
    So, he quickly decided to have us come out and make sure. Not only were his measurements off, but the face was a one piece and in writing I had specified 2pc face. He kinda hemmed and hawed about this and accused me of not telling him this, but I pointed to it in B&W. Well, we just got the extra money for that this morning and now corporate is telling me, they have no record of this guy or his location. Wha.... ??

    If anyone takes a few short minutes beforehand, you can save yourself a lotta headaches later. Sure, some slip through, but it doesn't have to be that way.
     
  10. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Pivot

    PROFILE

    Praise

    Prompt


    The profile part of the equation will give you the info you need. Sure its just speculation. But it is only speculation until the point you decide if its a waste of time or he give enough info so you can make an intelligent decision.

    Obviously this potential client has no clue for what he is asking. The entire call is geared to getting a profile. Along that path you are educating the potential client with key words called pre-framing.

    Good luck on your sign ventures. It's a fun ride learning to deal with the four P points and the four personality colors of people.


    Get a book called Color Code by hartman. It was a game changer for me.
     
  11. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    color of people....

    Yea I like to find out what color the person is who is calling too.
    Brown, they are calling from a cubicle in India trying to sell me a google ad.
    Black, they are trying to sell me health insurance or got the wrong number.
    Yellow, my food order is ready to pick up.
    White, wants my attention on politics and who I should vote for in election.
    Red, to complain about the name of some NFL team.
     
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    John "the Racist" Butto...LOL
     
  13. natedawg9640

    natedawg9640 Member

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    hey at least they told youSOMETHING... i had an inquiry the other day that blew my mind... i **** you not this is what it said:

    Client: "Hi, Dwayne gave me your name and said you do good work. Let me know. Thanks."

    Me: "..... ..... .. ...... :doh:"
     
  14. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    I think what you might try next time is to ask a different follow up question. Instead of asking what materials or even what type of sign, perhaps asking them what they need their sign for, might work out better. Start with that and see where it goes. Where is the sign going to be located? Is it an outdoor sign? Is it for a business? Is it informational? How long do you want it to last? Questions like that. Because there is a possibility that they could be a legitimate customer but they just don't understand what materials or type of sign they need and they are hoping you, being the professional, can help them figure that out. However they should be able to tell you what they need the sign for.

    If they can't answer what they need it for, then I would question the legitimacy of the inquiry and whether or not you should waste anymore time with them. Move on to the next job. You have to ask yourself, who would call asking for a price of a sign without knowing what they need the sign for?

    Another thing we like to do is try to get that person to stop in, if they are local, rather than give a price over the phone... if we can. We do this for multiple reasons, it shows us that they are more serious about ordering if they come to us and that they are not just price shopping, and we can show the samples of other work we do and possibly sell them other services we offer. Plus, I've found it's easier to seal the deal in person. Our usual line we give them to get them in the door is that we have sample materials for them to look at, which will help them decide what type of sign will work best for them.

    But don't profile based on the color of someone's skin. That's just ridiculous.
     
  15. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    My post on the phone call on people's skin was suppose to be ridiculous. It was in reference to Techman's color code, the four personality colors of people.
    When did you become the Rachel Maddow of Signs101 and turn things around by throwing out your half truths.
    And thank you for your infinite wisdom on phone conversation and business, I sit on the edge of my seat and wait for your next diatribe on how to handle myself in life.
    Throwing that last quote out is a form of bullying, you know you have your little Bieber followers standing around snickering when they hear you.
     
  16. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    Wow, Okay? Tell me what you really think. :wink: You know what I don't get? If you are now saying that what you posted was purposely "suppose to be ridiculous", then someone comes along and says "that's ridiculous", why on earth are you so upset?
     
  17. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    If it was a real sign business calling you they'd have known you couldn't answer that question before they even called.
     
  18. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    That's true. Unless they were really new to the game and are trying to figure out their pricing. But yeah, most likely just someone who is clueless about what we all do and offer.
     
  19. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    As I said earlier, we do a written quote for when they come back later to make changes.

    We have a rather large sign company outside of Philly using us to do many of the mall pylon signs for a nice radius around Berks and a little beyond. The requests are always vague. The last one came in yesterday morning and wanted a price for a job of putting some wording on an existing electric face... two-sided. Also, put a plaque on the end of the foundation wall.

    Nothing about removing the existing vinyl from the faces, no sizes, no copy for the plaque and nothing about permits. Aslo, not a clue as to what is being lettered on the faces. I responded with some questions and my answer from them was...... yeah, I'll get ya that information, but for now I just need the price. Oh, and by the way, such & such mall plaza up in Orwigsburg needs two faces lettered with rental information. Can you give me a price on adding that into the same trip ??

    I gave a written quote for knowing nothing, but priced it high enough that my butt is covered. When they balk, I'll probably get the information I need. If they don't b!tch, I just made some pretty good money. I usually do this work myself..... but still charge out at $185 per hour, plus materials. Travel time is also $185 an hour.


    Not getting on you Joe, since I know you're sensitive to my words, but in the Opening Statement, the OP made specific mention of the caller not being at all cooperative, so most of what you said, while somewhat true and can work does nothing for someone WHO already did what you suggested and was turned down miserably. So, how do you expect someone to come in and visit you or answer questions a second time ?? I mean, he even said the guy is not local. Your comments might be spot on, but not at all for this scenario at all. Perhaps the little birdie that told me to learn how to read should take you under her wing and tutor you a little longer, huh ??
     
  20. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    Yeah reading doesn't seem to be your strong suit, otherwise you would have noticed the first sentence of my post:
    or the part about questioning the legitimacy of someone calling who won't give specifics. I'm not the only one who wonders, based on the info the OP has posted, if this caller is who they say they are. Of course if you were specifically commenting on the OP's scenario you suggest wasting time on a written quote because "I always tell them I'll give them a written quote" as you put it, even though you now point out the caller in this scenario is not being "cooperative". How does that make sense? That is unless you weren't speaking specifically, in which case why would you give me crap for speaking generally especially when the first sentence of my post shows that? Try again.

    :bushmill::rolleyes:
     

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