Most contractor’s can’t imagine charging for estimates. After all nobody is charging right? Well that’s what I thought but I have been known to be wrong.
Let me explain…
When i first started my business I always believed that it was extremely important to chase down every lead and land every job. Then a contractor told me how he applied the 80/20 rule to his customers. I had heard about the 80/20 rule but in case you haven’t its called the Pareto principle after Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 20% of his pea pods produced 80% of his peas. Economists have since noticed this observation applying to many things in life.
So, anyway this contractor said that the best 20% of your customers will be 80% of your profits and the worst 20% of your customers will be 80% of your problems. He suggested that when meeting a potential customer I should ask myself if this person is either in the top half and therefore more likely to be a high profit customer or a bottom half customer and more likely to be a loss.
Since I have started purposely ditching half the people who call me I have noticed that I’m much better off.
Now I have been introduced to contractors who charge for estimates. Some charge large amounts some charge small amounts. But the point is that these contractors have found a great way to separate time wasters from people who value their time and experience.
Considering the last 10 estimates I provided I have not received a single call back, charging them up front may be a great way to focus on the people who are in need of help and tire kickers.