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  1. #1
    Member Professor with Tenure AZ PowerWash Pros's Avatar
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    Bidding and Perspectives

    Lately, I have been getting involved a lot more in sales with my company. I go back and forth diving into different areas of my business, but wanted to gain more control over my sales division so I stepped into it a bit more than usual. Anyway, I have been showing my sales guys how they can bid higher on their jobs and still land the work. All sales employees are always a little worried about bidding too high and not getting the work because then they obviously don't receive any commission so their thoughts are to sell the job for what they think they can get it for and don't step too far outside the box on pricing. But its funny because at the end of the day, the client does not know what the services cost. And the client is relying on you as the professional to give them the cost of the service. Granted this isn't always the case, but a lot of the time it is. So as the professional you are the one setting the bar for the price of the service.

    What I have found is that the sales employees that view things from the perspective of "what would I pay for this work to be completed?" are bidding far too low!! Who cares what you would pay for the work. At the end of the day, I would never pay $200 to get my personal driveway cleaned but that doesn't mean that someone else won't pay double that. What seems like a lot of money to you may not be a lot of money to someone else. On top of that, what you may never want to spend money on does not mean someone else doesn't want to spend money on that same thing. As an example, I never pay for extended warranties but many people do.

    I have been going around with my sales guys and showing them that they can get 2 or 3 times more the amount of money for the job then they were thinking just by being confident when you approach the customer and eliminating their feelings on what is a lot of money. If you tell a customer, "well maybe we can do it for around $250, does that sound good to you?" Then obviously you are leaving it up to the client to say, "uh no that is actually a little high" because the way you stated it made it seem like it was a lot to you, and gave them that it was a lot to them as well.

    Not trying to be a sales coach here and not claiming I am the best salesman or anything like that. But just thought I would bring this up here because I have found that if you remove your personal perspective from the sales pitch entirely and approach the customer with confidence you can land jobs for much higher than you think.

    $50 is a lot of money to someone, $500 dollars is a lot of money to the next man, $5000 dollars is a lot of money to the next man after that. Don't ever let your personal perspective on money and value of money get in the way of your bidding and value of your service. You would be surprised what people are willing to pay when approached correctly.

    Hope this helps someone and thanks for listening to my rant! haha

  • #2
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Call DJ


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  • #3
    Member Professor with Tenure AZ PowerWash Pros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Musgraves View Post
    Call DJ


    Ron Musgraves
    www.uamcc.org
    "Sidewalk cleaning"
    HAHA! I was hoping it did not come off too sales pitchy. But just wanted to let everyone know things I have been noticing. Not selling a book or anything. Not yet anyway! hahaha

  • #4
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate PressureBrothers's Avatar
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    A question for you, or any other other larger washing company with a sales team who wants to chime in... How do your salesman provide estimates, are they based on time your crews will spend on the job? Or more of a standard price per square that you set for your company for each similar circumstance? Is their goal to simply sell the service at the highest price point to every client they are dealing with, or a combination?

    I am still a little ways out from this point in my company, but the day is coming sooner everyday and I think about it constantly.
    Joe Wingler
    Pressure Brothers
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    www.PressureBrothers.com

  • #5
    Member Graduate Student Zap It Wash's Avatar
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    Good stuff Ty!
    Jason Butler - Charlotte, NC
    Zap It Wash
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    704-919-9730

  • #6
    Member Junior Undergraduate johnnyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ PowerWash Pros View Post
    At the end of the day, I would never pay $200 to get my personal driveway cleaned but that doesn't mean that someone else won't pay double that. What seems like a lot of money to you may not be a lot of money to someone else. On top of that, what you may never want to spend money on does not mean someone else doesn't want to spend money on that same thing. As an example, I never pay for extended warranties but many people do.

    $50 is a lot of money to someone, $500 dollars is a lot of money to the next man, $5000 dollars is a lot of money to the next man after that. Don't ever let your personal perspective on money and value of money get in the way of your bidding and value of your service. You would be surprised what people are willing to pay when approached correctly.
    This all applies to the area I'm in. Well written Ty.
    JohnBarella@gmail.com
    Ember Services Inc - If you got dirt, remember Ember.
    Structures & Vehicles. Residential & Commercial

  • #7
    Member Professor with Tenure AZ PowerWash Pros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PressureBrothers View Post
    A question for you, or any other other larger washing company with a sales team who wants to chime in... How do your salesman provide estimates, are they based on time your crews will spend on the job? Or more of a standard price per square that you set for your company for each similar circumstance? Is their goal to simply sell the service at the highest price point to every client they are dealing with, or a combination?

    I am still a little ways out from this point in my company, but the day is coming sooner everyday and I think about it constantly.
    Its a combination of all the above. But typically we think about hours of labor and expenses and difficulty of the job. Then we determine what percentage of profit we feel would be right. But we always try to get the most possible of course.

    Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk

  • #8
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate BradCarey's Avatar
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    Good stuff Ty. I fall into the what I feel it worth a trap a lot. Minimums help not leave money on the table too.
    Brad Carey
    Brad's Window Cleaning and Power Washing
    (616) 745-5753
    Grand Rapids, MI

  • #9
    Member Senior Undergraduate tigerwash's Avatar
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    Great post, Ty! "Expensive" is relative. It's all about perspective.

  • #10
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    90% of the business the salesmen attempt to "Sell" will be taking business from another provider. When we approach a PM, the first question isn't about price but rather are you happy with your current vendor or what are you looking for to improve your everyday services at your property.

    I agree with the pricing scenario, but many PM's are constrained to a budget number or at least with what the other service provider is currently charging.

    Another hurdle has been many PM's have been given pricing and services from a hand full of large local service companies(Gross 5mil + yearly), and they have set the pricing bar low. The bigger local service providers take different angles to reduce their overall payroll exposure, tax exposure, and insurance exposures, to keep their profit percentage, but on the expense of "Subcontractors". The house stays profitable because they have the customer base and 30+ years of being in a certain geographic area. The way they keep the area is hire "Subcontractors" furnish them trucks and equipment, lease it back to the "SUb" and still make their 30% profit, plus leasing cost, but keep the pricing 10-15yrs in arrears. (I do it the old-fashioned way, hire good guys, pay a fair wage, and stay involved in the business so service standards are high)

    I price everything that goes back to a prospective client, some days I discuss 3 bid proposals and others 20 proposals. I look at each one on google maps and get insight from the sales team on "out of the normal" situations. We commission and salary the sales team, which I might be looking into changing, but the pricing scenarios stay about the same. A medium sized center with a anchor store plus 10-12 small retail outlets(Hair Salon, Taco Bell, UPS) its 7x week sweeping for $1250 and pressure washing of all the sidewalks ranging from $350-750 plus add on's or done for free to get the business, trash enclosures.

    The current market pricing is set with all the commercial PM's. I wish I could get $2,500 for sweeping and $1,800 for pressure washing, but the pricing has been set in my market place. I'm situated in the Bay Area in California, unemployment is 5%, wages are $20 per hour for help, and commercial warehouse space is over a $1 a sq.ft for rental. Its volume and getting my part of the pie, in saying that, I do price centers differently for different clients based on what I think the current pricing is and what the Cam rates are for the areas. Each scenario is different and I agree that $50 to one is the same for $5000 for the other, but the pricing is the same for the "area". Selling service based business isn't easy, anyone can sweep or pressure wash. A little joke.

    I'm doing my part to increase pricing past the 15yr old current marks, but its a difficult task.

    Jeremy Clark
    Clark Services
    www.clarkservices1.com

  • #11
    Member Honorary Professor DunRite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkservices View Post
    90% of the business the salesmen attempt to "Sell" will be taking business from another provider. When we approach a PM, the first question isn't about price but rather are you happy with your current vendor or what are you looking for to improve your everyday services at your property.

    I agree with the pricing scenario, but many PM's are constrained to a budget number or at least with what the other service provider is currently charging.

    Another hurdle has been many PM's have been given pricing and services from a hand full of large local service companies(Gross 5mil + yearly), and they have set the pricing bar low. The bigger local service providers take different angles to reduce their overall payroll exposure, tax exposure, and insurance exposures, to keep their profit percentage, but on the expense of "Subcontractors". The house stays profitable because they have the customer base and 30+ years of being in a certain geographic area. The way they keep the area is hire "Subcontractors" furnish them trucks and equipment, lease it back to the "SUb" and still make their 30% profit, plus leasing cost, but keep the pricing 10-15yrs in arrears. (I do it the old-fashioned way, hire good guys, pay a fair wage, and stay involved in the business so service standards are high)

    I price everything that goes back to a prospective client, some days I discuss 3 bid proposals and others 20 proposals. I look at each one on google maps and get insight from the sales team on "out of the normal" situations. We commission and salary the sales team, which I might be looking into changing, but the pricing scenarios stay about the same. A medium sized center with a anchor store plus 10-12 small retail outlets(Hair Salon, Taco Bell, UPS) its 7x week sweeping for $1250 and pressure washing of all the sidewalks ranging from $350-750 plus add on's or done for free to get the business, trash enclosures.

    The current market pricing is set with all the commercial PM's. I wish I could get $2,500 for sweeping and $1,800 for pressure washing, but the pricing has been set in my market place. I'm situated in the Bay Area in California, unemployment is 5%, wages are $20 per hour for help, and commercial warehouse space is over a $1 a sq.ft for rental. Its volume and getting my part of the pie, in saying that, I do price centers differently for different clients based on what I think the current pricing is and what the Cam rates are for the areas. Each scenario is different and I agree that $50 to one is the same for $5000 for the other, but the pricing is the same for the "area". Selling service based business isn't easy, anyone can sweep or pressure wash. A little joke.

    I'm doing my part to increase pricing past the 15yr old current marks, but its a difficult task.

    Jeremy Clark
    Clark Services
    www.clarkservices1.com
    Thanks for posting- good stuff

    Its reality- the market sets the rate in many instances (not all) especially in on going services

    Most times value/quality goes out the window but i believe building relationships help

    I secured a fleet account a few years back and i know a few companies have rolled in trying to under bid me

    I keep in contact regularly with the Fleet Mgr and have a great relationship with her which is why im still there

  • #12
    Member Junior Undergraduate
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    One last thing. I get extremely frustrated when we do not gain market share in the local area. Its extremely frustrating watching thousands of my hard earned dollars flying out the window everyday a new sale isn't made. Whether its a new guy starting out or a veteran of the industry, selling service in a saturated market is a tough way to make a living. I have been lucky, because I work 24/7, make good contacts, and try and keep our service standards high.

    I don't believe there is a magic potion or a "one, two, three scenario". Its tough selling services into a market place that already has the service in place. I still get the same rush from selling $500 dollar account to a 10k a month account. I also get the same ulcer if the $500 dollar and or 10k account reports back a problem or a scenario I should have foreseen.

    I have learned a tremendous amount from this board and going to different UAMCC meetings/'gatherings- keep up the hard fight and it will pay off.

    Enough of my rant- Good Luck to everyone and just simply do a "Good Job"

    Jeremy Clark
    Clark Services
    www.clarkservices1.com

  • #13
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Great job TY


    Ron Musgraves
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    Ron Musgraves


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  • #14
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Jackson's Heated's Avatar
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    Great post right here. I get in that mind frame sometimes myself but 9 times out of 10 when the customer is in my target market, they buy. They never question the price.

    Jimmy Jackson
    Jackson's Heated Pressure Washing
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    Jimmy Jackson
    Jackson's Heated Pressure Washing
    http://jhpwllc.com/

  • #15
    Member Honorary Professor CL Scott's Avatar
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    I've been in sales for as long as I can remember. I think about 6 or 7 years old. What you're talking about Ty is called "selling out of your own pocket." Sales has very little to do with price or product. I'll say that again...

    SALES HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH PRICE OR PRODUCT!

    Ever been to Nordstroms or Chic fil a? Sales is about LIKE & TRUST. That's who our customers buy from. There are people who are less expensive, and not all of them do bad work. Most just suck at sales. PROVING VALUE while gaining LIKE & TRUST will close more proposals than anything else I've tried. You have to know the TYPES of people you're dealing with. Some want to be educated. Some don't care about the process, they just want (or need) it done. For others, it's a copycat deal - they want it because the neighbor did.

    I share this with you Ty because early on, you gave me a golden nugget that hopefully I'll never forget: "Everyone needs pressure washing, most just don't know it." Which means HOW can I COMMUNICATE to all these different types of people having all different types of days basing their buying decisions on all different types of experiences? That it, communicate with them. LISTENING is rule #1. Know your product and service is #2.

    SALES works the same, whether is shoes, suits, sandwiches or surface cleaning!

  • #16
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Be careful of that CL !!

    Pro buyers don't work the same.

    Plus they are vary educated on you. Have your read a RFp!

    Not that Ty didn't give you great advice but pressure washing sales replicated to the likes of a car salesperson won't get you into many pro buyers offices.

    Just my twos cents on this one. I also think Ty at this stage would say that residential commercial & retail are all different animals in the approach.


    Also residential mArket is building , I see what Ty's accomplished in my market. He's paved the way for new guys in residential markets to make selling easier.


    Ron Musgraves
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    "Sidewalk cleaning"
    Ron Musgraves


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