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  • #16
    Re: small business marketing

    Originally posted by Sierra2000 View Post
    Customer purchases from living social $150 of plumbing service and they pre pay living social $75. I get $25 from that about a month after i complete a job.My job is to sell other service to make a profit, its a loss leader. I go to customer house to give estimate for work needed and find that he assumed he was a plumbing estimator by his note, assuming his $150 of plumbing service is enough to install three faucets. After the nanny showed me the note, and i write down the price to do this, i start to walk out the door and she tells me that if she doesn't call him and i leave without doing the work, he will get upset with her. After explaining to him on the phone that its more like $600-$750 to install these 3 faucets, he says he can get a handyman to install all three for this. I'm not a handyman mr customer, you called a plumber, there is a difference. Customer - how hard could it be to install them? You're welcome to install them, why did you call me to install them? Customer - you owe me $75. I want a refund! Contact living social about your refund, I haven't received any $$ for this. Customer still ranting over the phone, you owe me money, I'm going to file a complaint! File a complaint for what? Because I won't install your three faucets for $150? One of the craziest calls I've been on. I went on 3 calls from living social and they all were along these lines. After that I'd tell the potential customers when they mentioned their living social deal they purchased, that we are no longer doing work for living social customers and to contact them for a refund.
    Living Social = $150
    Customer Pays Living Social = $75
    You Get After a Month = $25

    Bolded = Your job anyway, no matter if it's online ads, radio ads, direct mailings, yellow pages, etc.

    Why would anyone work for a loss? Why add another middle man? You should be the one receiving the full amount. Doing free quotes is fine, but what contractor needs to go to a house to quote 3 faucet replacements? Anyone I ever knew did it over the phone, with statements such as "the estimate may be a little more if problems are encountered. price change discussion will happen at that time."
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #17
      Re: small business marketing

      Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
      Living Social = $150
      Customer Pays Living Social = $75
      You Get After a Month = $25

      Bolded = Your job anyway, no matter if it's online ads, radio ads, direct mailings, yellow pages, etc.

      Why would anyone work for a loss? Why add another middle man? You should be the one receiving the full amount. Doing free quotes is fine, but what contractor needs to go to a house to quote 3 faucet replacements? Anyone I ever knew did it over the phone, with statements such as "the estimate may be a little more if problems are encountered. price change discussion will happen at that time."
      Working with a loss leader has netted grocery stores and countless other businesses millions. Unless you're the cheapest plumber in town and don't think you deserve to make a profit, phone estimates don't work. "Thank you" is what you'll here as they hang up to call up the next plumber for a cheaper price. All that does is encourage your competitor then maybe eventually you to drop your profit margin. That works for you, great.

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      • #18
        Re: small business marketing

        A loss leader is a great way to do business. Just got to know where you want to lose money......... I do and it works great.

        David

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        • #19
          Re: small business marketing

          Man... not sure I would like to partake in anything that has the word "loss" in it.

          But, it's kind of neat to see how others do things

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          • #20
            Re: small business marketing

            Originally posted by Dhal22 View Post
            A loss leader is a great way to do business. Just got to know where you want to lose money......... I do and it works great.

            David
            What exactly are you doing?
            Eric Wilson
            Wilson Plumbing
            www.YourHoustonPlumber.com

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            • #21
              Re: small business marketing

              I'm not a plumber, but as a homeowner with quite a bit of experience (working with my father in my youth, he was a plumbing and heating guy) I'd say taking a loss on anything is not a particularly good thing.

              In the manufacturing business, working with a "loss" motive can work well, up until others in the business catch on. Then it's disasterous. Like in the heavy compressor industry, we used to sell the compressor at a loss, and since 70% of our business was "parts", we'd make all of our profit there. But as soon as others caught on to that, the "Pirate" parts business came in and flourished and subsequently our whole business model had to change.

              Plumbing, I think, is really no different as a busines than being in the freelance business, except that you have much more overhead. But my point is, that I used to "freelance" my illustration and photographic skills and I didn't take a loss on anything, unless it was just poor performance on my part, like running into a snag on a project which I didn't fore see in my quote. If it was the customers fault (change of scope), I could charge additionally for that of course, but if it was just my failure or my equipment failure, well... you just take the loss and plan for a better day.

              When I call a plumber or electrician, as a homeowner I expect to be treated fair, but I also expect to pay for every bit of the work he does and certainly if something pops up, the question comes about as, "Do you have time now, or can I make another appointment with you?".... but I never have this "hidden agenda" I'm waiting to drop on him. I figure I'm not paying for his hours, I'm paying him for the task... but I do expect it to be somewhat fair and as the payee, I do have a right to make that call.

              But frankly, that "call" is after the fact and will be the determining factor of every calling him back and whether he will get my appreciative recommendation or a warning to everyone else I know. I have a great relationship with the people who handle my plumbing needs here in Binghamton, but not so for the guy who did a main service valve replacement at my home in Painted Post. With the Binghamton company, they come in prompt look at the task and tell me roughly what it's going to cost. I've had some major work done by them and although that was overwhelming at the time, it was explained and I more than understood and happily payed. But in Painted Post the guy came in and replaced a corroded valve and charged me. I thought it was high considering the cost of the valve and the time he was there. But then a few months later the solder joint on that valve sprung a leak and I called him back... obviously a not-so-good solder job. That cost me $150... $85 for the call, and another $65 for him to fix his poor solder joint. I paid him, but I will never call him back.

              CWS

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