Podcast #1 ~ Quoting Jobs & Price Conditioning

100 thoughts on “Podcast #1 ~ Quoting Jobs & Price Conditioning

  1. I have to agree with Robin right down the line! I am a useless businessman but if you are a sole trader then what he says has to be done to make a profit and stay in business!

  2. Great video guys. This is something that I need to start thinking about, made the decision that I want to work for myself after 12yrs at the same company. Struggling to find sound advice on how to go about this but this has given me something’s to think about 👍🏻

  3. Great content guys.

    Really enjoyed it – just apart from the background noise of the pub… quite off putting, especially within a podcast, if it was just audio.

    Without that it’d be perfect.

    Thanks again 👌🏼😁

  4. This jus doesn't seem to work unfortunately.
    I had a woman want a basic job doing, I charged 100.
    Worked fast did in 2 hours. She said how dare I charge her 50 per hour. I said no it's 100 if it takes me 1 hour or 6. I walked away with 70!!

  5. I've recently had a number of building jobs completed.

    Firstly over the phone I have tried to describe the job as accurately as I can, which I hope eliminates any tradies who aren't interested in the job of that type.

    As regards quotes I don't always accept the cheapest but endeavour to get value for money. At the quoting stage I give extra points if the tradie explains exactly what he is going to do and most importantly not do. This gives me confidence that he knows what he is doing plus allows me to mentally calculate an estimated cost. Extra points are given if the tradie can make suggestions on how to improve the job beyond what I originally specified. For example we'll have a sparkie here to install the new stove and hot plates but over there you have a really dark corner would you like a light installed while he's here.

    Written quotes should be provided promptly. I have had tradies visit with a good the initial meeting goes well but the quote doesn't arrive. I then go and seek more quotes. Several weeks later the original tradie provides his quote which would have won the job but only because of his delay someone else has the job.

  6. A great one. Really pleased you two decided on this format, as well the regular videos on Skill Builder. Keep it up. Very helpful, very entertaining.

  7. Getting paid as a subby in the commercial scene is getting worse and worse. This has been the worse 12months ever for us. It's very difficult organising labour and keeping a good rapport with suppliers when day in day out we are constantly having to explain why you are making late payments. It makes me want to leave the industry all together but what does a person whos been in a trafe for 20 years do when they need the 40/50k+ a yearvto support there family and pay the mortgage? Its only getting worse with more competitive pricing threats of recession and the onslaught of foreign labour.

  8. Why are they saying there is a skill shortage and same company are not training young people.
    I often feel sorry for people and earn no money 😕

  9. If it helps anyone, I being poor at estimates take photos of job area (with their permission) and it’s surprising what extra work it reveals later as you consider the price.

  10. Great advice i find just giving people a price usually gets the job ( so many companies take ages or you have to chase them up)

  11. Brilliant bit of advice so many times I've under priced a job and had to dip into my day rate. Never a good sign when you're doing that. Keep the videos coming love the content mate. Cheers

  12. I enjoy watching Roger’s videos, his pleasant demeanour is matched by his knowledge and skill

    A few points:-

    There are plenty of poor performing tradesmen, who over charge, do poor jobs and liquidate their limited company to avoid claims, only to reappear with a new limited company a week later
    .

    Roger you can’t have it both ways, unhappy with customers not knowing the going rate for a job and yet be unwilling to provide quotes. Price discovery, requires quotes.

    Robin if you want payments for your waiting time whilst a customer answers a query, that’s fine. But don’t forget to include for penalty charges for the late delivery of jobs.

    Long and/or costly jobs may require the customer to pay before the job is complete. Customers should only pay on a schedule of deliverables. Customers need to check the satisfactory completion of a deliverable before payment.

  13. Absolutely brilliant information. I've been on the tools just over 20 years. Like you say I'm good with my hands not great at business. I'm a heritage lime plasterer This video answers so many questions intelligently and to the point. I'm looking forward to future podcast. Thanks guys

  14. Always price a job, never day rate.
    Always clarify what the customer is getting and what extras will cost , if they so choose.
    Always in writing.
    Yes, always sell the sizzle not the sausage, tell customer the benefits a high quality installation will bring them.
    And yes, I see some very poor work in my area, some jobs I quoted for and I giggle, if only they choose me .
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  15. Why is it that the bigger firms get their money up front? Like Dolphin bathrooms and the like, they'll expect £20K up front and the customer pays it, a bit like the window firms. As a sole trader (plumber) it's nearly impossible. Great topic by the way.

  16. Great video, I work for someone (plan to gain as much experience as I can and then do my own thing) but I do little jobs at the weekend where possible, I try to workout what price the customer would get the materials for vs what price I would get them for, I’ll always charge out the higher price and make a little profit on the materials, why shouldn’t we?? We’re the ones having to organise and collect them

  17. Truth was shared here
    Thanks I own a small remodeling business and I agree with the gentleman you price condition and you can tell when you look in somebody in the face if that’s going to be within their realm

  18. Great video gent's
    I'm working as a self employed staircase installer in melbourne Australia
    And have to price jobs every week.
    My best piece of advise would be don't be afraid to spend other people's money.
    Price it at a level which you are happy to work for.
    If you get the contract happy day's
    If not you could have possibly saved yourself from a real headache!

  19. Great advice guys. my golden rules on prices is.1 round the figures to the nearest £500 or £1000. 2 Tell the customer its my best and final price. 3.My price is always fixed and in writing. 4.Don't get suckered in by been promised theirs more work after this job and it is bigger! 5. Don't done any additional work for free or cost your a business not a charity.

  20. I’ve been self employed for 20 years and found this very helpful. So important to quote for what not going to do as well as what you will be doing. You can tell a lot from that first phone call from a customer to wether you blow them off or turn up and give them a price.

  21. Very helpfull, Thanks lads! i have recently gone self employed and these vids are helping keep up the good work Roger!

  22. Thanks for this lads. Just starting out in the business world so this has come in very handy. Great podcast. 10/10.

  23. Just watched this again and noticed your comment, Robin, about what it's worth to the client. We did a job last year, built a double garage at the the front of an estate agents house, which was next to a pub.
    It cost him around 30 grand but he reckoned it had put 100 grand on the value of the house because you couldn't see the pub when you pulled into the drive.

  24. Most tradespeople are not accountants, or they wouldn't be tradespeople in the first place, knowing how much to charge is always a nightmare, A Plumber I one knew always stuck to his method of if they look like they could afford more, he charged more, if they looked like they could afford less he charged less. Not the best method, but he or his family never went hungry, and he is now retired and living in his villa in Spain.

  25. Great that, been 'price conditioning' for years and not realised, termed it 'fishing' instead. Your right though Roger, when someone calls and the first thing they ask is "how much….." then its a waste of time, they often get a worst case cost over the phone or advised of a callout charge. Great advise about weekly payments, currently doing staged payments, but as Robin says, if i'm willing to work 50hrs+ then a 5min BACS is little to ask and it keeps cash flowing and keeps on top of the extras.

  26. The guy on the right seems like a right crook, would never get my business. Love the casual sexism he displays also, all his victims must be men!

  27. the guy with roger is out of the league of the jobbing tradesman, sorry Robin. if multi tens of thousands of pound contracts are your thing…. then go for it. But.. meh to me

  28. From a customer perspective, what I find difficult is tradesmen's quotes will not be identical to compare. For example; asking to install a new heating system. Some dont put a system filter, some will put a gate valve and not automatic byass valve, some say insulate pipes (even indoors), some will put isolation valves on every water connection. Its difficult to compare especially if some price verbally only and some are detailed.

    Additionally, if your not educated in the field (plumbing in above case) you dont realise until later normally too late that there are things that could be better done or carried out differently (but would be more work). Example here is using solder weld instead of push fitting. I have watched a number of your videos and the other popular plumbing channel n here to pick up a few things.

  29. Interesting viewpoints thanks. Just starting out self employed as a furniture maker and the business side of business is a struggle. 😄

  30. Wonderful. Advice but everything you price around london as a little builder will be undercut buy the eastern Europeans who don't pay tax are not vat registered not qualified or insured and employ illegal immigrants for cash.polish painters work for the same money we worked for 30 years ago.you will price work for decent money like you discribe and never get contacted back.what planet do you live on.

  31. its okay wanting to enter as a architect o rto work as one but you will always need brick layers carpenters etc

  32. Love the vids you two put out. Its people like you that should running the country not just hand saws and propane torches… Just wonder how long you have been mates as you seem like you've know each other since you were kids. Obviously not possible with Roger being at least 15 years younger!!! XD

  33. Moben kitchens pay rubbish money for fitting kitchens so I started designing making and fitting my own in between making doors and widows just to see how it would go, kitchens gave a better return on the investment. I found doing site joinery work people were asking for complete breakdown cost of materials which takes me more time and them telling me what they want not what they need. So by just me making and supplying, that was the price and that's it, the kitchens were always the same price the job and do it. If kitchen making and fitting I would ask for a deposit. I fittek one kitchen built in oven job, the customer run his finger across the top of the oven door and said that is not level, what can you say, I adjusted the door,did that do it? not a bit, so in the end I called in the oven suppliers to sort it out, in the end they replaced the oven, can you believe this.

  34. Had a LOL with these: "put in the post" …. can't say that with email mate. And Architects = Dark Side, oh yes. Anyway thanks, a lot of wisdom here, one thing I am not great at is saying no, and then letting it slip.

  35. I think it is somewhat important to "qualify" the customer before even quoting on a job, especially if you sell your selling as high quality and professional service. This will give you an idea of your a good fit for that particular customer and what their expectations are. Why waste your time quoting on a job that 5 other blokes have also quoted on while the customer is simply shopping for the cheapest price (and not necessarily quality of work or value that you provide). The time wasted doing this could have been spent productively, on a job that is making you a decent profit (because you didnt low ball your quote to win the work) or even quoting on jobs that have a far higher chance of going ahead. I don't expect this strategy to work for everyone as it can depend on your industry, location and client base but it's certainly something to think about.

  36. I came across your podcast because. I have a similar situation where I have to price my jobs according to the person and complexity of the job. Sometimes I get undercut from other competitors. But I stay firm on my price because I know what my time is worth. I am always learning from mistakes and adjusting. Thanks for the informative talk.

  37. I've watched all of these in reverse order. Brilliant conversations and lots of great advice. You two work well together. Even though I'm in a completely different world (virtual tour photography), many of the same issues apply in regards to quoting, building relationships, pricing up jobs etc. Keep up the good work and I do think the pub is the best setting for these types of conversations.

  38. That was great and relevant to my position in the trades. I’m in the process of setting off on my own. I still work 40 hrs for my employer but Ive been taking on larger side jobs. Im decent on pricing (better now than before) but I do feel awkward saying these bigger numbers. Saying this is going to cost $10,000 just makes me nervous.

  39. I've been on YouTube for years and this is the first time I've felt compelled to comment. I've been in the trade for nearly 40 years, had some bad times ten years ago and now building my business back up again. When you've made mistakes in the past and lost money you can lose confidence and when that happens you just accept day work.
    There's no pressure, mistakes won't cost you dearly etc etc but you are only earning enough to live on
    . I've now started pricing bigger and bigger jobs and I've found it difficult, due to past mistakes and finding that balance again, IE knowing your worth but not pricing yourself out of the market
    . I love the videos and I found this one extremely helpful and it has given me a great deal of confidence going forward, and i will be implementing your advice so thank you
    Great stuff
    Cheers
    Nigel

  40. Man I'm learning some really great stuff from you fellas. Very educational to someone who is just learning how to work for themselves and start there own business, company. Time well spent.

  41. It's good to hear you're thinking is very close to mine with some eye opening additions.

    You never mentioned what to do when you end up jobless for prolonged periods moneywise as well as what you do with the free time.

    And from a guy that's been converted from the dark side I think the grass is always greener and if you're good at something and loving it it's much easier to be successful so don't try and push your offspring into places you'd despise being in yourselves.

  42. I would like to thank you both for putting this out there. It was a rainy day here in Pennsylvania, one if the 25 that need to be accounted for. I did job pricing today which is amazing to me that this came up in my feed. I can agree with you both about the "ballpark" issue. I do both things you both spoke of. I totally loved this my friends.

  43. Roger is bang on saying you need to differentiate yourself on quality (presenting yourself in a professional manner, showing you know what you’re doing, will take care of the Client’s property, etc.) rather than competing just on price.

  44. Yes Robin. You truly know what you're talking about. You haven't uttered a single word that I wouldn't completely agree with. Winning orders can get out of hand because it tickles the ego way too much. Before I finished my time in building, I coined a little phrase, here it is . . . .
    "Lose the pride . . . Lose the problem". Great conversation Bro!

  45. Great video guys,one thing worth mentioning is the wear and tear on tools,also Festool routers and the Ts 55 are not cheap.Also running the van has to be costed.That is why daywork is a waste of time,the client cannot see these hidden costs!

  46. I've been in the joinery trade self employed for 29 years,just recently I have priced a couple of jobs where I would have to pay out over £500 so have asked for deposits,one lady refused point blank,the other clearly was not short of money,mercs outside etc but just said don't you have accounts with joinery suppliers,yes I do but not all materials come from the same supplier.I lose confidence when people cannot give you a token deposit which would not even cover materials.
    One more hate I have is the trend of bank transfers.You pay out ,finish the job to satisfaction then customers say they will transfer it the same day,3 or4 days later you are on the phone asking where it is.

  47. "If the house is neat and tidy chances are they're a good payer" 👍. I do a lot of contract work for builders in Ireland, if the site is messy walk away, no exceptions.

  48. Excellent advice, well worth paying close attention to. Mind you while I was listening to this my wife was giving me a hard time in the background, saying stuff like "sounds like they're talking about you". True though, I'm guilty of plenty of business mistakes and paid for it.

  49. I appreciate the information guys. So do you just write out a scope of work and the one price at the end of your proposal? What If the client wants a breakdown?

  50. Good job guys been around this industry sense 1964 your complaints and observations are as fresh today as they were when I started and I ended up owning an engineering company. Keep up the good programing it will get through to good managers and owners. like you stuff applies in the USA to.

  51. Used to work for myself (plumbing and heating), particular for builders. Never received money in time.
    Moved for reputable company and I found that they chase customer and I get paid money in time. I got more time for my family.

  52. Interesting chat. Managing expectations is key and giving any figure before submitting a quote is not managing expectations. There are many ways of sussing out a customer and it's so valuable to take control, the customer finds out once you've taken your time, carried out due diligence, sounds like legal nonsense but geez you need to be able to think with a clear head if you're not going to either loose money or loose the opportunity. I'm a plasterer and for the past 3 years have employed another, it took years to find the right person. At times I've earned great money but when the market contracts first you don't know it's happening second you drop prices to pay the bills. It's a minefield but I'd rather be doing this than anything else.

  53. So agree with everything youve said. I used to try to quote to get jobs but never made money, barely made a wage and sometimes paid to do the job. Im a 58 yo carpenter amd now i give a price and stick to it. I also say what i will do amd wjat a wont do.. great talk this one. We have to stop this undercutting each other. I also do the customer pays materials COD and if its a big job pay me weekly. The moment i dont get paid i dont show up. They ask me where are you, i say im at home.

  54. I agree with the comments of David Hirst below. I worked for Barclays Bank International and dealt with renovations and fit outs of the banks' branches both in the UK and overseas. Our policy was to pay good tradesman and companies what was quoted, on the nail and that policy paid dividends because we got what was required at the right price. I realise that you weren't working for companies like Barclays International which is a shame because skilled artisans are just as important as the doctors and lawyers you mentioned. Sadly, our class system deliberately undervalues those who seemingly work only with their hands and conveniently forget the mental skill needed. I'd like to see politicians have a go at what you both do and don't see you having too many problems if your roles were reversed but then maybe, you're too honest.

  55. quite informative video, though specific examples (quote estimates) could brighten up the understanding. looking forward to your next great videos!

  56. Trick I find useful is to try and gauge the clients budget for a project on the initial phone call. There’s a lot of tyre kickers out there and it helps to weed them out and saves you wasting your time to go and see them.
    Also helps to give the client an option or understanding of what can and can’t be achieved within their budget.

  57. I'm a Chippie 21 years and what I find is if client's divide the number of days from the quote especially if it's a small job let's say 2000 pounds over a 7 day period and the don't make as much in there job they can start getting on there high horse and not taking into account it could be Saturday and Sunday work aswell I'm up north and I tend to charge 300 a day as a rule and i do the work as if it's my own property the problem is there's lots of cowboys out there who leave the job a mess and still charge good money

  58. I would totally agree with you Robin. I'm a chippy from Australia, I'm only 26 and very busy, I do what you have mentioned with writing it all done, inclusions, exclusions, payment schedules, dates, acceptance of quotation(being I use an app which o make be accepted online which sends an email) makes a legal document and which they have excepted all the conditions etc. This saves so much headache, and yes giving a price on the spot works as well and sometimes it doesn't, really depends on the person I would say, I can pick up their personality and just know how to approach. Would very much like if you search Davishire Constructions on Instagram and give it a follow. you can see the type of work we do. All cut onsite works, very little pre made, truss roofs. Mainly due to complexity of works.

  59. Totally agree, when running a business there must be a profit! When I’m submitting the estimates I always make clients aware that there is plenty involved when doing the building project. There are a lot of cheap and lashy builders out there and I’ve been undercut plenty of times, but if people are not prepared to pay for the quality then they should not get it!

  60. Thank you so much for this video!! I love the work I do, but struggle with pricing jobs. Some great ideas here I will use. I must say a lot of the jobs I get is because customers have said they like me and I explained things really well.

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