Dealing with Price Objects as an Estimator

Posted by | July 11, 2017 | The Obvious | No Comments

Humorous Post Warning

This is a little bit out of the ordinary post this week. It is a short humorous story about an estimator I once knew in the painting industry and his experience dealing with price objections!

I am keeping his name and company confidential! I am also not endorsing what he did. I just always get a kick out of his response to a prospect.

The estimator got a call to go out to an uber-wealthy neighborhood to look at estimating the painting of a small bathroom. Yep! Just a bathroom. When he arrived to the coastal property and knocked on the door, the wife answered the door. The estimator asked to speak with the husband, the one who scheduled the painting estimate.

A minute later, the husband walked to the door and said, “Follow me!” (no greeting, no handshake – just a gruff “follow me”).

The two of them walked to the bathroom, and the owner said, “Here it is. Let me know the cost. I’ll be in my office!” The man briskly walked off.

The estimator looked at the bathroom and really did not have to even measure it. He knew it would take no more than a day at most –maybe even a few hours.

He walked over the man’s office and told him that it would cost $65 an hour and then gave him a range of hours it would take to do the job.

The owner of the house looked up from his desk, looked at the estimator and said in a rather loud voice,  “SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS AN HOUR! I ONLY PAY MY #$@% ATTORNEY $60 AN HOUR!”

The estimator kept silent for a moment and stood there just looking at the owner. He thought to himself, “Should I or should I not say what I’m about to say?”

He decided to speak his mind!

“Well, maybe you should have your attorney paint your bathroom.” 

After he said that, he smiled and left the house and said a pleasant goodbye to the man’s wife on his way out the door. He told me that the owner sat there speechless — his expression was priceless!

When you deal with a price objection, using the sales technique above probably won’t help you sell more work. I think the paint estimator knew he had a 0% chance of closing that deal. He just had a few too many objections at the time is my guess. It makes for a good laugh to this day.

I’d love to hear some of your humor stories with prospects or customers too. Email me or post below! Thanks for reading!



About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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