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When do you withdrall a quote ?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by B&E snowplowing, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I submitted a quote about a month ago to a potential client, since then the client has called and asked if i could "sharpen my pencil" and give a bit better quote since it is a non-profit organization. I did just that and was able to lower the quote by a few hundred dollars per season. Since that point I have spoke to the client several time to get them to make a decision and get a contract signed. Here we are at the beginning of November and still waiting for the customer to make a decision and sign the contract. Let me note that the customer said I have the contract but still I want the contract signed. I have even turned down other customers in order to keep this spot open.

    Customer called today to set up appointment to get contract signed, but less then an hour later called to cancel the appointment, and said he would contact me in the next few days.

    At what point do you stop letting the potential customer rattle your chain and withdrawal the quote. This is a rather large account, but I could fill this stop on my route with 2 or 3 other customers and still make the same amount of money.

    I have never had to withdrawal a quote before, but I always have EVERY contract signed by November 1, and I normally have all my routing done as well, so all I have to do is wait for the snow.

    Should I stay or should I go !!! That's the question

    Thanks for the input
  2. F350 Snowman

    F350 Snowman Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    I guess if it were me i would fill the spots up if you can make the same amount of money, I would never turn away people that want to and are willing to sign. This guy could change his mind and never sign then you are out those dollars. I wouldnt let that happen I fill every spot I have and then if he decides he wants to sign either find a sub to help out or pay someone to drive a truck if you have a extra one. I wouldnt wait on him though.
    A NOT signed contract doesnt pay the bills.

    Hope that helped but this is just my opinion.

    Have a great SEASONpayup
  3. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    B&E - Dont let people make you uneasy. (lifes to short) Tell him the truth , just like you are here. Tell him you are uneasy about not getting the contract and would like to do it right now. IF he wont accommodate you relatively fast tell him forget it deals off. I've been jerked around over the years on similar stuff and it only takes a couple times of getting burnt that you learn its your way or the highway. Good luck
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    On the proposal is a deadline - usually 20 days.

    Requests to "sharpen the pencil" are ignored - my bid is my bid. Now they know they can jerk you around and you will lower your price, why wouldn't they come back and say "Can you do just little better? I (we) really want you to have it, but you need to come down just a little more". They know you'll wait around for them, they're in no hurry.

    Bids would be withdrawn if you learn you cannot meet the conditions of the Request for Proposal. For instance, I was bidding on stuff before I found out today I was going to be able to get my insurance reinstated. If they had declined to insure me, I'd have to withdraw the bids as I couldn't show proof of insurance as required. With a deadline to accept the bid, there is no need to go through what you are now, plus it puts the pressure on them. Then you can still discuss potential work with other clients, with the provision that you will submit a bid by such and such date ( if necessary, a day or two after the first one expires), Then, if you get the first bid, you might decline to bid on the other one.

    Regardless of how you do it, stay in control of your business. By doing what you did, you effectively gave them control over several aspects of your business - including pricing.
  5. Northland

    Northland Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    Dont let people talk you out of your bid. If they dont like the bid you gave them walk away and let someone else deal with the headaches the account poses. The account will pay in the end...usually by shoddy service or someone who wont show up on time. Next year when they call you they will understand why your bid was "A little bit higher" and be more than willing to pay for the peace of mind
  6. bid

    No need to retract your bid. If you do not want to plow his property or you already have a full route just calmly explain that their are deadlines for bids because of this exact situation. You had to take on other accounts that where confirmed and will not be able to plow his property. And do not fall for that old "Non Profit Organization" bull shiz nit.....
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Everything I bid, snoway removal, equipment, welding fab, has a end date. Either it's worded "this quote good for thirty days," "contracts not returned by X will be considered null and void" or "reserve the right to with-draw this quote." For snow removal contracts I state in the cover letter that goes out with each contract, must be returned by 10/15/0X. If not I call and ask do you or don't you. I want time to pursue other work to keep my schedule full.

    I agree with Mick, never let others dictate your cost of services. When asked to sharpen my pencil I tell them "it was sharp."

    Sounds like you're getting played and quite possibly so is someone else. they show them your numbers and give them the " I want you to do it but this guy only wants ?$." Then they come back to you for the next round. Walk away, non-profit maybe but ask them if they work for nothing, i think not. I live next to a nonprofit "nature center" i was reading the annual report, the "director" makes 106,000.00 plus benefits.
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    We have a few still left out there for approval, but I sure as hell won't wait for them. We have a deadline on our estimates, (30 days) if they don't sign and return it by then, too bad. If it were me, I would ask this guy or girl what the hold up is and tell them you need it back within the week or you will have to move on. Do you really want to do business with people who toy with you and simply don't understand that you need to fill spots and that you can't keep turning down other potential customer's due to their indecisiveness.
  9. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Thanks for all the input.... Just after I posted this thread, the customer called back and was asking if I could lower my price a little more. I explained to the customer that in all the years I have been in business I have NEVER lowered a quote, the only reason I did it this time was because they were a non-profit organization. I politely told the customer to take his business elsewhere. I was straight up with him and told him that if I am having issues with getting a contract signed then in my opion the entire season was going to be a nightmare. I thanked him for the opportunity, but told him to take the other quote.
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You'll be happier for it. Don't be surprised if they call you back and want to sign at that price. Decide now before they call if you'll take the last price or tell them circumstances have changed and it'll be higher. By not accepting, the proposal was declined. You are under no further obligation on that bid.
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Just stay away. The amount of money they'll try to screw you out of won't be worth chasing. They promise now, but will they want to renegotiate after the fact?
  12. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I am with Basher.I hate it when someone says sharpen your pencil that phrase gets under my skin. I feel out the person when I first meet them and usually am right about them in the long run. If he is giving you this much stuff now think how much stuff you will get when it is pay time.IMO shy away.

  13. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 662

    Try putting a line in there that advises the quote expires at the end of the month if not ratified. I have several times raised the price when these guys call you last minute. If you don't have a signature, you don't have anything.