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Author Topic: Walk away, walk away...  (Read 10834 times)

Brad Weber

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 07:33:53 am »

Jason Lavoie wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 18:11

For some reason a lot of customers are afraid to divulge their budget, thinking that you'll rip them off.
For me, it becomes a challenge to see how much I can do for them within that budget. But as you say, it also clears up misunderstandings very quickly.

Even as a Consultant I've had people not want to tell me their budget.  And very few times that what they wanted didn't require every bit of that budget if not more.  On the other hand, I have seen people get ripped off or have people try to sell them things they don't need or solutions that don't really address the problems.

What bothers me more about Duane's situation is that it seems to be another example of someone with totally unrealistic expectations from the start.  I will never understand how somebody can have that kind of position in a project with such an erroneous understanding of how things work.  But if it's like many similar situations I've seen you may hear back from them in a bit after they get even higher numbers from others.  At which point your may want to tell them that you realized you had underbid and the estimate went up.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 07:56:19 am »

I love (hate actually) it when you try to get an idea of a "target" to shoot for, and cannot get an idea from the customer.

I had a situation recently in which I was asked to design the loudspeaker/amp/DSP system-the rest was already taken care of.

This was a kinda large room and the budgets for this size room are kinda all over the map.  I was told the budget was a particular amount.  I thought GREAT-I don't need anywhere near that to do a really great design-with lots of headroom-deep bass and so forth.

So I spent a good bit of time on the project and gave them the standard EASE maps-equipment list etc.

Then they told me I was waaayyyyy over budget. Shocked   But I came in well below what I had been told. Rolling Eyes

I was told I had "blown" the budget. Confused The Budget number i was given was for the ENTIRE system-including mixer-wireless-snake-recording-stage pockets and so forth.

I told them-again- what is the budget for JUST the part I was tasked to do.  They told me-that I should be able to figure that out from the budget numbers and give them a system.

Well they would not tell me if they were looking at a $5,000 console or a $100,000 console or haow many wireless or what quality.

Some how that was up to me to "figure out"  You all those things are "standard" in an install Laughing .
When we finally got down to it. what was left (because the sound guys wanted all the "toys" to play with) for the actual loudspeaker system was about 10% of what it would take to do a halfway decent job-and nowhere near performing up to what the customer wanted.

And all of these numbers did not include installation charges.  The customer thought the gear would be "put in" for free. Shocked  Laughing

I told them -good luck- there was no way I could help them for that budget-I didn't want to get blamed when the system didn't work.  

I got a call several weeks later with a new budget for just my part.  It was actually enough to do a decent job.  It all worked out well.  It just took some time and realization on the customers part (and taking some toys away from the sound guys).
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

Adam Kane

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 10:50:32 am »

I just got a call from a local club this week:

Them: "How much for an install?"

Me:  "Um, it depends on the room, what equipment is required, what labor is required to install it, and several other variables."

Them:  "Oh...we already have the equipment. We just want the speakers and lighting hung."

Me:  "I need to know what speakers you have to know if we can hang them or not. You can't just hang any speaker up there and call it good. Also, I really need to look at the room and where you want the gear. This isn't something I can quote over the phone."

Them:  "They're B52 speakers. They're really good...like the stuff they use on big tours. Can't you just tell me how much you charge for an install?"

Me:  "Not until I come down and look at everything you have."

Them:  "Well, I'll have to call some of your competitors and see if they'll help us out. Thanks *click*"


I hope they don't call back.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 10:53:32 am »

"The customer is always right"......even when they're wrong.
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Jason Lavoie

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 02:17:20 pm »

Adam Kane wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 10:50

I just got a call from a local club this week:

Them: "How much for an install?"

Me:  "Um, it depends on the room, what equipment is required, what labor is required to install it, and several other variables."

Them:  "Oh...we already have the equipment. We just want the speakers and lighting hung."

Me:  "I need to know what speakers you have to know if we can hang them or not. You can't just hang any speaker up there and call it good. Also, I really need to look at the room and where you want the gear. This isn't something I can quote over the phone."

Them:  "They're B52 speakers. They're really good...like the stuff they use on big tours. Can't you just tell me how much you charge for an install?"

Me:  "Not until I come down and look at everything you have."

Them:  "Well, I'll have to call some of your competitors and see if they'll help us out. Thanks *click*"


I hope they don't call back.


The answer is: $100k, but once I see the room you might qualify for up to a $95k discount Smile

Jason
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Jason Roesler

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2011, 05:49:06 pm »

Can I just say that that is the quote of the day , 95K discount!!

I have had a couple of jobs like that, people just don't understand the process of installation, site visit + requirements analysis, go back to the shop and and build the quote and submit it.

I have people who want a figure on the spot, i have people who take a catalogue with them and pick every item on the spot for price e.t.c instead of just say letting me create a quote and apply a discount.

And the general issue of people thinking that the AV industry is cheap and that spending proper money on good gear is not necessary. Drives me nuts all the time.

Another thing, flying B52 speakers would be intense and not worth it. I don't think that there is a more oversized make of speakers out there than B52.

BTW, this is my first post on this site, im quite excited that i found it Smile


Jas
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2011, 07:03:08 pm »

Jason Roesler wrote on Tue, 08 February 2011 17:49


BTW, this is my first post on this site, im quite excited that i found it Smile

And we're quite excited to see that you've followed the rules.  Many people seem to miss the "real name" aspect of their profiles...thanks for recognizing that off-the-bat.

Explore and enjoy, but realize that this place is switching over to another site in a short time.  You'll want to browse while you can while everything's still active.
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Wolf
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Brad Weber

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2011, 08:10:27 am »

Jason Roesler wrote on Tue, 08 February 2011 17:49

I have people who want a figure on the spot, i have people who take a catalogue with them and pick every item on the spot for price e.t.c instead of just say letting me create a quote and apply a discount.

In a consulting role I've found myself having clients ask why specific items in bids cost what they do when they can get the product themselves for less.  I have learned to point out that they can purchase whatever items they themselves.  They can also install, wire, test, support, warranty, etc. whatever they buy themselves.  Oh, and there will be no overall system warranty since the bidder won't be responsible for everything in the system.  That usually gets them to realize that there is more to a properly functioning system than just the equipment itself and that those other elements have some value.

Of course, then there are the clients like the one who purchased a nice installed presentation system with an integrated control system and interfaces to lights, draperies, etc.  When they were invoiced they refused to pay for and system design or programming services because they had not requested those.  We came within hours of going out to the site to get all the system documentation and wipe out any programming before they agreed that they had indeed gotten some value from those services.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video

Duane Massey

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2011, 11:03:49 am »

Just a follow-up: the client called me back and has accepted my proposal. Apparently they followed my suggestion that they should get some proposals from some other companies (I even gave them a list of reputable companies along with GC), and realized that my proposal was actually accurate and cost-effective. They've also hired a local "sound tech" to be the in-house engineer, and he will work with me during the installation, which I also suggested.

Sometimes walking away can become a U-turn.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

arashi norite

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Re: Walk away, walk away...
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2011, 01:26:05 pm »

ive seen these before ...
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