Working with new clients

Today, I decided to talk about what professional contractors go through on a daily basis when it comes to dealing with potential clients. It usually starts with the contractor receiving a call or a lead from a customer or a supplier. We will book an appointment for a free consultation; this is an expense for the contractor, but it’s a cost of doing business. Then we meet; so the homeowner can explain the dream backyard oasis that they would like to have installed. The million-dollar question every homeowner hates to hear is, “What is your budget?”

That nearly ruins the mood of the meeting. What should they say? Clients may fear that if they say $50 000, the contractor will instantly mark the project up to $49 999! Here is a secret that you probably didn’t know, we don’t want to know your budget so that we can mark you up to the last penny. We need to set a budget in order to design a realistic project without wasting the contractor’s valuable time designing an overly lavish landscape project!

If we don’t know the client’s budget, we can go way overboard and make a design so over-the-top that future generations would have to pay it back! The homeowner usually hopes that the contractor will come under the budget they want to spend, and fears that they will take them to the limit on their maximum amount.

I hope this explains the reasons why contractors ask for a budget. No contractor wants to hear about champagne dreams on a beer budget. We can’t give you what you want without knowing your true budget.