Get Paid

“I’ll tell you what. You give me a deal on the price of this job and I’ll see to it that you get the next one.”

Contractors hear this line all the time. Everybody wants a special price from the people who are going to do their work. I guess that’s only being human on some level, but it is hard for the person who has already cut prices and labor figures to get the job on a thin profit margin.

I had a boss, Earl, who laid it out for me: You can always find somebody who is willing to work for less, but you won’t get the first-class job that you think you’re paying for.

Earl’s pet peeve were the General Contractors who pulled strings and pitted one sub-contractor’s price against another’s. Whenever he heard the line about making a deal and getting the next job he had a simple response, “You give me this job at my price and I will give you a deal on the next one.”

My boss claimed that he didn’t waste time estimating a job that was a money-loser from the start. He had respect for the fact that a client didn’t want to overpay for a job. What offended him were the people who wanted quality work for bargain basement rates. If price was their only criteria, they would never be satisfied with the quality of the work.

I was reminded of my time with Earl when I watched the video below. Zulu Alpha Kilo is an Advertising Agency that has taken a stand against doing Spec Work to land jobs. They have harnessed the power of what they do best to send a message to their peers and their customer base.

This is a ballsy move and I wish them all the best for taking a stand.

What do you think: Is this a good beginning or are they shooting themselves in the foot? I would love to hear from you.

Have a great week,

  6 comments for “Get Paid

  1. December 14, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    I have to deal with this from time to time. I don’t work on spec and don’t plan to. I agree with your boss! It’s crazy someone having to prove themselves over and over, especially if one has experience, recommendations, etc. I’ve found that clients who expect free from the get go usually aren’t the people you wanna work with.

    “Do you work for free?”
    “Well, nether do I.”

    Couldn’t say it better myself!

    P.S. Love the new look of your blog, Allen.


    • December 14, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Brigitte. Earl felt the same way about not wanting to work for, or be around, the type of person who aggressively shopped price.

      I’m glad you like the new look of the blog. I may spiff-up the header in the next month or so.


  2. December 14, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    Early in my weaving life, I went crazy doing samples for clients whose architects/designers had no clue about the time involved in the creative process. I finally learned to say no to their multiple requests.


    • December 14, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      Thanks for checking in, Lulu. It’s tough to say ‘no’ when so many others are saying ‘yes’.


  3. December 14, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    I don’t know much about contractors’ world, but sure love Earl’s simple response, 🙂


    • December 14, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Me, too. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


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