Brian Vinchesi, president of Irrigation Consulting, Inc., says the most common question he gets from clients during the budget process is, “How can I lower it?”
But besides the reaction to sticker shock, there are usually a few questions he gets on every job. By having ready answers to them, you can look smarter to your clients and help them make the best decision for their project.
1. “Is there anything else we should have that we don’t have in here yet?”
Vinchesi gets this question most on the golf course side of his business, but it’s applicable to all projects. A good consultant positions himself as an adviser and counselor to his clients, and he should ask himself this during the design process.
2. “If I need to cut this, where should I cut it?”
This question makes a run at lowering the bottom-line price, but with a little extra nuance. If you can answer this readily, you make yourself look more professional and like you have the client’s best interests at heart. You can illustrate what areas are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves and can be tweaked to help meet cost.
“Anybody who writes a spec knows what’s going to cost what, and … what will comprise the system’s integrity,” Vinchesi says.
He also offered a few components that can be ratcheted up or down, depending on what the client wants from the system. They include:
- Single strand wire vs. multi-strand
- Stronger, heavier valve boxes vs. flimsy ones
- Pressure regulation sprinklers to save water
- Smart controllers vs. traditional controllers.
- Detection on the valve boxes so they can be found by contractors