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  • Turned down a new customer?

    had a call from a so called old customer. they had a main line stoppage and wanted it snaked and camered. i was booked solid and told her that i can make it tomorrow. i'll call her tonight, but can't find any history on her

    so i call her tonight to scuedule and ask her again where she got my #. once again she stalls and comes up with the fact that her husband is out of town and i've worked for them before. still can't find any contact info on my data base. no first name, last, phone, address etc.

    tell her i don't work for complete strangers. ask her again where she got my # and she says her husband is out of town and has a few different businesses, but can't come up with 1 name to reference.

    so after explaining to her that i only work by referral and unless she has a track record or referral, i'm not interested.

    basically she has already lied to me and can't even lie good enough to fool me. she can't even remember any names for her husband's businesses

    was i too hard or just too cautious

    i don't work for complete strangers. i need at least a referral or reference

    rick.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: Turned down a new customer?

    Must be nice to be in that position, and considering your years of experience, it's certainly working for you and you deserve it.

    She sounds like a lying flake, who could have been up more up front and honest with you.

    I suppose you could have requested a diagnostic payment up front/credit card number, see whether she would have bit.

    Then again, if your policy is referral/reference, stick with it. Generally I only lose money/make mistakes when I deviate from my rules of thumb/what my gut tells me to do.
    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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    • #3
      Re: Turned down a new customer?

      You did good.


      Come to the dark side.



      Muwaaaaahahaaaaahahaaaaaaaaaaa!




      Had one yesterday, woman tells me that she needs a free estimate for plumbing work in her basement, it's all roughed in and her and her husband are doing all the work,

      have all the materials, just want me for free to come and show them how to do it.

      ????


      Talk about laying out the stupid......deeeeeeeeaaaaaam. The least she could of done was lie to me and make me think I was going to possibly do the job.

      When she said remodel though, I had already spun the job to another plumber...the conversation continued though when she asked a few feel around questions.
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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      • #4
        Re: Turned down a new customer?

        Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
        You did good.


        Come to the dark side.



        Muwaaaaahahaaaaahahaaaaaaaaaaa!




        Had one yesterday, woman tells me that she needs a free estimate for plumbing work in her basement, it's all roughed in and her and her husband are doing all the work,

        have all the materials, just want me for free to come and show them how to do it.

        ????


        Talk about laying out the stupid......deeeeeeeeaaaaaam. The least she could of done was lie to me and make me think I was going to possibly do the job.

        When she said remodel though, I had already spun the job to another plumber...the conversation continued though when she asked a few feel around questions.
        Free estimates???? What the hell are they?? Free for everybody but the guy wasting his time and gas doing them.

        Someone asks about free estimate on the phone, I give them one over the phone. Then I know within the next 5 minutes(or less) whether they're a player or not......
        I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Turned down a new customer?

          My business is small, limited to weekends, and I don't advertise so all my work is by referral. But I still turn down work if my gut tells me to do so.

          I think you did the right thing by refusing the work. Once you start to deviate from your established practices where do you stop?

          -Tom

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          • #6
            Re: Turned down a new customer?

            Rick, my business is completely different than yours in that I have an extensive phonebook campaign, so I get calls from complete strangers on an almost daily basis. I also have many repeat clients and referrals.
            This is how I do it:
            A) Previous qualified clients: They get first priority. If they call, I set up the next appointment window with them, since they already know my rates and polices already.
            B) Previous 'not-so-good' clients get bunched in with strangers, referrals and phonebook callers. I have a small fee for a 'house-call' just to come out to their house and assess their job. If they agree to that, and the problem/work they need fits my niche, then I go out. If they argue about the 'house-call' fee and/or their work is not something in my niche...I tell them goodbye.
            It is working well for me. As you know my business is still in the 'toddler' (1.5 yr.s) stage and yet I am busy and profitable already.

            Your decision makes sense, since you only work for your previous clients and their referrals. But as long as you can somehow 'qualify' a stranger calling, then you could take those calls too. She obvious got your number from someone, since you don't advertise. You could have simply explained how you charge for stoppages, and explain whatever your policies are, and then let her decide if she agrees to it or not. That is what I would have done in your situation. But if you are not comfortable with that approach, then keep doing what you're doing!
            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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            • #7
              Re: Turned down a new customer?

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              ...she wanted it snaked....
              ....she says her husband is out of town
              Maybe she wanted more than just her drain snaked.
              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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              • #8
                Re: Turned down a new customer?

                Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                Maybe she wanted more than just her drain snaked.
                Naaahh--she probably saw his avatar on this site and wanted his chocolate milkshake!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Turned down a new customer?

                  Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                  Naaahh--she probably saw his avatar on this site and wanted his chocolate milkshake!!
                  I think she was after him in a Biblical sense! I can't tell you how many times lonely women would call to have me fix their phones and the phones were working just fine. I always kept it professional, they could look but not touch.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Turned down a new customer?

                    it was more the fact that she was a bad liar. she said they've used me before. yet i searched first names, last names, phone #, address. nothing.

                    then her friend gave her my #. what's your friends name silence

                    then her husbands out of town and he's used you at his businesses.

                    what's the name of his business he has many. name 1

                    i guess this is just as difficult as naming the newspapers one reads

                    don't get me wrong. i have worked for plenty of complete strangers. this one was just too desperate and knew what she wanted, but not why she wanted it

                    has a main line stoppage and wants it cameraed too. with more questions i asked what the track record was and she said it was cleaned 2 months prior. by who? what did they find? pretty simple questions and complete silence.

                    like i said, she was a pretty bad liar.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Turned down a new customer?

                      This thread defines the difference between Wisdom and intelligence. You went with Your Gut

                      Mine , rarely lets Me down. She probably has a track record of abusing tradesman!


                      Hey. Abused tradesman, and the Woman Who love Them! Tonight at 9:00
                      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                      • #12
                        Re: Turned down a new customer?

                        Seems to me a couple of choices. Home improvement whore, Social retard, Low income psycho. Any one of which could knock you on your behind.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Turned down a new customer?

                          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                          it was more the fact that she was a bad liar. she said they've used me before. yet i searched first names, last names, phone #, address. nothing.

                          then her friend gave her my #. what's your friends name silence

                          then her husbands out of town and he's used you at his businesses.

                          what's the name of his business he has many. name 1

                          i guess this is just as difficult as naming the newspapers one reads

                          don't get me wrong. i have worked for plenty of complete strangers. this one was just too desperate and knew what she wanted, but not why she wanted it

                          has a main line stoppage and wants it cameraed too. with more questions i asked what the track record was and she said it was cleaned 2 months prior. by who? what did they find? pretty simple questions and complete silence.

                          like i said, she was a pretty bad liar.

                          rick.
                          That explains it better for me. You did the right thing Rick. I would have done the exact same thing.
                          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                          • #14
                            Re: Turned down a new customer?

                            I have had customers state that they have used me in the past. I ask when..3 years ago, 5 years ago etc. Thing is, I have only been in business since last April. I go on them, and get paid. But I go by my gut feeling as well.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Turned down a new customer?

                              Wonderful post Rick, I wish our company would follow your example sometimes .

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