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  • When a potential customer calls....

    Few questions:

    1. If you are busy soldering, snaking a main drain, etc., do you answer your phone right then and there or get to it when you are done with the task you are doing and call them back if they leave a message?

    2. Tell them your prices up front or (if you get the job), bill them your hourly rate or wait for them to ask you what your price is?

    3. Any other strategies you use to get the job. I don't mean saying anything deceiving, but something you say that gets the attention of the customer and gets you the job.
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  • #2
    Re: When a potential customer calls....

    It's a matter of preference.
    I always answer, even did it a couple of times in the presence of a customer (yes, I stopped that before long).
    I flat rate over the phone, BUT, if I'm busy I refuse to price or go over details.
    Too many times I been caught with my guard down and missed details, to get there and find out there was alot more to the job, but I didn't ask the right questions because I wasn't completely attentive when they called.

    One thing I have been complimented on is the fact that customers can always get me on the phone, unlike so many that often take days to return messages, people like their questions answered in real time...not left on hold for a return call hours or days later.

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    • #3
      Re: When a potential customer calls....

      Great post! Thanks DuckButter
      YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

      Plumbing Reviews

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      • #4
        Re: When a potential customer calls....

        I could go on, and on, and on, and on...just review my past posts..
        I opted to make it a short novel here, but if there's anything I can do to help....be my pleasure.

        I'm still in the new business category by IRS standard, but have had a few hard lessons so far...be a pleasure to see you avoid them.

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        • #5
          Re: When a potential customer calls....

          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
          I could go on, and on, and on, and on...just review my past posts..
          I opted to make it a short novel here, but if there's anything I can do to help....be my pleasure.

          I'm still in the new business category by IRS standard, but have had a few hard lessons so far...be a pleasure to see you avoid them.
          Thank you

          I'll look at some of your past posts and read up on them.

          Thanks again!!
          YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

          Plumbing Reviews

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: When a potential customer calls....

            Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
            Thank you

            I'll look at some of your past posts and read up on them.

            Thanks again!!
            Ye gads man, thats not what I meant!


            I was kidding 'bout how long winded I am,.

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            • #7
              Re: When a potential customer calls....

              Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
              Few questions:

              1. If you are busy soldering, snaking a main drain, etc., do you answer your phone right then and there or get to it when you are done with the task you are doing and call them back if they leave a message?

              2. Tell them your prices up front or (if you get the job), bill them your hourly rate or wait for them to ask you what your price is?

              3. Any other strategies you use to get the job. I don't mean saying anything deceiving, but something you say that gets the attention of the customer and gets you the job.


              This is easy;


              If they are price shoppers or going down the list....they won't leave a message.

              If they are referred and want you for your reputation.....they'll call, leave a message and agree on a time to meet when you call back.

              Otherwise......you're hooked to a phone that can taunt you with those who only want you for your time without reward.

              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: When a potential customer calls....

                Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                Ye gads man, thats not what I meant!


                I was kidding 'bout how long winded I am,.
                Opps! I read that wrong. Sorry LOL!

                Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                This is easy;


                If they are price shoppers or going down the list....they won't leave a message.

                If they are referred and want you for your reputation.....they'll call, leave a message and agree on a time to meet when you call back.

                Otherwise......you're hooked to a phone that can taunt you with those who only want you for your time without reward.

                Hmmmmm... the question now is how do you build a reputation from scratch Well, not totally from scratch, but close.
                YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

                Plumbing Reviews

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                • #9
                  Re: When a potential customer calls....

                  Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post



                  Hmmmmm... the question now is how do you build a reputation from scratch Well, not totally from scratch, but close.



                  Ahh.....that's called


                  "payin your dues"



                  Just take the beatings and consider them stepping stones. I look at the jobs I had a shovel in my hand as levels of disgrace sending me to a great place. Of course it took time.


                  But my hands don't wrap a shovel handle no more....been that way for some time. I'll literally live longer in this career as a result.


                  Allergy to shovels Aaaaaaaachooooooooooo!!!
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                  • #10
                    Re: When a potential customer calls....

                    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                    Ahh.....that's called


                    "payin your dues"



                    Just take the beatings and consider them stepping stones. I look at the jobs I had a shovel in my hand as levels of disgrace sending me to a great place. Of course it took time.


                    But my hands don't wrap a shovel handle no more....been that way for some time. I'll literally live longer in this career as a result.


                    Allergy to shovels Aaaaaaaachooooooooooo!!!
                    LOL!

                    So I take it when one starts on their own, should their prices be a bit lower than their competitors (to get what work they can) or does that not work in the long run?
                    YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

                    Plumbing Reviews

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                    • #11
                      Re: When a potential customer calls....

                      NO......


                      I cringe at the invoices of when I first started....it was almost like they played into my fears of keeping the ball rolling.


                      Have a friend or accomplice call 12 shops in your area, take all the prices and do 12 division to get the average.


                      Go at that number or a little higher. DON'T undercut your wages as you'll find out that those good deals you gave away will have the worst of the worst following you for more Kmart Specials.



                      Perfect example of how things change:

                      I started a second business.....I'm absolutely not doing plumbing anymore for the time being.

                      I have "some" customers that I've either swapped work or did work on the cheap........cheaper due to their longstanding relationships with my company.


                      Guess what?


                      I now realize how much I was cheating myself working for wages that are below market average....just because I was treating them to a business to business wage.

                      It feels really good that

                      1. I'm no longer driving around like a retard not covering my expenses for these select few

                      and

                      2. How angry they got with me when I told them I can't provide. Why?


                      Because I won't be replaced for the same amount.....which proves I was robbing myself.


                      Valuable lesson learned and I've now cut loose some of the bad that's kept me from earning potential.


                      Doesn't matter how high you're up the ladder.......there's no way to keep from making mistakes and I've made a ton of them lately......no matter how refined and disciplined I feel I might be.


                      Please value my words on not starting off cheap. It draws the wrong base to you completely which you'll have to shed like a snake skin sooner or later.
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                      • #12
                        Re: When a potential customer calls....

                        back to answering the phone,

                        around a customer no i never answered never!....... why? because when it clicked over to voise mail my message said........
                        "thank you for calling old time carpentry,
                        at the moment i am giving another customer all my atention, and i will do the same for you, please leave you name and number and i will return you call as soon as possible, i am sorry for any inconvence this may have caused. .........BEEP!
                        9/11/01, never forget.

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                        • #13
                          Re: When a potential customer calls....

                          Originally posted by oldslowchevy View Post
                          back to answering the phone,

                          around a customer no i never answered never!....... why? because when it clicked over to voise mail my message said........
                          "thank you for calling old time carpentry,
                          at the moment i am giving another customer all my atention, and i will do the same for you, please leave you name and number and i will return you call as soon as possible, i am sorry for any inconvence this may have caused. .........BEEP!
                          If you do go to voicemail, the most important thing though is to make sure you call them back right after you finish the job though. Not returning your calls will get you written off permanently.

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                          • #14
                            Re: When a potential customer calls....

                            Originally posted by cpw View Post
                            If you do go to voicemail, the most important thing though is to make sure you call them back right after you finish the job though. Not returning your calls will get you written off permanently.
                            Absolutely.
                            If someone is calling you, they're likely sifting through a list until someone picks up the phone.
                            Usually on emergency calls it's first come first served, you snooze you loose.

                            Even if you call back and someone else does the job, you still may have made an impression.
                            I've had occasions where someone remembered how fast I called back and tried me instead the next time.
                            Last edited by DuckButter; 06-10-2008, 10:00 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: When a potential customer calls....

                              i'm reachable by phone practically 24 hours a day. fortunately 99% of my calls are from 7am- 9pm.

                              i prefer that customers try me on my office number first.

                              my answering machine specifically states "if this is a true plumbing emergency, i can be reached on my cell phone #---------.

                              i'm amazed at how many people ignore that and call me on my cell for an issue they have had for weeks.
                              also the ones that have a real emergency and don't call my cell.

                              if a non emergency calls my cell, i will answer and ask them to call back on my office # and leave a message. i'll call them back either when i get done with my current job or finished for the day.

                              i answer every call that rings to me. weather i have them call back or continue the conversation is really based on the job at task.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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