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How often do you say "NO" ?

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  • How often do you say "NO" ?

    For years I've been selective in the kind of work I do for others, but this week I'm king to saying NO to a number of customers that have called.

    For example:

    Customer calls up, acts like him and his wife are a "team" and he's all excited about me coming over to "check out" his situation for a duplex sewage ejector pump.

    ........ ?

    Why.....on earth, would I need to look at this?

    I never called back. If you heard the jolly wally message that was left for me, you'd probably of done the same.

    Guy today comes off slick asking if I was the head honcho. He then talks about his bathroom where he needs the piping ran for water and drains to finish a bathroom in the basement. Of course, he's leading towards me coming over and giving him a free estimate. Never.

    Instantly blew him off, gave him another plumber's # to look at the job. I'm not running around town looking at plumbing. Call me when you need the work done, no BS.

    Same boat as above with a customer with a Wolverine Brass Tub and Shower faucet.....told her to get the plumber back to fix it or have them send the parts so I can enjoy the job security of ignorance in part by one local plumbing company.

    I not only value my time in person, but my time on the phone. I've mastered the talent of pushing away those who take from me, and for the majority now, I'm callused to those who WILL take of your time without reward.

    Every once in awhile one will sneak through, or a regular customer will bend the rules of niceness to pull a freebie outta ya but most times you can get it back.

    I got removed from a well known national ratings system a couple months ago and it's amazing how good it feels now knowing that those overparticular people are no longer able to contact me.

    I stood up to the system, they in turn silenced me. Trust me, I knew what I was doing when I did it. I needed to move on for numerous reasons and the relationship was wearing thin for a great deal of time.
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  • #2
    Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

    Spent an hour in two 1/2 hour phone calls last month with a wife and hubby that wanted me to give them a list of suggestions on what fixtures to buy for me to install.

    Called her a few days ago and got a "We'll call you as soon as we're ready".

    This is just one of a long list of these type of calls.

    I'll call again, and when they give me the "we changed our minds" or "We got someone else" routine, I'll be calling the inspector.

    People are outrageously manipulative.


    • #3
      Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

      I've done a lot of work for this one gal. Last project was a $30,000 Ipe deck, Set Her up with My arct. New garage,old one remodeled to family room. New bedroom bath.
      Maybe $250.000 in this Hood. I never returned Her E mail ,telling Me to pick up the plans.
      She started to shop My prices a little too much. We have good work , and good $$$ elsewhere. I am soo lucky I ended Up in an area with lots of $$ .If I was still in Mass.
      I wouldn't have these options. And, I'm not dissin anyone ,just fact!
      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


      • #4
        Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

        i often turn work away when i'm overbooked. i refer work to a friend and vice versa

        when i'm out of town

        i will have my buddy cover and the ones that wait for me, get me the week i get home

        as long as i have cell service, no one knows i'm gone

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

          Selective as well, I always called back customers
          Always free estimates unless it’s out of my area or the property in question is for sale. Realtors are a red flag.
          Never blew anyone off but I did say no nicely .
          Of course by talking to people over the phone and listening to the way they talk to you is an excellent method for weeding out.
          Love to do other plumbers work over for them, you may earn a loyal customer.
          I was part of a national rating system and enjoyed the positive feedback.


          • #6
            Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

            Phone call yesterday.

            caller: Yes, my kitchen faucet makes a loud noise and I need an estimate to fix it.

            me: Well it depends on what kind of faucet it is and if it can be fixed or it needs to be replaced. Its hard to give an estimate without seeing it.

            caller: its a single-lever, it makes noise on the hot side, its really old.

            me: well if its really old, it probably needs to be replaced.

            caller: well I need an estimate.

            me: Probably over $300 to replace it with a new one.

            caller: thank you...[CLICK!!!]

            ..SHE HUNG UP ON ME!!? HOW RUDE! $300ish to supply and install a quality kitchen faucet is hardly expensive....quite cheap actually.

            I was glad to be rid of this old hag on the phone though, I just feel bad for whichever shmuck she suckered into coming to her house only to be ridiculed...
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            • #7
              Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

              I'm getting those calls, too.

              Yesterday, I got a call from a medical supply outfit. They had a leak.

              So I went over to diagnose it. It was a leaking 10 gallon point-of-use water heater. I called the supply house for availability and price. Yes, of course it's more than a 50-gallon.

              But this heater had two permit tags on it - one from 14 years ago and another from 4 years ago. I can't help but wonder at the sense of moving a 10-year-old water heater to a new home.

              Then it turns out the girls in the office have no authority to authorize the work. They have to give the quote to their manager who then has to talk to their landlord et bleeding cetera. So I billed their company for the $38 diagnostic fee, which has to be sent to Clearwater Florida. Joy.

              This morning I got a call which I'm assuming came from the Shoshonne-Bannock tribe, or so it appeared on the caller ID. They were looking for someone to replace a toilet and repair the damage done to the floor. I told her to get a carpenter first.

              My past history with the tribe has been less than spectacular. The last time I went over there to look at a problem they decided they could fix it themselves and never offered to pay anything. This was about ten years ago.

              Then I got called to come there by someone from the Treasury Department. He showed me an invoice and said, "Is this one of yours?" I told him it wasn't. It was a stock duplicate invoice with 'Steve's Plumbing' scrawled in at the top. It turns out that the woman who had been hiring me for both tribal and personal business had decided that she and her Native American husband could bilk the tribe for about $50,000.00 by forging invoices of local businesspeople for services that had never been performed.

              She's doin' time in the Big House.

              Naturally, I'm a bit reluctant to deal with these people.


              • #8
                Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                With the price of gas and my time, I say "NO" all the time.

                Anybody who talks to you like it's your duty to come out and give them a price.....NO

                Anybody who's collecting estimates and is going to go with the lowest one....NO

                Anybody who isn't doing the work right now and is getting pricing together for six months or more in the future.....NO

                Anybody who is looking to waste my time, money, expertise, and give me nothing in return......NO NO NOOOOO!!!

                Buddy of mine recently had someone call him back to get some measurements from him. Seems the homeowner wasn't going to do business with him, just wasted his time getting him out there to do some measuring/pricing. The homeowner then took that info and went to the insurance company to make a claim on some storm damage - what he was planning to do all along. My buddy saved hime some time in making his claim.

                I would have probably told that homeowner to perform something anatomically impossible with himself.........
                I'm on "The List" and I love it!!


                • #9
                  Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                  i also get tired of the verbal blow jobs, had a lady yesterday call and asked what i would charge to install her pop up, gave a price to which she replied thats insane to which i replied its a big phone book so let your fingers do the walking and some advice if you dont like what you here just say thank you and hang up and hold the insults, bye the way let me show you how this works i said thank you and hung up.
                  Last edited by aero1; 08-17-2008, 05:43 PM.


                  • #10
                    Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                    Well I used to hear no all the time... So it kind of felt good to say it for once!

                    "Can I get your Jacket?"

                    "Can I buy you a drink?"......No

                    "Would you like to dance?"....NO

                    "You want to go back to my place?"........NNNNOOOOOOOO

                    "Can you come and give me a price on cleaning the aerator on my kitchen sink?" to which i would respond "sure!"


                    • #11
                      Re: How often do you say "NO" ?


                      I can see this thread getting some good mileage over time given how dealing with John Q. Public can be quite daunting.

                      I'm heading to a corn roast, maybe drink a beer. 2nd biz takes me there for video/photo shoots to keep the focus on people and awareness.

                      It's a blistering 78 degrees right now.
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                      • #12
                        Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                        It's hard to turn away anyone in these times, at least around here, but if I get another like the one I just spent 6 hours or so on putting pricing together for swapping out a steam system to hot water, I'll likely tell them no. I think someone on a similar thread said no free estimates for new customers. I like that.
                        sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.


                        • #13
                          Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                          god you guys are making me miss service work so much.......


                          • #14
                            Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                            just had one about 2 minutes ago.

                            Caller just bought a closed down restaurant downtown and he found out that bums came and cut out a bunch of copper piping for scrap...he wants an estimate. I referred him to another plumber. The very word 'estimate' makes me cringe lately. 9 times out of 10 it means they are looking for the cheapest price in town.
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                            • #15
                              Re: How often do you say "NO" ?

                              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                              just had one about 2 minutes ago.

                              Caller just bought a closed down restaurant downtown and he found out that bums came and cut out a bunch of copper piping for scrap...he wants an estimate. I referred him to another plumber. The very word 'estimate' makes me cringe lately. 9 times out of 10 it means they are looking for the cheapest price in town.

                              Carl...LOL...give the guy an estimate!

                              This isn't like a petty DIY'er trying to glean info from you...this could actually pan out.

                              Not every request for an estimate is a him back!