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"NoThanks"

brendonv

Tree Hugger
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
You know, sometimes when you get that vibe, this is a customer you dont want.

How do YOU tell them?




I just had a winner of a voicemail and i figured before i return an answer in my usual manner i get some advice lol. My usual responses are what my wife calls "asshole sarcasm", and ive been trying to be better about it. Deep down inside im a nice guy if your not a dip shit. They get me riled up tho.
 

flushcut

TreeHouser
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
12,870
Location
Delavan, WI
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is how I scare them away.


One guy I straight told them "I do not want the job find somebody else". Then they told me I was discriminating against them. I said "no discrimination what so ever and any further communication will be considered harassment and met with legal recourse" all communication stopped and I went on my merry way with non-d-bag customers. There was more to what went on but in a nut shell that's what happened. The guy rewrote my contract I countered and he rewrote it again and the red flag was drawn.
 

Merle Nelson

TreeHouser
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
2,267
Location
CA, SF- North Bay
I tell them why I'm not the right person for their job as opposed to them not being right for me. Sometimes need to express it a second or third time before they realize I'm serious.

They can recommend me for what I am good at in the future that way. (Top quality work as opposed to cheapest price for instance.) One example of jobs I rarely will even go and bid is for landlords - tend to just want cheapest price and don't do well at keeping things straight for an apples to apples comparison.
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,877
Location
South West France
Tell them you don’t want to do it.


Edit, I’m being a bit of a fibber there.

A while back I was short of work and travelled an hour and a half away to price work for an English client from the old days. I underpriced it, not just from a difficulty point of view but logistically.

They said they’d think about it and when they called a month later my back had gone and I was unable to work.

“No problem” they said “call us when you’re better” six months later work is coming out of my ears, well paid, local and I’m as supple as a young gazelle.

The phone call I’ve been dreading comes “hope you’re better, when can you come and do our trees?”

I couldn’t just tell them that I’d packed it in so I said my back was fragile and I wouldn’t feel comfortable if it went again so far from home, so I’d not be upset if they found someone else.

They were very understanding, and I did feel bad, but not as bad as I would have felt flogging my arse off for three days for minimum.


As for PITA customers as has been said, scare them off with the price.
 

cory

TreeHouser
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
17,356
Location
CT
A great thread.

There are many different approaches but if they are calling for new work, my go-to is tell them we are too busy now, it will be weeks before we could look at any new work.

This winter I did 'fire' one custy, and another is in the pipeline, both for same reason- small jobs, could have been done 5x's over already, I drive by them with the convoy 2x's/ week, but everytime I call/text to do the job, they would put it off- 'we have the flu', or 'do it after holidays', or just not this week, we won't be home, etc'. Finally I said I pass on this one. Then, lol, I drive by 2 weeks later and see they have let's just say a really unsatisfactory tree service looking at it, hahahaha.

The other one insists on scheduling 7-10 days out for a small job. Um, no. When things were real slow I tried to put up with it but now, nah.

Hey, while we are taking about suck-ass custys, how bout this- a couple Noreasters ago I give a guy a price of 400 to clean up fallen storm damage and 600 to climb a big spruce and thin it to "help the storm winds pass thru it easier' cuz it was 80' tall and too full, never been pruned. He says do both. I come over quickly (2-3 days later) so I can get all the fallen stuff out of there sooner than later, and I climbed and thinned the spruce very carefully and thoroughly just cuz it was a nice tree and nice climb and wanted it to come out nicely. Took out just enough but not too much, no lion tailing etc, etc. Job comes out superb, he emails after says 'good job, looks good, I'll put a check in the mail"

3 days later we get another Noreaster with heavy wet snow and lots of wind, there is damage in basically every yard in town. He emails- Well the thinning didn't work, the spruce tree lost some limbs, what is your policy on follow up?

My policy is if you have fallen limbs following a bad storm that damaged tens of thousands of area trees from snow loading, I'll come back and chip them for a fair, reasonable price. He then sends half payment, says he'll send rest next month.

Hey buddy, how bout if I strangle your ugly ass??
 

Skwerl2

Rodent Aviator
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
1,837
Location
central Florida
I'm an owner-operator who wears many hats. Sometimes I'm not the most efficient at returning phone calls. Sometimes I simply forget to call somebody back. ;)
 

brendonv

Tree Hugger
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
Wow cory thats awesome, i love people. The over pricing to scare them gets weird, then they go on rants of how they cant believe it costs that much and blah blah blah. Those get me ticked and ironically i have a good thread on that here somewhere too. Lol

I rolled up to give an estimate, and i know ive been here before, i just cant pinpoint why. I give the more than fair estimate, then i point out a 20" dbh doible stemmed maple in the back, mention it has a small hollow. He just acknowledges and on we go. He calls last night and says they'd like to do the work, "if you throw that other tree in for free".

Sure sir, let me spend and extra 3 hours at your property for free, on a piddly 1000$ job, just because i want to work for you oh so badly.

I promplty deleted the voicmail with no intentions on calling him, but it was a referral and i kno he'll call back. Thinking back i kinda remember him pissing me off, and we ended up not doing the first job for him years ago. I kmow who worked there prior and you can say they would jump to add a "free" tree just to get the job, or a thirty pack for that matter.

I cant handle the ones who think your out there just hunting down the trees, im surely not. We are lucky enough to service the same clients, over and over every year, becuase they know they are getting exceptional work for a fair price.

The storms bring these losers out, and some people you can just tell within 3 minutes they arent the customer for you.

Ill probably hit him with, "i dont think we are the right fit for you, but thanks for the opportunity"
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,877
Location
South West France
I don’t like plenty of my clients, plenty don’t like me I’m sure.

It’s a business transaction, not a barbeque.

I don’t get insulted if they try to get something thrown in for free, I just say yes or no.

That doesn’t put them in the black book, takes a lot more than that to get me to turn my nose up at other people’s money.
 

brendonv

Tree Hugger
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
Yes, but I also don’t care to be bothered by people. Ovviously this isn’t his first occurance of being annoying. And this thread isn’t for one particular person.

I care not to be aggravated by Work, and I can Can less about their money or lack there of. We are lucky to have choices, and I’m lucky to always be busy.

Some people just have that ora of annoyance.
 

Skwerl2

Rodent Aviator
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
1,837
Location
central Florida
I agree with not doing this work just for the money. I love what I do and I have a good time doing it. The money is nice but it isn't my primary motivation. If it was, my prices would be a whole lot higher than they are. If I am not going to enjoy working for somebody then I simply don't. Sort of like going to Disney World and walking past the rides you don't want to ride.
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,877
Location
South West France
Ok, it’s just that we would all love to just have clients who eulogised over our work, never questioned prices and went along with anything we suggested, but that’s not the real world.

I’m just differentiating between awkward, demanding, price conscious, pushy, picky clients, who are normal people and the real bad apples.
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,877
Location
South West France
I agree with not doing this work just for the money. I love what I do and I have a good time doing it. The money is nice but it isn't my primary motivation. If it was, my prices would be a whole lot higher than they are. If I am not going to enjoy working for somebody then I simply don't. Sort of like going to Disney World and walking past the rides you don't want to ride.
Why do you have to “enjoy” working for someone? How does this enjoyment manifest itself as opposed to someone you don’t care for?
 

kevin bingham

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
3,172
I'm with you Brian, if money was my primary motivation I sure as hell wouldn't be doing tree work!
 

brendonv

Tree Hugger
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
It is the real world, Mick. It’s the bubble I try to surround myself with to live a fulfilling, no BS life. It’s like when people bitch about their wives, or their freinds, or this or that. , Change something you asshole. I don’t care to be poked or prodded, or uncomfortable, or annoyed. We’re all different, and I’ve built what I have on my morals and values, and it’s not for everyone or every client.

There’s an ass for every seat.
 

Dave Shepard

Square peg, round world.
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
4,390
Location
Alford, MA
I agree. Life is too short to spend much of it dealing with difficult people. I've put time and money into becoming very good at what I do. I have a lot of people trying to take advantage of that, literally. I choose not to be taken advantage of, and pay the price financially, but I am less stressed out. When I was in landscaping, I had good customers, who appreciated what I did for them. Sure, you can say it's just a business transaction, but I look at the work I do as sort of my legacy. Have I made my corner of the planet a better place? Lawn mowing isn't terribly rewarding on that level, but creating and maintaining our outdoor environment can be very rewarding, although I think a large number of people take it for granted.
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,877
Location
South West France
It is the real world, Mick. It’s the bubble I try to surround myself with to live a fulfilling, no BS life. It’s like when people bitch about their wives, or their freinds, or this or that. , Change something you asshole. I don’t care to be poked or prodded, or uncomfortable, or annoyed. We’re all different, and I’ve built what I have on my morals and values, and it’s not for everyone or every client.

There’s an ass for every seat.
Me, I like a challenge, taking on a difficult client, taming them, doing a good job and collecting a ch?que is as, if not more satisfying than a difficult tree.

People get fulfillment in different ways.
 

stig

Patron saint of bore-cutters
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
17,325
Location
Denmark
Yep, dealing with clients can sometimes be a bigger challenge than doing the work.

I've priced myself out of some jobs where I didn't feel like dealing with the client, but our logging clients are not one time jobs, we work for them season after season.
I find it interesting to figure out what makes them tick and how to go about working with them.
 
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