How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client

 
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Hello all,
I am new to the forum but not the business. We all love the lucrative fast jobs, like a simple deck but at what point do you tell the client you need to move on and not burn a bridge due to the relentless bad attitude.
Buy the way is it ok do pack up your tools early when its -6 degrees out?!
Cheers
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:50 PM   #2
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


I picked up a new customer a few weeks ago who bought a new home in my area. Its a VERY modest house and she certainly doesn't have much money. I find she values my time and hasn't questioned or argued over anything and has been a pleasure to work with. Each day I spend there I make my daily rate and go home feeling good.

I had a customer that I parted ways with a few months ago who I didn't do a lot of work for but the few jobs I did were nothing but headaches. The husband owns an accounting firm and they appear to have a decent amount of $$$. Constant questioning of everything I did, "we just talked about this decision but what about this...". There was one day I got yelled at because the moulding laying in her driveway was NOT what was currently there so I got pulled from what I was doing to explain to her it was. I saw that she was looking at the back side of the moulding so I stopped what i was doing to walk a total of 300 feet to turn a piece of wood over so she could see that she was looking at the back side....she got a little red faced and walked away.

Point of all of this? I don't care how much money someone has, I will take my customer A over B any day. Customer A I enjoy going to do work for while customer B will actually make me lose sleep over just the thought of going to do work for. Some people aren't worth dealing with and their financial situation doesn't change that.

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Old 01-04-2018, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


You have to learn to filter out the bad customers. I'm saying that, but I have yet to master it myself. I had one last winter who seemed ok at first, but who recorded me on a security camera and then watched and calculated every minute and demanded a reduction for every minute spent going over plans or calculating lengths of cuts. Seriously. Like in "I'm not paying you for the three minutes you were writing in your notebook!"
I also had a couple customers who were so happy with the work that they added in tips at the end of the projects. I guess they're not all bad, but we have to just learn which are which and bill accordingly.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


As long as the job isn't going over budget to accommodate them. If it is the illusion of getting their money is costing you.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


I pay very close attention to every interaction with a potential new customer during first meeting if I get the feeling that in some way they might be problematic I either bid very high, usually the case or I just don't give them an estimate at all.

If I'm correct in my assumption the issues arise before I even get the job.

It makes no difference to me what amount someones income is, my bid is my bid it's only going to change if you're an asshole.

With being strictly referrals for 30 years I haven't had issues very often my customers know when not to refer me, sometimes I get forewarned. I tend not to take crap at all from clients. I can think of at least 3 wealthy customers I told to eff off early in the project they're still customers today after 20 years.

One said to me "I've never had anyone talk to me that way, we're going to get along fine" the projects are challenging but we'll sit and talk and laugh for hours while she's paying me.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Quote:
Originally Posted by avenge View Post

One said to me "I've never had anyone talk to me that way, we're going to get along fine" the projects are challenging but we'll sit and talk and laugh for hours while she's paying me.
I have one that loves to bitch about the cost for about 10 minutes before she says to go ahead. Then she loves to complain when she pays me. It's become more of a joke than anything else. I'd worry if she didn't start out with "I don't want to spend much" and "that's just to much"

Tom
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:31 PM   #7
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Had a lady in a Pearl district condo which are a complete pain in the ass. No parking. Condo board. Insurance certs. Elevators, etc...

Wanted a refinish. She invaded my personal space constantly, touching, pushing, standing literally 10 inches away from me. When she said "I'm crazy. My husband knew what he was signing up for. ... I'm crazy my son still comes around and helps me ... I'm a crazy artist." I knew right then I was not doing the project. Gave my normal rate x4.

I finally gave a no thank you bid and the person said No thank you!
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aveinc View Post
Hello all,
I am new to the forum but not the business. We all love the lucrative fast jobs, like a simple deck but at what point do you tell the client you need to move on and not burn a bridge due to the relentless bad attitude.
Buy the way is it ok do pack up your tools early when its -6 degrees out?!
Cheers
What specifically is this client doing to you? Can you finish what you agreed to do and not agree to do more because you have other projects waiting?

It's ok to pack up your tools anytime you want, you're the boss. Just let your clients know why and when you will be back.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:27 AM   #9
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


There has to be a mutual respect regardless of the money your clients own. They certainly won't pay you more than they should for the job you'll do for them. And no amount of money can compensate the stress that some clients can cause. Choose your clients wisely, with long-term goals in mind.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


My most problematic HO's tend to be over-the-top wealthy.

I almost always avoid working for them. I don't need the money that bad and most of the ones I've encountered act overly bossy, seem to talk down to me and see me as a peasant. Not all, but most.

I also make sure I tell them that I'm not going to be the lowest bid and that I'm super-busy.
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:22 AM   #11
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


I simply cannot choose in my line of business with whom I'm going to work with, but you can and you should. No one and no amount of money can compensate a lack of respect and appreciative communication.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:28 AM   #12
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Every client in Sun Valley,Idaho is extremely wealthy and full of ****. Every job is a one off and they want something that has never been built before. The architects think they are gods and draw too much and charge too much. It always over budget and you never bid anything.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:53 PM   #13
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


I had the most impossible customer about 11 years ago. I was working for a company installing residential doors. She was not wealthy, but insane. I was installing a new front door. The company would offer a prefinished option. They made several trips to the showroom testing my boss' patience trying to pick out a door. After they picked out a door, they supplied the color they wanted. When I showed up to install the door, she didn't like the color. To save the aggravation, my boss paid the painter to refinish the door. He had to do several test panels until they were satisfied. They were trying to match the faded paint on their house. I then went back to install the door. They were happy with the color this time. She bird dogged me the whole time, which I usually don't mind at all, except for all the stupid questions. The outside of the door had rough sawn cedar trim and whoever installed the original door, ran the trim about 4 inches below the door. It looked hideous. I ran the new trim to the bottom of the frame which looked great, but the crazy homeowner wanted it to be installed like it originally was and then she complained about some "nicks" on the handleset. She ordered a distressed handleset that was full of "nicks' but she said 3 of the nicks didn't match the rest. So I went back with a new handleset and new cedar trim, but then she complained she didn't like the way the replacement trim looked. It was 100% okay. I threw my tools in my van and peeled out of her driveway. My boss called me 3 minutes later and told me her husband called him saying his wife was crying and what did I do. I told him I wasn't going back there. The couple went to the lumber yard with my boss and hand picked the 1x4 cedar and then he had it painted again. I went back, but the husband promised hi wife wouldn't be there. He sent his wife shopping while I was there.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #14
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


Last night (Sunday) I got an email from a customer saying she was frustrated at how long the design/estimate was taking - she didn't realize she was the problem and delay.

This is what I sent her:

I’ve tried helping, collaborating and getting a design together but stopped when you said you thought you could appeal the rules I’ve learned to follow for the last 15 years.

Based on your last email and todays dialogue I don’t think we’d be a good fit for working together. Thank you for the opportunity and best of luck with your project.


Her reply this morning was: "Agree. Best of of luck to you too."

Pretty harmless and effective, I thought. Between her and her husband they couldn't agree on what they wanted so getting a design and her challenging me at every turn was enough for me to walk away.

Last edited by casey344; 02-19-2018 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:38 AM   #15
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Re: How To Deal With The Impossible But Wealthy Client


See, you guys can agree on something! Seriously though I would not do a design without payment up front. That's work and if you work for free people don't respect you. I realize you need it for an estimate but that doesn't change anything for me.

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