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How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.

 
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:32 AM   #1
 
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How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


I own a cabinet/countertop shop in CA, we do free 3D layout (20/20 Design) and estimate for customer. As a seller, we like to detailly explain to customer all the material and service that we are providing in the quotation. Sometimes, we get aggressive customers who think we are wasting their time. They want us to give them a final number within 5-10 minutes, base on their crappy drawings. This group of customer often are those mid-class educated and think every second of their time is extremely valuable. Anyone has any input on that situation?
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


I say this in all seriousness....Let them be someone else's customer...

life is too short, and you'd be better suited spending that time attracting better customers...

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Old 03-16-2008, 07:32 AM   #3
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Originally Posted by Kennyboy View Post
I own a cabinet/countertop shop in CA, we do free 3D layout (20/20 Design) and estimate for customer. As a seller, we like to detailly explain to customer all the material and service that we are providing in the quotation. Sometimes, we get aggressive customers who think we are wasting their time. They want us to give them a final number within 5-10 minutes, base on their crappy drawings. This group of customer often are those mid-class educated and think every second of their time is extremely valuable. Anyone has any input on that situation?
Take control of the situation-YOU are the one in charge, make sure they know that from the start. No need to be cocky about it, but your demeanor should show it. Start up front by giving them a realistic timeframe for getting them a figure, and it's not going to be while they're sitting there with you at the first meeting. If they're not happy with that, they can go elsewhere. Don't let them walk all over you.....
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:34 AM   #4
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


I agree with mahlere 100%.

You could also whip out a price that is high enough it would be worth it for you to take. Most likely they will leave on their own.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Take control of the situation-YOU are the one in charge, make sure they know that from the start. No need to be cocky about it, but your demeanor should show it. Start up front by giving them a realistic timeframe for getting them a figure, and it's not going to be while they're sitting there with you at the first meeting. If they're not happy with that, they can go elsewhere. Don't let them walk all over you.....
Ive found this to be true, if you let them act like they are in charge they will think they are. You need to let them know how things are and thats the way it is.
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


I get some clients like that, easy, I show them the price immediately, if they get sticker shock one of two things happen, they either walk away and that's the end of it or we spend time looking at what they are paying for.

I working with someone right now, my bid 410k they other guys 220k

Turns out the other guy missed over 50% of the walls, I have allowed for the errors the engineer made (yes, they make mistakes) not the other guy, he was going to nail them for a change order, oh, and the best, I did a site visit and there is no access for a 53' trailer within 3 miles of the job, this means staging and reloading smaller trucks and trailers to get the material to the job, not my competition, he would have a clause in his contract and nail them for a change order...
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


Let's make Mahlere's advise 200%
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


Better advise is probably to stop bitching about people not valuing your FREE service for more than it is - FREE.

FREE has no value, your customers you are complaining about it are reacting to it.

If you charged for your design time, there would be a percieved value by your customers and it would be worth something to them.

You guys are constantly putting the cart before the horse and seeing something that isn't there, but is what you want to see.

A customer who wants a number in 5-10 minutes and could careless about what you put into it to come up with it --- well guess what? They are not what you think they are.

Anybody who wants a number based on their crappy drawings within 5-10 minutes cares about getting a price and that's it. Meanwhile you're frustrated because they don't respect your process and won't fit their square heads into your round hole of a business model.

Think about how many of those customers end up buying from you, what it their sales ratio compared to your other customers? You should find you are spending the same amount of time on customers who will buy from you as you are on customers who won't. That makes no sense at all from the pespective of running a profitable business.

Once you start charging a design fee, you'll find your good customers will still pay it and buy from you and these others will do one of 2 things, a small percentage will pay it and turn themselves into potential customers and the larger percentage will not pay and move on to buy from who they were going to anyways. Meanwhile you are spending your time with the group of customers who you should be spending your time with.
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #9
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


I wouldn't shut a customer out so quickly. When they are starting out on a project, they may be in a feasibility mode. I would give ball park numbers, & show past projects, & what they cost. It may hook them, or pass them thru, but at least you won't have spent too much time doing detail work, when all they want is a ball park number. It may work out, or not, but you have to look at it from the customers viewpoint sometimes.

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Old 03-16-2008, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


dealing with aggressive customers is unfortunately something we occasionally all have to do. the only thing i can tell you that i believe is important, is that you should never lose your cool, always maintain your composure. ultimately, at the end of the day you want to have the reputation of man who is a gentleman and a pleasure to do buisness with. customer relations is the most important part of any buisness
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:16 AM   #11
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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How do you guys deal with aggressive customer.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:31 AM   #12
 
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Old 03-16-2008, 11:41 AM   #13
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


Put yourself in the buyer's seat a moment.

Let's say you're interested in buying new accounting software for your business. If you have a seller that wants to come in and take a look at your business and then explain the benefits and the special efforts and modules they will add to ensure this software will do the job you want it to before they will give you a price, is this going to frustrate you? Even if all you're doing right now is trying to set a budget for the new software? Especially if gave them a list of requirements to base their bid on.

My guess is, "yes", on some level its going to be bit frustrating for you. The one question you need answered most is the one they are not addressing.

Are your clients being rude and demanding because they are rude and demanding people, or are they frustrated because you're telling them more than they want to know and not answering the one question they know they have asked.

Did you ask their permission to explain all this before you started to explain it to them, or did you just assume its an OK thing to do, because it builds value and a sense of quality in their minds before you give them a price you're afraid is going to be more than they have in mind to spend?
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #14
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennyboy View Post
I own a cabinet/countertop shop in CA, we do free 3D layout (20/20 Design) and estimate for customer. As a seller, we like to detailly explain to customer all the material and service that we are providing in the quotation. Sometimes, we get aggressive customers who think we are wasting their time. They want us to give them a final number within 5-10 minutes, base on their crappy drawings. This group of customer often are those mid-class educated and think every second of their time is extremely valuable. Anyone has any input on that situation?
That particular type of customer is "Price shopping" .

Don't for a minute think, that you are the only company they are calling.

If you know that you are not the lowest price out there (Example: We always fall in the middle) .....Then, the reality of it is, the other way around....

They are wasting your time.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:32 PM   #15
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Originally Posted by Double-A View Post
Put yourself in the buyer's seat a moment.

Let's say you're interested in buying new accounting software for your business. If you have a seller that wants to come in and take a look at your business and then explain the benefits and the special efforts and modules they will add to ensure this software will do the job you want it to before they will give you a price, is this going to frustrate you? Even if all you're doing right now is trying to set a budget for the new software? Especially if gave them a list of requirements to base their bid on.

My guess is, "yes", on some level its going to be bit frustrating for you. The one question you need answered most is the one they are not addressing.

Are your clients being rude and demanding because they are rude and demanding people, or are they frustrated because you're telling them more than they want to know and not answering the one question they know they have asked.

Did you ask their permission to explain all this before you started to explain it to them, or did you just assume its an OK thing to do, because it builds value and a sense of quality in their minds before you give them a price you're afraid is going to be more than they have in mind to spend?

From time to time, on this site, somebody writes a real gem of a piece, and this is one of those times. AA's post is absolutely spot on. His analogy is superb, in other words, these are people who want to get at least a rough idea of what something will cost before they get into specifics. Otherwise they might be wasting their time if it turns out the price is going to be completely out of their ballpark.


Mike's post is total BS. The idea that people have to pay in order to find out how much their countertops are going to cost is beyond ridiculous. If they did pay, then they might be wasting money as well as time, and you can imagine how happy they are going to be about that!

John
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:04 PM   #16
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


Absoultely missed the point John. What I said and what Atlantic said are almost identical.

This is not the situation of "I need 30 square feet of Formica counter top, Jade Gold, #23-3456 in matte finish, straight piece with two side splashes, how much will it cost?"

I took it as he is doing cabinet design, he said he is using 20/20 which is cabinet layout software. He is taking a customers designs off some home made layout and transfering that into 20/20, specing a cabinet door, wood species, stain, filling in with exact box sizes, fillers... etc.. he is then putting them through his sales process and conveying value -- "As a seller, we like to detailly explain to customer all the material and service that we are providing in the quotation. "

How many hours does he/designer have into a layout with every customer on average?

Do you know who doesn't charge for cabinet design? -- Home Depot and Lowes.

On the other hand I can name 20 independent cabinet companies that all charge some sort of design fee. Some credit it back to the customer if they buy and some don't.

Not giving away design time is hardly BS or beyond ridiculous. It's an industry accepted method in the kitchen industry. Maybe not in the UK but it certainly is here. As I said, don't complain about price shoppers if you are not screening them out. Whenever I get a sense that somebody is not going to fit with us financially I have no problem giving them a wide ball park of the "average' this or that is $25,000-$35,000, is that what you were thinking? I can easily tell by their answers if there is no need to continue talking to us, if they are looking to supply all their crap from Home Depot and just want somebody to install it, they usually let that cat out of the bag when they stutter when they hear such figures way out of what they were considering. ( I must add, there is nothing wrong with somebody wanting to do that or have a small budget -- those just aren't the customers who fit with what we do, so why try to fit a square peg into a round hole?)

In a busy business you should have more leads then your company can handle, and it's highly unprofitable and deterimental to both your long term financial health and your current customers welfare to be spending your valuable time on leads that are not a fit for your companies products and services.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 03-16-2008 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:21 PM   #17
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


If they are ignorant enough to expect a quote in 5-10 minute than they will expect you to build them in the same amount of time. Quality takes time, regardless whether it is designing, building, finishing or installation. Tell them to go elsewhere, now they are wasting your time.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:35 PM   #18
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Absoultely missed the point John. What I said and what Atlantic said are almost identical.
Well, whether your's and Atlantic's posts were saying the same thing is of no concern to me, I was referring to AA's post.

What I will say is that in a situation where a prospective customer has no idea how much you are likely to charge for your service, whatever it might be, no idea, I repeat, then the idea of asking him to pay in order to find out that your price is (if it is) completely outside his budget, is, indeed, beyond ridiculous.


So, what is needed is a way of being able to give him an idea of the price before he has wasted time (both of yours') and maybe money as well.


BTW, why would you leave a link to a non existent web site in your signature for months on end? Either remove it, or, better still, get the site working so I can read about your free grab bars (and see if they really are free!)

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Old 03-16-2008, 04:33 PM   #19
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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What I will say is that in a situation where a prospective customer has no idea how much you are likely to charge for your service, whatever it might be, no idea, I repeat, then the idea of asking him to pay in order to find out that your price is (if it is) completely outside his budget, is, indeed, beyond ridiculous.
John
Well, I can only deal with reality, and in reality anybody old enough to be working, to drive, vote, drink, and own a property that could hire you to work on it usually has been around the world at least long enough to know that it's probably going to cost more than $40.00 but probably less than $400,000 .00 to remodel a kitchen, so the no idea thing is really a fantasy.

Also in the world I live in people don't go around wondering what it will cost and just pay whatever it told to them. It will be 4 million dollars. Okay! Or it will be $4.00. Okay!

The vast majority of people have a budget in mind and are trying to fit it to the project. They may start out with a beer budget and champaign tastes and then either up their budget or lower their expectations as they educate themselves during the discover process. The truly short-sighted usually try to make the two meet, usually by trying to short-cut the labor portion of a job or trying to buy their own materials or whatever, you can fill in the blank, we all know the drill on those customers.

The rest of the answer is pretty simple, there is a solution for somebody who really doesn't have a clear idea of what things costs because they are too early in the discovery process and that's called a ball park figure. Like I said and like others said it's employed every single day thousands of times all across the world.

People in the beginnings of the discovery stage only need to be given a ball park. People further into the discovery stage have already adjusted their budgets and expectation, deciding that they will need to spend more or have adjusted their desires and are now ready to get down to a short list of who to hire. Once they are at that stage the differences in price on who they talk to if they are pre-qualifying their contractors correctly, the price difference will not be all that huge of a swing. They simply aren't going to find 2 contractors offering a top-quality service and product and one will do it for $40,000 and the other will do it for $2000.

Once again if people are in the latter stages of discovery, charging them is the norm if you value your time and resources.

Once again, this situation you are stuck on John is all about PRICE. Customers I want will not be narrowing down their final choices on price, it will be about value delivered.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 03-16-2008 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:42 PM   #20
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Re: How Do You Guys Deal With Aggressive Customer.


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Well, let's talk about reality. Anybody old enough to be working, to drive, vote, drink, and own a property that could hire you to work on it usually has been around the world at least long enough to know that it's probably going to cost more than $4.00 to remodel a kitchen, so the no idea thing is really a fantasy.
Absolute nonsense. How much do I charge for a kitchen? £10,000, £20,000, £30,000, £40,000? Do you see what I mean? YOU have NO IDEA how much I charge for a kitchen and you are sort of in the business. So how the hell is any individual to know? And yet the difference could be enough to buy quite a nice car.

So, like I said earlier "what is needed is a way of being able to give him an idea of the price before he has wasted time (both of yours') and maybe money as well."

Are you going to deal with that link I mentioned?

John

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