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Late Night Appointments

 
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:01 PM   #41
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Re: Late Night Appointments


We always call one hour ahead of time to confirm everyone will be there ... saves a lot of the waitin' around.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:26 PM   #42
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Re: Late Night Appointments


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Not that I'm complaining too much because I'm happy to have an appointment; however, meeting a client at 7:00 PM tonight to make a finished basement proposal. Do you guys find it a little harder to be sharp in your presentation that late, esp. after 12+ hours at work?
Logically after a twelve hour day meeting with the customer at night can be tough. I know a lot of times my customers like to meet me after their kids go to bed so that we can focus what is at hand. Sometimes a 15 minute nap in the truck can refresh you. And i also found that some of those late meetings really sell the job, especially when the customer says hey its late lets have a beer. You have already started a good relationship. peace
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:55 PM   #43
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Re: Late Night Appointments


I'm a one man show. I need to be in the shop making money during normal working hours (8-6). I almost never make appointments that interfere with my work time. My most usual time for appointments is on the weekend, near noon. That way I can get up when I want and be there when I am ready. Most people are aslo ready to have someone show up at that time. On occasion I will make a late night appointment, but that is unusual for me. When you are a team of one sacrifices will be made.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:49 AM   #44
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Re: Late Night Appointments


Mostly I look at jobs between 7-9 or 3-5. The rest of the day I'm busy. If it's a regular customer I'll bend the rules a little and meet them after hours.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:24 PM   #45
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Re: Late Night Appointments


Well, Mr. Heritage i know what you are getting at. There is a certain sales philosophy out there that says that you (the seller) can control almost everything that goes on to close the deal. Well i taught myself over the years on how to sell and i never took one of those salesmanship courses. Going late at night to accommodate a customer actually says to them that you are willing to go out of your way to make life easier for them. i just sold a job because i was willing to come meet them at 9:00 p.m. after their kids went to bed. I fired a painter that used some of these forceful salesman tactics on one of my customers.
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Go on and testify!

A major turning point in my own business occurred when I learned to say no. IMO, there is an "exclusivity" for the client to have my company handle a project. Let's say you want to buy a car...in this world we have Bentleys and we have 83' Chevettes.

Now the guy who wants to sell his rust box Chevette, will even drive the car over to your house just to let you see it and take it for a test drive...because it's a ****box and he needs the cash. What he has, has virtually no value. Nobody will pay him one dollar more than the car is worth, at best.

Now the guy who sells Bentleys, will have a hard time even stomaching the fact that you walked into his showroom and are breathing the same air as his product if you don't fit the bill of seeming to deserve his product. He'll probably throw a glare at the security guard at the door to keep a close eye on you and ignore you and carry on.

Now some of you will say..."That's bad customer service, in these economic times of hardsh..."

You're missing the golden key!

It's the subtle insinuation of your product/service in the face of a consumer market that has been conditioned to associate "over the top customer service" with poor quality.

They can't see your product, use your product because it hasn't been built/constructed yet. All they see is YOU. YOU and YOUR company. So when you show up for an estimate at 10 p.m.....just like how female lions in heat can smell an injured/beta male lion from miles away....they can smell/taste your desperation. Showing up with that big **** grin on your face, ready to please and close that next deal...if only, why that would make it your best month yet this year ! .....NO!

Don't get lost in all of that...if you're important, people will wait
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:52 PM   #46
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Re: Late Night Appointments


Don't do nights or weekends.
I have business hours, just like other business. If you need my services you need to see me during my business hours. I do however have my business phone transfered to my home after hours for that "Emergency".

Had a guy call on Good Friday, not knowing if it was an emergency I answered. He asks "Do we do replacement windows?" Yes we do I replied.
He then said "It's Good Friday, I have the day off and I'm home with my family."
I replied, "It's Good Friday, I have the day off and I'm home with my family too."
I told him I would be happy to have someone meet with him between 8am and 4pm on a week day. He settled for Monday morning at 8am.

Didn't get the job. He decided that it was cheaper to have the windows painted.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #47
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Re: Late Night Appointments


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Didn't get the job. He decided that it was cheaper to have the windows painted.
I'm betting you really regretted not going out there on Good Friday to meet with him, huh.

I've found there is a definite correlation sometimes between how much of a hurry somebody is and how much they are price shopping.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:46 PM   #48
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Re: Late Night Appointments


So Mike, hypothetical situation. You haven't had work for a month. Your phone finally rings and this guy says he'll need to meet you on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Do you go?
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:01 PM   #49
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Re: Late Night Appointments


Of course I would. I'd meet him at midnight if I had to if that was the case.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:07 PM   #50
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Re: Late Night Appointments


OK Mike. Good answer. Just checking.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:01 AM   #51
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Re: Late Night Appointments


"I've found there is a definite correlation sometimes between how much of a hurry somebody is and how much they are price shopping."

"I need that quote tomorrow!" does seem to preceed "to go with the other 5 I already have" on a regular basis.

In the time since I started this thread, we have met with the same client again, at 7pm again. The husband works for the Pentagon and typically arrives home at 6:30. I have one competitor but feel we are in the driver's seat.

Typically, I try to steer clients to business as hours when possible and have a 1pm appointment today (as most of you have noticed, I don't swing hammers. I draw pictures, write contracts and gouge... mmm rrrr.. give pricing). I think the ideal would be to see everybody during business hours; however, reality dictates when you are working with home owners (and are not as successful as Mike) , off hours appointments are going to be part of the deal.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:00 AM   #52
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Re: Late Night Appointments


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So Mike, hypothetical situation. You haven't had work for a month. Your phone finally rings and this guy says he'll need to meet you on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Do you go?
I would have the same answer as Mike. The meeting times are going to be different depending on the work you do, and more importantly how "hands-on" you are in the physical part of the work, which normally is done during the day (and nights/weekends too in the shop ).

After the New Year, when I start advertising again, and am concentrating on smaller projects (cab/carp. work) as opposed to gc'ing larger projects, I'm sure I'll probably have to/want to be more flexible about appointment times, and what works best for the potential client and me.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:30 PM   #53
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Re: Late Night Appointments


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Don't do nights or weekends.
I have business hours, just like other business. If you need my services you need to see me during my business hours. I do however have my business phone transfered to my home after hours for that "Emergency".

Had a guy call on Good Friday, not knowing if it was an emergency I answered. He asks "Do we do replacement windows?" Yes we do I replied.
He then said "It's Good Friday, I have the day off and I'm home with my family."
I replied, "It's Good Friday, I have the day off and I'm home with my family too."
I told him I would be happy to have someone meet with him between 8am and 4pm on a week day. He settled for Monday morning at 8am.

Didn't get the job. He decided that it was cheaper to have the windows painted.
Since when is Good Friday a holiday?
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:30 AM   #54
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Re: Late Night Appointments


if go when its convenient for the customer. gotta be flexible,telling a potential customer you can't do weekends because thats when you spend quality time with the family sends a bad message. it tells me you are rigid and not a flexible guy. a businessman is on call 24/7. don't get me wrong,i draw a line.
i do appreciate you wanting to spend time with your family.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:10 PM   #55
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Re: Late Night Appointments


I think you need to be flexible to your customers needs. However, you need to set some limits. I tell my customers that they can call me anytime, day night or weekend and also add that if it may not be until 9-5 during the work week before I get back to them.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:19 PM   #56
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Re: Late Night Appointments


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a businessman is on call 24/7.
Bull Sh*t.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:11 PM   #57
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Re: Late Night Appointments


I do not ask my truck service guy to meet me after his hours.
I do not ask my Dr. to meet me after hours.
I do not ask the hardware store to be open for me after hours.
I do not ask my tool repair guy to meet me after hours.
I do not ask the food store to open for me after hours.
I do not ask my lawyer to meet me after hours.
I do not ask the local building permit department to be open after hours.

If they need to meet thier contractor after hours what do they do when they need their car fixed. Do they have a car repair shop open evenings and weekends?

After hours "emergency repairs" at time and a half.

Weekend "emergency repairs" at double time.

Take me or my staff away from their families after hours and it WILL cost the customer extra.

FAMILY TIME is important. My family comes first after hours.

I work to live not live to work.

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