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Strange Customers

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
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Strange Customers


I get a web site submission yesterday morning. It simply said they wish to get an estimate for a new kitchen. So I call her back within a couple hours of her inquiry. She asks if we give free estimates. I said yes of course we do but we also have to have a reasonable belief that the customer is really interested in a new kitchen.

Quite a few internet responses are just from lonely people just wanting conversation. They have no interest in buying anything. I know this but I did not say this to her. I wondered she was one of thee lonely people.

So she says all I need is a free estimate. So I tested her further. I asked her what her budget is. I said I ask this because I need to know if I should bring oak door samples or cherry door samples. She said she dont need any door samples. All she wants is a free estimate. At this point I knew she was a waste of time and just said thanks for calling but I am booked for weeks for estimates.

Would anyone handle this different? Would you go anyway?
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Strange Customers


Did she have any kind of accent?
Foreigner’s grammar is different than ours and may not be able to communicate
Or she was going to tie you up in her closet and make you her sex slave

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:27 PM   #3
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Re: Strange Customers


Sounds like a lonely oddball. Actually its kind of sad.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Strange Customers


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Originally Posted by festerized View Post
Did she have any kind of accent?
Foreigner’s grammar is different than ours and may not be able to communicate
Or she was going to tie you up in her closet and make you her sex slave
She spoke perfect English. I do know what you mean about accents and not understanding anything. This was not her though.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Strange Customers


When i used to repair appliances i meet more strange people doing that than any other trade. mainly because of doing 4-5 jobs a day and one time i turned upto a job and the guy had another employee from our company try and fix his appliance but he couldn't so they sent me. I turned up and they were an Indian couple. I walked in and all was fine then the woman slammed the door and locked me in the house with her and her husband he had a kosh in his hand and said i better fix this washing machine or i ain't leaving the house . At first i thought they were joking. Until i tried to go and get the rest of my tools and he went for me lol.
You never know what you are walking into when you goto some places.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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Re: Strange Customers


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When i used to repair appliances i meet more strange people doing that than any other trade. mainly because of doing 4-5 jobs a day and one time i turned upto a job and the guy had another employee from our company try and fix his appliance but he couldn't so they sent me. I turned up and they were an Indian couple. I walked in and all was fine then the woman slammed the door and locked me in the house with her and her husband he had a kosh in his hand and said i better fix this washing machine or i ain't leaving the house . At first i thought they were joking. Until i tried to go and get the rest of my tools and he went for me lol.
You never know what you are walking into when you goto some places.
What's a kosh?
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: Strange Customers


Main Entry: 1cosh
Pronunciation: \ˈkäsh\
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from Romany kaš, kašt stick, piece of wood
Date: 1869
chiefly British : a weighted weapon similar to a blackjack
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:16 AM   #8
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Re: Strange Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Cabinet View Post
I get a web site submission yesterday morning. It simply said they wish to get an estimate for a new kitchen. So I call her back within a couple hours of her inquiry. She asks if we give free estimates. I said yes of course we do but we also have to have a reasonable belief that the customer is really interested in a new kitchen.

Quite a few internet responses are just from lonely people just wanting conversation. They have no interest in buying anything. I know this but I did not say this to her. I wondered she was one of thee lonely people.

So she says all I need is a free estimate. So I tested her further. I asked her what her budget is. I said I ask this because I need to know if I should bring oak door samples or cherry door samples. She said she dont need any door samples. All she wants is a free estimate. At this point I knew she was a waste of time and just said thanks for calling but I am booked for weeks for estimates.

Would anyone handle this different? Would you go anyway?
In 5 years I can't recall ever getting a website generated inquiry from a lonely person, and you are saying you get quite a few, as in this is routine? I don't quite get it. But regardless, the answer to almost every situation like this is simply to keep asking questions until you have enough information to understand what is going on instead of being confused about it. Point blank, blunt, direct questions will usually give you key information so you know what is going on.

But, I'll be quite honest with you, my personal policy even if I did do free estimates would be to tell anybody who starts their conversation with you immediately by inquiring if you do free estimates, would be to say no.

I mean talk about a poker tell!

Ring, ring...

Hello this is XYZ contracting, may I help you?

DO YOU GIVE FREE ESTIMATES????????????????????



Esentially to me that is like walking up to a woman in a bar and the first words out of your mouth are Do you swallow????????????
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:29 AM   #9
 
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Re: Strange Customers


Quote:
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Esentially to me that is like walking up to a woman in a bar and the first words out of your mouth are Do you swallow????????????
Wait... are you saying I've been using the wrong opening line all these years?
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:07 AM   #10
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Re: Strange Customers


Quote:
I said yes of course we do but we also have to have a reasonable belief that the customer is really interested in a new kitchen.
Your response goes "directly for the throat" You might consider "softening" your reply to her free estimate question. Your example focuses on what's in it for you and tells the customer you are more interested in making money than you are her project. Instead, concentrate on what's in it for the customer. Show her you care.

(The girl in Mike's imaginary bar might provide the desired result with some wine and a little sweet talk first.)

In the case of the customer, draw them out. "So, you're thinking about getting a new kitchen. That's very exciting! What's important to you about having a new kitchen, what kinds of things will your new kitchen have that your old kitchen doesn't?"

Actually listen to their answer, compliment her in a congratulatory tone and ask for more. "Oh, that sounds great, so you've never had a dishwasher? Won't that be nice for you. What else do you want?"

If you do this, she'll forget about her hard stance on price, because you are the only guy that cares about her needs, everybody else she has called said, "What, you think I'm stupid? I'm not giving you a free estimate without a commitment up front!" ....At least that's what she heard.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
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Re: Strange Customers


I went to check on a re pointing job years ago. This guy designed his entire foyer/living room to like a forest. The walls were painted as a forest scene. There were tree branches full of leaves hanging from the walls and ceilings all over the place.

Really strange.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:06 AM   #12
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Re: Strange Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
When i used to repair appliances i meet more strange people doing that than any other trade. mainly because of doing 4-5 jobs a day and one time i turned upto a job and the guy had another employee from our company try and fix his appliance but he couldn't so they sent me. I turned up and they were an Indian couple. I walked in and all was fine then the woman slammed the door and locked me in the house with her and her husband he had a kosh in his hand and said i better fix this washing machine or i ain't leaving the house . At first i thought they were joking. Until i tried to go and get the rest of my tools and he went for me lol.
You never know what you are walking into when you goto some places.
Now that I know what a kosh, or cosh, is, I'd like to know the rest of the story.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:31 AM   #13
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Re: Strange Customers


Maybe they wanted a sex slave Eeeww yuck. Can't believe I said that.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:21 AM   #14
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Re: Strange Customers


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Now that I know what a kosh, or cosh, is, I'd like to know the rest of the story.
Lol ended up with me sitting in a police car outside whilst he was getting his busted face sorted out in the back of a ambulance and their top galzing hanging out the door. I didnt get charged because i told them i was being held hostage. They ended up in more trouble than i did. My Boss then called to see how the job went and i said you knew this was gonna happen didnt you. Thats why you sent me. I found out the boss sent me because i didnt know what these people were like and i wouldnt have gone in the house otherwise. The crazy thing was i really was going to get the tools to fix the machine.


Mellison i know what you mean with that seen that a few times but not just walls painted but rooms full of plants.

I went to a place and every single room was full to the ceiling with boxes. There was only one room that had any space to move and it stunk of weed and looked like a crack house bedroom. But the best part was i had to run heating pipes under every floor . Man that dude was weird about me moving his boxes. He was like a rat and checked every box i moved to make sure the stuff was still in there
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:14 AM   #15
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Re: Strange Customers


BC, you almost make me miss the good ol' days when hardly a week went by without some sort of fight breaking out on construction jobs.... "almost".
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:53 PM   #16
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Re: Strange Customers


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BC, you almost make me miss the good ol' days when hardly a week went by without some sort of fight breaking out on construction jobs.... "almost".

I used to do a lot of site work back when i was a plumber and there was always arguments between the trades which turned into fisty cuffs. I wernt a typical grumpy plumber so it was never me who got into them but sparkys were the next worst for moaning then the painters lol. Im gald i don't work on site anymore but they was some good times.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:19 PM   #17
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Re: Strange Customers


I posted this last year about an odd customer....

I had a call the other day.Guy wants we to come give him an estimate on a bathroom remodel.Ok fine.I set up a time,the next day at 3:00.He calls me two more times in the next half hour by mistake...No biggie.
Later on in the day he calls again and says "You're going to be here tonight at 5:00 right.".I remind him that we agreed on tomorrow at 3:00..

Ok so tomorrow comes and it is around 1:00.I am getting ready to pick my daughter up from school when the phone rings...
"Hi it's Mr. Crazy customer.My wife and I are at CostCo....",I think "Great he is going to postpone"...So he says "My wife has to go somewhere right now.Can you come pick me up?"
I told him my insurance doesn't cover passengers.


He was actually a nice guy.Late 50's,just kind of strange.Nice house.
Made me put plastic grocery bags over my boots.He had old HARDWOOD floors.
He really had no idea what he wanted done or what kind of costs where involved.I did my best to sell him and sent them a bid.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:20 PM   #18
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Re: Strange Customers


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...Esentially to me that is like walking up to a woman in a bar and the first words out of your mouth are Do you swallow????????????

I agree, a bit offensive. He'd be better with an opening line such as, "if you get pregnant tonight, what are we going to name the kid?"

... worked well for me
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:37 PM   #19
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Re: Strange Customers


Was recommended to look at a tile issue. Nice neighborhood, gated. The guy was very likeable, with a thick Jersey accent (in the deep south, ever seen My Cousin Vinny? "Yeah, you blend.") He was a relaxed, friendly guy.

This house oozed money, thick pile white carpets, some rooms had carpeted walls and ceilings. The movie theatre (next door to the refreshment counter with popcorn maker and candy display) was a giant tiki hut with bamboo doors and grass ceiling. There was a lot going on in this house.

The bathroom was.. unique. The heated bench in the shower was kind of original. The whole room was octagonal and it had a peaked roof, like a castle tower. The ceiling was fiber optic. It had moon, planets, stars, comets painted all twilight purple that lit up with fiber optics. The whole house very well appointed in an interesting way.

I've seen the air conditioned tree house before, the suspended rope bridge to the private island bungalow, the handcarved angel doors thing, but nothing quite like this house. It was his own vision of what he wanted. Interesting. I did not get to see in the garage but I know there was something really nice in there.

Turns out he made his money in online ****. Just wanted you to know he is putting your money to good use...
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:22 PM   #20
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Re: Strange Customers


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Was recommended to look at a tile issue. Nice neighborhood, gated. The guy was very likeable, with a thick Jersey accent (in the deep south, ever seen My Cousin Vinny? "Yeah, you blend.") He was a relaxed, friendly guy.

This house oozed money, thick pile white carpets, some rooms had carpeted walls and ceilings. The movie theatre (next door to the refreshment counter with popcorn maker and candy display) was a giant tiki hut with bamboo doors and grass ceiling. There was a lot going on in this house.

The bathroom was.. unique. The heated bench in the shower was kind of original. The whole room was octagonal and it had a peaked roof, like a castle tower. The ceiling was fiber optic. It had moon, planets, stars, comets painted all twilight purple that lit up with fiber optics. The whole house very well appointed in an interesting way.

I've seen the air conditioned tree house before, the suspended rope bridge to the private island bungalow, the handcarved angel doors thing, but nothing quite like this house. It was his own vision of what he wanted. Interesting. I did not get to see in the garage but I know there was something really nice in there.

Turns out he made his money in online ****. Just wanted you to know he is putting your money to good use...
Online **** or not, I can't come up with any excuse for any human being carpeting the ceiling!

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