Who Gets Diy Calls From People - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Who Gets Diy Calls From People

 
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:44 AM   #1
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Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I get a few a week,anything from how do I cut clay tile ,or how do I change a tub,or some other bs.How do you guys deal with it?As for me,the answers vary from "do your own homework",to "how do I tell my wife I sat here all day giving free advice with-out earning a penny" or what I told the last guy "I don't know how to do that but I will send out someone who does".I try to be nice but it is damn insulting.Self serving,self centered,inconsiderate people.I mean ,people like that do you even take the time to educate them?I tried,I'm tired of trying.I believe theses are the same people that say"hey,you guys are all hurting for work,I'll let you fight over the scraps I'm throwing out".Nothing like getting 5 bids for a frickin $300. job, huh!Wow,I feel much gooder!
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Give them some 2 minute free advice...

www.craigslist.org or go to Casa Depot and pick out a few guys to help you...by the way what's your address? Send ICE for a looksie to see who's working the next day.

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Old 03-12-2009, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I don't get them like I used to, but some people used to call and ask to 'borrow' my ICF alignment system, sure $ 20,000.00 per week plus pick up and delivery.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


25 years ago, someone called for some advice on staining their fence. I spent maybe 3 minutes on the phone and told them my then favourite brand.
A year or so later, I got a call from a guy who wanted a fence. Turns out he was a friend of the first guy (never even took his name). The guy remembered my advice and reccomended me for the fence.
It's happened a hundred times since. I am always polite when people call, even when it's for work we don't do, like 10 ft of fence. You simply never know when (or how), it will come back to you.
To blow people off in an impolite or agressive manner can so easily blow up in your face. How would you know if they should decide they can't do it themsleves, or if they reccomend someone based on your help.
When someone asks for advice it's so easy to redirect them in a friendly way. That way, at least you haven't created bad feelings about your company.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Stone;

Your situation(s) are unusual, like welfare people breeding welfare people, cheap people looking for free advice buy the beer on sale this week, smoke the cheapest cigarettes or roll their own, a night on the town is a $ 3.00 mini meal split with their spouse than sit in lawnchairs outside the fenced area at a drive in and ASSOCIATE with other cheap people. JMHO
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #6
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I understand and appreciate your point stone.I try to be nice but as a plumber I get a lot of these diy calls and most are already in the process of the work and looking for a bail-out.These are not people considering doing the work themselves,they're already doing it.Hopefully that will clarify my position and my frustration.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:16 AM   #7
 
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Once a week or so usually. I go for the tech heavy detailed answer that befuddles them beyond belief:

1st off, this shows them they are way over their heads.
2nd, if shows you have knowledge of your job.
3rd, It shows you are willing to deal with them as a potential future contractor.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm lieing to them, just more along the lines of not forth coming with the easy advice. I feel, if I give them the easiest choice, I am doing myself and others in the industry a disservice by taking away work.

I'm of the belief of: "If you can't blind them with brillence, baffle them with bull sh!t."
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:22 AM   #8
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


[quote=Cdat;634042]Once a week or so usually. I go for the tech heavy detailed answer that befuddles them beyond belief:

1st off, this shows them they are way over their heads.
2nd, if shows you have knowledge of your job.
3rd, It shows you are willing to deal with them as a potential future contractor.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm lieing to them, just more along the lines of not forth coming with the easy advice. I feel, if I give them the easiest choice, I am doing myself and others in the industry a disservice by taking away work.

I'm of the belief of: "If you can't blind them with brillence, baffle them with bull sh!t."[/quote

I understand what you're saying,and that is a good approach for sure,and I do use that tactic for more technical repairs.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Mountain View Post
To blow people off in an impolite or agressive manner can so easily blow up in your face.
Absolutely, and they'll remember that even more than neutral lack of help.

I've had similar experiences. A little free advice creates warm fuzzies, and in many cases that free advice gets them to the point where they realize maybe getting a pro in is really the way to go. And since now they're already acquainted with a nice guy who does that sort of work...

But I do feel Threaderman's pain. We've all been there.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:25 AM   #10
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Johnson View Post
I don't get them like I used to, but some people used to call and ask to 'borrow' my ICF alignment system, sure $ 20,000.00 per week plus pick up and delivery.
I had a call last week from a guy who read my posts here, and wanted technical advice AND to ask if he could "borrow" my bracing.

It went like this: Do you have any ICF's going up right now? My answer: No. Can I borrow your bracing then? My answer: You are joking, right?
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #11
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Hey Tin,nice way to describe it,a neutral lack of help.That's exactly what I do unless I actually get an indication I stand a chance of getting work from it.My web-site does offer many helpful plumbing tips for those who look.I don't care about diy stuff,I care about the stuff that needs permitting,period.Leaky toilet,fix it yourself.New faucet ,do it yourself.Slab-leak,call me,wtr htr ,call me,gas lines repaired,call me.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:49 AM   #12
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


When I get these calls I always wanted to say "let me get some contact info first" "why" "I need to be able to send an invoice because like attorneys I also bill for my advice & time"
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I always try to turn it into a sale and usually can. Sir, Why would you spend a month of sundays doing your own painting when for $_____ it could be done in two days and off your honey do list?
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:42 AM   #14
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I do the same as Stone does. I spoke with an old colleague the other day about waht type of flooring he should use on his deck. I thought he was going to do it himself, anyway after giving him all the pros and cons, and procedures, he asked me come by and give him a quote.

Sometimes I get calls for stuff I don't do. I will always take a few minutes to tell them the best way to proceed.

I think it's a Canadian thing:

"If you ever turned a wrong number into a five minute conversation, you might be a Canadian."
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:58 AM   #15
 
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I have been aproached in the field several times. My thinking is similiar to that of Cdat's. Mostly trying to illustrate the worst case possibilities in a botched job long term.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:10 PM   #16
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I had a guy call me once, he was going to paint somebody's house and wanted to know what I'd charge so that he would know what to charge.

My answer was stunned silence. He kept asking if I was still there.

I should have told him to join CT and ask here!
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #17
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


I get emails and calls from people all the time who dont even live anywhere near me asking for advice on concrete countertops lol.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #18
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHandyman View Post
I had a guy call me once, he was going to paint somebody's house and wanted to know what I'd charge so that he would know what to charge.

My answer was stunned silence. He kept asking if I was still there.

I should have told him to join CT and ask here!
Thats funny right there lol.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:19 PM   #19
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHandyman View Post
I had a guy call me once, he was going to paint somebody's house and wanted to know what I'd charge so that he would know what to charge.

My answer was stunned silence. He kept asking if I was still there.

I should have told him to join CT and ask here!

I get these types of questions all the time from other contractors.

My answer when they ask me how much should they get "AS MUCH AS YOU CAN"
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:15 PM   #20
 
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Re: Who Gets Diy Calls From People


Quote:
Originally Posted by 6stringmason View Post
I get emails and calls from people all the time who dont even live anywhere near me asking for advice on concrete countertops lol.
I'm sure you do! Honestly, you're the only guy I know that does them -

and that's a great thing! You've got such a concentrated niche and I bet with the right plan, you could go at least very regionally with your work, perhaps even nationally.

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