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FairfaxGC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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Carpe Diem
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Late night appointments didn't seem to have affected Tiger :laughing:

I have made appointments up to 8pm. Do what you've got to do!
 

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Working
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SCREW that I try and have lunch with most clients. I don't like to interupt my home time with the fam. Most people are happy to have lunch a little time away from the cubicle.
 

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Many of us are on call (or in my case was on call) 24/7. The suckyest time for me was about 2am Christmas day one year, a family's hot water heater burst. We where there when the kids got up. Well, we probably woke them up with noise, but they came running down stairs all excited only to find the carpet and pad ripped up and about 4 men working. Yeah it sucked big time, but gotta do what you gotta do. Not even mentioning my own family.
 

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Last 2 basement projects I've done, both clients had to meet after 8pm due to family/work obligations. Sure sucked leaving my 3 month old at home with the wife complaining I just got home from a 12 hr day now i'm leaving again. But it also puts food on the table.

I dont like late night appointments, but you do what you gotta do. Was I as sharp at 8pm as I would have been at lunch or even at 4pm? I'm sure I wasnt.
 

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If possible, I'll try and do it on the weekend. I hate going on evening calls, but like many have said, you gotta do whatever it takes.

Also, I'll try to cover as much ground as possible via email or phone, so when you do go to the meeting, it is as short as possible. ie. sign here, give me the cheque. :thumbup:
 

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Banned
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I can appreciate you gotta do what you gotta do. But I think there is a difference between what we have to do and what we 'think' we have to do.

The latest appointment I've ever made with a customer in 4-5 years is 5:30 and I've never met with a single customer on the weekend. For the most part I rarely will meet with a customer after 4:00pm or before 8:30 am. I don't say this to try to be a jerk, but what I know is that almost 100% of people can make time to meet with you if you just say no and tell them you work 9 to 5.

I'm sure I've missed a couple of leads over the years but they have been so few they don't stick out. I start giving them alternatives if they can't meet right off the bat. If they have a hard time getting out of work early to meet, I'll suggest a lunch time meeting at their house, if that doesn't work I just ask them what day could they meet and they will always come up with a day that works. Maybe it's 8 days later, but that's fine with me. I just have no desire to get home at 10:00 pm for the sake of remodeling another bathroom.

I think most of us are just scared to say no. Learning to say no can be a very liberating experience.
 

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The Deck Guy
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Mike is right on with that.

It's a whole philosophy of who's in control. The more you let a prospective client think YOU are at their beckoned call, the worse off you are.

It's MUCH, MUCH easier to control a project when YOU have established yourself as THE professional in charge from the instant they make contact with you.

These people who can't make time to meet with you at a normal hour... Do they ask their doctor to stay open late? Do they ask the mechanic to work on Saturdays?

Clients ask me all the time "Do you work on Saturdays?" and I always say "No, why would I...it's the weekend. We work during the week." Never had a problem.

I actually prefer to meet with people on Saturdays because I can make the rounds more efficiently than doing it during the week.
 

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Finley, thats a great point you just made.
I seem to always be making time to meet with potential customers on their terms, always worried they'll move on to the next contractor if I'm not available.

I think the balance of work/family is a huge problem for most of us, and your post just helped me realize 90% of my problem with that. Thanks haha.
 

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Average Joe
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I just have no desire to get home at 10:00 pm for the sake of remodeling another bathroom.

I think most of us are just scared to say no. Learning to say no can be a very liberating experience.
:notworthy 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...:rolleyes:"

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 ! :w00t:.....NO! :mad:

Don't get lost in all of that...if you're important, people will wait :thumbsup:
 

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Wow! Just because I choose to accomodate my client for a 7pm (not 10pm) meeting does not make me desperate.

I'm simply being courteous. And no ****eating grin on my face !!!!

Believe it or not, courtesy and good manners go a long way.

And I'm pretty much booked for 2010, at my price, so it must be working.

And I provide Bentley level work without the attitude.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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I agree with Kato, just because you meet on weekends and nights does not make you look desperate. Lately I've been doing my meetings late or Sundays and working Saturdays.

Its not like I tell people "OMG I'l be there tonight I'm so desperate for the worK" its more like "I'm stupid busy but I can meet at night when I'm not busy working".

If I had children things would probably be different, but at the moment I find that running my own little business requires a heck of alot of effort, and my time is best spent working with my guys on projects during the day them meeting with clients afterwords.

I can see the day that I have a team of guys doing the work for me and I can just do admit work and russel up jobs during the day but my business has not grown to that point.

I think there is a happy middle ground, don't bend over backwards for someone or they will take advantage. But at the same time don't get too cocky.
 

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Average Joe
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1,209 Posts
Wow! Just because I choose to accomodate my client for a 7pm (not 10pm) meeting does not make me desperate.

I'm simply being courteous. And no ****eating grin on my face !!!!

Believe it or not, courtesy and good manners go a long way.

And I'm pretty much booked for 2010, at my price, so it must be working.

And I provide Bentley level work without the attitude.
You have an attitude...so called courteous and good mannered...whatever that means to you. Everyone has an attitude, to set it straight we're talking about work attitude/ethics/principles.

You call 7.p.m. estimates "courteous". How's that courteous? Like another poster mentioned, will your doctor stay 2 hours late to serve you? Will your mechanic? So the world is filled with inconsiderate people?

Shop closes @ 5 p.m., starts at 7/8 a.m. That's a min 9hr day. How many shifts are you working? Are you running the business or is the business running you? Fully booked for the next year!

I guess different people have different measures of success. I'm successful when I can control my time and fee.

I didn't mean to disrespect you, much success to you :thumbsup:
 

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Scooter
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I can be courteous and have good manners and still set appts with prospects "during" the work day.

Its kinda funny now that I look back on it. When I first opened my doors I would meet a prospect anytime, anywhere, anyday. I got some work with decent profit margins. Now I will work with the customer to a degree to get the appt set, but it will be during the work day. Sometimes I have had appts set out as far as 2 weeks. I just make sure to firm up every appt the day before with a phone call.

Now that I have changed the way I handle appts. it's quite a funny thing, I am very busy and my profit margins are alot larger.:whistling Maybe it's relative maybe it's not. It boils down to...........

Choose whats right and works for you and your business:thumbsup:
 

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Banned
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Wow! Just because I choose to accomodate my client for a 7pm (not 10pm) meeting does not make me desperate.

I'm simply being courteous. And no ****eating grin on my face !!!!

Believe it or not, courtesy and good manners go a long way.

And I'm pretty much booked for 2010, at my price, so it must be working.

And I provide Bentley level work without the attitude.
You can be just as courteous, have just as good manners, be booked to 2010 at your price and still set the hours you want to set.

If you enjoy meeting at 7Pm, go for it. The point is that you probably don't have to.

If your DNA make up makes you believe you must not set your own hours, then so be it.

But let's us also admit that it doesn't work the other way either. You aren't more professional or anything else just because you work 12-15 hour days instead of 8 hr days.

The argument would be much easier to make that someone is more successful who is courteous, has good manners, is booked for 2010 at their price and only works 9-5 or 40 hours a week, don't you think?

I understand where you are coming from, a lot of us don't believe we deserve a high quality of life just because we work with our hands. Many of us in the home improvement industry wear our work ethic like a badge on our chests... and it goes right along with everything that comes with it, the broken marriages, the missed kids sporting events, the high blood pressure, the broken body of a 60 year old when you are only 40...
 

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You gotta think brother, customers work all day too and they dont get home til round that time so they have to make appointments that late or on weekends. I dont know bout you but I'm open 24/7. That money they are gonna pay you for the late appointment spends just the same as money made from an appointment at 3pm. Get er done brother.
 

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The Finisher
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1,396 Posts
I can appreciate you gotta do what you gotta do. But I think there is a difference between what we have to do and what we 'think' we have to do.

The latest appointment I've ever made with a customer in 4-5 years is 5:30 and I've never met with a single customer on the weekend. For the most part I rarely will meet with a customer after 4:00pm or before 8:30 am. I don't say this to try to be a jerk, but what I know is that almost 100% of people can make time to meet with you if you just say no and tell them you work 9 to 5.

I'm sure I've missed a couple of leads over the years but they have been so few they don't stick out. I start giving them alternatives if they can't meet right off the bat. If they have a hard time getting out of work early to meet, I'll suggest a lunch time meeting at their house, if that doesn't work I just ask them what day could they meet and they will always come up with a day that works. Maybe it's 8 days later, but that's fine with me. I just have no desire to get home at 10:00 pm for the sake of remodeling another bathroom.

I think most of us are just scared to say no. Learning to say no can be a very liberating experience.
Mike, do you find that your usually the last contractor they have scheduled to see, because of this practice?

I'm trying to find a way to be the last in the door, without advertising "Call us last for the best price".. I've found that I sell at a much higher clip when I'm the last person they see. Any ideas Mike?
 
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