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Old 07-21-2020, 03:51 PM
T.R.MacMunn T.R.MacMunn is offline
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Default "Difficult" customers.....

Yesterday, I installed a sign that I was close to "walking" on. My customer, although quite enthused with my concept drawing, was balking at giving me a deposit unless I gave her a firm price. The sign was not the issue .... the hanger bracket was, since I had no idea what was there to bolt to. She was frustrating me, & I, her.

So, I decided to give it one more shot, & drove the 40 minutes there, drawing book in hand. With her watching, I drew out what her bracket needed to look like, bracing & mounting wise, & explained that I could not, & would not, mount the bracket up there unless I knew what I was bolting to, & was satisfied that whatever was there would take the weight & the wind load.

This is an old building, & they are new owners, so as I explained to her how this steel hanger needed to spread the forces out, it became obvious that she then understood why I couldn't give her a firm price until I was confident that , short of a category 3 hurricane, the sign would stay there.

THEN, she understood. Immediately, she handed me a cash deposit, & we were up & running.

The point of this post? Sometimes it takes a little "one on one" explanation of how things need to be, to convince a customer that you know what you're doing. Many have been hoodwinked by dishonest contractors, & you may need to work a bit to earn their trust. This one job is up, & a second "in the works" ..... no more distrust.
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:29 PM
NorthernWI NorthernWI is offline
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Interesting lesson and thanks for sharing it. It reminds me of my own experiences with customers and trust.

Years ago, after working with a variety of organizations (large global enterprises all the way down to "mom and pop" shops) I found my ideal client. It turns out my ideal clients were in fact the smaller businesses frequently ignored by my competition. Sure, some of these accounts required handholding and plenty of one-on-one explanations but once I became the "trusted adviser" they were loyal and a repeat customer. Future consultations became brief phone calls, proposals were single-page letters or even just a handshake, repeat work became a phone call I'd just get, and I found I still enjoyed what I was doing. These customers appreciated my work/skills and, as an added bonus, they paid their bills without the hassles of "Net 30" which can really mean "Net 90+"
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:30 PM
Jim Becker Jim Becker is offline
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So nice to see that one finished and hung!

And yea...it really is important to know certain things before settling on a price. Good advice!
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:21 AM
guitarwes guitarwes is offline
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Great sign and great story. Most folks just plain don't understand all the interworkings of every aspect that comes with start to finish on custom work.
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Old 07-23-2020, 02:52 PM
drummerjg drummerjg is offline
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Not sure which I liked more, the sign or the lesson. Both are awesome however!
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:53 PM
Bob Walters Bob Walters is offline
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Now if you could only keep some dumba$$ truck driver from backing into it....

That is an awesome sign, I am going to try that modern masters paint on my next one.
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