Here at Lagler we’ve handed out years and years’ worth of wordy advice about the consultancy process when quoting for jobs, and how crucial it is to the end result (i.e.- getting paid).
What you do and don’t tell a customer when offering your services will always come back to haunt you, for better or worse.
Also, some customers are simply better to deal with than others. We can’t play psychologists, or be as skilled as those criminal profilers on TV dramas (like that dude who reads body language, that’s especially cool). However, there are also some red flags to look out for at the very first point of contact.
BEFORE THE QUOTE:
– Do they expect you to meet them out of acceptable business hours, especially on a weekend when you should be with your family? Think about what else they may expect.
– Do they dote over their dogs? Seriously, it’s an issue. The first scratch may be blamed on you.
– Are you providing a quote to a third party, a proxy, or other, or are you dealing direct with the homeowner or primary stakeholder?
– Do they baulk at paying a deposit (presuming you charge deposits. If not, you should…) ?
– Have they been derogatory or unreasonably critical of other/ previous tradespeople? Are you privvy to the full story?
DURING THE JOB:
– Are they following you around? Tell them to go away and let you do your job, politely, of course. One contractor recently had the homeowner follow him around. Every scratch and emission of dust was queried, argued and discussed. The job took three days longer than it needed to.
– Do they change their minds about gloss level or stain colours? They’re likely to change their mind about paying you…