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  1. #1

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    Another gem from Scotty. The art of saying "no" to a customer:





    One of the most difficult lessons of the detailing business is that you`re better of turning some jobs away. It`s a skill you learn in the transition from busy to profitable. Here`s 3 memorable examples.



    1. Wholesale car auction:



    I received a call from the manager of a local auction requesting that we begin reconditioning wholesale cars for them ASAP as they had heard good things about us from a mutual business contact. I met with the manager and from the get go it was obvious we were on a completely different page about pricing and turnaround time. He claimed he had 100 cars a month for us but these cars were in poor condition. He requested our best effort but understood the cars wouldn`t get the treatment that our retail customers received. His budget and expectations did not intersect. Add to that a 30-60 day wait for payment, and this was a big fish I tossed back into the sea.



    2. “Here`s my budget. Do the best you can."



    I had a very sweet older woman stop in the shop and inquire about our services for her badly neglected Ford Focus. After having a look together at her car and suggesting either a full interior shampoo or full detail due to the amount of time it would require to properly detail the car she asserted that she didn’t want to spend any money and this was merely a “treat” for her car as she hadn’t cleaned it in 5 years. Looking at our services list she picked our cheapest service and exclaimed “I’ll take that one”. The service she was requesting included nowhere near the amount of time it would require to even give her interior a proper vacuum and wipe down let alone leaving time for the car wash + windows included. This scenario is a no win situation. You either do a great job and “eat” the significant extra time and effort free of charge or try and whip through the job within the time constraint of what she is willing to pay and try and make it presentable. I know from experience that never works because despite a customer’s assurance of “do the best you can for X dollars and I’ll be happy” they rarely are and were the #1 source of complaints for me early on at my business when we would try and do what the customer wanted. I will usually either offer the correct service and if they don’t want it or can afford it refer them to the local drive through car wash that will tackle jobs like that cheap and avoid the headaches for myself. Bottom line: two adults rarely agree on the concept of "best effort."



    3. “No experience necessary”:



    I have at times been asked to do jobs that I really didn’t have the experience or training to properly handle. In these cases you “might” be able to turn out an acceptable result but most likely will spend an unacceptable amount of time for what you are being paid. Worse yet, you can damage your reputation by failing on an overly ambitious project. Customers will respect that you won’t tackle something you aren’t equipped or trained to handle and if the opportunity continues to present itself you can take the time to get training and proper equipment to ensure a satisfactory result. To illustrate this, we recently had to completely wet sand and polish a Maserati that had been improperly sanded by a body shop. The customer was furious and the body shop is now having their reputation tarnished all over the city every time that customer speaks of his experience with them. Lesson to be learned is don’t tackle jobs you shouldn’t be doing.



    Declining a job opportunity is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a continuation of an opportunity for an ongoing relationship. Use your refusal as a chance to describe what kind of work is a better fit, and be willing to make a reference to someone in your network who can fulfill their needs and return the referral in the future. Such a discussion might sound something like this, delivered via a phone call, e-mail or in a face-to-face meeting:



    “I’m sorry, but it looks like this job won’t be a good fit for us at this time. Let me refer you to another vendor (or two) that is in a better position to handle this (or has more expertise) and would be able to help you out with it.”



    There is a subtle art to delivering these words, especially in the midst of any critical negotiation with a new or long-term client. Be sincere, and remember that this will not be the last opportunity you will receive if your conversation goes well.



    Scott Perkin

    Owner: Scotty’s Shine Shop in London, Ontario.

    Original article on auto detailing business management.
    Robert Keppel

    Applied Colors

    "Profit More"

  2. #2
    Mobile Detailing Services justin30513's Avatar
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    I totally agree with all points. I know we hear "times are tough" but you still run YOUR business. I do not like to be taken advantage of or give work away for free.



    Thanks for this post. So much valuable information here.

  3. #3

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    BINGO!!!!!



    I turn down jobs all the time!



    My favorite one:



    guy calls me up asking how much to wetsand and wax his hood.

    I ask why it needs wetsanding

    he tells me he tried rubbing compound on it and it ruined the paint and he was told it needs to be sanded and waxed

    I told and explained the proper way to do things, how long it might take and everything else involved

    he told me he was told it would take about 10 minutes and should run about 50-60 bucks from someone else

    I laughed to myself and said "i`m obviously not the guy you are looking for". Try someone else, i wont touch it for less than XXX amount.

    he said thanks and hung up



    while I hate turning down jobs, Im not about to work for free either!

  4. #4
    CCH Auto Appearance, LLC C. Charles Hahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyotaguy
    BINGO!!!!!



    I turn down jobs all the time!



    My favorite one:



    guy calls me up asking how much to wetsand and wax his hood.

    I ask why it needs wetsanding

    he tells me he tried rubbing compound on it and it ruined the paint and he was told it needs to be sanded and waxed

    I told and explained the proper way to do things, how long it might take and everything else involved

    he told me he was told it would take about 10 minutes and should run about 50-60 bucks from someone else


    I laughed to myself and said "i`m obviously not the guy you are looking for". Try someone else, i wont touch it for less than XXX amount.

    he said thanks and hung up



    while I hate turning down jobs, Im not about to work for free either!


    : Where the hell do people get these bright ideas from?!
    Charlie
    Automotive Appearance Specialist - Serving Greater Lansing, Michigan
    http://www.cchautoappearance.com/

  5. #5
    Mobile Detailing Services justin30513's Avatar
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    Then I`d ask him why the heck didn`t he take it to that guy?

  6. #6

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    "How much to clean the front seats in my `92 Grand Am. I`m in Garland". Yeah, driving 65 mile round trip to clean two seats. No brainer to turn down.

    "Need my motorcycle washed, mostly fairing. I figure $15 is fair". He would have been a 90 mile round trip.



    Stupid stuff like that is easy, so are people who in the past haven`t paid promptly. Had an overspray job that turned out to be concrete on a single stage white, very badly faded mid 90s Civic. The TOL chemical for cement overspray is tinted green, I can see that turning out really well on faded white paint. Plus the owner of the car was a real nasty *****, mad at the company who got the cement on her car, so she was mad at me since I must work for the company if they sent me to look at the car. Ended up turning it down, didn`t want to chance staining the paint green, nor was I going to polish it out first for free (owner of the car was insisting I make it look factory new) and deal with such a nasty person.
    www.scottwax.com

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer

  7. #7
    Excellence Auto Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Murphy
    Then I`d ask him why the heck didn`t he take it to that guy?


    He probably thought $50 for 10 minutes work was outrageous and the guy on YouTube says you can do it yourself with products you probably already have in your garage!
    Abbotsford Auto Detailing in Abbotsford, BC, Canada

  8. #8
    Obsessive Compulsive Detailer Jngrbrdman's Avatar
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    I turn down jobs all the time. I`m not doing this to feed the family, so it is a luxury a hobby detailer can afford I guess, but some of these I would have turned down even if it was a full time gig. The money just has to be there for me to do a job. I`ve had customers with very large vehicles like an H2 who want it fully polished and perfected after 5 years of neglect and they don`t want to pay for my time. If someone is going to monopolize my time, then they are going to pay for that. There is value in being able to service multiple customers and generate more referral business, so taking my time for an entire day is going to cost you. If that isn`t acceptable, then I guess it`s not skin off my nose and I`ll fill my day with three other clients instead of one greedy one.



    I also turn down jobs when I know the customer has expectations which are not realistic. If the clear coat is gone and they are expecting it to look new when it is done, then I let them know what the reality is. If I know they are just going to make life difficult the whole process and not be happy and just cause me frustration, then I`ll just price it out of the market and let them know what to expect and hopefully they just go away. lol
    ~ ~ www.OCDetails.com ~ ~
    Faster isn`t better. BETTER is better no matter how long it takes.

  9. #9
    Driven WAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyotaguy
    My favorite one:



    guy calls me up asking how much to wetsand and wax his hood.

    I ask why it needs wetsanding

    he tells me he tried rubbing compound on it and it ruined the paint and he was told it needs to be sanded and waxed

    I told and explained the proper way to do things, how long it might take and everything else involved

    he told me he was told it would take about 10 minutes and should run about 50-60 bucks from someone else

    I laughed to myself and said "i`m obviously not the guy you are looking for". Try someone else, i wont touch it for less than XXX amount.

    he said thanks and hung up



    while I hate turning down jobs, Im not about to work for free either!
    People are interesting, to say the least.
    ... Because your vehicle deserves it too

  10. #10
    JAFO Junebug's Avatar
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    I think I have only passed on one, so far. It was a minivan that was owned by a good friend`s sister. She told me her nephews pick their noses and plant them around inside the van. Like MC Hammer said,"Can`t touch this"
    All I have in this world is my word, and my balls and I don`t break `em for no one, you understand?"

  11. #11

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    "I was told, that should just polish out" is my favorite, acting like it is a 10 min job. After years of explaining the proper way and rarely getting any where. It is now, this is the price. Take it or take it to someone else.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by salty
    "I was told, that should just polish out" is my favorite, acting like it is a 10 min job. After years of explaining the proper way and rarely getting any where. It is now, this is the price. Take it or take it to someone else.


    I just love it when doing an inspection on a car, the owner is saying "oh yeah, this will polish out" while rubbing the whole area with their hand.
    www.scottwax.com

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer

  13. #13
    Mobile Detailing Services justin30513's Avatar
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    I hate working on a car while the customer runs to his garage cabinet and gets his products and brags on them.



    Why the fook did you call me then????

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by salty
    "I was told, that should just polish out" is my favorite, acting like it is a 10 min job. After years of explaining the proper way and rarely getting any where. It is now, this is the price. Take it or take it to someone else.


    LMAO I had a woman come in once and tell me "my co-worker told me the scratches on my car can be buffed out - how much?". So we go out to look at her car and the "scratches" are right down to bare metal! I told her they couldn`t be repaired because the scratches were through the entire paint finish and would need to have the affected panels repainted. She looked at me and kept repeating "well my co-worker told me they could be buffed out". Just couldn`t get it through her head that the paint where the scratches were was GONE and there has to be something to actually polish out.

  15. #15
    JAFO Junebug's Avatar
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    Well get your co-worker to buff them out brainiac!
    All I have in this world is my word, and my balls and I don`t break `em for no one, you understand?"
    Likes DaveT435 liked this post

 

 
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