Here is why telling clients you are a one man operation is a bad Idea. | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Here is why telling clients you are a one man operation is a bad Idea.

Prosteam-sonomacounty

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Mike this is where having a good network plays a strong role in getting more business also. I'm doing a tile&grout repair tomorrow. When I booked the job she and her husband asked if I knew a good stucco guy. So not only were they confident in me but also those that I refer to them for other services.

It's a win win, I'm able to help out someone with more work, I'm able to help a homeowner with a need and build trust and confidence.
Always be careful about who you refer to your clients...
 

jtsunbrite

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So I was called to do a bid for a large job for a wealthy prospect, A residential home needing service for a lot of terrazzo and some other crap. (Yep said that)... Keepin it classy per the new rulz... Anywho So I am there to bid against none other then howard partridges crew of border hoppers (yep said that), Gotta keep it politically cowreckt, So I did a walk through in this multi million dollar mansion in the wealthiest neighborhood in Houston, was told price was of little concern and that his concern was to not damage surround areas and carpets, I told him that would not be a problem and submitted my bid to match Clean as a thistle because this client we will call him "The Brain" for reasons I wont go into, has already rubbed me as being a complete pain in the ass like most super wealthy clients are... It is a significant amount of money and the work involved is tricky due to stupid decisions made by The Brain during his purchase and renovation of the home. With that he tells me he will get everything in order and confirm a day monday (today) So I call him in the afternoon....

Me: Hello sir this is john from blah blah calling to touch base about the work you need done.

The Brain: "Oh yes well we decided to use the other guy because your price was the same as the other company and you are a one man operation and you dont have insurance"

:mad::mad::mad::mad::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:

At this point I am fuming mad because this Chicken sucker made a dumb ass assumption that No one man company could possibly be insured, and I had to catch my breath for a second and I calmly explain to him that no legitimate floor cleaning company operates without insurance and that I do in fact have a multi million dollar liability policy, I also explained to him that I have a huge leg up on his other bidder because I do higher quality work then they do...

Guess what he did next....

He tells me the price is too high....

But sir you just said you were going to use the other company at the same price?

I tell him I will cut him a break and to give me a price he is comfortable with, he says " I will look it over" and get back to you....:poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:


Funny thing is the competition who is bidding against me doesnt really do good work on custom floors at all I have been around houston long enough to see many stone jobs they have seriously screwed up....

I have always wondered if it was a mistake to let on that you are an owner/operator and this proves to me that it is in fact a bad idea...It also confirms the fact that rich people are absolute pricks....
Sounds like the typical Houston home owner who has a little money, you did what you were supposed to do, the other guys probably did a little better sales job. Im in Houston too as you know and I have bid against tons of companies in the past. Always say we, but also say that you will handle the work personally to make sure you get the best job ever. I usually walk the job with the home owner as you did but I will look for areas of concern and ask him what areas concern him. I will walk to a window and say stuff like once this travertine is polished it will look like a million bucks from this view and the room will flow with a highly polished shine. I go thru the process and the prep work, I will mention the quality chems and machines that I will use and ill sketch the room layouts for the bid if I am emailing a bid to him and ill take before pics ,,generally I get an email addy from them so I can shoot him a detailed bid....
When we sale our services we are selling ourselves first to them and putting their minds at ease.
We strive for total perfection so you have years of enjoyment out of your Polished FLoors!
then I talk to them about a maintenance program to keep the floor in top shape.

You will learn to read customers as you go in this business, most important is to get them talking about what they want and don't want and what they expect the more they talk the more they will trust you

good luck
 

MikeGaure

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Always be careful about who you refer to your clients...
I always let my custys know if they have an issue to also let me know..

Definitely will deal with someone who doesn't treat a referral properly. Fortunately we don't do business with chumps only like minded businesses.

Man there are even folks in my bni group that I just won't refer, thankfully some have been kicked out :D:blackeye::punch:
 

jtsunbrite

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That's not always true.

All customers call us with a problem they need fixed, or they wouldn't call.

If you can gain a customers trust you assure them you can fix their problems by a specific process with specific expected results you will be fine.

Between the "before you start" time and the time you actually start, if you cant resolve their problem you are screwed. But if you can, you will gain a long time customer, as long as you do exactly as you promised.

I'm not sure if that makes sense the way I described.
you did fine
 

john gerding

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his guy wanted to hear nothing except "Yes sir" He was one of those that "doesnt care" You know the type they dont care what it looks like until the end of the job and then the demon comes out....He didnt want to hear any explanations why, he didnt want to know the correct way to do the floor, he didnt want to hear anything except " there willl be 0 damage done to your house" I felt like he was rushing me out the door as soon a s I got there.
 

Ryankettering

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I don't see a problem with being honest with a customer about being one man. There are many benefits to working with an owner operator or "owner on every job" type of company.

Also I know you were being pressured, but never drop your price. And if you must drop to a lower price point than make sure you take something away. Also always come in with a higher price at that point to give 3 options.

If you are insured (hopefully you are) than you could just send him over a copy of your insurance.

At the end of the day he still had interest otherwise he wouldn't have taken your call. This one was closable, but it may not have been a good customer anyway by the sound of him.
 

Prosteam-sonomacounty

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I don't see a problem with being honest with a customer about being one man. There are many benefits to working with an owner operator or "owner on every job" type of company.

Also I know you were being pressured, but never drop your price. And if you must drop to a lower price point than make sure you take something away. Also always come in with a higher price at that point to give 3 options.

If you are insured (hopefully you are) than you could just send him over a copy of your insurance.

At the end of the day he still had interest otherwise he wouldn't have taken your call. This one was closable, but it may not have been a good customer anyway by the sound of him.
Yup. The advantages by far outweigh the potential downfalls...
I scream it from the rooftops.... Been nothing but positivity
 
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Spotless Flooring

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So I was called to do a bid for a large job for a wealthy prospect, A residential home needing service for a lot of terrazzo and some other crap. (Yep said that)... Keepin it classy per the new rulz... Anywho So I am there to bid against none other then howard partridges crew of border hoppers (yep said that), Gotta keep it politically cowreckt, So I did a walk through in this multi million dollar mansion in the wealthiest neighborhood in Houston, was told price was of little concern and that his concern was to not damage surround areas and carpets, I told him that would not be a problem and submitted my bid to match Clean as a thistle because this client we will call him "The Brain" for reasons I wont go into, has already rubbed me as being a complete pain in the ass like most super wealthy clients are... It is a significant amount of money and the work involved is tricky due to stupid decisions made by The Brain during his purchase and renovation of the home. With that he tells me he will get everything in order and confirm a day monday (today) So I call him in the afternoon....

Me: Hello sir this is john from blah blah calling to touch base about the work you need done.

The Brain: "Oh yes well we decided to use the other guy because your price was the same as the other company and you are a one man operation and you dont have insurance"

:mad::mad::mad::mad::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:

At this point I am fuming mad because this Chicken sucker made a dumb ass assumption that No one man company could possibly be insured, and I had to catch my breath for a second and I calmly explain to him that no legitimate floor cleaning company operates without insurance and that I do in fact have a multi million dollar liability policy, I also explained to him that I have a huge leg up on his other bidder because I do higher quality work then they do...

Guess what he did next....

He tells me the price is too high....

But sir you just said you were going to use the other company at the same price?

I tell him I will cut him a break and to give me a price he is comfortable with, he says " I will look it over" and get back to you....:poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:


Funny thing is the competition who is bidding against me doesnt really do good work on custom floors at all I have been around houston long enough to see many stone jobs they have seriously screwed up....

I have always wondered if it was a mistake to let on that you are an owner/operator and this proves to me that it is in fact a bad idea...It also confirms the fact that rich people are absolute pricks....
No one group of people are all one way. Not all carpet cleaners ruin carpet, gun carriers are killers, and not all wealthy people are "absolute pricks".

I can see how that situation can be irritating. Something I heard from one of my great mentors though is that you must discipline your disappointment.

Last night I wrote a blog about a client experience. It wasn't until I wrote it that I realized how much crap I deal with that I don't like dealing with. But that just goes to show how much I don't let it get to me during the day. I didn't even realized all of it had happened until I wrote it down. Maybe you should start a blog about your experiences. It may help you get out some of that frustration.
 
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Spotless Flooring

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I don't get it. You give me the choice to go to a franchise or a 1 man shop to Have my oil changed I'll take the 1 man shop every time.
I know hourly employees give much less of a crap than the owner
I've given opportunity to local shops and they tend to disappoint. The bigger companies have provided me better experiences. I do hear the opposite quite often "Thats why we use you because your small business and a veteran."

Just sayin, small guys don't do better more often in my experiences.
 

Prosteam-sonomacounty

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No one group of people are all one way. Not all carpet cleaners ruin carpet, gun carriers are killers, and not all wealthy people are "absolute pricks".

I can see how that situation can be irritating. Something I heard from one of my great mentors though is that you must discipline your disappointment.

Last night I wrote a blog about a client experience. It wasn't until I wrote it that I realized how much crap I deal with that I don't like dealing with. But that just goes to show how much I let it get to me during the day. I didn't even realized all of it had happened until I wrote it down. Maybe you should start a blog about your experiences. It may help you get out some of that frustration.
I think it depends on yer brand.
When I was a low priced guy,..I hated rich people. They had huge homes and wanted to pull my pants down on the price.
The problem was, even though they were rich, they had a fuked up mentality.
Nowadays I love rich clients but my brand is such that it only attracts those that want quality.
It's a mindset , I think that people are running into when they don't build their brand as well as they can
 

john gerding

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No one group of people are all one way. Not all carpet cleaners ruin carpet, gun carriers are killers, and not all wealthy people are "absolute pricks".

I can see how that situation can be irritating. Something I heard from one of my great mentors though is that you must discipline your disappointment.

Last night I wrote a blog about a client experience. It wasn't until I wrote it that I realized how much crap I deal with that I don't like dealing with. But that just goes to show how much I don't let it get to me during the day. I didn't even realized all of it had happened until I wrote it down. Maybe you should start a blog about your experiences. It may help you get out some of that frustration.
All the same I would rather deal with middle income people all day every day.... I did write a blog your reading it....
 

john gerding

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I've given opportunity to local shops and they tend to disappoint. The bigger companies have provided me better experiences. I do hear the opposite quite often "Thats why we use you because your small business and a veteran."

Just sayin, small guys don't do better more often in my experiences.
Are you serious? :confused: Read that statement back to yourself and think about it for a second... So you are telling me that stanley steamer and sears do better work then you and me? poppy cock!

Bigger SERVICE companies are NEVER better....
 

Ed Cruz

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Its just absolutely stupid that people are so clueless that they think bigger companies do better work then the little guy when we all know it is exactly the opposite....You have to jump through hoops and pretend to be that which you despise the most.....
John it was just one customer...."gotta have a short memory in business. Let the other company have that dude. I wouldn't even want to work for someone like that. The good thing about being an O/O is since it's just you and maybe a couple helpers you don't need to get em all.
 

Ryankettering

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Are you serious? :confused: Read that statement back to yourself and think about it for a second... So you are telling me that stanley steamer and sears do better work then you and me? poppy cock!

Bigger SERVICE companies are NEVER better....
actually for most jobs they probably are. they properly communicate with the customer, they follow up leads, they remind customer that they are due for service...

I tend to agree that we should take a page from the big guys in many areas.. the big guys didn't get big (or stay that way) with out doing what they do well. I don't mean copying everything... but I mean just looking at what they do and what you can do better and what they do that makes sense that you can take and do better.

missing phone calls, poor follow up, bad tempers at times, no real consistent process are things that I see many small guys doing wrong that big guys are pretty good at. I'm guilty of this too.. so I am not talking down to anyone.. just making observation.
 

shane deubell

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Quick turnaround too, most established owner operators cant turn around a job same day or even next day unless its small.
Might not matter as much for stone but for carpet a lot of buyers want quicker scheduling.

Agree with ryan that most cleaners focus on cleaning but thats only half the job. Other half is communicating with people quickly, showing up not looking like slob, dirty equipment and the way you talk to people, etc, etc.
 

john gerding

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Quick turnaround too, most established owner operators cant turn around a job same day or even next day unless its small.
Might not matter as much for stone but for carpet a lot of buyers want quicker scheduling.

Agree with ryan that most cleaners focus on cleaning but thats only half the job. Other half is communicating with people quickly, showing up not looking like slob, dirty equipment and the way you talk to people, etc, etc.
But thats exactly what the big guys are doing.... Try reading some reviews.... In houston stanley steemer, sears, and coit all have a base and they have the worst reputations of all the companies in houston. their techs are mostly wannabe gang bangers and their vehicles look like crap, with the exception of coit who keeps a clean image but never the less all 3 only have one focus, UPSALE and be gone in less then an hour to the next job.... How can anyone possibly say these guys are BETTER then an owner operator? They are scammers with good advertising and they have just as many operation problems as any owner operator...
 

Spotless Flooring

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But thats exactly what the big guys are doing.... Try reading some reviews.... In houston stanley steemer, sears, and coit all have a base and they have the worst reputations of all the companies in houston. their techs are mostly wannabe gang bangers and their vehicles look like crap, with the exception of coit who keeps a clean image but never the less all 3 only have one focus, UPSALE and be gone in less then an hour to the next job.... How can anyone possibly say these guys are BETTER then an owner operator? They are scammers with good advertising and they have just as many operation problems as any owner operator...
Earlier, when I mentioned bigger companies doing better I was not talking about carpet cleaning. It is one niche that we small O/O do much better at when it comes to deliver, customer service, and so on. You are right in the field of carpet cleaning. I was not talking about service companies though because I don't have much experience with other service companies.

I will say that I have met many other O/O independent guys and gals and have not been impressed at all whatsoever and will never refer them or do business with them. I believe for the most part the large guys have it down right but, no, not in our field.
 

Gregory Allen

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I have never had an issue with saying that I am a one man show. I gently let them know that I do all my own work so that I can detail every job to perfection. I also tell them that I control the quality better this way. My customers have ALL appreciated that, and I have lost no jobs as a result.
 

Gregory Allen

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The bottom line is that you must be able to explain with confidence why hiring you as an owner operator is their best decision.