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CHEESE2009
03-18-2010, 08:17 PM
So I have one customer who told me to give his friend a flyer.

I put a flyer in his mailbox & no answer.

I called him not too long ago, & he tells me he saw it but his mind wasn't in the right spot, he threw it out.

He goes on telling me about how is father is in the hospital, and this guy sounded extremely hurt. His voice was so HURT, & you could hear him crying.

I felt friggen awful.

I'm here trying to get hired, & this guy is going through hell.

He treated me with great respect, & asked if I could drop off another flyer.

It's situations like this, which make me stop dead in my tracks. I just don't feel right. This poor guy, I can't imagine what he's going through.

So I told him I will be on my way to deliver another flyer, & before we hung-up I told him to, "Stay strong".

I feel like Satan. I just wish there was something I could do, but anything I can do, will cost me money.

These situations suck & make being a business owner pretty tough. You can't help but appear selfish, regardless if you aren't.

Oiy.... I don't want this guys father to die, I don't even think I could handle it, just by speaking to him over the phone my heart sank. Truly heartbreaking.

I'm a complete stranger & he opened up to me over the phone. I'll be up all night now. Frig.

jklawncare
03-18-2010, 10:29 PM
Awh, Im sorry to hear about that man.

I dont know what i would do in a situation like that..maybe when i go to give him a flyer you could sit down and have a small chat with him about it..

his opening up could be a big deal and he could tell so many people about it..and im sure it wouldnt feel bad to be there for a guy when hes down..even if he is a stranger

that would be a mixed feeling for me..id feel horrible for trying to get him to buy my services but greatful i helped him out..

maybe even leave him a business card with your personal cell on the back so he feels more inclined to call you.

hell thing hey..he was a very nice person..he helped me out alot when i was going through that..he could be one of your biggest advantages for all you know..just dont push on the services quite yet..thats what i would do anyhow

let us know how it all goes

fieroboi
03-18-2010, 11:38 PM
I can totally understand that feeling, had something similar with a customer a few months back. Without sounding cold, reality is crap happens all the time. The way I would look at it is, while you are looking to get hired, you are offering him a service that he probably doesn't have time to do at the moment and it is one less thing this guy has to worry about. It frees up more time for him to spend with his father without the worry of what needs doing in the yard. Not every customer hires out becuse they want to, many hire because they don't have the time or energy to deal with their yard. Your offering a service that helps get them through their week or month or year, whatever the case maybe. You might be just what they need at the moment.


Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, AB

Steve
03-19-2010, 03:00 PM
I don't know what would be best to do. Maybe give him his space, we all know what it's like to be upset about something. When we are, we don't give a crap about anything else.

Or maybe give him a free mowing and tell him you hope his father feels better soon and leave a business card if he wants to hire you in the future.

dhawk
03-29-2010, 08:51 AM
I had something similar happen to me last month.

One of my customers was diagnosed with lung cancer that has metasticized to the brain.

He's a retired, combat wounded vet.
Tough guy that does not open up much.

So he calls me last month and ask if I am "in the area" and can drop by to pick up the monthly check rather than him mailing it. I could tell he just wanted someone to talk to - I imagine he does not want to upset his family/wife any more upset than they already are.

I took two hours out of my schedule for the day and just went and spent some time with him.

He started chemo and radiation, all of his hair is gone, and he is going stir crazy sitting in the house. I think he just needed to talk to someone not in his inner circle.

So I go to cut his lawn the next time and he had some reaction to meds and is unconscious on the floor. Ambulance pulls up while my rig is parked out front. I felt really bad, but glad I was there to help.

It's hard watching him battle this, and sometimes I don't know what to say.

I usually just let him do the talking. I think he really needs that right now.

Steve
03-29-2010, 07:42 PM
That is a very interesting story.

It does make you wonder where does the line of business end and you have to simply just be human.

It is very kind of you to do all that.

Why do you feel has helped you handle this so well so far? What advice do you have for others trying to figure out the best way to handle this?

dhawk
03-29-2010, 10:32 PM
I guess I have the distinct advantage of having been a paramedic for many years, so I am used to dealing with those type of situations.

So, did you bring him another flyer as promised?
How did it go?

I would drop the flyer as promised and ask how he is doing.

"How did things go with your father?". If it was bad, he will probably open up to you again. Let him. If his father is dying, say "I am so sorry to hear that".

If it is good news, then he might be ready to talk about business. You'll know just by how the conversation goes.

Odds are, it still is bad news since it's only been a week and a half.

It will be a little awkward, but you just let him talk.
Just open up with "How are you?"
Don't say " I understand".

Just let him do the talking.........small talk is ok and there is nothing to be scared of....just feel his pain..... and be thankful for the good things and healthy family you have.

Steve
03-30-2010, 08:56 PM
I guess I have the distinct advantage of having been a paramedic for many years, so I am used to dealing with those type of situations.

Why do you think that sometimes when people get sick, there are those around them that can still interact normally with them, while others feel uncomfortable about that?

Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes it seems like people who are ill or even depressed are shunned because others simply don't know how to handle this.

How can we improve our way of seeing such situations and dealing with such situations? What do we have to do with our mind to change our thinking to deal with this better?

Rexdale Grass
03-30-2010, 11:54 PM
I have to say this is one thing that I have had a lot of my clients are all in there early 60's all the way to 92 and counting. Every one has had there ups and downs the small problems like some body broke a hip and needed the extra help. The hardest for me is when I've worked for a couple for so many years then one of them passes away but you still have them to take care of. It really the toughest thing to have to deal with but what you have to remember the job your doing for them is helping them retain the normalcy of how thing should look and have always looked. Nothing better than fresh flowers in the beds to make the day that much brighter.

You don't have to lock him into a contract but can tell him your here if he needs a hand and if you end up with a client they'll probably be the one that always offers you a beer even if it's 10 in the morning.

CHEESE2009
03-30-2010, 11:57 PM
they'll probably be the one that always offers you a beer even if it's 10 in the morning.

I have that customer already, I'm not allowed to leave until I have a beer with him. Hahahaha!

Scott: It's too early for that, & I've got more lawns to do!
Customer: You know you want it...
Scott: yeahhhh :(

:p

CHEESE2009
03-31-2010, 02:59 PM
NEWS:

I just got a call from this "upset customer", & he told me he only wants me to maintain his lawn every week & a half...

I said, "Unfortunately our price will have to remain the same"

He not only didn't mind, he told me he's going to pay me upfront for the entire season!

This is great! What a great guy he is.

(I put him on the garden weeding program) only costs me $18.00 for 6 visits. If I charged him it would have been $90.00 give or take.

He still sounds broken though, geez.

I'm going to dethatch his lawn during the weekend. :)

CHEESE2009
03-31-2010, 03:40 PM
MORE NEWS!!! YESS:

The customer who was going to switch companies & ditch me, has now called back ASKING me for my service.

THIS IS FANTASTIC, her neighbor is hiring me aswell!!!

3 customers in an hour. Amazing.

Rexdale Grass
04-01-2010, 01:06 AM
it's all comming together haha.

jklawncare
04-01-2010, 01:17 AM
Thats great scott

Hope things keep goin for you the way they are..you have deffinately ran into alot of luck..or maybe its just cause your a superhero..

i hope my day tomorrow turns out like yours

good luck!

Steve
04-01-2010, 03:08 AM
Congrats Scott!

Scott: It's too early for that, & I've got more lawns to do!
Customer: You know you want it...
Scott: yeahhhh

This brings up another great point, if you have a customer that wants to shoot the breeze with you, should you schedule them at the end of your day?

What's the best way to handle this?

CHEESE2009
04-02-2010, 01:47 PM
Congrats Scott!



This brings up another great point, if you have a customer that wants to shoot the breeze with you, should you schedule them at the end of your day?

What's the best way to handle this?


Well that would be the best solution.

I have done the opposite, thinking customers would get a hint - that because I'm doing their lawn at 8AM, I surely have more customers to get to... Unfortunately they don't get any hints.

Booking your most talkative or naggy customers last on your daily routes = best thing ever.

It's also a good idea to put them on your least busiest day, if possible.

5 minutes of conversation easily turns into 20 minutes, & it just goes up from there.

(Scott got another customer, - another neighbor booyah!)


Who wants to make a bet with me, I'm betting that something extremely bad is going to happen to my business this season. Everything just seems to good!

I saw another company scouting me out today. He drove past my property 4 times, & he was sitting in his truck from a short distance yesterday just watching me.


FUNNY STORY:

My next door neighbor & I were talking about a tree he just planted before winter.

A random guy was walking up the street advertising lawn maintenance.

Neighbor: He's trying to take your customers!

My neighbor walks up to the end of his driveway & says, "We don't want any! Go go go!"

lollllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Steve
04-03-2010, 03:53 AM
I saw another company scouting me out today. He drove past my property 4 times, & he was sitting in his truck from a short distance yesterday just watching me.

Maybe he was a talent scouting, who is about to offer you a role in a new action movie where you battle Jet Li?

Who wants to make a bet with me, I'm betting that something extremely bad is going to happen to my business this season. Everything just seems to good!

I think you are going to have a great year! You deserve it!

5 minutes of conversation easily turns into 20 minutes, & it just goes up from there.
Do you ever wonder if while you are there talking to the person if you should be charging them more and if they would pay more? Should you also be offering more services that they might pay you for? While you are talking to the customer? Or what is your view on that?

CHEESE2009
04-03-2010, 10:41 PM
Maybe he was a talent scouting, who is about to offer you a role in a new action movie where you battle Jet Li?

LOL!!!!! Maybe I'm just paranoid.


I think you are going to have a great year! You deserve it!

I appreciate that! Being one guy trying to take on the world is quite a challenge, I have respect for everyone on this forum!

Do you ever wonder if while you are there talking to the person if you should be charging them more and if they would pay more?

I never stop thinking that :P Hahahah!!!

Should you also be offering more services that they might pay you for? While you are talking to the customer?

Sometimes I do, & sometimes they don't leave me room to suggest a service. I don't always like to sound like a heartless person, but more personable. Mentioning business, services, etc at the wrong time could upset a few customers & make me seem as if I'm just out to grab their money, with no patience to chit chat about other friendly things.


Story of the day;

I have two "priests/pastors" as customers...

Scott: So you said your getting the barbecue out, eh? You ever try Angus burgers?

Customer: All the time!

Scott: Well if I smell it cookin', I'm coming over & I'll bring a few beers!:p

Customer: I don't drink... I'm a pastor....

Scott: Oh.. HA! Alright... Coffee is just as good!



Harvey's makes your hambuuurger - A beautiful thing! <- You guys got a Harvey's where you are? Kinda like Burger King, but better!

Steve
04-04-2010, 05:17 AM
Making friends everywhere you go LOL good job!