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Got a customer, but in a bit of a situation.


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Old 03-30-2011, 05:35 PM
Jack Jack is offline
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Default Got a customer, but in a bit of a situation.

So I have posted some ads and this will be my first year doing landscaping. I have done some work before and DO NOT plan on attempting or getting in over my head at all. If I can't do a project I don't think I am going to take it on.
A man emailed me today asking for some consulting advice on a small project he plans on doing with his son and ask for my assistance. I don't want him to think I am some amazing expert, but at the same time I don't want to come across as some 19 year old who doesn't know anything.
I am considering contacting him back via email and making sure he knows that we are just starting and in the learning process and see what his response is. I know I am marketing landscaping, and I am not afraid at all to tackle most projects. It's just this guy seems to be wanting an expert, which I am not. We all gotta learn.

My post probably doesn't make sense haha, sorry I am just type what's on my mind.

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Old 03-31-2011, 10:52 AM
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Is this something where you could learn with them? Maybe not charge anything but take some pictures of the project and give them a hand along the way?
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:47 PM
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I think you know more than you think you do.

If you don't have an answer to a question tell them that you will have to check on that. Then research and follow up on the question.

Years ago I got some new guys working with me installing phone systems and the first thing I told them was #1-NEVER let the customer know you don't know what you are doing and #2-Here is the phone list, call for help.

One guy messed up and got fired (drugs) and the other is still working there making nearly $30 per hour.

1. you have to identify their problem. This is easy, they are asking.
and
2. you need to provide a solution. You don't necessarily have to know it all.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:41 AM
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The thing I wonder is, how do you keep the customer from not knowing that you don't know what you are doing all the while telling them you don't know an answer to their question?

That seems to be a delicate balance. Any suggestions on that?
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:38 PM
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Would not ever tell anybody that I was "just starting out." Do some research if you are not sure - there is a lot of info to be found on the internet. You do not have to be an expert to offer the guy good advice, you just have to know a little bit more than he does. If you still feel like it is over your head then recommend someone else for the job. While knowing what you are doing and doing good work are important, self confidence is part of the equation too.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
The thing I wonder is, how do you keep the customer from not knowing that you don't know what you are doing all the while telling them you don't know an answer to their question?

That seems to be a delicate balance. Any suggestions on that?
"There are many ways that this can be accomplished, let me do some research and see which best fits your situation."

or

"I usually don't run into this a lot, let me look it up and see what would work best here!"

Does that work for an example Steve? What ever you do, DO NOT lie.

Karma will bite like a doberman crossed with a pitbull and a rottweiler and usually from behind if you get my drift.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:29 PM
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I'm sure your experience will surpass theres. You may not see it but you probably know alot about it if you know alot about lawns and stuff like that. Most is common sense if you really think about it but theres always the forum and google if you dont know something. And just let them know if you cant answer a question and get the proper research done..even that is better than them guessing.

But i agree with cleaning doctor..dont let them know you dont know what your doing

someone once told me when i started out my business "Fake it till you make it" and even if theres something you cant handle or something along those lines. You can always subcontract it or refer it to someone who does know. That will make you seem more professional than inexperienced anyways.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:24 PM
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I am not gonna lie, I have a had a couple offers to do work and have turned them down. I get really nervous and second guess myself. I have told a few people that I was either full for that week when they wanted work, or that I don't offer such services and referred them to someone that did.
I think I am gonna wipe the slate clean and start this again. My only downfall is my appearance, I am a 19 year old kid. What can I know?

I am the type of person who works and I am always paranoid that it won't be 100% correct, or that I won't be able to pull an estimate right out of my head on spot.
On the other side of things I see most landscaping as easy as building legos. Follow the instructions and all will come out as pictured and planned.

Thank you for the advice, I will be sure not to let people know I am new to this. What if they ask?
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
My only downfall is my appearance, I am a 19 year old kid. What can I know?
I think the same thing as you, but when you talk like you know or talk like you do know what the subject is, how to treat or fix it. The age goes away and your experience shines through..If anything it will make you look more mature for knowing so much about what they don't know and they will look to you for more answers. I'm 17 now was 16 last year and when someone asked me something it was always something that i knew about, except for once. And that one time, I said you know what.. I have a general understanding of this but im not 100% so im going to refer you to this company. Even that shows maturity. Dont let your age cripple you.
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