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Old 09-30-2019, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default Never say never....

Saturday I had a video inspection for the home inspector that I picked up last week. The house was said to have been hooked up to the city sewer however it went towards the backyard and I could only push my camera out 170 foot or so. So I assumed it was on septic as last year we had to put a lift station in a house a few doors down in order to directional bore the mainline out into a manhole because the city wouldn’t let us do a road cut.

Come to find out, back in the ‘80s the family was going to develop the back 5+ acres and had the city put in a lift station, but in order for the city to install a lift station the family had to pay to run three other houses to the lift station. In the end, the development plans fell through.

I just finished talking with both agents and the homeowner.... a good half hour on the phone.... feeling kinda winded. I think it’s the worst part of owning a business.

Everyone is happy, going back there tomorrow to video through the last clean out so I can tell my customer the whole story.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:24 PM   #2
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I bill for my telephone time , work is work, if im talking to a customer going over stuff for any amount of time I bill them, if its a quick phone call then no..lawyers and many other professionals bill for telephone time and emails...
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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I bill for my telephone time , work is work, if im talking to a customer going over stuff for any amount of time I bill them, if its a quick phone call then no..lawyers and many other professionals bill for telephone time and emails...
how do you start the conversation saying you're charging for the consultation?
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:41 PM   #4
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how do you start the conversation saying you're charging for the consultation?
I have a thread where I had an old property referred to me. Long story short, they want to go with the most expensive around, but will pay me for advice.

I gave them a few basics hoping I could land a couple jobs the next day.

But that’s a good question! When to charge phone time and when not to, and how to present it to the customer.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:09 AM   #5
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how do you start the conversation saying you're charging for the consultation?
Here's an example for me, when I'm at the customer's house I give the customer the option to replace the faucet right now or if they prefer me to locate parts I tell them they will be charged my research on the internet, phone time with the manufacturer, shopping around town and going to the post office.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:10 AM   #6
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how do you start the conversation saying you're charging for the consultation?

no, if it looks like its going to be a long conversation I will tell the people i have to bill if this is going to take up alot of my time..and then most say goodbye but a few have no problem discussing ideas or the job and pay to work out any issues,,
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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Met with the HO today. Very nice people! You can tell they really have a lot of heart into their families home! I videoed the rest of the line, all good.

Would have been nice to know the oddities heading into the job, but I don’t mind an extra trip for service. In the end, I gained a new customer and potential referrals.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #8
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how do you start the conversation saying you're charging for the consultation?
Here's a prime example this morning, a guy got a letter from the city the sump pit overflow had to be taken out. He started to ask a bunch of questions and said do you just pour concrete in there? I got the impression he was going to do it himself so I told him if he wanted me to answer all his question I charged a consultation fee.

He hung up and he's going to try every other plumber in town.
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:35 PM   #9
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Here's a prime example this morning, a guy got a letter from the city the sump pit overflow had to be taken out. He started to ask a bunch of questions and said do you just pour concrete in there? I got the impression he was going to do it himself so I told him if he wanted me to answer all his question I charged a consultation fee.

He hung up and he's going to try every other plumber in town.
That happens maybe once a year for me. I’ve had my cards at a small hardware store for about three years now. In that time I’ve had three customers that are actually good paying customers, the rest I’m too expensive. One has really become more of a friend than a customer, but he still pays my full rate.

Sometimes time on the phone can land a good customer. Obviously you have to judge, not sure how I learned it, but I know when a customer just wants to be informed about their issue versus what they need to do to fix it.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:07 PM   #10
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Obviously you have to judge, not sure how I learned it, but I know when a customer just wants to be informed about their issue versus what they need to do to fix it.



They just use different words and a different tone of voice and you can hear that it sounds hesitant or more confident as they over compensate. They may vary the rate at which they speak from sentence to sentence as they switch between prepared phrases and spontaneous ones.


Even people who lie a lot will waiver when lying in a new situation.








.
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