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Turning down a job

This topic contains 24 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  GTokley 8 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)
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  • #703783

    n859715
    Pro

    Being new to the industry (less than a year), I’m uncertain of the best way to say “no thanks” to a customer. I’ve done a number of estimates for customers that I just don’t want to be involved with for one reason or another. So what are some suggestions or tips for walking away without leaving a bitter taste in a customers mouth?
    – Nate

    #703786

    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    You could say this type of job is not your forte or you are getting away from that type of work

    You could say I appreciate the call I’ve done work like this in the past it’s something I normally too but right now I’m a bit overwhelmed and not taking on anything else until I get caught up in my schedule.

    Wink

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #703788

    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    It would help to be able to recommend someone else “better able” to take on the job. Bit of a risk there but hopefully you know the other guy pretty well.

    If it’s the customer himself you don’t want to work with a simple no thanks is enough. If the job looks too challenging; quote high and hope someone else gets the job.

    There are only two ways to do things; the right way and again.

    #703790

    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    Nice thread topic – I’m just starting out myself so I’ll be following along. I’ve talked to a few people locally and they have said that that’s the hardest lesson to learn is when and how to say “not for me”.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #703792

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    top notch gave the best advice.. i recently had someone looking for some exterior finish work to be done which included 2 entry doors to be replaced… i simplyo told them my scheudle is just far to busy at the moment to take it on, for this reason i would not be able to complete it in a timely manner

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #703805

    Doobie
    Pro

    What is wrong with the truth if it simply relates to not being comfortable or suited with your skill-set not maybe producing work that neither yourself nor the client would be happy with?

    Doing that is a way bigger feather in your cap with gaining integrity with a client than the egg on your face doing a bad job and being on the client’s blacklist for any future work.

    I’ve done a number of estimates for customers that I just don’t want to be involved with for one reason or another.

    But the way you have worded that, is ‘another’ just simply you don’t want to deal with a prospective or past client? You can do the work, you just don’t like the client? Then just tell them you are not interested in the job, period!

    If you’re not comfortable being that direct, here are some other things you can try…..

    “My psychic advisor says I can’t do this job for you. I’m so very sorry.”

    “I just realized my Restraining Order does not allow me to work at your location.”

    “I didn’t realize you were _ _ _ _ _ _ _ when we first spoke, I refuse to work with you people!”

    “Just so you know…..my parole may be in violation and I may not be able to finish the job once started.”

    “I do not feel this work for you will help Make America Great Again, so I have to pass.”

    “You sure have a perdy daughter there…..SLURP!”

    “Tell you what, let’s arm wrestle to see how much of a discount I can offer you.”

    “Do you guys have any wall or floor safes in the house? By the way, that home monitoring system belongs in the Smithsonian”

    “I can start work as soon as the voices screaming in my head stop for a day or so, then I’m usually OK to go for while.”

    “Just curious…..are you guys clan members as well?”

    “Me and my crew also yodel while we work….I assume you enjoy good yodelling as well?

    “I will only take payment in Bitcoins or pre-paid credit cards.”

    “You’re not friends with those people down the street who are suing me are you?”

    “Boy…this job is really gonna be a good test whether my anger management sessions have been working or not.”

    😅

    #703813

    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    Ha ha @doobie you had fun with that one.

    I always find honest is always best. If you don’t like the person say so.
    If it is a job you can’t do say so.
    My neighbor that I liked very well was always having something done on his house. He found fault with every single job. He always got them to give money back. He sued his friend for concrete work . I did a couple jobs for him with no problems but after seeing what he did to all the others I refused to do any more. I also told him he was to picky!

    #703829

    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    I think being honest is the best way.

    I am not in business. But have been asked lately by co workers to make stuff for as they know I do woodworking as hobby. I just tell I don’t have time and tell they buy it cheaper new. They seem happy with what I told them.

    Greg

    instagram.com/gregtokley/

    #703834

    Even though I only pick up part time jobs and I too have been asked for woodworking items from my hobby side, I suck at turning people down, and I also haven’t always been successful at pricing myself out of a job – good luck.

    Will

    #703835

    Warren6810
    Pro
    Akron, OH

    I agree honesty is best, but there have been times that I priced it so high that it ended it there. A few times I thought I priced it too high, but I still ended up doing it. I can work with just about anyone, but I am getting better at seeing the red flags at the estimate, to know if I need to follow through or not.

    #703842

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I have been in this situation in the past. Workload or just not my type of project have been the items that seem to work the best.

    I gave up my lead certification so I do not have to work on older houses, I do not want the liability.

    We stay pretty busy so not being able to do the project because we are out quite a way before we can start usually work best and it is typically the truth.

    #703882

    redwood
    Pro

    Honesty to a point is always a good thing. It really depends on the reasons for not wanting the job.
    If you are too busy, that’s a easy one, just tell them.

    If it is not the type of work that you do and you don’t want to do it, just tell them.

    I would never tell them it was beyond my expertise, in my field. I had that happen a few times and those I just bid high. Sometimes I got the jobs and I learned. I never really felt that a job was beyond me, just a bigger challenge.

    If you don’t like the person or something doesn’t seem right, do whatever you can to get away from it. It doesn’t usually end good. The more experience you have, the easier it will be to spot those projects. Bid real high and far out into the future, if you have to.

    I had a potential customer, that I was referred to, take my bid and then accuse me of trying rip him off (I wasn’t). He was rude as heck. A month or 2 later, he has the balls to call me and offer me the job. Respectfully, I told him to get lost.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #704087

    Doobie
    Pro

    If you don’t like the person or something doesn’t seem right, do whatever you can to get away from it. It doesn’t usually end good.

    And that is so true. Hard thing to do when you are new at it, but over time this will become apparent and worth the exercise.

    I’m not a contractor, but in my work I’ve had to even FIRE existing clients for a variety of reasons. Granted, either is something that is not easy for most starting out.

    #704088

    n859715
    Pro

    Thanks all! I with honesty up front as well. I appreciate all the suggestions and I have a lot to work with now!

    #704091

    In all honesty, you don’t need to make any excuses to anyone. A simple “No, I cannot do this work at the present time” is all that is needed. You don’t have to explain why, just that you can’t.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #704175

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Depends on the reason.

    If it’s price, like someone is low balling, I will decline and tell him the reason.

    If it’s a matter of schedule, or complexity, or uncertainty, I will try and see if I can break up the scope. I would charge say a discovery to determine the full scope, then he can hire me later or someone else to execute.

    If I just don’t feel comfortable with the client for some reason, I will probably make something up like – I am not the best candidate for this job – and leave it at that.

    #704180

    Doobie
    Pro

    In all honesty, you don’t need to make any excuses to anyone. A simple “No, I cannot do this work at the present time” is all that is needed. You don’t have to explain why, just that you can’t.

    Actually, that’s as simple as it should be. 👍

    #704247

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    One thing I always watch out for is when the person who authorized the scope of work and signs the contract is NOT the person he yields to when the job is done. This makes it difficult to manage expectations.

    One good example is a couple. Husband would make initial contact, contracting, discussions of scope, schedule etc…and the wife stays in the background. Once the job begins, the husband disappears and the wife takes charge.

    “I had no idea it will be noisy and dusty!”

    “some kids from school is coming over this afternoon you mind finishing at noon?”

    “I don’t like this color (her husband picked and told me it was her idea)”

    The worst was one job I had a floor guy laying wood floor. The wife wanted all the boxes opened, and she was with the floor guy picking out THE NEXT PIECE from a big pile. The husband was there and apologetic but yielded to the wife. After job was done his wife said there was one piece in the middle of the room that has a different sheen in the late afternoon sun. She wanted it taken apart and redone, and she picked out every piece.

    Managing expectations is very important. If I see a client where multiple parties may have different expectations, and still wanted to move forward thinking it will work itself out along the way, I bail.

    #704253

    Doobie
    Pro

    After job was done his wife said there was one piece in the middle of the room that has a different sheen in the late afternoon sun.

    Either she’s on drugs…..or she needs to be on drugs. Crazy!

    #704259

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Well you could also price it out in such a way that it would be worth it for you to take the job. price in all the headaches etc to make it worth your while.

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