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Ever throw yourself under the bus to LOSE a job?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by TheSnowman, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I had a guy that I could tell right out of the gate was going to be a pain in the butt customer. The kind that couldn't talk on the phone, just always wanted to stop by and waste my time, and the only thing that got accomplished was making my front room smell like a chain smoking party.

    I took a picture of his back window, threw his company logo on it (national real estate chain, so it was easy to pull of BOTW) and stuck his name and number on it. I knew that there was no way this guy was gonna leave me alone until I showed him something, and I also knew that he would probably go somewhere else for the job because just judging by his vehicle, I knew it was a lowest bidder job.

    After talking with him a couple of times, and realizing his "why does this take longer than five minutes" attitude was something I'd have to deal with, I decided to send him the layout, quote the back window of his truck at $100, which is my minimum for touching ANY vehicle, and see if it stuck.

    A week later, I'm driving by a restaurant and I see TO A "T" the exact layout down to the font that I sent him, and I didn't do it. I was ticked because he did that (knowing full well he probably would) but I was also kind of relieved that he (as a lowball customer) went to someone else in town to get his work done, and now they can deal with him.

    Just wondering if I'm the only one that's done that, knowing full well what the final results would be. I'm assuming I'm not.
  2. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    That's why you should have told him the price up front and asked for a deposit before showing him a sketch.

    You ended up with a 100.00$ figure. You probably knew what it was worth before starting it so you could have told him it's gonna cost you around 125.00$ - 150.00$ and get a deposit based off of that.

    Judging by what hapened ... I don't think you would have gotten a deposit on the spot and you would not have had to waste time creating a sketch.

    Yep .... that's how it goes some times :bushmill:
  3. thmooch

    thmooch Active Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Did yourself a favor. Let the other guy deal with him. And yeah, I have priced em' at 150% for the PIA factor.
  4. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011
    price is the FIRST thing that is discussed once the scope of the work is outlined
  5. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Send him a bill for the layout.
  6. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    We did discuss price. He was still interested, kept calling for his last minute job that he HAD to have to survive, so I figured to get him off my back, I'd just do it and maybe he'd go thru with it. I was maybe out 15 minutes, but my theory was, it was worth it. I have people that just won't leave me alone sometimes, and I knew he'd be one of them.

    Glad he went somewhere else in the end.
  7. Arlo Kalon 2.0

    Arlo Kalon 2.0 Very Active Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Reno, TX
    When my shop was still open, as soon as I figured out I was dealing with this type of customer I threw out a price and said the design will be produced after a deposit is made. I added that we'll decide the final price based on the final approved design. If I thought my time was being wasted I wasn't shy about suggesting they shop around. I'd always tell them to get out the yellow pages and call around - save yourself the gas. If they persisted, as you experienced, I'd say I was working on a project for a big customer with a tight deadline and could they come back on Monday of next week. I refused to have MY time usurped by deadbeats. It's a shame you went through what you did only to see your work done by someone else. No matter how you rationalized it, you got used and lost money.
  8. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I would have given him a written (very high) estimate the first time I dealt with him.
    That's all I would have done.
    I would bill him for the layout (you won't get it)
    You pretty much gave that away to a hack, and both the "client" and the hack are probably snickering up their sleeves at how easy you were to beat.
    I just plain don't waste my time on time wasters; they can go to any number of my local hacks.
  9. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    we have a courier from fellers that smokes vanilia backwoods cigars ALL DAY LONG in his truck with the windows up.

    he comes in and STINKS up our shop. i couldnt take it. one day he asked to use the restroom and pissed all over my toilet seat.

    now smokey the weiner bandit is no longer allowed past my door. saves on the frebreeze and the lysol toilet cleaner. god that guy stinks.
  10. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    At least he didn't upper-deck ya. That would really stink.
  11. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    At least that he KNOWS! You know he's gonna go check now!

    I had a solicitor for actually this exact same real estate company that screwed me come in today and the guy said "Brenda said you'd probably want to advertise". I acting annoyed told him I wasn't interested (acting annoyed since he apparently didn't think my NO SOLICITING sign really meant NO SOLICITING) and since he'd been there a whopping 30 seconds, he proceeded to tell me he drank too much coffee and asked to use my restroom. People like that drive me nuts. I pretty much gave him the cold shoulder after he went, and I'm hoping he got the picture.
  12. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    I've been telling people for five years that my toilet was broken.
  13. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    nobody like a dry dock!
  14. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Find his most expensive house listing, and have him personally give you the tour. Let him wait a week and then casually mention you're trying to cut a deal with the owner instead.

    That should be able to open some dialogue.

  15. 704signs

    704signs Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Monroe NC
  16. binki

    binki Very Active Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    We gave a couple of pests very high prices and they said ok. Now we just turn them down if we don't want to do the work. I can pretty much spot them when they walk in the door but we always give a chance to make up.

    One of our best customers was so close to being fired but we gave them one more chance and now they are in our top 10 with no problems. Lots of repeat orders and very good pay.

    Chalk it up to a venture that didn't pan out and move on.
  17. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    Lmao. That's so foul. Our old proveer driver use to play with my dog some days and other days wasn't in the mood so he would like kick him. Needless to say I got the last kick.
  18. FS-Keith

    FS-Keith Active Member

    Dec 4, 2010

    lolololol we had the same situation with a guy from vinyl sign supplies, except for the pissing on toilet seat
  19. DSC

    DSC Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    Pain or no pain in the butt, This is how the conversation goes with me..

    Cust: Hi I would like "xxx" sign made.

    DSC: Great News! That will be "xxx" ..

    Cust: Do I get to see a layout or proof?

    DSC: Of course! we just need the deposit first.

    Cust: Well how will I know if I like it?

    DSC: Here is a book of our projects past, make your decision based on this portfolio, and the promise that we will not fabricate anything until you are 100% happy with the proof.

    - 90% of the time they are happy with that and we get the job, if the customer does not go for it the following is the most likely rest of the conversation.

    Cust: Well that is not how the "other guys" did it for us last time..

    DSC: Well, they must not have kids, live in a van, and not operate legally. I have 2 kids, 3 vehicles , overhead , and thousands of dollars in debt from the loan I took to get a degree in graphic design so I can do your layout professionally. I really shouldn't have to explain this, but I want you to understand that it is not just some sort of arbitrary decision. I need to be compensated for any time I sit at the computer and create graphics.

    Cust: Well, I don't know, the other guys price was a litte lower as well..

    DSC: They sound like a really great deal! You should take advantage of that. Keep us on your bid list though for future jobs, we would love another opportunity! Thank you.

    I love the look on faces when I say that, truly is priceless most of the time.

    About 3 of 5 of these estimates come back at us in the next day or so, or the "other guys" had some sort of issue, or whatever it is, they end up coming around ... And if they don't who cares, I go out and find customers we like to deal with.
  20. DSC

    DSC Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    3 times a week minimum..
  21. WeekendDirectionals

    WeekendDirectionals Member

    Dec 2, 2011

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