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Unread 01-18-2014, 04:52 PM   #16
Topspin
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Time to update that deposit policy maybe?

Every time I get that slightly itchy feeling, the $500-750 non-refundable deposit to set dates seems to clarify intentions pretty fast.

I used to think that asking nothing upfront as a deposit was a show of confidence that would help cement customer acceptance. But after reading soooooo many articles by super successful contractors (like Paul is) where they are so booked out that they don't get out of bed without a client commitment, (Commitment meaning receipt of cash-able funds) I took their advice.

No business drop when I did. And the only changes I found was zero dropped deals and no waiting to wonder if all is going to go as planned.

Nice is for Minnesota nice. But biz is biz. Yes is when they can . . .
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Unread 01-18-2014, 04:59 PM   #17
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Midwesterners know about "Minnesota nice." Takes one to know one. I thawed out in 1982 and beet feet from MN and don't suffer from "MN nice" anymore. Now I'm just nice. Big difference.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #18
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I recently was involved in a project that is related to what Paul went through. I started working on a project with a customer that I didn't feel good about. The reason I did was because it was a gc's customer and I do the work for the gc. After a bunch of delays, repeated changes, and general time wasting I knew I wouldn't have time to complete the project before my next customer on the schedule was up.

I had a choice to make: bump back my entire schedule (which is 3 months out) and anger most everyone on the list (most have already waited 1 or more months- including a pregnant lady that wants her bathroom done before the baby comes) which are customers that are well suited for my business or cut my losses on the other project and probably lose that gc's work for good.

I chose the second option and I still feel good about it.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 09:43 PM   #19
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Could you pls 'splain Minnesota Nice?
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Unread 01-18-2014, 09:53 PM   #20
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To get a project on our schedule requires a down payment. It's large enough that folks typically stick with the program. This is the minimum I can do out of respect for any clients that value their time and mine.

If folks pull out, delay or play games, it costs em.

...actually had one today, where client set time and date then proceeded to blow me off without so much as a call or text. Tomorrow, when we're rescheduled, we'll have a chat about our lost time today.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #21
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Turning down work, over the phone, has been one of my favorite things to do lately. By the time I make it to the project for an estimate I've done a pretty good job making sure the client is someone I will do business with.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 10:26 PM   #22
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Yep Jesse. Pre-qualify.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 10:45 PM   #23
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I use zillow to check the value of the house before setting an appointment.

Somewhat carefully typed on teensy cell phone keys.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 10:51 PM   #24
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Paul, I did that a few times too. I found it useless to me, many of my clients are willing to pay our premium because of the service we offer, the price of their house is irrelevant.
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Unread 01-18-2014, 11:28 PM   #25
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Jesse~ While that may be well be true in some instances, and often is, it remains that if you want big fish, you need to go into deep water. All things being equal, you'll generally maker a better return when you focus more on the upper-end client. Just the way it generally works out...
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Unread 01-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
Could you pls 'splain Minnesota Nice?
Hi Marge.

"Minnesota Nice" is described thousands of ways. I forgot most, but to me it's being nice, pleasant, forgiving and polite way beyond need.

Good example: a Minnesota traffic jamb:

Two cars meet at an intersection -
One waves and says "you go." The other says "no, you go"
The first one says "go ahead," the second one says "no, you go"

This can go on for some time without anyone moving but a few inches each exchange. Video example

I didn't know I was so afflicted until spending time in Chicago whereby I learned that "they" always go first. All of them. (Better system) at least you know exactly what to expect.

When I lived there it was a term of endearment used by the people, about themselves.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 12:57 PM   #27
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We required 50% down with a signed proposal before we would schedule a residential job. If it was over 4 weeks out we didn't accept down payments until we could put them on the schedule. If they included a check we would ask if they wanted us to hold it and verify before depositing. That way the customer felt better and we didn't get to accustomed to spending other peoples money.
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Unread 01-20-2014, 06:48 PM   #28
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Paul, good for you. In the long run it was problably better for you. You'll look back at this in six months when they call you to fix it and just see dollar signs or politely say I'm booked...
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Unread 01-23-2014, 06:11 AM   #29
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I get $500 down to schedule a job. X number of $$ weekly till job is complete. Most of the time I dont even cash the check til close to starting the job.

Only gave back one check cause the HO was unhappy due to the job not starting when we initially thought it would due to hold up on the current job.

Never felt bad about not doing that job.

We only work on 1 job at a time PERIOD.

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Unread 01-23-2014, 07:35 AM   #30
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Marge, you've met me. Is there really any further reason to explain Mn nice?
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