Makes me sad


#1

When a storefront client (one of my first) I’ve had for 5 years calls and says, “We’re going another direction, we don’t need your services anymore at our 2 locations.”

Then I find a picture of a notoriously cheap competitor cleaning their windows 1 week later.

Bothers me that the client, a business owner himself, couldn’t just tell me the truth and say… we found someone for $10 cheaper… thanks!

Bothers me a bit more when this happens 5x within a month. LOL.


#2

yes sir

had a company tell me they were handling services in house.

week later i see someone else okkaaaaaay.

the. the company gets on the radio station and boasts of their superior integrity.

dont think ill be using their services ever


#3

There can be 2 sides to these situations.

When these customers decide to come back and you know they had another vendor not work out is the best.


#4

That is true. It just really bothers me when people don’t tell the truth. Especially in a business to business relationship.


#5

Storefront customers, more often than not, are looking for the cheapest route, not the best service or workmanship. It does say a lot about the integrity of the business owner when you’ve done them for 5 years and he’s not honest with you.


#6

yea mine wasnt route work and a decent coin job twice a week


#7

Devils advocate here David, but they didn’t really lie to you if they said they are going in a different direction.

Sounds to me like they did just that - went in a different direction with another company.

Just a thought as well that applies to companies with employees doing the route - it’s hard for you to compete in storefront with solo guys like me. I can be cheaper all day long and still turn a profit and do a great job. Unfortunately, I’ve picked up a few lately from my local fish franchise. I’m not targeting them anymore than they target me, but we do cross over a bit. In most cases, my prices are in step with theirs. The main selling point I have is that I as a solo guy do all the work, thus I keep all of the money. This incentivizes me to provide a quality, regular service. The fish kids I’m replacing maybe keep a third of it and many have no intention of building a long term relationship with the customer. Most don’t even see themselves long term in the biz. This matters a lot more than we think to our customers.

I disagree that most are looking for the cheapest. There is a considerable amount of loyalty shown by customers. But they know what they like to see as well in us. Quality, pricing, as well as sensing a personal investment in them on our part plays equal roles in my opinion.


#8

Also need to consider when you were new you started knocking on doors trying to get your foot in the door etc so we can’t be too surprised when someone else comes knocking at their door and we lose business, just part of the game, would be nice to be given a chance to compete on price if that indeed was the problem though


#9

Richard great point. I guess the alternative would be the client asking me to drop my price or he goes with a competitor. And we all hate when that happens too.

I completely agree with you regarding employees doing the work. Same applies to residential. I am well aware that probably 5-25% of my clients will drop me because of quality issues but that is almost unavoidable when having employees. This client though… not one quality complaint, or any complaint, for almost 5 years!

We’ve had the same technician serving that particular route and this particular client for 3 years; the owner of the store is usually never there so I can’t imagine it’s the relationship that mattered to him. What’s worse is the competitor HAS employees; same guy I posted about here: Thoughts & Opinions... low baller? Found the secret sauce? Living in a van down by the river?

I’m just venting, can’t help it.


#10

All the years I did route work this was a common experience. I do agree the long term ones is hard to lose. The key is to get more new ones than the ones you lose.


#11

Maybe the lesson to be learned is, never be too comfortable. It’s when we get complacent, that the big hand of life, will slap us up side the head.


#12

one business author stated over and over “like fruit, all your accounts WILL go bad at some time”

so true and so true the longer you have them the more it hurts


#13

Bingo !!! When you lose one it’s got to motivate you to go pick up 2

Who cares what the reason is. I’ve lost them for every which reason. Yup some Becuse if service. So what !!
There is always sonkne that’s not going to be happy, An someone that wants cheaper . Your dealing with so many different personalities.


#14

As business has developed over the years, it’s become easier just to add customers who will pay even more (why do $60/hr job when I can do $100/hr.?) than the customers who I used to think were paying good. The customers who were at the top are now in the middle so I’m pretty comfortable losing some through attrition. Don’t fret over a storefront because you’ll be perfectly happy when you find a replacement.


#15

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, (37 years ago) I used to do route work. I found route work to be high maintenance and hard to keep because of all the bucket hustlers doing a 5-10 window shop for 10 bucks. I don’t care how close together the shops are in your route, it’s hard to turn a profit with employees doing route-work. Gradually, over a few years, I sold or gave away or just lost the accounts through attrition and they were replaced by much better paying larger commercial jobs, restaurants, office parks and residential. I established a minimum service charge for ANY stop of well over a hundred sixty bucks. We have to start valuing ourselves and stop seeing ourselves as janitors doing a slightly upgraded maid call. What we do is a skill. Granted, it isn’t engineering or architecture and it doesn’t require schooling but it is a skill that others can’t stand to do or can’t do…anyone can spray and wipe and dust and vacuum…not everyone can clean glass like us. If we see ourselves as a valuable service provider, we won’t have as much “back-off”. Back-off is the term I use when we are afraid to ask for our price or afraid to lose an account. The longer I’m in this, the more secure I am that what I need to charge is a good ask. Leave the route work to the homeless folks and charge more for that stuff. If all of us did this, route work will be back on the menu.