"There are certain lines spoken by prospective clients that make me turn and away - fast."
November 12, 2013 by Steve Payne
Mil Sepic emailed this in response to Rob and Steve’s editorials in the latest print issue of CANADIAN CONTRACTOR about “Deadbeats.”
“I’ve lived through the deadbeats. I’ve been a painting contractor and wallpaper hanger for 30 some years now and I’m soon to retire. Here are some other indicators for deadbeats I’ve run into:
In painting the variation to “big future profits” (which Rob said is what Deadbeat customers always promise you) is “My ___________ will get you into apartment buildings and you’ll get all that.” In 30 years it’s NEVER happened. Basically an out and out lie. It’s never happened for any painter I’ve met over the years. I’m sure it’s the same for all trades.
There are certain lines spoken by prospective clients that make me turn and walk away – fast. Watch out for, “Is that your best price?” and “You better sharpen your pencil.” If you work for this person they will do the following: Demean your work, ask you to do little extras like 40 yards of decades-old wrought iron fencing “while you’re here,” offer you beverages and snacks then ask for a discount or for you to take off the taxes; and worst of all – they will have this curse effect of making you slip up and make rank amateur mistakes that will baffle you.
They are a very small percentage of all the customers you will ever meet, about 2.5%. Get away from them as fast as possible, the second you hear either line. We put them in something called the Dead File and never answer their calls.
When those lines come up now the response is: “No, my best price is three times that amount. And half up front.” And “You better grease your wallet.” The look on their faces is worth it.
Emailed by Mil Sepic, Milworks, Nov. 10, 2013