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Dry Clean

  • Posts: 2968
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #60 on: August 16, 2019, 08:58:08 am »
Iv never texted a customer, back in the day when I needed whatever work/custom I could get I used a folding multi position  ladder to get over a locked gate, when I no longer needed that type of  custom I stopped.
I have always believed that the less contact we have with our customers the better.

really?......so all your customers have gates that are unlocked or do you have keys?more and more customers are choosing to lock their gates these days ive found......i have lots of electronic/combination gate numbers,use ladders or a step to unbolt a few and text the night before for the others....
I do have the odd key and a few electrionic/combination gate numbers but no customers with locked gates.

Crystal-clear

  • Posts: 2807
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2019, 09:18:56 am »
Years ago a customer I used to txt this cust often he would say not tomorrow. It was frustrating as in those days it was only one day I was in the area. However his declining to have his windows cleaned seem to have corresponded with the weather each time
It's as if he checked the forecast for any light rain
Or cloudy weather even  ;D
when asked him is there anything wrong he said no those are "personal reasons" lol.

I put two and two together so stopped messaging
And what do you know 10 + years later he's a happy customer doesn't say no anymore because there no message anymore
And even gives a Christmas tip
What does this tell you.
Messages are problematic it's up to you if you want to do them there are advantages and it's true they can mess you around without them but it's swings and roundabouts.

dazmond

  • Posts: 18147
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #62 on: August 16, 2019, 09:41:27 am »
Does anyone else on this forum text their customers the day before the clean is due and been successful using this method?

yes i do......not all of them but around 25% of my work......ive NEVER had a "not today" by texting the night before unless its because of building work (or holidays very occasionally).

never for  "it looks like rain tomorrow so can we skip this time?" OR  "tomorrows not convenient.can you call another day?thanks"

price higher/work harder!

Smudger

  • Posts: 9384
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #63 on: August 16, 2019, 10:01:28 am »
90 customers is barely 4 days work -

You (personally) can clean 22 houses a day ?

I have a day where they are all semi's with a couple of detached - 28 cleans all done by 4.30 ( this is the most compact day where I can reach 4 or 5 without moving)

other days we have bigger works so may only get 16 or so done but as an average  22 cleans is a days work

Darran
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

www.oddbodscleaning.co.uk

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2019, 12:07:46 pm »
I sent my standard text out the other day to customers needing gates unlocked. it takes a fraction of a time to tag relevant customers to a group text.
one customer sent a reply, weather related asking for the following day instead as it looked dryer.  if you respond appropriately, there is no reason why it becomes a problem:

facebook.com/1NKServices
1NKServices.co.uk

Smudger

  • Posts: 9384
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #65 on: August 16, 2019, 12:25:47 pm »
Dear NK1 services,  thank you for your text ,as rain water is as good as your water l will cancel all future cleans and let the rain do the job (for free) instead of you having to keep bugging me with texts every month - best wishes - Trish  ;D
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

www.oddbodscleaning.co.uk

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #66 on: August 16, 2019, 01:15:29 pm »
When you receive a text back saying to miss, how do you respond?

As itís the first time theyíve done it I just put ďok for this one time, see you next monthĒ but maybe straight from the start I should put my foot down, what would you say?

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #67 on: August 16, 2019, 01:18:03 pm »
Dear NK1 services,  thank you for your text ,as rain water is as good as your water l will cancel all future cleans and let the rain do the job (for free) instead of you having to keep bugging me with texts every month - best wishes - Trish  ;D

now there's a thought, all I need to do is put a trigger on the end of the house and simply spray the windows. yea that will work  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

someone needs more sarcasm practice me thinks
facebook.com/1NKServices
1NKServices.co.uk

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #68 on: August 16, 2019, 01:20:59 pm »
When you receive a text back saying to miss, how do you respond?

As itís the first time theyíve done it I just put ďok for this one time, see you next monthĒ but maybe straight from the start I should put my foot down, what would you say?

I would ask if there's a problem and that your four weekly schedule ensures they dont have dirty windows again and that I'm pleased their happy with the results they are seeing and that's why they need to continue with the schedule agreed upon.
they may simply text back with, "ok"
facebook.com/1NKServices
1NKServices.co.uk

dazmond

  • Posts: 18147
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2019, 01:23:40 pm »
When you receive a text back saying to miss, how do you respond?

As itís the first time theyíve done it I just put ďok for this one time, see you next monthĒ but maybe straight from the start I should put my foot down, what would you say?

i dont know....its never happened without a good reason.....

did you not ask why?building work fair enough,on holiday,fair enough........anything else and id dump them.....
price higher/work harder!

tlwcs

  • Posts: 1677
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #70 on: August 16, 2019, 01:28:13 pm »
Does anyone else on this forum text their customers the day before the clean is due and been successful using this method?

Yes, I do James. Just down the road from you.
Most of mine restricted access, with locked gates,  coupled with cctv. The suburbs of the Midlands are security conscious
Holiday cancellations. At this time of year they can be a pain. If theyíre 8 weekly see if you can reschedule for when they get home. (Although custards who take holidays are fair incomes and normally reliable)
Always try to get a reason why
Tell the messers to ring you when needed, just hike the price when they do
Try text local to send the texts out, these canít be replied to. (I think)
Unfortunately, this is how it is when your building. Keep going.
Tony

Smudger

  • Posts: 9384
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #71 on: August 16, 2019, 01:29:32 pm »
NK - Lol     

  lol


LOL !



Darran
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

www.oddbodscleaning.co.uk

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #72 on: August 16, 2019, 01:50:59 pm »
When you receive a text back saying to miss, how do you respond?

As itís the first time theyíve done it I just put ďok for this one time, see you next monthĒ but maybe straight from the start I should put my foot down, what would you say?

i dont know....its never happened without a good reason.....

did you not ask why?building work fair enough,on holiday,fair enough........anything else and id dump them.....

I didnít ask why tbh mate, obviously I should of, Iím gonna be a lot more sterner from now on as I think some are just taking the p

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #73 on: August 16, 2019, 01:52:29 pm »
Does anyone else on this forum text their customers the day before the clean is due and been successful using this method?

Yes, I do James. Just down the road from you.
Most of mine restricted access, with locked gates,  coupled with cctv. The suburbs of the Midlands are security conscious
Holiday cancellations. At this time of year they can be a pain. If theyíre 8 weekly see if you can reschedule for when they get home. (Although custards who take holidays are fair incomes and normally reliable)
Always try to get a reason why
Tell the messers to ring you when needed, just hike the price when they do
Try text local to send the texts out, these canít be replied to. (I think)
Unfortunately, this is how it is when your building. Keep going.
Tony

Cheers mate, yes itís frustrating but I just have to keep going.

Slacky

  • Posts: 2330
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #74 on: August 16, 2019, 02:07:40 pm »
You can always blag the custards by putting a footnote at the bottom of the text, something similar to the following 'this is an automated text, please do not reply, this inbox is not monitored'.

As well as using an online texting facility and not your phones.
*A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE - THE SHORT STORY* 'Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people.'

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2019, 02:30:42 pm »
You can always blag the custards by putting a footnote at the bottom of the text, something similar to the following 'this is an automated text, please do not reply, this inbox is not monitored'.

As well as using an online texting facility and not your phones.

I've just recently bought the Samsung a70 which allows two sims in the phone, which you can switch between.   I dont have a problem with people cancelling when I send my texts out, but if I did, I think I would do just that.
facebook.com/1NKServices
1NKServices.co.uk

Spruce

  • Posts: 6947
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2019, 02:49:37 pm »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???

it must be so frustrating for you.... >:(

when i started up back in 1993 i used to get a few more messers than i do now but ive never had 5 in one day in 26 years of window cleaning!mind you back then i didnt text customers the night before,i just turned up(which is still 75% of my round to this day)......

how many jobs have you got at present james?im very surprised your getting "not todays" on 8 weekly jobs......usually these are less likely to skip.....

I have around 80 customers now but I feel like about 30% of them are hit or miss (unreliable)

But you have 60 good customers. As Johnny says, keep the other unreliable ones as 'call me when you need me' customers and charge accordingly.
In the meantime keep searching for another 60 reliable customers. In time you will then be able to drop the wasters and focus on the reliable ones.
You canít negotiate with gravity

The older I get the better I was ;)

robbo333

  • Posts: 1914
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #77 on: August 16, 2019, 05:56:08 pm »
I don't think texting is your problem.

Personally, I text all mine (8 weekly) with hardly any problems at all. Lots of other window cleaners text too, with no problems.
Also window cleaners who just turn up (without texting), that works well for them too. So it can work well both ways, you just have to decide which way you want to go. Also, you text your 50 good customers and that seems to work?
Personally I don't think it makes any difference whether you text or not, your problem is probably crap customers.

Lets say you go canvassing and get 8 new customers in a day. I would reckon 4 of them will only want it done the once (for whatever reason). Maybe you put them 'on the spot' and they felt obliged to agree, perhaps they just thought 'great, we'll get the windows cleaned', perhaps they can't really afford it...! You'll probably do all 8 cleans at a similar time, which means you will be texting all 8 cleans the next time round.

I think what's happening is you do a first clean and everything is ok (of course it is, you're getting rid of 12 months of crap).
Then when you text for the next clean you get 4 or 5 'not todays' because they didn't really want a regular clean to start with.

Then you start to panic a bit and think what's wrong? Should I text or not text, should I offer different frequencies, should I be firmer with my customers?

The simple fact is...you need better customers.
Providing you're polite, professional, do a good job, be reliable and are priced fairly, nothing else matters!

So moving forward:

1. Don't worry about messers, work out which ones they are (not too difficult) and have a PLAN in place for them.
Lots of ideas have been mentioned above, pick one and stick to it.
Personally, I would say 'no problem' to any cancellations and see if they want it done next time round.
If they do, then you've got some money in your pocket, if they don't then DUMP!  (2 miss rule)
People who cancel twice don't want a window cleaner SO THEY DON'T NEED YOU!

2.  Try and split your round in some way, so you can identify your messers (put them in red or something).
If you've got 80 customers and only 50 are good then you only have 50 customers, in my opinion.
Don't be blinkered into thinking your round is better than it is, be realistic and honest with yourself.
Make sure you look after your 50 good customers.

3. Decide about messers. For instance:
You get a call and you think it's a messer.
A. Will you go and clean it and think...'ok it's a messer but I have some cash' and i'm not bothered if it's long term? or
B. I'm not cleaning it because it's not building a long term business?
You need to make that decision and stick to it.

The reason I say this is because Dan gets all my crap work, he's starting out and he'll clean anything.
Today I got a call for 2 care homes that need to be done Saturday (with all the promises of regular work etc).
That means they have an inspection on Monday and need all the windows cleaned...but it's money up front.
Dan is doing both tomorrow to get the money but he knows it's probably (or likely to be) a one off.
I could be wrong, but that's the way to bet!
But Dan has his mindset right.
He now accepts messers and uses them as a way of earning some money but not to build his long term business.

4. Try to get better customers and less messers.
It's not easy. For me, 1 in 5 customers are good (what I want), Dan gets the other 4.

Some of the things I do are:

I always charge more for a first clean, don't go mad, but be fair. If it takes longer it costs more, simple!
If the customer isn't happy with that I walk away (politely). At least if the customer is a messer, you haven't wasted money on the first clean.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, try and get a picture of the situation.
Have they just moved in, are they selling and moving out, has the last window cleaner left, is it just a one off, is it something they can afford on a regular basis, blah blah.
I want to decide if they are going to be a good long term customer or not, I get it right most of the time, but not always!
Sometimes, I think it's a waste of time, but then they turn out to be a good customer!
When I go to quote, smile, be nice, have a laugh (i'm a funny guy) but then ask whatever questions you want to know.
The all important one is 'are you happy to leave your side gate unlocked, if you're not in'?

Be confident and inform them how you work.
My usual bullpoop is:
'I clean every 8 weeks, sometimes it runs into 9, I text you the day before I come and if you're happy to leave your gate unlocked, I can clean everything for you and leave you a payment slip. You can pay online or leave me out cash or a cheque. Whatever is easiest for you. When I clean, I give everything a good scrub, including your doors and frames and I leave everything soaking wet! It does sound a bit odd, but when it dries, it will be lovely and clean. In fact as i'm cleaning, some of it will be drying so you can see for yourself how good it is. I do clean in light rain as rain water is very pure and rain itself doesn't make your windows dirty. Unless of course it has that sahara dust in it, then we're all knackered! I tend not to clean in heavy rain as this can beat muck off your gutters etc and splash that dirt onto your windows. But light to medium rain is ok. Don't worry if you're on holiday, I'll clean everything I have access to and just charge accordingly. I only charge for what I clean. You can pay me when you get back. Just to let you know all my customers want a regular service right throughout the year and that's the service I provide.

With phone calls I use the same questions:
1. what area are you in?
I'm not interested in anything out my area. Dan gets those.
2. What type of property is it?
I'm not interested in terraced, flats, dogs barking in the background and others that I won't bore you with. Dan gets those
3. Would you like it cleaned just the once?  I used to say 'would you like a regular clean' but I think this way round works better.
eg.
'Would you like it cleaned just the once?'
The people that want a regular clean will, without hesitation, say something like
'your leaflet says you clean every 8 weeks, is that ok?
or
Yes please i'd like it done regularly.

The ones that want a one off will pause or falter a bit and say something like
'Erm er yes probably just the once'
or
'If you clean it, we'll see how it goes'
Some will be honest and say
'yes we are moving so need to get it cleaned.

As I've asked it as the 3rd question, the customer is sort of on a roll with the first 2 questions and this pops up as a bit of a surprise. It does catch people out.

Time for a drink.

Hope some of this is helpful.

Good job I'm also a touch typist.

"Thank you for calling: if you have a 1st floor flat, mid terraced house, lots of dogs, no parking, no side access, or no sense of humour, please press 1. For all other enquiries, please hold!"

capn sparkle

  • Posts: 521
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #78 on: August 16, 2019, 07:16:59 pm »
I don't think texting is your problem.

Personally, I text all mine (8 weekly) with hardly any problems at all. Lots of other window cleaners text too, with no problems.
Also window cleaners who just turn up (without texting), that works well for them too. So it can work well both ways, you just have to decide which way you want to go. Also, you text your 50 good customers and that seems to work?
Personally I don't think it makes any difference whether you text or not, your problem is probably crap customers.

Lets say you go canvassing and get 8 new customers in a day. I would reckon 4 of them will only want it done the once (for whatever reason). Maybe you put them 'on the spot' and they felt obliged to agree, perhaps they just thought 'great, we'll get the windows cleaned', perhaps they can't really afford it...! You'll probably do all 8 cleans at a similar time, which means you will be texting all 8 cleans the next time round.

I think what's happening is you do a first clean and everything is ok (of course it is, you're getting rid of 12 months of crap).
Then when you text for the next clean you get 4 or 5 'not todays' because they didn't really want a regular clean to start with.

Then you start to panic a bit and think what's wrong? Should I text or not text, should I offer different frequencies, should I be firmer with my customers?

The simple fact is...you need better customers.
Providing you're polite, professional, do a good job, be reliable and are priced fairly, nothing else matters!

So moving forward:

1. Don't worry about messers, work out which ones they are (not too difficult) and have a PLAN in place for them.
Lots of ideas have been mentioned above, pick one and stick to it.
Personally, I would say 'no problem' to any cancellations and see if they want it done next time round.
If they do, then you've got some money in your pocket, if they don't then DUMP!  (2 miss rule)
People who cancel twice don't want a window cleaner SO THEY DON'T NEED YOU!

2.  Try and split your round in some way, so you can identify your messers (put them in red or something).
If you've got 80 customers and only 50 are good then you only have 50 customers, in my opinion.
Don't be blinkered into thinking your round is better than it is, be realistic and honest with yourself.
Make sure you look after your 50 good customers.

3. Decide about messers. For instance:
You get a call and you think it's a messer.
A. Will you go and clean it and think...'ok it's a messer but I have some cash' and i'm not bothered if it's long term? or
B. I'm not cleaning it because it's not building a long term business?
You need to make that decision and stick to it.

The reason I say this is because Dan gets all my crap work, he's starting out and he'll clean anything.
Today I got a call for 2 care homes that need to be done Saturday (with all the promises of regular work etc).
That means they have an inspection on Monday and need all the windows cleaned...but it's money up front.
Dan is doing both tomorrow to get the money but he knows it's probably (or likely to be) a one off.
I could be wrong, but that's the way to bet!
But Dan has his mindset right.
He now accepts messers and uses them as a way of earning some money but not to build his long term business.

4. Try to get better customers and less messers.
It's not easy. For me, 1 in 5 customers are good (what I want), Dan gets the other 4.

Some of the things I do are:

I always charge more for a first clean, don't go mad, but be fair. If it takes longer it costs more, simple!
If the customer isn't happy with that I walk away (politely). At least if the customer is a messer, you haven't wasted money on the first clean.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, try and get a picture of the situation.
Have they just moved in, are they selling and moving out, has the last window cleaner left, is it just a one off, is it something they can afford on a regular basis, blah blah.
I want to decide if they are going to be a good long term customer or not, I get it right most of the time, but not always!
Sometimes, I think it's a waste of time, but then they turn out to be a good customer!
When I go to quote, smile, be nice, have a laugh (i'm a funny guy) but then ask whatever questions you want to know.
The all important one is 'are you happy to leave your side gate unlocked, if you're not in'?

Be confident and inform them how you work.
My usual bullpoop is:
'I clean every 8 weeks, sometimes it runs into 9, I text you the day before I come and if you're happy to leave your gate unlocked, I can clean everything for you and leave you a payment slip. You can pay online or leave me out cash or a cheque. Whatever is easiest for you. When I clean, I give everything a good scrub, including your doors and frames and I leave everything soaking wet! It does sound a bit odd, but when it dries, it will be lovely and clean. In fact as i'm cleaning, some of it will be drying so you can see for yourself how good it is. I do clean in light rain as rain water is very pure and rain itself doesn't make your windows dirty. Unless of course it has that sahara dust in it, then we're all knackered! I tend not to clean in heavy rain as this can beat muck off your gutters etc and splash that dirt onto your windows. But light to medium rain is ok. Don't worry if you're on holiday, I'll clean everything I have access to and just charge accordingly. I only charge for what I clean. You can pay me when you get back. Just to let you know all my customers want a regular service right throughout the year and that's the service I provide.

With phone calls I use the same questions:
1. what area are you in?
I'm not interested in anything out my area. Dan gets those.
2. What type of property is it?
I'm not interested in terraced, flats, dogs barking in the background and others that I won't bore you with. Dan gets those
3. Would you like it cleaned just the once?  I used to say 'would you like a regular clean' but I think this way round works better.
eg.
'Would you like it cleaned just the once?'
The people that want a regular clean will, without hesitation, say something like
'your leaflet says you clean every 8 weeks, is that ok?
or
Yes please i'd like it done regularly.

The ones that want a one off will pause or falter a bit and say something like
'Erm er yes probably just the once'
or
'If you clean it, we'll see how it goes'
Some will be honest and say
'yes we are moving so need to get it cleaned.

As I've asked it as the 3rd question, the customer is sort of on a roll with the first 2 questions and this pops up as a bit of a surprise. It does catch people out.

Time for a drink.

Hope some of this is helpful.

Good job I'm also a touch typist.




^^^^ What Robbo says is truly insightful well worth listening to in IMHO

Shrek

  • Posts: 2510
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #79 on: August 16, 2019, 09:26:19 pm »
I don't think texting is your problem.

Personally, I text all mine (8 weekly) with hardly any problems at all. Lots of other window cleaners text too, with no problems.
Also window cleaners who just turn up (without texting), that works well for them too. So it can work well both ways, you just have to decide which way you want to go. Also, you text your 50 good customers and that seems to work?
Personally I don't think it makes any difference whether you text or not, your problem is probably crap customers.

Lets say you go canvassing and get 8 new customers in a day. I would reckon 4 of them will only want it done the once (for whatever reason). Maybe you put them 'on the spot' and they felt obliged to agree, perhaps they just thought 'great, we'll get the windows cleaned', perhaps they can't really afford it...! You'll probably do all 8 cleans at a similar time, which means you will be texting all 8 cleans the next time round.

I think what's happening is you do a first clean and everything is ok (of course it is, you're getting rid of 12 months of crap).
Then when you text for the next clean you get 4 or 5 'not todays' because they didn't really want a regular clean to start with.

Then you start to panic a bit and think what's wrong? Should I text or not text, should I offer different frequencies, should I be firmer with my customers?

The simple fact is...you need better customers.
Providing you're polite, professional, do a good job, be reliable and are priced fairly, nothing else matters!

So moving forward:

1. Don't worry about messers, work out which ones they are (not too difficult) and have a PLAN in place for them.
Lots of ideas have been mentioned above, pick one and stick to it.
Personally, I would say 'no problem' to any cancellations and see if they want it done next time round.
If they do, then you've got some money in your pocket, if they don't then DUMP!  (2 miss rule)
People who cancel twice don't want a window cleaner SO THEY DON'T NEED YOU!

2.  Try and split your round in some way, so you can identify your messers (put them in red or something).
If you've got 80 customers and only 50 are good then you only have 50 customers, in my opinion.
Don't be blinkered into thinking your round is better than it is, be realistic and honest with yourself.
Make sure you look after your 50 good customers.

3. Decide about messers. For instance:
You get a call and you think it's a messer.
A. Will you go and clean it and think...'ok it's a messer but I have some cash' and i'm not bothered if it's long term? or
B. I'm not cleaning it because it's not building a long term business?
You need to make that decision and stick to it.

The reason I say this is because Dan gets all my crap work, he's starting out and he'll clean anything.
Today I got a call for 2 care homes that need to be done Saturday (with all the promises of regular work etc).
That means they have an inspection on Monday and need all the windows cleaned...but it's money up front.
Dan is doing both tomorrow to get the money but he knows it's probably (or likely to be) a one off.
I could be wrong, but that's the way to bet!
But Dan has his mindset right.
He now accepts messers and uses them as a way of earning some money but not to build his long term business.

4. Try to get better customers and less messers.
It's not easy. For me, 1 in 5 customers are good (what I want), Dan gets the other 4.

Some of the things I do are:

I always charge more for a first clean, don't go mad, but be fair. If it takes longer it costs more, simple!
If the customer isn't happy with that I walk away (politely). At least if the customer is a messer, you haven't wasted money on the first clean.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, try and get a picture of the situation.
Have they just moved in, are they selling and moving out, has the last window cleaner left, is it just a one off, is it something they can afford on a regular basis, blah blah.
I want to decide if they are going to be a good long term customer or not, I get it right most of the time, but not always!
Sometimes, I think it's a waste of time, but then they turn out to be a good customer!
When I go to quote, smile, be nice, have a laugh (i'm a funny guy) but then ask whatever questions you want to know.
The all important one is 'are you happy to leave your side gate unlocked, if you're not in'?

Be confident and inform them how you work.
My usual bullpoop is:
'I clean every 8 weeks, sometimes it runs into 9, I text you the day before I come and if you're happy to leave your gate unlocked, I can clean everything for you and leave you a payment slip. You can pay online or leave me out cash or a cheque. Whatever is easiest for you. When I clean, I give everything a good scrub, including your doors and frames and I leave everything soaking wet! It does sound a bit odd, but when it dries, it will be lovely and clean. In fact as i'm cleaning, some of it will be drying so you can see for yourself how good it is. I do clean in light rain as rain water is very pure and rain itself doesn't make your windows dirty. Unless of course it has that sahara dust in it, then we're all knackered! I tend not to clean in heavy rain as this can beat muck off your gutters etc and splash that dirt onto your windows. But light to medium rain is ok. Don't worry if you're on holiday, I'll clean everything I have access to and just charge accordingly. I only charge for what I clean. You can pay me when you get back. Just to let you know all my customers want a regular service right throughout the year and that's the service I provide.

With phone calls I use the same questions:
1. what area are you in?
I'm not interested in anything out my area. Dan gets those.
2. What type of property is it?
I'm not interested in terraced, flats, dogs barking in the background and others that I won't bore you with. Dan gets those
3. Would you like it cleaned just the once?  I used to say 'would you like a regular clean' but I think this way round works better.
eg.
'Would you like it cleaned just the once?'
The people that want a regular clean will, without hesitation, say something like
'your leaflet says you clean every 8 weeks, is that ok?
or
Yes please i'd like it done regularly.

The ones that want a one off will pause or falter a bit and say something like
'Erm er yes probably just the once'
or
'If you clean it, we'll see how it goes'
Some will be honest and say
'yes we are moving so need to get it cleaned.

As I've asked it as the 3rd question, the customer is sort of on a roll with the first 2 questions and this pops up as a bit of a surprise. It does catch people out.

Time for a drink.

Hope some of this is helpful.

Good job I'm also a touch typist.




^^^^ What Robbo says is truly insightful well worth listening to in IMHO

Did u really have to quote him  ??? ::)roll