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View Full Version : sir, mr. or..........what kind of hello?


bobbygedd
02-13-2004, 11:12 AM
ok, i'm asking alot of dumb questions. i am determined to cover every aspect of selling my product, down to the science of human behavior. so here is my question of the day: when meeting with a client for the first time, how do you address him? my standard greeting used to be, "sup dude, what you need?" but i'm thinking of changing that. let's just say the man's name is "john doe". would you knock on the door, extend your hand, and say, "hi john, i'm bob from meathead landscaping." or, would you address him as mister doe? " hi mr. doe, i'm bob from meathead landscaping." is there a difference in what u call him? meaning by his first name, or last? does it matter? keeping in mind i'm not a teenager, i'm probably about the same age, or a few years younger, as the clients i service.

NCSULandscaper
02-13-2004, 11:19 AM
Depending on the age of the client. If they are in the late 20's, 30's or early 40's i will call them by their first name, since none of them want to feel old. An older client i will call them sir or mam, just out of respect.

Turfdude
02-13-2004, 11:19 AM
I guess it depends on their age relationally to yours. If the prospective clients are elderly, I usually go w/ Hello Mr/Mrs so-n-so, until they ask me to refer to them by their firs name. If they're around my age +- 10 years, I will call them by first name a lot of the time. I save the yo dude wassup for friends only or other acquaintences I'm comfortable with.

scott's turf
02-13-2004, 11:20 AM
I have always addressed the customer by their first name unless I only know one of the spouses first names and the other one answers the door or phone.

JimLewis
02-13-2004, 11:28 AM
I agree with what NCSU said except I'll add this;

You'll often get a BIG clue from the client themself. Usually older people call me and introduce themselves as Mr. Snyder. Or Mrs. Smith. When they call on the phone and say it that way, I am pretty sure that's how they want to be addressed. Another way they do the same thing is this; Me, "Ok. Well, let me get some information from you then we'll arrange an estimate. First, what's your name?" Them, "Johnson." Now I can tell because she didn't give me any first name that she wants to be called Mrs. Johnson.

On the other hand, if a customer, no matter what their age, calls and introduces himself as Skip Jones. I am going to address him as Skip. That's how he introduced himself and I have to assume that he wants me to call him that. Same with any other first name. If they tell me their first name, I assume they want me to call them by first name.

I think you'll get most of your clues from your customers. Just listen for them.

lawnman_scott
02-13-2004, 11:29 AM
first name is what i use

lawnwizards
02-13-2004, 11:29 AM
i always go with the mr. doe and let them decide if they want me to call them john... like "hi mr. doe i'm here to give you and estimate". mr doe," please call me john." i let them make the decisions on what they wanna be called. works for me.

impactlandscaping
02-13-2004, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by NCSULandscaper
Depending on the age of the client. If they are in the late 20's, 30's or early 40's i will call them by their first name, since none of them want to feel old. An older client i will call them sir or mam, just out of respect.

Exactly..and what Bob said too, if you address the older clients by sir or maam, they may ask to be on a first name basis.It's better to start off on the right foot.You have to give respect to get it back in return..JMO

rkbrown
02-13-2004, 11:41 AM
I agree with lawnwizard. I will call them Mr. or mrs. and let them tell me "Oh, please call me John" or whatever.

Tvov
02-13-2004, 11:49 AM
I always use Mr., Mrs., or Ms.

When we are talking about personal "stuff" (how was your vacation? How are the kids?), I may use their first names.

I always try to keep business on a business "level".

DUSTYCEDAR
02-13-2004, 12:31 PM
just like when the cops pull u over yes sir no sir

bastalker
02-13-2004, 12:53 PM
I do the same thing as what Matt (NCSU) said. I'm 43, an for the most part, if they are around the same age, I will call them by there first name. The elderly I always call mr.or ms.

just like when cops pull you over. yes sir no sir

I dont say yes sir or no sir to cops. Dont get me wrong, I dont disrespect them, but some of them are just plain ignorant. Usually the rookies out to make a name for themselves...Most of em I have ran into are pretty good guys. There are a few exceptions...

lawnman_scott
02-13-2004, 12:55 PM
I would never call a cop sir or ma'am. It just makes you look guilty.

bobbygedd
02-13-2004, 12:57 PM
i don't have to look guilty, my record speaks for itself. no sir by me either to the cops. i act respectable, but no "yes sir, no sir"

Danimal
02-13-2004, 12:59 PM
I use MR. miss on the first visit. after that if they arn't elderly I think useing their first name makes them feel more comfortable with you like you are their freind.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-13-2004, 01:01 PM
well wait till u get pulled over by the trucker police jack boot wearing just looking for a reason to make your day suck

dkeisala
02-13-2004, 01:01 PM
Mr and Mrs so-and-so, you think you are on The Waltons? I use exclusively first names with my clients.

Grassmechanic
02-13-2004, 01:11 PM
Mr/Mrs, Sir/Ma'am. If they don't like to be called by formal names, they'll let you know.

Lux Lawn
02-13-2004, 02:07 PM
I think a lot of it depends on the customer if they are older than I am then I will call them Mr. or Mrs.If they are around the same age and I know there first name I will probably use that.sometimes it can be embarrassing to call somebody Sir or Mr. then find out you are 5 years older then them.

mower_babe
02-13-2004, 02:21 PM
First contact, I add the Mr. or Mrs. But, if they want me to call them by their first name, than I happily oblige. I have been yelled at a few times for this. First time was by a customer, whose husband is a Doctor, and I would refer to her as Mrs. Smith. She got very angry and corrected me to call her by her first name. I slipped up once after that and she let me know very loudly in front of my employees. Hi-can we say issues? ~sigh~

The next one I had this customer for one season and I always referred to her as Mrs. Jones. She is 80 something and keeps to herself, but I would see her about once a month. That fall, she came out to show me what she wanted done for bed clean up and I greeted her with a cheerful, "Hello, Mrs. Jones," and she ripped me apart. She was terribly rude and was hot under the collar, spittin and sputtering and very offended (and offensive) She said, "AM I MARRIED??? DO YOU THINK THAT I AM MARRIED?! DO YOU SEE A MAN AROUND HERE??!!!..." and so on and so forth, so when she paused to take a breath, I said, "I honestly do not know if you are married or not, I use the word "Mrs." out of respect and proper manners as that is what I was taught. I am terribly sorry if I have offended you, it was not my intent." She proceeded to tell me that it was rude to assume that she was married and that I am to refer to her by her first name. I am thinking, "wow, can't imagine why YOU don't have a man. go figure" ~sigh~

Another time, on a bill, I had put like always, "Mrs. Jane Doe" as this customers is mid 90's, which I thought was respectful. AND the bill came back with red ink all over it, saying I AM NOT MARRIED! and she crossed out the 'R' in Mrs., to read Ms. Jane Doe.

So, goes to show, you cannot win in every situation, no matter what you do. :confused:

walker-talker
02-13-2004, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by NCSULandscaper
Depending on the age of the client. If they are in the late 20's, 30's or early 40's i will call them by their first name, since none of them want to feel old. An older client i will call them sir or mam, just out of respect. I agree with you here..this is what I do and Jim pointed out a good tip...just watch out for clues.

olderthandirt
02-13-2004, 02:52 PM
I always use Mr. Mrs. Sir, Miss. out of habit and respect.
But the only ones I truly care about and mean more to me that anythings are the Mr. Benjamin Franklins


Mac

rodfather
02-13-2004, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by DUSTYCEDAR
just like when the cops pull u over yes sir no sir


bobby already knows all bout that btw Dusty...