How to deal with bad referrals?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, this has happened to me before and once again I am at that crossroads...

    A good customer of mine gave my number to someone, and right off the bat I got bad vibes and didn't want to deal with this person. Lets just say this person is a direct descendant of folks to whom guys like us are 'below' them and then caller said he wanted to 'talk to me concerning yard work... (at this point I erased the message, I neither like the uncertainty that 'some yard work' implies nor the condescending note of 'talking to me about whatever,' nevermind it all implies negotiation.)
    So anyway that part I have no problem with, but this next bit I do:

    Should my customer ask me anything concerning the above referral, what am I supposed to say, are there any ideas out there on how to politely put 'I am NOT working for that person because it was over before it started...'

    I was thinking, 'we had a failure to reach an agreement,' but that's wishy-washy and it misses the truth by a good mile (since we never spoke with each other, I mean)...

    How about 'I couldn't accept the work due to a breach of the rules...' but I am worried this might lead to 'which rule,' and I'm not in the mood to explain things.

    Any other ideas, phrases that can be used time and again, while remaining truthful, beside the cliched and somewhat tasteless 'I was not interested?'
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Obviously you have never met this person and are going on pure "vibes". I think you are not giving this potential customer a chance and in doing so..limiting your potential for making money from said potential job.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Vibes? I'm sorry, I should've said they failed the pre-screening requirements.
    Hey, there's my answer. :)

    It's a bit tough, but it should work without too much further ado.
  4. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Wow! I mean Wow!!!! Over 5000 posts and this is the same old lame tired stuff you continue to go over and over? Do you know nothing about "stroking" customers? Potential customers?

    If I had to guess I'd say before this you delivered pizzas, probably not very good at that either I suspect.

    Tops, take a chill pill and listen to the advice She is giving you, seems like yesterday she advised you in yet another aspect of customer service, I mean what part of all of this do you not get? Just curious, thats all. :rolleyes:
  5. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    Sounds like you and greenpro have some history. Wow. Anyway this is what I'd say, "I felt that by taking the job, it would take me away from my current customers. I just don't have enough time, I'm sorry". There have been times when I wished I had that sixth sense.
  6. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    No history Mo, just peruse his library of posts, you'll get it :) A lot of them are downright entertaining :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  7. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    i dont care if someones above below or beyond me as long as they have dead presidents to give me a bad vibe would be you thinking they wont pay you but isnt what we do "yard work"
  8. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Found yourself in a tough situation, huh. You limited yourself with good reasons to give your current customer because you didn't give the referral a chance. That is the same type of behavior that you stereotyped from this potential customer, and didn't like it. I could see if you called them back and they continued the condesending crap. At this point, mojob has the best response considering that you can fall back on quality. But, what happens when your existing customer talks to their referral and finds out that you did not even call them back? You might be lucky to hold on to that one.:nono:

    Good Luck to you.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Do tell... what are your Pre-screening requirements?
    Just out of curiosity I would sure like to know.
  10. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    I don't about...the TRUTH:hammerhead: :clapping:

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