Discussion Turn down work

Jeremiah

Member
Do you turn down work or try to save it and take the job you know you should not take ? I turn down work sometimes. Today a potential customer came in and we spent 15 minutes reviewing a vinyl image and words he wanted on a cargo trailer. I told him before I would proceed, I wanted to see the trailer. Well he brings in a used scraped up cargo trailer. He removed old logo with a razor blade. Paint was in Terrible condition. I just said Sorry but I will not do the job on that, or at least I will not guarantee that job and you will not be happy. Still Full price. Then I just changed it to just NO. I would rather turn it down than do a job like that.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
You don't ever have to say "NO". You can say "NO" by charging a price that you are willing to say YES too.

This way you can keep a client for the future, and you can inform them of the difficulties of the project and why you have to charge the rate you do.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Some people on here should say "no" more often. Perfectly fine. 2CT media will quote you $5000 to print your little decals, that's his passive-aggressive way of saying NO
Call it passive-aggressive; I call it educative. Tell a client NO enough, they will find a YES company.

With all the complaints you have about inferior shops you outsource too, maybe you should learn to say NO more often yourself.
 

Jeremiah

Member
In my saying NO
I am telling the customer that the job will not come out properly and it will be money poorly spent. Many of our customers appreciate that honest opinion.. I did tell him to get a trailer in better condition. I think that just giving the customer a VERY high price makes me look bad, and give me a reputation for being Toooo expensive.
 

appropriate1

New Member
I would not quote a high price to chase anyone away. It is your time and you can say no, and jst explain why you are saying no as well as possible.
Remember that clents don't understand the work requirements as you may see them.
Maybe there is a compromise for your client who doesn't see his trailer as being as bad as it is. You might suggest that you could clean it for x amount separately, or say you don't do that kind of cleaning or stripping and refer him to a detailer of body shop that will prep it properly. Then, you also develop a possible relationship with those businesses. I strip boat and truck lettering, but I don't buff them out, and they all know that may be required when I am done with my work. However, I did one charity trailer that came in in terrible condition, like you described. Because I offered to do the job for free, I was committed and spent some time cleaning and painting the whole trailer with a foam roller and signs enamel before lettering it. They were so thrilled that they now want me to do all of their free sign work. Well, maybe not the best example. Just try to help the customer while saying no is what I am suggesting. I have been doing this for 40 years and have done many jobs which should have been a No. Today, I have developed the ability to tell them to go to hell and make them glad they are on thier way.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
In my saying NO
I am telling the customer that the job will not come out properly and it will be money poorly spent. Many of our customers appreciate that honest opinion.. I did tell him to get a trailer in better condition. I think that just giving the customer a VERY high price makes me look bad, and give me a reputation for being Toooo expensive.
That's only the case if it comes with no explanation. If your high price is paired with a reason, most clients understand and have actionable information.
 
I do something similar to the OP.

I tell them that I can't warranty the work in the area of concern (and I go into probably more detail then I should why it doesn't work for production), if they still want me to do it that's fine, I'll do it, but how it comes out, is how it comes out. No QC warranty at all. Records of this exchange are kept. I don't charge more, but I'm giving less for the same price (no warranty for QC). And I do go into my reasons with them in my much loved on this forum omnibus way.

If one ups the price without dealing with the QC part of it, the QC angle can still come back to bite.
 

Jester1167

Premium Subscriber
If this type of job is one of your core business, turning it down would be extremely rare. Many of us have stories of a client that started out just like this and now brings in several brand new trucks and trailers every year.

It is your business and it's always ok to say no in my mind but your job probably wouldn't have been one of them. I would have pitched a full wrap or at least a larger graphic to cover all the missing paint $$. I would have charged extra for any adhesive removal as well. They would have been told that this could have been avoided if we had done the removal, even though I hate removals. The client would have been informed that the texture of the missing paint will show through the wrap, but a full wrap will look more professional in the long run. I see our job as educating the client and improving their image. If they aren't a jerk, cheapskate, or no chance of success, and I can improve their image, I don't' see any reason turn them down.

I have raised prices on certain customers to try and encourage them to go elsewhere and even fired a few. Those clients deserved it because of all the time they wasted, but realize the higher your prices the greater the expectations.

In any scenario, part of the sales process is discussing options and building realistic expectations upfront so your customer can make informed decisions. But in the end, it's their decision, but you get to decide what you put in your portfolio or on social media.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
If we're busy, it's much easier to just price it high and collect all the gravy, if ya get it. That's different. However, if someone comes with a problematic situation, if you are any good, this is your time/chance to educate your potential customer. Explain all the problems with doing it properly vs. doing it half a$$ed. This is when you can say, you really won't do a subpar kinda job....... not for anyone. It's not your style. The other way is too snobbish in my opinion and can result in bad-mouthing you down the road. Worse than just doing it to begin with.
 

Bubba06

Just Somebody
Instead of just saying "NO" give them options. Like..... If you clean the trailer up, and get it to this condition, I'll be happy to letter it for you. or
For an extra $$$ We can do it for you, or maybe even......We can apply your graphics to a sheet of ACM and you can bolt it to the side of the trailer.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
Call it passive-aggressive; I call it educative. Tell a client NO enough, they will find a YES company.

With all the complaints you have about inferior shops you outsource too, maybe you should learn to say NO more often yourself.

I'm too busy saying "NO" to people who took massive PPP $$ while the same day posting about how well they are doing and thinking about buying another flatbed.
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
If the customer is adamant about doing things their way only and you don't want to, why not just grow some stones and say NO? How does charging a high price make a crappy job any better? It just puts a bad taste in people's mouth. One day this person who you chapped may end up working for one of your good customers.
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
You guys should say no AND charge a high price. That way you get the money and don’t need to do the dodgy job. Best of both worlds.
 

Johnny Best

Very Active Member
The old "lipstick on a pig" expression comes to mind. But as noted by others, you have to be careful what you say to customers, they like their pigs.
 
The old "lipstick on a pig" expression comes to mind. But as noted by others, you have to be careful what you say to customers, they like their pigs.

Yeeeeeah we do a few of those wrap jobs!

We don't often say "No" outright, but we are clear on what we can and can't do. Sometimes a client comes in and insists on something we know is a bad choice, and we've got to be firm.

For example, a client insists on us wrapping over a rusty/rough surface on a trailer, our response is "We probably should not - what about this solution?" and if they insist, "OK, but understand that this will likely fail here, in writing, and sign the proof to say you understand this". Or you get the classic, "Well, do you HAVE to laminate it/use high-tac/use the correct vinyl for this project? I want it as cheap and fast as possible." "Well, here is what we normally do, and here are the advantages of doing it this way, and here are the risks if you don't want to"

In terms of annoying projects, like weeding tiny tiny letters or wrapping small annoying projects for people's pet projects, we just make the price worth it...
 
Remember that clents don't understand the work requirements as you may see them.
Maybe there is a compromise for your client who doesn't see his trailer as being as bad as it is. You might suggest that you could clean it for x amount separately, or say you don't do that kind of cleaning or stripping and refer him to a detailer of body shop that will prep it properly.
This. ^ ^ ^

This is quoted as separate line items if you do extra surface prep or outsource the prep. One line item for the wrap at a normal rate, another line item for the misc service. If the prospect has the prep done elsewhere, then only the wrap line item applies of course.
 

visual800

Member
If they were to bring in a crappy trailer but it would be decent money I would probably accommodate the art to "cover" most of his trailer damage from earlier decal. If he went for the price, good.....if not, so be it. The only thing I pretty mush say a firm "No" to is rush jobs or jobs with a definite deadline. 99% of rush or deadline jobs are bad planning on their part.
 

karst41

Member
Do you turn down work or try to save it and take the job you know you should not take ? I turn down work sometimes. Today a potential customer came in and we spent 15 minutes reviewing a vinyl image and words he wanted on a cargo trailer. I told him before I would proceed, I wanted to see the trailer. Well he brings in a used scraped up cargo trailer. He removed old logo with a razor blade. Paint was in Terrible condition. I just said Sorry but I will not do the job on that, or at least I will not guarantee that job and you will not be happy. Still Full price. Then I just changed it to just NO. I would rather turn it down than do a job like that.


The only time you say no to this is when the paint has fully oxidized. Meaning that when you remove the oxidization you are quickly down to bare metal.

My installers have no issue installing over old vinyl and or adhesive as long as the dirt is cleared
off the adhesive.
 
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