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Don't judge a customer by their cover.


David Hammond

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:47 pm

Don't judge a customer by their cover.

We're probably all guilty of it. Customer pops in, and you immediately dismiss them, a time waster, wanting something for nothing. Sometimes that may be true.

However, a pleasant surprise, when what at first looks like the local drug dealer comes in, they come across as stoned.

Naturally it didn't get to the top of the list, and they popped back in. The lad appreciated we were busy, and that his job wasn't urgent but he wanted us to do it.

I gave him a price, including VAT.

Next day the same lad comes in, with a bundle of cash, there's the deposit, can you sort a design out. I hadn't mentioned deposits, half expecting him to run a mile.

This continued, the lad had paid in full before we had even cut the vinyl, which we had in stock anyway.

We're now quoting on his shop sign..he wants the price ASAP, so can sort his money out and get some to us.

I feel a little guilty, that I judged this lad, and really he's alright. Listens to our advice, is happy to pay a fair price, and pays without being prompted.

Anyone else has a similar experience where they mis judged a customer?

Chris Wilson

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Re: Don't judge a customer by their cover.

Once years ago but in retail. Wife and husband came in, not exactly looking fresh or well off. Sold them what they wanted but the lower end of the scale. Got to the till and I’ve never seen so much cash in a wallet. All 50’s to. Enough for a house deposit in there. My sale.. £42

I also got lectured for invoicing a job up front today (rolls eyes).

Robert Walker

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:40 pm

Re: Don't judge a customer by their cover.

Not really miss judging,

I had an old couple come in a couple of years back for some golden wedding invites, not normally my sort of thing so pointed them in the direction of a small printers down the road.

They came back 20 min later asking if I was ok to do them as they were spoken too really badly at the printers as it was such a small job. So one photo scan and a bit of type setting later 40 invites done, only charged a small amount and the old couple were over the moon with them.

2 weeks later there son came in after a glowing review from his parents asking for vehicle graphics and business stationery. 60+ full wagon wraps and 10’s of thousands of letterheads, business card, brochures and more recommendations to other good customers.

I think always be polite and helpful and you shouldn’t go wrong, you never know who your talking to.

Robert Lambie

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:52 pm

Re: Don't judge a customer by their cover.

A few years ago I had three customers in our reception at once. Staff on lunch and I was running about daft getting keys for the customer's vans etc.
One of the customers was picking up a small sign... a guy I had never seen before squeezes in at the back of the rest of them and as I am handing over the sign, this guy loudly asks "how much is that sign?"
I glanced at him and continued writing and said: "ill be with you in 2 ticks"...
He replies, "I am in a rush and I am double parked"... "how much????"
I knew the price as I had just given the other guy his bill that was now leaving, so I told this guy the price and bumped £20 on it. he says OK, give me 5 of those and I will pop in with artwork in an hour. I never expected to see him again!
30 minutes pass and in he walks with a USB stick, handing me it he says, "can I pick them up about 5pm?" I was going to say no chance, 5pm tomorrow night at earliest. But it was only 11am... so I said "as long as the artwork is ready to print, then yes!" after all, I had £100 extra on top of the proper price right away...
That customer has spent over £100,000 since then on vans, signs, trucks and exhibition stand work... he is also a good friend now and I go for a beer with him occasionally. Funny thing is, I joke with him that he was nearly told to F***k off that day. :smiles: :smiles:

James Sahota

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Don't judge a customer by their cover.

Reminds of a similar story Rob....

Friday afternoon back in 2011 a very big chap from Birmingham walks in wanting a sign for a new shop in Stratford.

We give him a quote for £3500 based on the rough sizes he had on a tissue.

Told him he could have it in 3 days, his reply can I have it tonight at 10pm....Our reply NO sorry!

Walks out and comes back 10 mins later with an envelope and handed us 5k

Gob Smacked...Fire up the CNC machine and get his sign ready for a fitting that very night.

Spent over £240K with us in 16 months.

He walked in with shorts, unshaven and food down his shirt....The very same guy is a dear friend now and lent me his Rolls Royce for my sisters wedding a few years later.

NEVER EVER take people on first appearances!!

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