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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

First Impressions = Client Blind Dates

I always do meet and greets with new clients before working for them.  It is the nature of the business.  It starts with a phone call, a text, or an email.  We go over the basics, then we set a "date."   I usually try to meet people in the morning so that I am fairly fresh and don't smell like I have just walked 16 dogs. Sometimes I walk in there looking fresh and awake, possibly even dressed nicely.  Sometimes I walk in with drool and animal hair all over me after having worked a full day looking a bit haggard.

After doing this for 15 years and I have pretty much seen everything.  New meetings can usually go 1 of 3 ways.

Number 1:  The client knows EXACTLY what they want to tell you and they go into so much detail that you are there for at least an hour.   Don't get me wrong, I want to know as much as possible, but I don't always need to watch them show me all the different ways that they play with their cat (unless it's something really cool!)

Number 2: The clients welcome me into their home and silently stare at me until I ask all the questions.  I get it, they may have never done this before and they don't really know what to do.  I have to take charge and get all of the information that I need and hope that they are more comfortable than they appear.

Number 3:  The clients that are extremely prepared with notes and a key.  They give me a quick overview and I am outta there in 10-15 minutes.

I am perpetually early, which means that usually I have to wait for them if they are not home yet.  I have waited for up to 30 minutes for new clients to show up.  I have seen disastrous houses that clients don't mention.  I have seen impeccably clean houses that clients call disastrous.   I had a client greet me at the door with a large amount of cocaine all over his nostril.  I have been given full house tours and I have been given the quick kitchen/basement tour.  Some people have gone on a dog walk WITH me off the bat, some have handed me a key and I never heard from them again.

Depending on what time of day I come, the animals might feel differently about me as well.  If I come at the end of my day and smell like 20 different dogs, cats tend to hiss and run away.  Dogs are either engrossed or wary.  If I come first thing in the morning and I smell like my house and soap, I get entirely different reactions.

People are very very different in how they deal with certain situations.  Every new client meeting is an adventure and I never know what to expect.  I just always hope that a good story comes out of it.

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