First Customers!

Discussion in 'Chit Chat & Introductions' started by wax_addict, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. wax_addict

    wax_addict Member
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    Just popped out for an hour knocking doors for the first time, pretty daunting but went alright.

    Didn't knock many but picked up my first 2 customers, happy days.

    3rd gonna ring, she was wfp but she prefers trad cos water leaks in and her frames are a bit naffed so she's gonna cancel her wfp guy and give me a ring hopefully.

    Pricing, clueless. Counted windows but there were like 19 long and thins, figured its a bit high so went probably a bit low at 11 quid.

    Other custy was a guy who just wanted the ones above his garage done cos he couldn't get there, I'mma have to Harris pole them, (any advice? Harder than I thought!), he actudlly priced the two big ones at a fiver which seemed good.

    Didn't knock many or more challenging houses, figure I don't wanna run before I can walk. Went knocking more as practice at canvassing ready for when I drop leaflets and have some experience.

    Any advice for first customers?

    Only been cleaning my own windows for practice, kinda dreading something going wrong!
     
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  2. OoO

    OoO Guest

    Bless ya lol. As long as you don't fall of the ladder you will be fine.

    Just make sure you scrim everywhere and check for smears.

    Most people go on a £1 a window. I go on time. So I work out how long each window will take. As its a bit different when you are WFP

    Make sure the want a window a window cleaner as well.

    As they may use for one clean and that's it.
     
  3. wax_addict

    wax_addict Member
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    Cheers. Yeah I figure pricing will come over time.

    Is there a tried and tested method for squeegee on a Harris pole? Was a nightmare tryna get it right when I had a practice, mainly keeping it at a good angle throughout the pull down. Worth investing in a wagtail for pole work you reckon or can you get a good job without with a bit of practice? Angle adapter at the least?

    If I don't report back tomorrow I've taken a fall off me ladder!
     
  4. OoO

    OoO Guest

    Can't help on that as I'm WFP :(
     
  5. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    [SIZE=10.5pt]Nice one! Just practise, practise, practise or go wfp as is easier and safer to do on tops & awkward jobs.[/SIZE]

     
  6. Posh

    Posh Hero
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    Takes a lot of of practice with the wagtail on a pole. Check yer windows as coming down the laser. Take yer time. To many people worry more how much they can make then doing a good job. Don't worry about speed that will come. Make sure yer ladder is safe. Just don't rush. Get it right. Don't run before you can walk. All the best.
     
  7. Mart1001

    Mart1001 Well-Known Member
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    You'll be ok Wax aslong as you take your time. I know what you mean about canvassing those challenging houses, I've only being going three months and I found it best to try to focus on those simple box houses without sloping roofs under top windows or garages or tall bay windows etc. I would pick an area to canvas and then the night before, I would do aload of work on google maps, running the little man around the streets trying to find those houses to target.

    Don't hold too much hope on the woman that said she'd ring, they rarely do. I've given out tons of cards to people that reckon they'd probably phone me soon but, have only had one carry out the threat :)
    Pricing will come but, as I said above, the googleman can help you to view your potential houses prior to door knocking which, can give you some time to think about it.

    Don't worry if you're taking an hour or even longer on an house, that's natural and you can ease your customers patience when you knock for the money by simply saying 'sorry it took so long', they usually start replying with 'that's ok', but you can then continue with 'that's the problem with first cleans you know, cleaning the sills and frames and that....next time it should be quicker'. This will leave them feeling satisfied that you're interested in doing a good job.

    Be careful with your ladders and never take chances. Never step up them if you're not confident about the footing of the ladder. I found ladder mitts to be a big help because they allow you to rest the top of the ladder against the sill which gives you a few more inches away from the glass, so you don't feel limited for space up there and, your ladder angle will be better, giving you a more secure footing too. If I'm a little unsure of how well my ladder is footed or, sometimes just for the heack of it, I will step infront of the ladder, rest my foot against the bottom rung and, give it a shove....it of course, shouldn't move.

    A Wagtail is best for pole work as, just a simple twist of your pole will allow you to get that perfect angle on the squeegee for the downswipe. A zero degree squeegee is best when you need to clean a window over a sloping roof though because, if you try to get the angle with a wagtail or regular squeegee, the bottom of your angle adapter tends to hit the sill and, you leave the bottom of the pane in a mess. Oh yea, an angle adapter is a must have for pole work.

    You can use a regular squeegee for pole work but, it's a harder job, more fiddly and, takes more experience and skill.

    Keep smiling and take your time, don't try to look like a pro too soon with fancy fanning etc, you'll just make a mess. Stick with the '7' shaped technique, cut in on the top left. swipe across the top and then straight down...wipe your squeegee with finger an thumb and then, swipe down again.

    Hope some of this helps you mate...

    Mart.
     
  8. Belfastcleaning

    Belfastcleaning Grand Master
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    Well done wax.. Canvassing get easier, the more you knock the better it gets, I haven't done a proper knocking night in ages, but I always seem to have a laugh with people..

    There's a book called winning at window cleaning, many will say you don't need a book, but I can guarantee you will learn from it, and if I had that book when starting, my round would be completely different..
     
  9. wax_addict

    wax_addict Member
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    Cheers guys, much appreciated.

    Just got back, was a learning experience! Took me over 3 hours and even then it wasn't a full job. Lovely old lady took pity on me and made it alright though.

    My main, pretty much only problem, is reaching windows. If I can get in front of a window and reach corner to corner then I can clean it pretty well, for a beginner, But, getting in front of a window, nightmare!

    Started round back, top windows, tall, one on top of the other. Ladder just under sill, could reach the first and about 1/3 of the top. Figured I'd have to pole it. Come down the ladder, mess about setting pole up, wash, squeegee, streaky. Can't pole for ****, need more practice. Fashioned a long handle so I could reach the top, washed, squeegee, impossible. Can't get any movement using what's basically a small pole. Stright pulls leave streaks. Still barely reaching. Back down, tried pole again. Got it ok, back up, did the window I could reach, noticed mark on top window. Down, pole, streaks, pole, ok, up, clean bottom window. Repeat. Took about half hour messing about changing techniques to try and get the reach.

    Lady comes out, 'you just starting out my love? You're taking far too long'.

    Tell her yeah, sorry, I wanna get it perfect see. Had a chat, lovely lady, said 'you'll never make any money like this!, had to agree.

    Same for front top windows, just couldn't get to them.

    Standard problem I'm sure but it took so much time and messing about trying.

    Said to the lady, I won't take full price, I've only done half a job without those tops properly done, but she insisted and gave me a bit of encouragement which was nice.


    So, investing in step ladder. Had small steps but too small.

    If I get a stand off, does that give you extra reach on a ladder? If the standoff is under the sill for example then you've got a few more rungs than without yes?

    Solving this problem is it really, my technique was alright when I could reach a window.

    Any advice? (Aside from give up now?)

    I didn't fall off the ladder at least, coulda been worse!
     
  10. Mart1001

    Mart1001 Well-Known Member
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    My problem when I started was, that feeling of being pressed too close against the window which affected my reach and made it difficult to swap tools from one hand to the other etc. I always felt like I needed to step up one more rung but then, would feel unbalanced and that ain't good. Once I bought my ladder mitts, that changed. Being able to rest the ladder on the windowsill gives you that little bit more room aswell as a few inches extra height.
    [​IMG]

    I'm quite tall but even so, I still sometimes struggle to reach the very top of and upstair window. The mop and squeegee isn't the problem it's, detailing the top. What I do in that situation is, throw my cloth over the end of my squeegee blade and use it as an extension which works a treat.

    Leaving smears or water after squeegeeing is almost certainly down to your technique. If you're struggling up there, it ain't gonna be right whether it be the angle of the blade on the glass or, too much pressure on the glass. That will come and only practise will help you. Practise more on your own windows, on windows you're comfortable with and try to deliberately leave smears, find out why it goes wrong. A good tip for pressure applying is, squeegee a window and if you do a good job, do it again with half the pressure....still good, then do it again with even less pressure.

    Remember when pole-ing, let the weight of the pole apply the pressure, it's easy to push a little which is then amplified at the tip of the pole. Practise more on your own windows. It's no good doing it once and thinking 'that's it', because things work differently when working on a customers house....just the added pressure and the feeling of being watched can be enough to turn a good job into a disaster. Once you do a good job on your own, know that that can be used to put the sparkle back after but then, set out trying to deliberately make a bad job and teach learn what causes it.

    Mart.
     
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