Good client stories?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Muzhik posted 01-10-2008 06:59 PM 1243 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Muzhik's profile


173 posts in 4403 days

01-10-2008 06:59 PM

Overall, lumberjocks is a great pick-me-up, an I’m not starting this topic in an effort to make any sort of commentary about some of the pros talking trash about their nightmare client. After all, it’s good for them to have an outlet to vent – and by the same token, it’s good for those of us considering taking the leap to have a dose of reality. We need to be reminded that it’s not all roses making our hobby into a dream job. I don’t know that there really is any such thing as a “dream” job.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here’s the reason I’m starting the thread. How about a few stories concerning good experiences you guys have with good clients? Everyone says that the good clients outnumber the occasional pain in the butt by a healthy margin.

So how about it, pros? Tell us your stories about the BEST experiences you’ve had with a client (or customer for life).

6 replies so far

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 4112 days

#1 posted 01-10-2008 08:21 PM

First, I don’t quite identify with the pro classification, but my work is my life as well as my livelyhood.
This is a great question. Your last few words are the key to success. Now this success does not always come with financial prosperity, but it’s still a success, like a consuming happiness that more than compensates for what many in the world may perceive as a financial sacrifice.
It will be interesting to see how others describe their Customer for Life experiences. Other than gallery sales and the commissions that originate as a result, the remainder of my work results from word of mouth. One gentleman in particular has become a close personal friend and with time has developed a real interest in the craft of woodworking, which is wonderful. As a result of our friendship, I now feel awkward about “working” for him as the friendship has become more valuable than any financial gain.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4158 days

#2 posted 01-13-2008 03:05 PM

I have ots of great customer stories. Some were not actually “my” clients but rather work sub contracted to me from another cabinet maker.

Years ago I worked for a lady who (silently) I thought was a “Mary Poppins” wannabe. I couldnt wait to finish as it was Christmas. I had no money, was feeling sorry for myself because I had little to get my two little daughters for Christmas. When I left the lady gave my a gift bag (bottle of wine) and a card.

On the drive home I opened the booze bag expecting to see a bottle of cheap wine and to my surprise it was a very expensive bottle of red wine… I opened the card and 5…....100 dollar bills fell out. I almost cried.

Another client.

This chap bought the old “Coors” cottage, (ya Coors Beer) and the old couple who had it were avid gardners.

This guy’s got cake lots of it. $$$$$$. Finishing the project I step outside and he is standing over several hundred square feet of tarps and on the tarps are hundreds of perrenial flowers. 50 years worth of gardening, so many plants I couldnt count them all. Asking him what he was doing, he explains that he hates maintenance, that he has not the time nor patience to deal with all the gardens….....I ask what he plans to do with them and he says… are going to load them in your truck and give them a good home. He also offered, that if I cleaned out his 4 car drive shed and took the crap to the dump, that I could have everything in it….....................a bloody gold mine.

I have another client that has let me tag along with him on two trips to the Rocky Mountains BC for a week of downhimm skiing, 7 nights in the lap of luxury. When I built my shop, he dropped off my overhead doors, two passage doors…...........I never saw an invoice.

Another is an affluent and very successful Doctor. he has done more for my daughter then my own family. he has spent Christmas eve with her, helping her write resumes,letters. references in helping her reach her goal of getting into medical school. he has called friends in far away cities who have opened up the their homes to her, drove her to appointments. Sorta like a mentor of sorts.

and finally in closing ( I have hundreds of good stories) when I divorced my old business partner, life was stressful. Always in the back of my mind, did I do the right thing, what about my kids,.........I took a short holiday with my kids and when I returned I had a message from my partners client saying to drop by his office when I got home.

I got home, dropped by and he slid an envelope across his desk and said…...........”Start your own shop, this should get you going and dont worry about paying me back, when you get on your feet you can make me a bedroom suite. When the time came to make his bedroom suite he even payed for the wood….........and he has since been very very generous.

There isnt enough bandwidth to write them all down.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4145 days

#3 posted 01-13-2008 03:28 PM

in my many years of contracting i have many stories much like romans , and can only think of maybe 2 horror stories. most of my customers are quite affluent and treat me with the same respect as i do them . usually we become more like friends . i do have a knack for spotting “problem people ” , and i tell them i cant fit them in my schedule for quite some time and they will usually get someone else . those people like to be put in front of the rest and are put off if you dont . i have a motto , i dont take every job that comes along , nor do i take every customer that comes along . therefore about all my stories are good ones .

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4158 days

#4 posted 01-14-2008 06:54 AM

guessing we met the last ones?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4227 days

#5 posted 01-14-2008 03:23 PM

A customer found out I mis-bid on some shelf units and insisted on paying for them. He also had checks ready in minutes. I need more like him.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4139 days

#6 posted 01-14-2008 04:44 PM

I don’t have any amazing stories like those above, but I’ve worked with a lot of good people.

After the shop burned down almost all of my clients waited for me, instead of going to someone else, even though it set their projects back three to four months.

I was late completing one project and offered the client a discount for the delay, but they insisted on paying the full price.

What I really appreciate is clients who do their homework – they look through catalogs and magazines and at least get an idea what styles they like and what features they need.

-- -- --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics