Meeting with potential clients.

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Forum topic by rhett posted 01-29-2009 01:56 AM 1860 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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743 posts in 4274 days

01-29-2009 01:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I wanted to throw this topic out there to see how others meet with clients. I had a kitchen measured by a new granite sub, he showed up in shirt and tie. When I razed him about his “wallstreet look”, he replied by telling me that the cost of his tops are equal to that of a nice used car, and he should atleast look as good as a used car salesman. It got me thinking, should I be dressing in my Sunday best to meet with potential clients. People buying custom woodwork aren’t normally used car buyers, if you get my drift. I don’t show up in ragged jeans and a T, but how much is too much? I thought clean khakis and a polo were sufficient.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

17 replies so far

View pete57's profile


136 posts in 4018 days

#1 posted 01-29-2009 02:12 AM

I feel that potential clients want to see a craftsman. Wall Street folks look like money people with sports cars, pink caddies for mary kay, and pickup trucks/suv’s for wood people. I know that when I have to have carpenters build stuff for me they should have rough hands and not look like they are in the swindle business. I wear un-torn clothes that are clean and my personal hygene is all that it can be. I do wear nicer clothes to meet people that I wear in the shop.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4406 days

#2 posted 01-29-2009 02:14 AM

You need to look professional, but not too fancy. if you drive up in a brand new hummer and wearing a suit, the message you give is..”wow, now here is a guy who will overcharge me”... On the other side, torn jeans and a dusty t-shirt says, ” here is a guy with no taste and since he is a mess, his work will be to.”

What I am saying is that there is no set answer. You have to size up who you will be meeting with and dress for that. A nice clean and ironed shirt with a collar and pants should get you far. If you have a good company logo that you can get embroidered on the pocket.. looks even more professional.

-- making sawdust....

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4165 days

#3 posted 01-29-2009 02:23 AM

I agree with both Pete and mott. A clean pair of pants or jeans and a shirt with your logo will go a lot further with most customers than someone showing up in a suit and tie. Someone who shows up with a suit and tie, I would be a little lirie of.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View toolman409's profile


20 posts in 4012 days

#4 posted 02-01-2009 04:26 AM

I like two pocket button shirts because I put my cell phone in one and my wallet in the other. Turns out they give a good craftsman look. Phone doesn’t drop out when I bend over, either.

My favorites are Denium, khaki, and olive. I have both short and long sleeve to match the season.

Not a uniform but gives a routine look.

-- Keith, NW Alabama

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 4009 days

#5 posted 02-02-2009 09:17 PM

I agree with everyone above, Nice clean pants , whether they be jeans or dockers and a nice polo or button shirt with your logo on it, is more than enough to suffice. I have one question for you… how did you feel about meeting this sub, dressed like he was ?


-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View Moron's profile


5046 posts in 4500 days

#6 posted 02-02-2009 09:49 PM

Just to be different

I look like a homeless person. Battered boots, socks dont match, shirt is stained, sometimes torn, pants despite being clean could stand up on their own and a dusty hat that leaves really bad hat head. woodchips in the cuffs of the pants and a coat…...well, its very “USED”. Never lost a client due to my fashion statements.

I was getting gasoline a few days back and noticed this woman having a hell of a time with her credit card so I asked if she needed help and she replied “I dont have any money”

So I said “I dont want your money”..........”Looks like your having trouble getting gas!”.......and she gave me a disgusting look like I was a homeless man and I repeated “Do want some help?”

She asked me how did the pump know how much gas to pump?......How does it know when to turn off the pump?.........How does it know how much I can spend? I walked her through the process and in the end she thanked me and said that “You dress funny”.......and I replied “You pump gas funny”

She bought me a sandwich at a restearant (cant spell) and after listening to me speak about my work…......offered me work which I had to decline much to her surprise.

I guess my rule is….............just dont show up naked.

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

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4472 days

#7 posted 02-02-2009 09:56 PM

.............just dont show up naked.

That explains a lot…

-- He said wood...

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4274 days

#8 posted 02-02-2009 11:52 PM

My initial feelings were that hes trying too hard, or charging too much. It is nice I guess to have someone go the extra mile to get your work. My guess was he thought the decission making was going to be that of the “boss” of the project…..the wife. In conclusion, his prices were competitive and his work as I have seen is top notch. If he wants be a Ken doll so be it. I am however getting ready to purchase polos with logos, I just don’t know who will be wearing the other 24. Atleast I will always have a clean one!

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4220 days

#9 posted 02-02-2009 11:59 PM

Actually, given the economic fiascos of last year, the LAST place you want to be associated with is Wall Street! I don’t think you want to look like any kind of banker, either!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4165 days

#10 posted 02-03-2009 01:08 AM

Amen eengineer…...........LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4921 days

#11 posted 02-03-2009 01:25 AM

I worked for a cabinet company owned and ran by sales people. They did very well. (at sales. Their product sucked) So I know a suit would work, but not for me. If I wanted to wear a suit I would have a gotten a real job sucking the blood out of innocent consumers. (Lawyer, banker, real estate, Cabinet salesman!)

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4487 days

#12 posted 02-03-2009 02:26 AM

id say just be clean and presentable . i have always made a point of not wearing clothing with any thing written on it except my own name and bus. theres different people you will encounter . some like to see the escolade because it seems you must be doing things right because you appear succesful , others will think this guy is looking for someone to pay the next payment on that big ride ! lol you cant make everyone happy , i just keep my vehicle decent and myself presentable

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4351 days

#13 posted 02-03-2009 03:03 AM

I have a couple of polo shirts with my company name embroidered on them, that I wear with a good pair of jeans, when I make calls. If folks come to the shop, then I look like the coolie that does all of the work, complete with the stains, rips and tears.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4499 days

#14 posted 02-04-2009 08:28 PM

I came from the DOT COM world when I started my business, so I was accustom to Dockers, golf shirts, and loafers. This is what I wore for the first dozen or so sales calls and I didn’t close one sale. A guy called me one day and wanted to talk about closets and I was driving around in blue jeans and a T-shirt. By this time I had become cynical about selling anything so I went to the sales call in the blue jeans and T-shirt, and I made the sale. That was seven years ago and I still wear blue jeans to all my appointments. I changed to a polo shirt with my logo on it, but I am superstitious about wearing Dockers or getting too dressy. During the summer I go in shorts. It never seems to make a difference to customers. If it did, I probably wouldn’t want their business anyway.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4378 days

#15 posted 02-04-2009 08:51 PM

For years I was selling Ferraris, Porsches and BMWs. Suits, silk ties, fitted shirts where what I had to wear on the job. I’m so glad that is over and I can be comfortable. People do treat you like the clothes you wear, wear a suit, they call you sir; wear jeans and an old sweatshirt and you’re a dude…

Wear nothing and they call the police.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

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