So I finally ordered a WFP. I didn’t want to spend too much without having the work to go with it but wanted it to be be enough pole to get those high windows. I ordered the Brodex 36’, … sort of a compromise for me. But I’m excited to use it, … whenever it gets here (this week sometime).
The other day I had I lady ask me about residential. I went and did and estimate for her and it seemed a good fit to put the pole into action. It’s too high for me to ladder by myself but within reach of the pole (although I haven’t received it yet). I did the estimate based on using the WFP. The windows were really dirty and had not been cleaned for a long time. Trees are blooming around, etc. So the windows had pollen and dirt and whatever else, … easy to see from my vantage point. I’m thinking to myself I sure hope this WFP does the trick because no way am I laddering it.
So I know it’s hard to say but IS the WFP going to do the trick?? It’s hard to sell a new method that I’m unsure of. It may clean up magnificently. Or it may not. The learning curve hasn’t really started since I don’t have it yet but am wondering what limitations I’m going to find. I called her back and she really thought someone needed to get up there nose to glass to get it clean. And hell, she might be right. I’m getting the pole to eliminate risky ladder situations and to clean places I simply cannot get to with the length of my ladders. Is this the wrong approach?? I’m looking for safety and ability to clean higher windows.
I’d like to call her back after some practice with it and confidently say that I’ll get it super clean with this system. I may even offer to clean some of those particular windows for free to see how she likes everything. Plus she’s got lots of neighbors nearby as potential clients. Anyway I’m a little bummed as I wasn’t able to talk confidently about cleaning those windows. And I may have just lost that opportunity. It would have almost paid for my pole. I know there are plenty of other chances but the ingorance on my part is leaving my a little down.
Guess you could just consider this post a “getting it off my chest” type.
You don’t have to sell the method, only the result. You’re the professional, and decide which tool is most appropriate for you to get the result you guarantee.
WFP use, does, allow for you to point out certain benefits – such as increased safety, cleaning of frames, lessened impact on property (ladder sets in landscaping, etc.), and the power of pure water as a cleaner, and no residue to attract dirt.
I think you are right to be cautious & not sing too many benefits until you’re used it. I’d say on average it takes around 2 months to realistically have a good feel for wfp work & when it will or will not work. As with the squeegee, the same with the wfp… it takes time to master. When I started with wfp around 10 years a go, I was still undecided whether it was a bonus after 2 months. The weight of the poles then (an Unger alu’ pole) & the amount of water produced & used really was an effort. It really is just another weapon in your armory, but long-term it will be one of your best investments. Stick with it & as Jeff (Brimble) says, " Go waterfed, save your life."
Larry is spot on, sell the result of clean windows. Remember, pure water cleans off organic matter. Pollen, fly poo, dirt so on and so forth, so it won’t be till you convince your self that it works before you can convince others. Customers can smell your doubt a mile away, see it in your eyes, your face. So get the pole, practice your butt off. Watch the vids on wcr and YouTube and go make some $.
Just do it.
I had the same problem. I practice on my house a bit, and then i went and did a huge house. Had a little problems with oxidizing paint, but i remember all the stuff that i read here about that (wash frames first, let them dry). Windows look awesome. Very happy customer. Cut my time on half, didn’t have to go on the ladder outside. Can’t wait to use it again
I agree with Larry’s concept. When we sell service on homes we don’t tell them the
minutia of how we will do it. They are concerned about the end result. It is rare that we tell a customer how we will clean their windows. If there is a good pertinent reason I will, otherwise don’t burden them with information that they don’t need and may confuse them. As in your case you would have been fine to just have given the price and said you would make her windows look great. In the end with the WFP or not you would deliver to the customer. Sometimes we think educating the customer is necessary when in reality it is unnecessary. Even as you are learning the WFP you are still going to give them a quality job so no need to be afraid. In the end you do quality work, like the lady wanted. Nose on glass or feet in ground you can sell confidently.
The whole WFP conversation happened quite by accident. She was talking about how nervous she gets when she sees someone setting up and scaling a huge ladder in her backyard. Then I opened up with the “yeah I completely agree, that’s why I use a water few pole when it’s too high. Much safer, etc” . I think this confused her and from then on she had no concept of what I was going to do. And it seemed to make her leary of such a method saying she thought someone needed to physically get up there. And with that I wasn’t able to speak confidently about the results I was hoping for. In time this will change.
Just like Jeremiah said, … she could smell the doubt!! So true. I wouldn’t ever try to sell someone the WFP cleaning on purpose. Like many have said, the results are what we’re after. I just got myself in the wrong conversation at the wrong time. Live and learn. Speaking of I just got my pole!!! Now what the hell do I do?? Oh yeah, … practice my butt off! Thanks for the comments guys.
I keep pictures on my iPad of previous work and I show this photo of the potential wfp work has. Preaching: safety, time, and savings.
Included is the story on how:
-it took 3 guys to setup a 45’ ladder against her home and on the uneven/sloped ground
-1 guy fell off the ladder half-way up
-this 90 minute ladder job took 15 minutes with wfp
-I saved this customer $300 from her previous bill by having less risk and less people on her property.
…I should have “re-thought” the quote and only saved her $150.