Nobody cares at all!

Nobody cares at all!
Nobody gives a damn!

Like that? That was a litle ditty that my wife came up with at a very low time in our lives. The funny thing is, on some level she was right.

The reason I bring it up is to remind you that nobody cares about your problems. Not me, not your neighbors, and certainly not your prospective clients.

Last year, we hired a contractor to dig a trench in our yard. We found him through Craigslist. It was, for him, a small job. When I spoke to him on the phone, he was telling me how he didn’t usually advertise through Craigslist, but times were hard and business was down, so he was getting creative. Okay, I have no problem with that. Getting creative is What I Do.

But when he came to estimate the job, he started talking about how much gas is cost to drive his trencher to my house, how he was going to have to pay his employee to do the handwork where the trencher wouldn’t fit, etc. In short, he wasn’t making any money on this job.

Guess what?

I don’t care.

I don’t care about your expenses. I don’t care how much work it is. It’s your chosen line of work. You own the business for goodness sake! If you can’t cover your expenses, raise your price, or pass on the work. Just keep in mind that other contractors are doing exactly what you do at the price you deem too low.

My Mother-in-Law recently got an estimate from two home organizers to come in and de-clutter her bedroom. One of them went on and on about how far she had to drive to get to the house. The “gas costs money” issue again.

She didn’t care. She hired the other organizer, who not only did not complain about her business expenses, but also charged less.

Bottom line: You won’t get anywhere complaining to your prospects about how hard it is out there, or that you’re not making any money on this deal. The only place you are likely to get to is out the door.


Rob Wallis is The Marketing Outsider, a speaker, author, and consultant who helps business owners increase their profitability by improving their visibility. Contact him at The Wallis Group


About Robert B. Wallis

Robert B. Wallis is an author and consultant who helps business owners increase sales by looking at their business through the eyes of their customers.
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24 Responses to Nobody cares at all!

  1. GREAT POST! You are so right. No one cares about the issues you face as a business owner when quoting job. Quote it as you see fit and don’t fall into the negative.

  2. So true…we don’t care, and we shouldn’t. Such poor business practice to complain about what it costs you to do business. I have had the same gardener come and mow my lawns for the past 17 years…he hasn’t raised his price even once. I asked him one day why not…he said, customers leave when you raise your price…he has worked right through all this economic downturn and even bought a new truck. Pays not to complain.

    Darcie Newton
    Wine not whine. Nature not nurture. Discipline for profit, none for cheese.

  3. What a funny post Rob. It is a seriously off putting moment, when you are ready to commit to paying for a job, and the business owner complains about how they are not making money, for the work. While vetting quality furniture repairers for a client, one of the guys was easygoing & keen to go over to my clients, and the other one was grouching about how they normally only do big jobs and this was too small but they could go and take a look, while sounding like they didn’t want to be bothered. Guess which person I chose to recommend to my client?

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress blending lifestyle and laughter
    Brandy how interesting to think that life is like a voyage of discovery. I love the way you have boldly forged forward and found your passion. Exciting too to think you are sharing your knowledge with passion and empowering people around you, to fulfill their own promise. Like a design brought to life

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress blending lifestyle and laughter

  4. Fiona Stolze says:

    So agree with you on this one. I find it such a turn-off if someone starts this with me. Why don’t they take another job if this one is such a problem. The truth is that there really are more fish in the sea. I just say ‘next’ and move on. Whoever gives me the most value has the job.

    Fiona Stolze

  5. Great post Rob. Complainers out the door for sure. No time or patience to listen to them and in my opinion, if they have that much negative energy it will be reflected in the quality of their work as well.

  6. I agree. There are lots of people that can do the same job. You’re job is to believe you’re the best, and to be the best you can be for your clients.

  7. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for posting this “breath of fresh air”. So well written, too. EVERYONE can relate to this!

    I’ve found that most of the “complainers” I meet never stop, but continue to whine about every damn thing. With my amateur psychologist hat on, it’s like they’re so fearing failure, they undermine their chances of getting any job.

    BTW, here’s a YouTube video of George Carlin talking about “nobody cares about you”. If you don’t mind a little blue language, it’s pretty funny and very telling.

  8. Heard about this experience recently through a friend, where a contractor happily quoted a job, it was accepted at their price, they performed and then came back to complain AFTER that the money wasn’t enough…the job was more difficult than they had anticipated. Who thinks complaining about these things is effective in business? You’re right that they are more likely to see the door as customers (or potential customers) will just move on to the next contractor.
    Brandy Mychals
    Communications Coach
    Creator of Split Second Perceptions

  9. Oh I SO agree!!!! My current role as Au Pair coordinator is very poorly paid – we do it for love really. I never complain to my host families or Au Pairs though – why should they care? What could they do about it? Nothing! I do find contractors are the worst at it though – along with the intake of breath as they shake their head before they come up with the bad news. Thanks – I really enjoyed this post!
    Louise Edington
    Facing Fears Over Fifty

  10. You make a really great point and one all business owners would do well to always keep in mind, myself included. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Pat Zahn says:

    Amen, brotha…(love the cry-baby picture for this post!) Whiners are a REAL pet-peeve of mine, especially whiners who whine while supposedly offering you service. Maybe your follow-up could be about the whiney customer, who tells you how high your prices are (which you haven’t set since you are a rep) at the same time she’s bragging about her latest overseas trip and her expensive ornament collection…I’m just smiling and pointing her to an item I have on clearance…

    Pat Zahn, Photo Solutions Superhero

  12. Jen Sako says:

    I absolutely hate when people complain about providing me with service! It is one of my pet-peeves and as soon as I can come up with a polite, but pointed way of shutting them up, I will share it. I, also, don’t care how early you woke up, how far you had to drive, etc., etc. I, also, don’t care if you, as my cashier, have not had your break yet, your day off yet, if you hate the computer system, your managers or co-workers. Could NOT care less. Yet, complete strangers feel the need to confide in us, as customers, all the details of their underpaid, overworked lives while we are trying to hand them over money! Bravo for posting this!

  13. FABULOUS! you are right – nobody cares! we all have the same worries in one way or another, and we have to be creative to make it work. I like your examples in making your point! Rachel

  14. Julie Labes says:

    I see it from the other side sometimes. People are hiring me and all they do when I tell them the cost of my service is then tell me of all the other costs they have to endure and how they are so badly paid or again with the cost of gas to get to me. They want ME to drop MY rates to accommodate them and unfortunately that is what I sometimes do have to do to stay in business

    Julie Labes,…The Fierce over 50 feels much younger point and click junkie loves to travel does not use a jogging stroller and before you ask this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman

  15. The minute someone starts complaining, I turn off my ears and look ahead for someone else! I really liked this post and agree with you completely. Great job putting it out there to remind people. We all have bad days when we could fall into this trap, but it’s our job to monitor ourselves so we don’t!

    Judy Stone-Goldman

  16. Donna McCord says:

    As a business owner myself, I know how tempting it is to lay your burdens on other people around you, but I understand that it is not the professional or wise thing to do! As you say, no one wants to know how many bills we have to pay or what it costs to keep our doors open. We always try to focus on how our services will benefit the customer and how the value outweighs the cost. Then hopefully the customer will care to make a good choice!

  17. I, too, encounter this far too often from “supposed” professionals. When it becomes particularly annoying, I will ask them “and why is that relevant to me” in hopes that they will see the error in doing that.

    Rachel Lavern
    Personal Transformation, Enlightenment and Development

  18. Jan Tallent says:

    hi, Rob. Great post and I could not agree more! Of course, you probably don’t care, lol

    Jan 🙂

    • Jan,
      On the contrary! It’s the complainers I can do without. Praise, I’ll take any day. 🙂

      • Jan Tallent says:

        I hear you!

        I have coffee with an elderly gentleman almost every day – he whines and gripes and complains so much that even the locals that sit around us were in shock the day he said,
        “Can’t complain” one day when he got his breakfast – I even went and told the waitress and the cook when he said that, lol

  19. Totally agree with you Rob. It’s business, gas is expensive, employees cost money, you have to spend money to make money. Don’t wave your complaints about YOUR business in your customer’s face, because guess what? those customers will become your EX-customers pretty darn quick. Love your take on this.

  20. Love this! I wonder if people who do this think that a prospect will say, “hey, you’re right, let me pay you more!”.

    There are also the people who don’t do the job correctly and then make excuses that they were giving you “a deal” to begin and/or that they didn’t make any money on the job. It’s almost like they’re daring you to complain!

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