How to Turn Down a Job, Angela Brown, Savvy Cleaner

How to Turn Down a Job

How to turn down a job in house cleaning is a common question. Do you overprice your service and hope the homeowner finds a new maid or maid service? Do you turn down a job because of difficult customers? Or do you say goodbye and don’t accept the job in the first place?

Part of your house cleaning training is to learn to turn down a job. If you have high maintenance customers you can’t manage, end the contract and move on.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

How to Turn Down a Job in a Professional Manner

How to Turn Down a Job suburban houseHow do you turn down a job professionally?  Maybe the house is just too big for you to handle or whatever the reason may be. How do you professionally go about that?

The easy answer is don’t accept the job in the first place if you think it’s going to be too much for you. So if you’re doing a walkthrough with a customer and the customer starts giving you triggers.

Triggers That You Need to Turn Down the Job

How to Turn Down a Job suspicious guy isolated forty housecleanersTriggers are things that make you think of other things. Like if they say, “Well, we’ve already been through 40 house cleaners,” okay, that’s a trigger, right?

Because you’re thinking in your mind, “Well, if they’ve been through 40 I’m going to be 41,” right?They’re going to fire me too.”

Chances are you’re correct. And so that would be a reason for you to walk out the door and don’t take the job in the first place.

Turn Down the Job Don’t Try to Prove Them Wrong

Charity Cleaning, Frustrated Man at ComputerIt’s far easier to turn down the job in the first place than it is to jump through a bunch of hoops and try to prove them wrong. It will only end up frustrating you and taking the joy out of cleaning.

There will be jobs where you will talk yourself out of it before you ever even give the price quote.

Some House Cleaners Price Themselves Out of Jobs

How to Turn Down a Job pile of coins with arrow going up isolatedThere are some house cleaners who price so high that they don’t get the job. But sometimes the customer says, “Well, yes, I’m willing to pay that. I would like for you to still be my house cleaner.” Then they’ve priced themselves into that.

So if you’re not the right person, there is no shame right upfront in saying, “We are not a good fit“. You don’t have anything to lose.

I know we want people to like us. But the reality is, they’re probably not going to like you anyway, but that has nothing to do with your personality. It has to do with they don’t like anyone in the first place. That’s why they’ve gone through lots of house cleaners.

You Will Know Right Away to Turn Down the Job 

Two women on sofa talking - recommend meWhen you’re in a house for a walkthrough you will know right away when to decline the job. A little voice in your head will say, “This job is not right for you“.

Then tell the client, “Hey, listen, after walking through your house with you, I’m not cut out for this particular house. I want you to have the best house cleaner. I don’t think I’m it.

So you let yourself off the hook and then you excuse yourself and you go home. You don’t have to stay for another 45 minutes and give all the reasons why. Just say you’re not a good fit.

Some Clients Aren’t Happy with Anyone

How to Turn Down a Job lawsuit documentI went to a house and a woman told me she was going to sue everybody under the sun. The plumbing guy, the landscaping guy, the pool or repair guy. Everybody.

And I’m next, of course, I’m next. What am I a fool? And so as I left I said, “Hey, listen, I really appreciate the fact that you need a house cleaner, but I’m not the right house cleaner for you. I just have this feeling that I would be the next person on your list.”

I said, “I’m afraid that you would sue my company and I’m just not up for a lawsuit right now. So I like you as a person, you seem wonderful, but based on all the things you just told me, I’m not a good fit for your house.

And she was like, “Oh, I do sue a lot of people don’t I?

Yeah, you do. And I don’t want to be it. Anyway, it was nice meeting you and I’m going to head on out the door now. So cheers.” And then you leave.

How to End a Job Professionally When You Have Already Started

Charity Cleaning, Frustrated House CleanerNow, what happens when you have just started a job and you realize it’s not a good fit? Then there’s a lot of angst and you wake up in the morning and you’ll have to go to that house and you hate going to that house.

In this case, it’s time that you excuse yourself because you’re not going to serve the customer. And you’re not going to serve your business because if you hate your job, that only taints all the people that you’re working with.

And so they wake up and they’re like, “Ew, we don’t like this house,” and things get said and it gets passed on to other employees. It gets passed on to neighbors. It’s bad energy that you don’t want in your business.

End the Job Professionally if You Hate it

How to Turn Down a Job housecleaner sitting on floor exhaustedSo, if you start to hate a job, go to the customer and say, “Listen, our business is moving in a bunch of different directions. We’re going to rescale some stuff and move some scheduling around. So, I’m going to have to say goodbye to your account.”

And if they say, “Well, no, can you fit me in on another day?” Then say, “No, I can’t. I appreciate your business though. I wanted to thank you so much for providing for my family during this time, so thank you so much for your business. It was nice to know you“.

Don’t lie. Don’t say it was nice to work for you if it was not okay, be very careful about what you say.

End the Job in a Professional Manner by Telling the Truth

How to Turn Down a Job calendar with fully booked weekIf it was nice that they paid for your bills. Then say, “I appreciate the fact that you paid for my bills. Thank you so much. You’ve been a blessing in my life and now it’s time for us to move on. My schedule is just too full. So I wish you the best of luck.”

Then refer them to House Cleaning 360. It lets you off the hook. It’s a hub that connects house cleaners with homeowners.

Say, “So listen, I’m not going to be able to serve your business anymore. But you can go to There are a whole bunch of house cleaners that are there waiting for your business and they will be happy to serve you. So anyway, thank you. It’s been lovely,” and then get out the door.

Don’t linger, don’t prolong it. Don’t give excuses. Don’t tell lies and don’t say things like, “Well, we have something else going on. And maybe we’ll pick this up at a later date.”

Don’t Tell Them You’re Coming Back if You Aren’t

How to Turn Down a Job woman at home on phone callIf you don’t plan on coming back, don’t promise that you will. There are house cleaners that do that, and the homeowners keep tabs on them.

Then when they start advertising on social media the customers call back. They say, “Hey, can you pick us up again as an account we really liked you? And then the house cleaners chewing their nails going, “Ooh, what do I say?”

What you say is, you be honest right upfront. You can be diplomatic and you can be polite. But the answer is, “Yeah, no, we can’t do it anymore. So thank you so much for the time that we spent together and we’re out of here“. Give them a fist bump on the way out the door, and everybody leaves on good terms.

End the Job with a Smile on Your Face

How to Turn Down a Job confident woman isolatedSo how do you end a job gracefully? You do it with a smile on your face and you do it with the confidence of knowing they’re not the right customer for you.

It’s time for you to move on and it’s not personal. It’s a business decision. And so, think about your business.

Is this client the best solution for your business? And if they’re a problem and they’re not a solution for your business, it’s time for you to move on.

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*** Resources From This Episode ***

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t –

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies –

Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great –

Principles: Life and Work –

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 –

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