How sick is that? It really doesn’t matter what business we’re talking about – if we’re talking trades, pretty much the only reason your going to call us is because you have a problem. Your toilet is plugged, your furnace is dead, your water heater exploded (note clip above) or something else is causing you problems and you need our help.
So that, in itself, lends to an untrusting relationship from the moment you meet us (and by us, I mean tradespeople/repair-people everywhere). We’ve found a way to make money off of your misfortune! Wait a minute though — I think there may be another side to the story.
Maybe, just maybe, all of these great professionals – whose life is making your problems go away – aren’t taking advantage of you. Let’s review the facts. They’re spending 5-10 years just learning the trade thoroughly (seriously, it takes that long to get really good at a trade). Then, they’re taking what’s deemed a “blue collar” job that often involves dealing with dirty situations, and hot, cramped crawl spaces. They’re agreeing to be on-call for a big part of their life, accepting pay many would consider sub-par — all in the name of taking advantage of someone? Sounds a bit sideways, doesn’t it? I personally know a lot of tradesmen, and I can tell you that one thing almost all of them have in common is a real desire to help people.
Suddenly, it doesn’t sound like anyone is being taken advantage of. Amazing what happens when you look at the facts!
Here’s the bottom line. We both need each other. The customer needs a qualified tradesperson, and the qualified tradesperson needs the customer. This should be a long term relationship of looking out for each other – not a dreaded-but-necessary encounter with the enemy!
So choose your plumber, electrician or HVAC mechanic carefully. Pick someone who has been in business for a while. Hint: the best companies to work with are rarely the cheapest!
Check out my friend Kevin Shaw’s blog on the Customer’s Bill of Rights.