When making recommendations goes wrong! - Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum

Go Back   Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum > Business Zone > Business, Marketing, and Sales

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-19-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Montreal, Qc, Canada
Posts: 90

View MDservices's Photo Album My Photos
Default When making recommendations goes wrong!

So here's a fun little story:

I've been doing a lot of heating and especially a lot of radiator work the last couple of months. I got in with a supplier who is always recommending me to their clients who buy new or old radiators.

One of those clients calls me because their 4 floor triplex used to work with hot water radiators but was switched out for electric and they now wanted to move back toward hot water and wanted me to see if it's still functioning as all the radiators are still there along with the boiler and piping etc...

I go, verify everything, change a few components on the heating system but the boiler is only 15 years old and while it isn't high efficient its a nice viessman, looks in good condition.

So after a bit of work and filling up the system, there's one radiator near the entrance on top floor that has a crack in it (typical) so I drop the system and make the recommendations that they can speak with the radiator supplier to get a new one or that I can take care of everything if they like. They're pretty hands on and say they'll take care of ordering the part.

Going back and forth with the client, we build up a good trust and communication, and really, having the clients trust is the most valuable thing for me as a small business owner. It's what allows me to sell whatever I want to a client, but I am able to do that because I sell them only what they need and I explain to them always! That explanation goes a long way even to clients who say "don't explain, just fix/replace/install it" etc.

So because the gas has been shut off by the city for a few years, they have to have the city come and inspect the lines themselves before turning it back on. I also recommended to them that they clean the boiler. I know I know, I should take care of that, I love heating systems! But it's just mundane and boring and I honestly feel my time is better spent elsewhere rather than cleaning the furnace. They ask me for recommendations as to who could clean the furnace. I've worked with other companies before who really, all they do is clean boilers and furnaces and work on the electrical/control side of the trade. So I throw out a few names.

Basically, after a few times of servicing and giving great service to a client, who was really happy with my work, which totalled around 2000$ for a bunch of different things, they called me back after a month to let me know that the other company had come, completely changed their boiler (14000$) and the price to change out the other cast iron radiator was 100$ less than me so they're going with them.

Now I appreciate this client calling me and letting me know. Why? because this is a valuable lesson. I lost out on more work because another company had a great salesmen. Sold them a furnace that for sure is nice, for sure was overpriced but because they made so much profit, they could get the other job at a cheaper price.

Recommendations... the next time someone asks me for a recommendation that's for work that technically is in my capabilities, even if I can't/won't do the work, I'm not recommending anyone. I built up their trust and when that other contractor came in, they were feeding off of the trust I had built, off of my reputation and now in the end, the client lost (they don't know it) and I lost. I'll recommend a lot of other people in other trades, but never again will I recommend anyone related to my trade.

Just thought some people might find this story interesting. Any others with similar stories?
MDservices is offline   Reply With Quote

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. PlumbingZone.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Old 11-19-2016, 03:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: cold north land
Posts: 841

View fixitright's Photo Album My Photos

Been there.
fixitright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 356

View PPRI's Photo Album My Photos

Most generally it's best to work out referrals before hand. We refer a lot of work to other contractors but all the contractors we refer understand that it's a two way street and that neither of us will steal clients. Shame on the other guy for not having the integrity to send the customer back to you.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
PPRI is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-19-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA area
Posts: 52

View Buddy's Photo Album My Photos

If I could just add my 2 cents.It may not have been wise to wait a month to hear back from this client. I would have stayed in touch. Not that that by itself would have done any good but whenever I land a good paying customer I try to stay in the loop. Also like the other person said from here on out have a frank conversation with the 1 or 2 other contractors who you refer and the going rate is a 10 % referral fee for the initial job. Just this week I referred a water service to someone and the total cost was 4100.oo So I get 410 dollars Last year I referred a different contractor to do some underground work Tie in a sewer for a new modular home.That total was 5k and I got 500cash Not bad.. However that same contractor built a 35k garage for the same client and I never saw a penny of that . Mabey I was not entitled to any?? Personally any
more I do not give any work away without getting paid for it or they give me work back.I,m sure you already know this Hope this was helpful
Buddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are You Making the Right First Impression as a Plumber? PlumbingZone Featured Articles and Topics 17 02-01-2017 07:50 PM
How many tings wrong with this set up?? Master Mark General Plumbing Discussion 15 09-11-2016 10:38 PM
Nothing wrong it! OpenSights Off Topic (Non Trade) 5 09-05-2016 11:50 PM
What could go wrong? Cajunhiker Plumbing Pictures 3 09-17-2015 10:40 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | ElectricianTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | RoofingTalk.com