How I Found Trust in the Trades
How I Found Trust in the Trades
The answer is “Yes, I really do! But there is more to my answer – let me explain.”
When I was young, I developed a fear of people taking advantage of me. It guided my decisions even as a child because I really didn’t want to be “ripped off” or lied to. It’s possible that many times I missed out on opportunities due to my lack of trust, but I learned to follow my gut and I felt pretty good about my decisions.
As I grew up, I was intrigued by the fact that many people have a higher than normal level of distrust for tradespeople. I was hooked! I learned everything I could about trust and the trades.
Today, I can proudly tell you that I have the secret to trusting trades. I also offer clients a trustworthy option as the owner of Quality Plumbing & Heating, based upon ensuring our clients never feel taken advantage of.
So how do you know if you can trust a trade?
To be honest, this works for anything or anyone, and I believe it is the best way to avoid dealing with people that cannot be trusted. For many years, I relied on gut instinct alone, and although that worked reasonably well, I soon discovered the following solid methodology.
The challenge when trusting trades
The reason trades are one of the toughest to trust for me, is because we need them but don’t want them. Harsh but true. To make it even tougher, it’s the last thing we want to spend money on or planned to spend money on. Granted, we do at times plan a renovation or new build, yet we still feel like we pay too much for heat, hot water, and even lighting. The difference in some of these is perspective. Lighting gets exciting when we get to pick the light itself, yet the wires to make it work clearly cost too much because they get buried in a wall. We use hot water every day and consider it a life source. We heat our homes for about 9 months a year most of the time in Calgary. If one of these goes down, man are we bitter! What’s important to realize is why we are so upset this happened. At this stage it isn’t even about the trade, it’s about me, and the lack of desire to spend money on something that doesn’t give us the exciting emotional connection material things typically do.
3 keys to Trusting a Trade
Even with that, we need help! Enter The Trade…and this is where the trifecta of tips may help you out. In my experience, you need to look for 3 key components.
- Positive Relationships
- Expert Advice/Ability to Educate
- Integrity by Consistency
1.Developing a positive relationship
Reputation is a quick investigation to see how likely it is that you will develop a positive relationship. If a trade has a positive reputation, it is more likely that you will too. This does not have to be a 100% transactional relationship. Personally, I have become friends with many of our clients. Even if that is not the case, people learn that I will give my best thoughts toward their concerns so they get a solution for their problem. You are assessing if the trade has your best interest at heart.
2. Ability to educate and learn from one another
At Aquality, we always think about other people’s issues as if they were our own, and then use our expertise to educate clients on solutions. That is a huge part of the relationship, the expert knowledge, and how it is shared. That reminds me of a funny story, a person actually did this to me at an estimate many years ago.
I went to do an estimate for a possible client who’s hot water ruptured and they wanted to go tankless. I didn’t know at the time but I was the third Plumber on that day. She was super friendly although she wanted answers right when I came in. I responded by saying I could get a better feel for what she needs if I could see her current setup. She agreed with no issues and we went to the basement to check it out. Although my common sense told me right away, I can’t quote you this from your front hallway, I did not know I was the only one to not give her tons of options before going downstairs. Two of the other plumbers did go down, but one never even had to take his shoes off, as he was confident in his quote without ever seeing her mechanical room! (Extra Tip- If shoes don’t come off at a quote or it isn’t offered, think twice before hiring)
Once we were looking at the setup, she told me the tankless model she wanted to be installed. I’d never heard of it, and told her I would need to do some research after we were done and get back to her as I had never heard of this brand or model before. I can assure you one thing, there are a lot of products and information in our trade, there will never be a day I know everything available.
To my surprise, she asked me what I would recommend because she wants me to do the work. I was confused, but to her, I passed her test upstairs and showed I was interested in her home and what she needed, and I was the only one to admit I had no idea the unit she wanted to use even existed. Little did I know, the card she held, as she had made up the brand and unit of the tankless water heater! Yet the other two plumbers spoke highly of her choice and one even said he has put in tons of them!! (No wonder people don’t trust some trades!) I suggested two options that would give her range on efficiency, size, and price. Still a client to this day….and life lessons of which I will never let go.
3. Developing integrity by consistency
It’s easy to do the right thing once, but to do it every time, now that’s integrity by consistency. The real trust comes from watching a trade consistently deliver good service and products. I always look for proof of a company willing to deliver consistent service year after year, customer after customer.
I’m super fortunate to have a team that knows their trade and can educate clients beyond their expectations. What I’ve helped them learn, is to listen to what our clients want before they go into their encyclopedia of information in their mind.
This is why long-standing clients who love our service over and over, remain strong supporters of Aquality Plumbing & Heating. I’ve built a team that consists of people who value trustworthy relationships, communication, accountability and integrity so much that its core to how they work and live their lives.