You Give Me an Estimate, Mr Consumer

April 5, 2009 by  Filed under: Sales 

This might just make you laugh, or maybe you’ll learn something about professionals. Put yourself in both sets of shoes, because you, as I do, fill both sets everyday.

We, professional, skilled, hard-working, experienced, middle-class laborers spend all of our hard-earned money and time on YOU, the customer, when we come to your house to give you a moment of our lives and tell you what we will do for you, what we will charge for our services. Don’t worry, just as you are a consumer, I am, too. I speak as a consumer. But I, a consumer, am going to change the ticket.

Hypothetically speaking, I will tell you, Mr. Professional, what I think is fair and reasonable based on my research because it is my money and I can. I will tell you, Mr. Serviceperson, what I will pay you for a job well done. I will tell you when I want the job completed. You just tell me that you are ready to work and complete my project on or before the deadline. Don’t worry, Mr. Professional, I will keep in mind that you, too, have a family to feed, a mortgage to pay, and expensive tools that constantly need to be replaced, blades to be sharpened, gas for your truck, and insurance to protect my home as a result of your labor. I understand, Mr. Professional, that without your expensive overhead to serve me, my project will not get completed properly or efficiently. In return for your professionalism, trust and hard work, I will compensate you fairly and reasonably and will bear in mind the ease of your operation. Just kidding, I know its not easy unless you know the methods, the tricks and the skills you’ve developed along the way as a result of your experience. I am happy, Mr. Professional, to establish a relationship with you and compensate you for your hard work and dedication to me and my project. And, last but not least, I won’t leave you hanging if I decide that I don’t want you to do the work. I won’t cower behind my phone and not attempt to negotiate with you. Sorry if I piss you off, however, when I quote you so low; I do want the best possible service for the cheapest price…

Wow! What a true and worthy consumer! But its rarely that way. We consumers want to pay the absolute cheapest price for everything we want, regardless of what country it came from or who provides the service. Yet we are too chicken to negotiate for fear of offending someone. If only I could get the WalMart greeter to come and work on my project. Yeah! Pay him $6 an hour and blindly hope that he knows what he is doing with that power saw. Oops! There went a finger!

So, as a professional, understand this, Mr. or Mrs. Consumer. It’s not only me trying to gain your trust; you, too, are hoping to gain mine. It’s not only me trying to win the bid; you, too, want to spend your money wisely and make it go as far as possible. It’s not only you who is looking for a worthy service provider; it’s also me looking for a worthy customer. We consumers might think we call all the shots, but we professionals (consumers as well) know that you don’t. We, the professionals, decide whether we want to work for you, the consumers, as much as you, the consumers, decide whether you want us, the professionals, in your home.

Good luck! I look forward to working for you… Or do I?

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