Saturday, October 30, 2010

Soapbox Saturday: We are a stone company---not a bank.

We have not done this in awhile because we like to positive but sometime you have to just go against what your mother tells you. I am typing this with white knuckles because I know that it may put some of you off but I think it is important to point out what is right here and stand up to what has become the norm and should not be.

Let me share a story. We have a great contractor here who is a lot of fun. He has a business card that reads the following....
I SPECIALIZE IN QUALITY, PRICE AND SPEED. (But you can only choose 2 of the 3 for your job.)
I hope you are laughing, I am too but only for a minute because there is truth to this funny little saying. Rarely do people get the best of 2 worlds let alone 3 worlds.

Let me tell you how it relates to a stone company like us and it may relate to you as well. If it does then chime in! Can I get an AMEN or something?? Nearly every job we do, whether it be with a contractor, architect or a homeowner direct they ask for a QUALITY JOB, for the BEST PRICE, and as FAST AS POSSIBLE! We have just become accustom to that request so it does not phase us anymore. For the most part it works out and we meet all three requirements. In the years past we assessed a rush fee to the jobs that we moved through quicker than normal. We have backed off that now and only ask in return that a client pay their bill immediately after the work is complete. I believe it is a good compromise. It is a fair trade and easy to accomplish.

Well guess what? Time and time again it is not. When the job is complete and the client is happy with the work, all of the sudden they forget how to answer phones, reply to emails and to keep promises. Sometime I worry if I should file a missing persons report on some clients because they are completely MIA. Now, I know things happen, loans are tight, draws are restrictive and other bills may restrict payments. There are situation where it can’t be done. But for the most part people in TRUE extenuation circumstances will often call or tell you what has happened that is limiting their paying the balance. It is the people who tell you one thing and do another.

It has got to stop. It is not the American way of doing business but some of us think it is just the norm. If I buy shoes, or dinner, or groceries, or a TV or almost anything else I must pay for the item up front or when I leave. Can you imagine if I walk into Nordstrom’s and buy a bunch of items and then say, I need you to tailor those pants and that shirt by tomorrow and I will bring you a check when feel like I it. It just does not work like that, so why it that what the norm is in our industry? People, please be honest, courteous and above all put personal integrity first.

It is the key to being happy in business and your personal life.


Melissa said...

LOL! This was great and true in my business, too. I work for Emergency Department Physicians. HAH! We have LOADS of No-Pays. And one of my doctors always says she can only provide two of the three: Good, Fast and Cheap.

Jeff A. said...

Too funny!
I do flooring and it's true, for some reason we do get strung out in this industry.
I don't get paid until the customer gets paid in full, so it makes me crazy when they take forever!

BJ Chandler said...

Glad to hear we are not the only ones. But it just drives you nuts when you do people all the favors in the world and pull every string for them and then they just quietly ignore you when you are complete.
I don't think our clients have any idea how much of a relief it is when they have a check or a card in hand when the work is done. Even better the people who chase you down because they know they owe you money. I want to hug and kiss all of them.
Melissa - My wife did medical billing for some time and she has told me about the amount of bills that never get paid, it is amazing. Small fortune amazing.

Well we live to collect another day right!
Thanks you two for hearing my rant!

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