White collar meets blue collar

I was visiting with a potential client yesterday and as usually happens (or at least what I like to have happen), they began to tell me about their experience with other contractors. They were pretty passionate about this I could tell, so I told them that as the VP of Remodelers Council of SoCal I am on a mission to professionalize the industry. As they continued their stories I was taking notes and here’s one example: A guy wrote out his estimate in front of the homeowner. On a piece of scrap paper. I’m wincing at this point but I’ve heard of this before. THEN- HE SCRATCHED OUT SOME PRICES AND INCREASED THEM- RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HER! Really??? Well, I thought I had heard it all. I wondered what my expression was at that point because I was speechless.
We had a great conversation about the lack of professionalism in the industry and came to the conclusion that it was mostly due to the fact that most contractors (residential remodeling type) have never worked in a professional environment. So white collar meets blue collar and it’s not pretty. There’s a bit of disappointment and frustration on a few levels: communication, appearance, habits, speech, punctuality, etc.
Most contractors I know have a heart of gold and will bend over backward to help someone but this gets overlooked or misunderstood when their unprofessionalism sticks out like a sore thumb.
So here’s my advice and encouragement: hire someone you’re comfortable with and don’t put up with unprofessionalism. Are you ready for this? Take the guy (or lady) aside and in a (professional, of course) way tell them they could improve their chances of making the next sale if they would _______________. If you’re not sure what to say- ask me. That’s what I’m here for. May your next blue collar encounter be an enlightened one!

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