Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

September 2, 2008

How Do They Stay in Business?

How do these people stay in business?

Generally speaking most businesses bend over backwards while wooing you for your business, but more and more I’m seeing a trend of businesses treating prospects like something to be avoided right from the start of a potential relationship – and I wander how they have managed to stay in business to this point.
Here’s 2 examples:
(1) I’m having a fair amount of work done in and around the home at the moment. It has taken three phone calls (from me!) and two weeks waiting to get a return call from a specialist kitchen installer just to arrange an appointment; and
(2) I’ve also had a few trades-people come around to quote for some outdoor work, and not a single one has followed up!
The way I do business dictates that I *follow up on hot leads promptly* and *never leave the ball in the prospect’s court*.

I just wonder how businesses like this manage to keep their doors open?
And – does anyone here have similar examples to share?

It appears it’s not just in the U.S. Australia is very much the same, you mention trades people or a tradesperson to someone, you will see.

It’s like a comedy show really, you sometimes just mention it to them to watch a happy person frown, picture your hand going from your forehead, you have a big smile, the more your hand goes down, the same pace, so does the smile to a frown.

I have had many jobs requested in and around our office and i don’t think i would call it follow up, i think anyone else would consider it harrasment, however, these tradespeople think its business.

Maybe, just maybe they have a call counter, when you reach 100th call, tag your it, they call you back. – Steven Hayes, Brisbane, Australia


Most of the contractors have spoken to tell me that they have more business that they can handle. (Probably because no one wants to be a plumber or carpenter nowadays — everyone wants the cushy office job.) They can afford to pick only the big profitable projects. They figure they’ll come back to your small job whenever they have spare time – Marc-Alexandre Vezina, Montreal, Canada


It might be the marginal nature of SOME (but not most) of those who do this because they can’t get other employment, or the unpredictable duration of projects and attendant sliding of others….. – Bill Nigh, Greater New York City area, USA

I think that:

1. Tradepeople are good with their hands, but not much with their brain, and very often the poor service or return of appointments is just due to their disorganization and incapacity of planning, more than to them being evils;

2. The lack of competition in the sector surprises me as well, and I think is due to the fact that tradesperson often pass their skills from a generation to another within the family or close circle. Often they get paid without an invoice, so basically working on the “black” market. It’s very difficult for a legitimate business to make profit in this situation, so competition is almost non existant.

3. Some insurance companies are now trying to establish their own trade people when repairing insured properties, but of course those people have to be close to the interest of the insurance company, not the home owner.

By the way, it’s a month I’m trying to get the roof of my building fixed after a storm in Ireland, I share your pain 🙂  – Alessandro Laureani, Ireland.

Just some of the replies to this question I received from LinkedIn users.  Please feel free to add your comments below.


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