Your integrity is your business!

How you run your business matters to your client and your integrity.

Recently I have been improving my home office and received several estimates for painting and repair. As you may be aware, the best referrals come from friends. Looking for the proper contractor is a time consuming and tedious process. And it’s best to have a clear idea firmly established of what you want, when you want it, and how much you are willing to pay.

An acquaintance of mine referred me to a friend who is a painting contractor. He was my last referral and during the process of reviewing the project I noticed a few quirks that should have been a red flag. One of the quirks was for him to ask me what do you see?  What he was really driving at, was did he have to do what he wanted me to see. (In this case it was painting the baseboards.) His lack of asking a direct question, and using passive aggressive questioning was a strong indicator that he wasn’t a direct and clear thinking person. Ultimately his “quirks” would cause problems when it came to pricing the job, and setting a date for the work to begin.

Sure enough, a few days later after I was very clear and specific about start times he called and made an excuse saying “I didn’t know when you wanted to start your job so I took another job with a preexisting client.” He proceeded to then say I hope that is ok. And continued to try to justify his bad behavior.

Obviously this is not ok. One of the first rules of business is to do what you say you will do. It’s important for your character and your interaction with your client to follow through on what you say you will do.

When you are consistent with putting the action behind your verbal plan, you set up a good habit. The opposite is also true, when you fail to execute your verbal plan you consistently set up a habit of not following through and making excuses.

The other thing to watch out for is lying to a client. If someone else calls to work with you during the same time frame, be honest and let them know that you need to check with your other client because there may be an overlap in your work schedule. It’s always good practice to give the person you engaged with first, the right of refusal. Sure it may be tempting to pass on the new client and work with your existing client because you have an established relationship. But your integrity is taking the punishment. And it leaves a indelible mark in the new clients mind that you have a shaky character.

Ultimately for me it was better that he took the other job because I am certain that his business skills as well as his contracting skills are compromised with poor work ethics.

Anyone else have an example to share? I would love to hear what you encountered.

Photocredit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2125

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