In this, part two of two in the What Are You Hiding blog series, Ed gets a driveway, justice is served and our hero rides merrily off into the sunset. OK, at least I get a new driveway. In the previous segment I bemoaned the lack of integrity displayed by a contractor who figured that 40 years in business was testimonial enough to the quality of his work. This time around, same topic (integrity that is, but not the lack of it) but you'll be surprised about WHO I am talking about.
Mr. Pave and Save is out of the picture; he never did provide a reference. In fact I found a great contractor with many well-substantiated references (and he reports it did not even hurt to provide them). I am very confident that he will do a great job, but it is the contractor I turned down that I want to talk about.
This third contractor also provided glowing references and in the end it came down to price (a reasonable difference). I called to advise this person that I had opted to use a different contractor. His business manager thanked me for calling, noting that nobody ever calls to tell them when it does not work out. We got into an interesting conversation; a conversation that gave me a very good glimpse into the integrity of this contractor and his business. By the time we parted ways I told the business manager (she is also the contractors wife) that I would be delighted to serve as a character reference for their business.
When I began by telling her that we had chosen someone else she might have very well cut me short and sent me on my way. But no, she chose to thank me for letting them know my decision and in the subsequent conversation she was able to demonstrate to me the kind of business people they are, the type of genuine people they are.
While I may not be a current customer I can envision that I will be in the future (he provides other services I need). Through a mix of kindness and sincerity they have earned my respect. In return I will give them my support- without reservation.
Bottom line- you have a choice as to how you manage a prospects decision to go elsewhere. You can throw it all away or better yet, you can open the door to possibility.
P.S. Neither the new driveway or my new friend is pictured above.