Just Showing Up May Get You Hired

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by Tom Watson on May 24, 2010

As I stare at the front of my home one thing stands out. The front steps. Not because they are particularly sub-standard, or for that matter a piece of art. But because they are just so very average looking. A slab of concrete with four steps and a upper and lower landing.

So my wife and I decided to investigate having them dressed up a little. Having the area completely reworked with pavers of some sort was our goal.  Sounds simple right? Not so fast.

(This post is really leading somewhere)

After asking family and friends and even one of our customers we decided to make some calls to get the process started. So we dialed away calling four different companies that serve our area. We thought four bids would certainly be considered doing our due diligence.

Turns out it took four calls to get one bid.

If this math held up we would need to call twelve companies just to get three bids to compare. What happened here? Well the first company was a pleasure. They were very professional and delivered a bid that was both competitive and well designed.

What about the other three you ask?

  • Company 2 did come out and look at our steps. However they never bothered to set a appointment. They just showed up while we were out of the house. Of course we didn’t know this until we were mailed a one page bid two weeks later. How this company could know what we were looking for (and come up with a price) without talking to us while we both were actually looking at the steps together is beyond me. When we called to ask a question concerning the proposal we were told to wait for a return call. We are still waiting.
  • Company 3 came with outstanding references but failed to show up come appointment day. No phone call either.
  • Company 4 never returned our initial message that we left asking for a quote.

Now you must keep in mind that the work we were looking to get done was not a job so small that most would not bother with it. It was a $5,000 to $6,000 job. The company who gets the work may not be able to retire early on it but it’s not chump change either.

We were basically trying to get someone to take $6,000 off our hands.

Only one company stepped up to the plate. You may think this is an aberration. That this hardly ever occurs. I assure you it is not. This is the norm. The best part is you can use it to your advantage.

Make sure your company is the one who shows up. The company that returns calls. The company that follows through. If you can be that company, just showing up may get you hired.

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