Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Should you team up with a contractor referral service?

Canadian Contractor Business Service

"Overall, I feel we are improved from these relationships," writes Robert Sloan of Langstaff & Sloan. "And I would recommend them to others who are willing to improve."

Last week, we asked the question, “Should you team up with a contractor referral service”? We were referring to our news items on the termination of the (Mike) Holmes Referred Contractor program and the growth of the Baeumler Approved contractor referral service. Six weeks ago, we also covered the demise of Sears Home Services, and the continued fallout over that. We asked for your feedback on these types of alliances. Are they worth it to you? Here is one reply from Robert Sloan, Langstaff & Sloan, an electrical firm in Toronto.

“We have represented Toronto Hydro, Sears, Home Service and a few other lesser-known names over the years. It definitely provides more opportunity and often quality opportunity (clients who are more careful or had had bad experiences and are now willing to pay more for good service), but it also makes your price more expensive. None of them do it for free. You will tend to develop a skill set to defend higher prices, better explain options, write better proposals, and most importantly provide higher quality installations with better customer service too. You see, you now have big brother to answer to. But make no mistake, clients will treat you differently. We are all guilty of it. Last week I was a complete jerk to the call centre at Telus, yet a perfect gentleman to the lady at the Telus kiosk at the mall. I don’t have a split personality, honest! Some of these “Big Brothers” also provide business coaching/clear expectations and, let’s face it, a lot of contractors need help here. Overall, I feel we are improved from these relationships and would recommend them to others who are willing to improve.”

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