Home Owner Beware


Home Owner Beware



Every now and again I am reminded and humbled by what others to customers. I realize how lucky I am working at the company I do and having the freedom to use my ethics and integrity. Today was just one of those days. I had the chance to visit a customer that was doing a small remodel to their kitchen. The customer decided to change the look by changing the counter top from Formica to granite. A company measured and sold them granite countertops. Unless this was their first kitchen remodel they set the customer up for failure.


The old countertop had a surface mount kitchen sink which sits on top of the countertop versus being mounted underneath the countertop. The new granite countertop requires an under the counter top sink installation. Some people may ask, what’s the difference? There is a huge difference. It is monumental. You are lowering the sink 2 inches, which can and in most cases will affect where the drain line penetrates into the cabinet. A pipe will penetrate every kitchen cabinet and every countertop install will affect the height of the drain. Selling a kitchen sink that has deeper bowls will affect the location of the drain. This is well known to everyone involved with the quote and installation of the counter top with the exception of the home owner.


The premise is to sell the product and service to the customer, collect money, and let the buyer worry about additional work afterwards. In this case the kitchen sink was deeper and they moved it from the original top mount to under counter mount. All in all a total of 6 inches were lost and the company knew this. They did look at the job and then quoted the job. However, they never included the additional plumbing with the job, nor did they inform the customer. What made this more of an issue is the counter top company disconnected the sink which made the home owner believe they would  be installing the new sink.


There is no excuse to not inform the customer of the possibilities of the drain being too high now that everything has been lowered. It takes one install to learn this and then you will never forget it once you’ve made the mistake. So, if this was not the countertop companies first install they lied and misled the customer. Then the second misleading portion of this sale happened when there was a discovery that the drain was an issue. This is when the company backed the customer into a corner once their portion of the work was completed and told them they would need to hire a professional. The third lie was when they led the customer into thinking they were qualified to do plumbing work when they were not licensed to do plumbing.


When is it proper, or okay to purposely omit information to a customer to make a sale? Is it acceptable to omit giving the customer facts or tell the truth? Are your sales skills so weak that you fear losing the job when you tell the truth? Do you really believe that this customer will refer you out to their friends and family after they realize you have just taken them for suckers? It does not matter how good a job you did and that you get it at the price you quoted. What matters is you withheld information from the customer that was instrumental with their decision making to move forward on the countertops. This is what is remembered, do you want to be remembered as a deceiver.


I am sick and tired of salespeople using a “let the buyer beware “sales strategy. It is time to hold these people accountable for their lousy treatment of customers. These companies are what is giving salespeople a bad name and reputation. To sell a product and service then to hold back information that is critical has never been acceptable and should never be tolerated. Decide today that you will give the pertinent information that allows the customer to make the best possible decision and choice that will fit into their budget and lifestyle.


There are many things with this installation that shines the light brightly on this company’s dishonesty. This company came out and measured for the countertops and they investigated the job scope to give a price. They disconnected the kitchen sink, faucet, drains, and waterline giving the illusion that they would also do the installation of the new kitchen sink and components. They knew they were not licensed or qualified to do the plumbing work. However they still gave the illusion that they would take care of the complete installation. They claim they did not include the kitchen sink installation in the price however they did sell the sink. Who do you think will be doing the installation?


Once their portion of the work was completed they realize the drain location was not where they expected it to be located. At this time, they knew they could not do it because they were unqualified and unlicensed to do plumbing work. The customer was informed at this time that oh no, we don’t do plumbing work when we replace countertops I am sorry that was not clear. Why wasn’t this stated or made clear, or in the contract to the homeowner prior to the purchase of their products and services. The idea; do not tell the customer, do the work, and then it’s the customer’s problem. This kind if selling has to stop.


For those of you who are about to purchase a new kitchen countertop. Please make sure that you are working with a qualified expert who understands the job scope. Understand that not only the countertop is affected, but the drain height of your kitchen sink drain will also be affected and is crucial with proper flow of the drain. Do not let your Countertop Company or cabinet company mislead or misguide you in any way. If they are not experienced enough to inform you of the possibilities do you really want them doing your work? Do you trust them enough to give you all of the information you need to make a good decision? Ask for references from happy customers. Ask for references from people who were unhappy to find out how the company pleased or satisfied the unhappy customer. If a company is unwilling to work with you with the references how willing do you believe they will be to work with you when there is a problem.


There is never a time to withhold information from a client that can affect performance and completion of a task. There is never a time to lose your integrity over a few hundred or thousand dollars. There is never a time to be dishonest when you’re working with consumers. There never is a time to lose humility when you make a mistake. You are far better off to admit to the mistake and then work something out to everyone’s satisfaction. If there is a flaw to your character let it be that you’re too nice versus someone that misguide and mislead.




About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on January 27, 2013, in electrical sales, How to sell HVAC, How to sell plumbing, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, practicebetterbusiness.com, Selling HVAC, Selling Plumbing, service trades and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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