Defining Professionalsim

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Over the years on this forum and other forums the topic of what defines success has come up. And every time there are always some great responses.

    Ok, so how about professionalism? What constitutes professionalism?

    If the contractor did exactly as both proposed and promised, and the client is 110% satisfied, with no hesitations of using / referring the contractor - is there anything unprofessional about that?

    If I submit a detailed, well written proposal, yet I leave my tools in the backyard while we're working there, is that less professional than the other contractor with a less detailed proposal who packs his tools up at the close of every day and carts the tools off the premises??

    If I show up at the jobsite in shorts and a tank top (some of us have an upper body) and I openly communicate with the client the entire time we're working for them, and I answer their telephone calls and emails immediately, is that less professional than the guy in clean kacky pants and a colored shirt whom you must leave a voice message with each time you try to call him?

    Is a contractor who pets the customer's dog each time he's at the property professional??

    Is it unprofessional if we hit a fence post with the skid steer bucket and then do not replace the broken fence post?

    Do your clients give you a choice of cookies, brownies, or watermelon??

    COOKIES!.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    Or how about showing up in a white tee shirt with hiking pants, smelling to high heavens covered in grass to do a bid with all the equipment piled in the truck? Many of my customers thought so.
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  3. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    If I had to define professionalism it would be "doing exactly what you said you would do for the price you told them no matter what happens. Also being flexible while working on the job if they change your mind and being able to leave your emotions aside when things don't go as planned. Also communicating with all your customer no matter how much you dislike them.
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  4. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,768

    Different people want different kinds of pros. So many people offer me beers on estimates. I always politely decline. If I did have one with the guy, would I be his new best friend and most highly recommended contractor?
    Other people I have never met and received payment in the mail, they rave that I'm professional for answering emails and phone calls.
     
  5. mybigdog

    mybigdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Professionalism is more than a detailed estimate . Many a scammer has offered detailed quotes only to screw a client. But a detailed quote is a start. Doing what you say you are going to do. Doing the project correctly and being neat and clean all help too.
    Of the last three jobs I sold one was when I was filthy from work and the other I brought my 2 year old son with me because the client didn't want to re schedule. I would say that could be considered un professional..professionalism is ultimately in the eye of the consumer
     
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    That's the first time I've ever heard that. I like that, that's excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent!!! :drinkup:
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Well said and very true!


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  8. jmkr02

    jmkr02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    I had a salesman that polished his shoes everyday dressed nice and probably smelled better than me. Said it was needed to sell jobs and was having trouble. I show up take my muddy boots off before walking up on their pristine porch and sell the job smelling like a turd. The salesman at some point quit and told another employee that he looked too good for what he made. Perhaps he was right but being on comission if he did his job he would be writing his own check. Sometimes looks are just that, they wanted confidence that their job what was to look good and stay that way which it did and does.
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  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    I would also say that is what defines a real leader to me. If you have employees the next time they screw up on something major and they know it, just tell them "don't worry about it, I got this covered" instead of throwing a fit and hand them a $20 for a job well done at the end of the day. They will totally see you in a different light. I also try to give a waitress an abnormally large tip when they screw up my order and are having a rough day for the same reason. Something I learned in bible college was when things go wrong and people wrong you its and opportunity for growth rather than excuse to terminate the relationship, wither that be personal, family, or work.
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  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    We often must use people's driveways to dump material on (aggregate, sand, soil, etc). My proposal says that we will shovel and broom clean the driveway and street at the end of each working day. My proposal also says that pressure washing can be performed for additional costs.

    However.....I have made it a practice to pressure wash the driveways on the last day of our jobs, and I do not charge the client additional charges for doing this.
     

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