One day I was updating my reference list and while I was going through the job files I noticed something about what I was doing.
I was literally hand picking the cream of the crop they'd have me over for dinner and let me marry their daughter customer files.
It dawned on me how contrived this was! Not only that every other contractor was doing exactly the same thing!
Well the salesman in my instantly saw a way to separate myself from the competition!
I'd stop giving prospects a referral list!
Then I thought to myself, hmm what would be my reasonable, logical explanation to my prospects for saying no to their request!
So in a nutshell here's how it goes!
Prospect: Everything looks great! Do you have a referral list?
Me: I'm glad you asked because it brings up an important point. What exactly is a referral list? Have you ever asked yourself that? What I mean to say is that every contractor me included just hand pick all the jobs that went absolutely perfect! Not a bush trampled, not a scar on the driveway, every nail perfect!
Me: Do you think that's a fair and realistic portrayal of my company? Any one's company?
Prospect: Actually come to think of it, no.
Me: Exactly! It's like, here we are perfect! Well I'll be the first to tell you that stuff goes wrong, flowers get trampled and that's the reality. We make mistakes!
What you REALLY want to know is, how do I handle it when I make a screw up on the job. Do I avoid your phone calls? Do I blame it on the contractor that followed behind me that did other work?
Or, do I address it quickly and rectify it. I think that's what's more important to you as a customer right?
Prospect: Where's the contract I'm ready to sign.