It was interesting to read Julie Spinks comment about homeowners’ judging plumbers’ pedigree on age and not qualifications. I totally agree with her sentiments, but she has missed the very important point, which most committed professionals miss – human relationships.
When someone arrives at your door to sell you a service or carry out work on your property, you as the householder wish to see a clean, polite and articulate individual standing on the threshold. Unfortunately, many young plumbers do not present this image to their potential clients and, therefore, start at a disadvantage. The older plumber may be a charlatan and not very good at his job, but over the years that he has been ‘on the tools’ he has learnt, sometimes the hard way, that he can get more out of his customers by being approachable and understanding of their needs.
It is better to ask someone what they want rather than what you are going to give them. Good qualifications, plus politeness and respect for your customers will get the young plumber a long way. Where does it all start; at the well-structured apprenticeship of course – but that is another story!
Clive King, FIDHEE
Oil heating consultant