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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

Defining “Professionalism”

Yesterday I learned the definition of professionalism from an electrician and a plumber doing some work in our new condo.  It was impressive and maybe not a surprise from a highly recommended local contractor, but in sharp contrast to a "professional" business evaluator later in the day.

The two tradesmen simply demonstrated clear competence in their field of expertise and sincere respect for the customer. Demonstrated how?

They both called ahead to confirm, arrived on time with all the right tools and equipment, respected the staff on site and the building rules of access, politely introduced themselves and carefully assessed the requirements, explained the work before starting, did the work quickly and efficiently, explained any issues or difficulties they encountered, took care of the premises, cleaned up afterwards, explained the invoice and handled the payment before leaving. All very professional, by my definition. Not always delivered as well by the so called professionals, as I was reminded later in the day.

During dinner about 8:00 PM, I received an unexpected call from a business evaluator wanting to arrange a visit to a client's business recently sold and going through due diligence. It was a rude introduction on a poor connection from home with kids and dogs in the background. "I got a message to call you", but he did not know much more than that. Definitely not a good first impression and leads me to expect less than professional service when we meet.

My recommendations and referrals are instead going with my compliments to Jodoin Électrique et Plomberie in Verdun, Québec.

It doesn't matter what trade or profession you are in, professionalism may be your competitive edge. Keep all your staff and associates on a high level and it will make a difference to attracting and retaining customers.

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