One client vs. kitchen & bath industry

I've been chatting and working on a design for a fellow over the last two weeks. It's nothing fancy or stunning by any stretch of the imagination. I've managed to get him a kitchen, vanity, and surfaces for about $10K installed. It took a bit of work, not much really, but mostly it was listening to the fabricators and client.

I just did a small presentation today and he's good with everything. But he told me something very shocking, so much that it just disgusts me that we've become like this. Here are the numbers:

  • Years shopping for his kitchen: 1
  • Kitchen & bath business he's visited: 17
  • Of those, he walked out of: 10
  • Of the remainder, number of quotes: 7
  • Quotes over $50,000: 6
  • Of those, who told him to shop elsewhere: 6
  • Number of hours I've spent with him & on the design: 7

I'm completely flabbergasted. I'm 0.05% of the bigger picture, 0.2% of the other quotes, and have worked a total of 0.0008% of the time the client has on this project.  This guy is nice, honest, retired, and willing to buy something.

Here are some other numbers that I thought were interesting:

  • Kitchen & bath business in B.C.: 1,000's
  • Of those, how many are NKBA Members: ~300
  • Of those, how many are Certified Members: <25 (including me)

Has our professionalism dropped so much in this business that there's no time to help out the good people anymore?

We should never forget the little project, the small things, that mean something and least of all we should never forget to build relationships.