My trees are out of control. Some are growing into the deck, one is lop-sided and several need trimming.
I called four tree trimmers found online. One never called back. Three returned my call. Two got my address, came by and left a quote.
But one guy wouldn’t do that. “Don’t you want to know who’ll be doing the work on your trees? he asked.
Ah, well…didn’t seem critically important to me, but he made me pause so consider. I agreed to meet with him.
Mark Mortenson showed up exactly on time (good start). We walked around the property. He explained things to me. He made notes. Great…now all I needed was a quote.
Not so fast.
“Is there a place we can sit and talk?” We located on the patio and he pulled out a three ring binder. He explained that he was an arborist (were the other tree trimmers?) He explained how one got that certification and flipped to the pages in his binder that contained his scores and certification.
Next he showed me the proper licenses needed to operate in my county.
Then it was on to the copious photos of work he’d done (before and after). He also had a bunch of current thank you and testimonial letters.
In the process I got a crash course in trees. It was quite interesting, actually.
At the end he gave me his bid. It tied with another guy for the highest of the three.
He got the business. It is one thing to be good, another to claim to be better than the competition and yet a third to be able to prove you’re better. Mark did just that.
Did I try to negotiate? No. Instead I shared my philosophy: “I could ask you for a better price, but you strike me as an honest person. You might take less but when you come to do the work, I want you to do the best job possible. You’ll know I didn’t nickel and dime you and my hope is that will be an incentive to do an even better job.”
By the way, Mark is a Gypsy Jazz musician. I wasn’t familiar with that type of music until I went online and listened to his band. Its good stuff.