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Why No One Ever Buys a Drill from Home Depot


by Glenn Shepard
June 13, 2017
Category: Management




Brookings, SD June 14
Sioux Falls, SD June 15
Scottsbluff, NE June 27
North Platte, NE June 28
Lincoln, NE June 29

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Did You Know?

About half of college students blow school loan money on non-educational expenses, including 3% on alcohol and drugs, 3% on vacations, 13% on restaurants, 15% on clothes, 19% on car payments, and 41% on monthly bills like mobile phones.
Source:  Student Loan Hero survey

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“This is gross!”

That’s what I heard my beautiful bride proclaim when she stepped out of the shower at our old house one sunny Saturday morning.

The drain was backing up, and the shower basin was filling with backwash water.

I called a major plumbing company, who charged $250 for about an hour’s work – which they “guaranteed’ would fix the problem.

It did not.

The shower backed up again the next morning, and I called them back. They said the only other thing they could do was replace the entire line, which would cost $850.

While I would have gladly paid that to fix the problem, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in them at this point. So I called another company. Plumber #2 also stayed for about an hour and also charged $250.

The next morning, the shower backed up again. When I called the second company back, they told me there was nothing else they could do.

I called another plumber, but this one wasn’t with a company. He was a one man business.

When I showed Plumber #3 the bathroom, he immediately noticed it looked updated, and asked if we had any renovations done recently. We had, and he said the first place to look was in the 90 degree elbow in the drain line under the house, where construction debris that falls down the drain often gets lodged.

He cut open the drain line in front of the elbow, pulled out a piece of construction debris lodged exactly where he said it would be, and fixed the problem in 10 minutes.

When I asked how much I owed, he responded "Does $150 sound fair?”

“No”, I responded.

“Then pay me whatever you think is fair and we‘ll call it even” he said.

I wrote him a check for $250.

He said, “I only spent a few minutes. How can I charge the same as the other guys?”

I explained that I didn’t hire him for his time; I hired him to solve a problem. And he solved the problem that Plumber #1 and Plumber #2 didn’t.

As they say in marketing, people don’t go to Home Depot because they want a drill. They go because they want a hole. The drill is just the means to that end.

This is why the most valuable job skill anyone can have is the ability to solve problems. Plumber #3 had that skill, which is why he’s the first plumber I’ll call next time.

To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard

If you’d like to teach your employees how to solve problems on their own like this, click here.

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