Looking to hire a plumber anytime soon? There are scores of companies and individuals providing plumbing services in your town today, and narrowing down to the best one can be somewhat of a headache. Before you contract a professional to get your home back in order, it’s important you take your time to interview suitable professionals. Have in mind that hiring the wrong plumber can lead to a shoddy job done, and hundreds of dollars in future repair losses. This article dwells on a few of the key questions that you can ask while interviewing for a plumbing job.

Plumbing Services

What is the Most Basic Approach Unclog Pipes?

This is a rather simple question that’s designed to help you ascertain that you’re dealing with a real plumber, not a wannabe freelancer. Any plumbing professional should understand that pouring hot water is the most basic (primary) step to try to unclog pipes. If the hot water approach doesn’t work, the plumber then proceeds to more advanced options using special tools.

What is Building Drain?

Any plumber who knows their stuff will tell you that this is the lowest point within a drainage network, where all the interior drainage pipes join and are directed into the sewer system.

What Common Tools Do You Use for Plumbing?

Understanding a little bit of plumbing jargon can indeed help you hire the right person to get the job done. Plumbers mostly use Teflon tapes, flange plungers, sink augers, closet augers, cup plungers, tubing cutters, faucet packing and washer, adjustable pipe wrench, faucet valve seat wrench, and faucet valve reseating tool. If the contractor you’re interviewing seems to be pretty comfortable describing how they use these tools, then they probably aren’t beginners who are looking to experiment on your home drainage system.

What are your Main Skills on the Job?

Other than possessing technical know-how related to fitting pipes, plumbers need to be problem solvers. That means they should exhibit a capability to think creatively in order to come up with several ‘best’ approaches to solving an existing problem. But most important, they must be able to listen and pay keen attention to the details or instructions. If someone can’t really pay attention to what you’re saying, they might forego important details that are crucial to getting the plumbing issue addressed.

What Home Remedies Can Help Clear Clogged Drains?

A good plumber should be able to provide some instant advice regarding some home remedies that can be effective in unclogging drains. Pouring half a cup of baking soda, followed by a half-cup of vinegar, and then flushing out the drain with hot water after about 15 minutes is a great home remedy. You may also add equal parts of baking soda, salt and vinegar into the clogged drain, and then pour hot water an hour later.

These questions are not everything you need to hire with certainty, but they should help the typical homeowner get some foothold when interviewing contractors for plumbing fixes.

Negotiation is a key skill that can help you save a lot of money regularly. Unfortunately, most people have little or no negotiation skills at all. This leaves them susceptible to massive bills when incurring professional services. To start with, it’s important to understand that negotiations aren’t all about money. Negotiation has everything to do with the perceived value and total cost of ownership. It can’t be seen as a competition between two parties. Below are 5 negotiation tips that you can use to negotiate for professional services.

  • Make a plan – to have the higher ground during a negotiation, you need to have come up with a plan. The better the plan you have, the better the likely outcome. What is your objective? Who will be involved? If you’re negotiating with a local town plumber or a real estate dealer, it helps if you already know them. Your plan should also include what should happen if at all there’s a deadlock. More so, list points that you can use to escalate authority to others in case you feel that you need time to think about everything after negotiating.
  • What’s your price – in your own opinion, what do you feel would be a fair price for the work you need to be done? This is an important question that gives perspective to your negotiation stance. Take to the internet to conduct some quick research and find out what others usually pay for the same or similar service. It also helps to do a bit of background research about the service provider (supplier). Maybe they have time constraints that may play into the pricing, or perhaps offer certain discounts to customers who meet specific criteria. If so, you could raise these points during the negotiations. When thinking about the price, pay consideration to the entire cost of ownership, including such hidden costs such as delivery, additional users, warranties, etc. If you’re be required to pay extra sometimes in the future, you’d rather know now.
  • Make concessions – your vendor will obviously want something in return in order to give a huge discount or reduced pricing. Think about what you’re ready to offer in return? Maybe you could provide beneficial feedback on their website, or do a case study of their service. Perhaps a longer subscription period is something they’d like to hear about. Just get your ideas together regarding what you could be able to offer to get a great deal.
  • Aim high – according to research, those who aim high during negotiations often get a better deal compared to those who have low expectations. As it happens, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
  • Review your relationships – if you’ve been someone’s customer for 15 years, don’t let that discourage you from being an avid negotiator. Think about who is benefiting more from the relationship. Maybe if you reviewed your existing relationships, you could unlock better deals from both parties. When negotiating, the point is to get the best deal you can for yourself, and nothing should deter you from that.

Although listed for professional services negotiations, these services can also be applied to just about anything else, including physical products.

Despite concerns over the health of the global financial economy, 2016 appears to be a growth and technology-centric year, especially for professional services such as medical practices, legal firms, accountancy companies, and mobile home improvement, among many others. Most households consume professional services rather often. Based on recent studies, the top 4 trends that are likely to shape the professional services sector this year are:

1.      Technology

Technology has progressively adapted over the last few decades. Every year, new tools, platforms are discovered that help professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc. cultivate more user-convenient service delivery platforms. In the 1990s, when the Internet appeared to be a complicated technology used by the Department of Defense and some highly technical firms, professionals rely had to rely on conventional marketing approaches to pitching their products. Nowadays, the majority of doctors, lawyers, and accountants have websites that they use to attract customers. Research suggests that over 70 percent of users will turn to the internet to check out a business before they engage it. Cultivating a vibrant online presence appears to be the way to go for service vendors. Particularly in the accounting industry, online cloud and mobile platforms are transforming the way things are done. Software is being used to do the heavy-lifting, changing how clients consult, and freeing up time for accounts to be true advisors. Over 95% of legal firms invested in IT to enhance efficiency in 2015. This year, more lawyer practices are adopting technology that allows them to securely share client information online.

2.      Alternative Business Structures

These are an increasingly evident trend, perhaps motivated by the increase in technology use. At least 5 percent of legal services are no longer provided by traditional law firms today. Professional services firms are seeing the possibility of external investment. For instances, law firms that bring in outside investors are increasingly able to hire top talent, increase revenue, boost profitability and more so expand. Alternative business structures are making this happen, and changing the market in the process. Integrated client solutions are getting into the picture, where customers get a specific service as part of a wider offering.

3.      Employee Engagement

Today, over 80 percent of professionals firms consider employee engagement and culture to be a major priority. In 2016, focus on this is likely to increase, given that committed and engaged employees are the core of workplace success.

4.      The rise of Millennials

There’s a notable trend in that millennials are beginning to dominate modern workplace culture. The new generation of professionals is bringing in unique business knowledge and other skills to help the client at another level. Skilled young professionals are moving into more leadership roles.

These trends depict a positive year for the professional sector. Continued growth, increase in the advancement of technology and the weight of millennials continuously attract positive energy to this industry. Individuals and firms who are in this sector can learn a few things from these developments, and adapt accordingly to make their businesses more competitive.

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