Recently, Colleen and I had to choose a moving company. We had it in our mind to make only one call –to the company that moved us from Minneapolis/Milwaukee to St. Louis and then from St. Louis to Chicago many years ago. We had a positive experience with them and the price was competitive. Let’s call this company the “incumbent” - essentially, the business was theirs to lose.

The first step with the incumbent was to get an online quote with the option to have a walk-through afterward. The online quote came back very reasonable, however I really wanted to have someone come out and verify the quote. Making the appointment for the walk-through was easy enough but that was unfortunately the last of the positive experiences.  

Their representative came out wearing a ratty sweatshirt and jeans, was late, tracked water throughout the first and second levels, rushed through the house and verbally offered a price of double what was quoted online.  Ouch! Didn’t he know what the online quote said? Strike one. I asked and he said he’d “check on it” and follow-up with a written quote within a day.

Well, that written quote never came… strike two. A week later I had to call the office - and then he sent it within an hour. It was the same price he offered verbally (double the online quote) and it also mentioned some “extra charges” that would vary based upon what transpired during the move. Further, if this guy is supposed to be their sales person, I can only imagine what the guys that actually come to move our things are going to be like! Finally, it is February in Chicago, people. Not a ton of people move here in the winter and this is a slow time for their industry. How can the service be so bad at a slow time – what would happen if they were really busy? Strike three. 

Now, if he would have said “I’m so sorry for the delay, I forgot about your quote as it was the last one I did before I went on vacation, blah-blah-blah, plus, I spoke with my manager and given the situation with the online quote and your loyalty, we can get your price closer to where it was online -- I probably would have taken the offer and they would have had my business. After all, I have a full time job and don’t really want to shop around for moving companies. But that’s not what happened.

I’m going to tell you the rest of the story and how it relates to our firms next month. In the meantime, think about who you are sending out on your sales calls and how they are representing your firm. Also, think about how you treat prospective clients during your busiest times of the year as prospective clients expect the same great treatment whether it is June 1st, March 13th, or December 30th

Art Kuesel is the president of Kuesel Consulting where he helps CPA firms perfect their growth strategies and actions to drive revenue in the door. He can be reached at