Mary at the local garage told me, ‘We can put a tow hitch on for you, but we’re not going to be cheap because we do one or 2 a day. We recommend you go to Western Towing as they do 1 or 2 in a morning.’
Mike the lawyer said, ‘I can write a letter for you, but it’s going to be costly, slow, and unlikely to have much impact. I don’t think it is worth it, I’d recommend you try these other options before engaging me.’
Charles at the construction company said, ‘We can do traditional foundations for you, but others will be better and cheaper. Our specialty is dealing with sites where traditional doesn’t work.’
In a weird way, one of the most endearing things a company can do is to say, ‘we’re not the best at that, you should talk to x.’ There’s something honest, genuine, and generous about it. It says something about the culture and values of the place. There is not a sell at all costs mentality present. There appears to be an interest in what’s in the best interest of the customer.
And I, as a customer, notice that. And it makes me want to go back to them and to recommend them. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
So why is this behaviour, this culture so rare? What’s stops us from creating it?
And what would it look like in the aid sector if we would say to a donor – that other organisation over there is better at this work than we are. What would that take?