“Is the grass always greener?”
Several weeks back Jen Mazur and I were monitoring calls into the HMI service department and we overheard a customer speaking to one of our representatives.
THE HORROR STORY IN SUMMARY
The customer related that he had accepted a call from an HMI competitive foam supplier. Our competitor apparently waxed eloquently about all the deficiencies of the HMI polyurethane concrete lifting foam expounding on weaknesses of recycled content and failures in settling post job completion. No statistics or research was provided; just an eloquent sales pitch and the concrete lifting contractor took the bait and ordered a barrel set of the competitor foam.
Upon completion of a residential lifting job with the competitor foam the contractor had some slabs continue to rise and some settle. During the job he was challenged as slabs were binding to the foundation of the homeowner’s structure as he attempted to lift.
When the contractor finally reached the salesperson who sold the alternative foam to him he was told – “your temperature settings must have been wrong” and the conversation ended abruptly! The competitive sales person never even asked about technique, hole patterns or for photos of job site.
EVERYONE IS AN EXPERT
Over the last several years there has been an explosion of foam manufacturers miraculously and suddenly becoming concrete lifting experts. They take or modify formulas for insulation foam and cut their sales departments loose to pitch the foam for concrete lifting. In the majority of cases the people developing and selling this foam have never lifted a piece of concrete in their lives!
ARE WE DEFENSIVE
YES! We are less defensive about/for ourselves and more for the reputation of our customers and the emerging polyurethane concrete lifting industry as a whole. HMI polyurethane lifting foams were specifically formulated by HMI on staff chemists and are used by HMI’s contracting division daily. “Made for contractors by contractors” is just not a sales line!” It is the difference!
The second difference is support. HMI offers a customer portal with videos and discussions to assist customers on nearly every aspect of their business. Type in a question on your phone on the job site and -BINGO- a video or description of a process or solution is in your hands.
On the same day we heard “The Horror Story” we watched HMI service reps assisting contractors by viewing real time photo of job sites and coaching customer where to drill and suggesting unique techniques to address a challenge the contractors have never experienced before – AT NO COST TO THE CONTRACTOR!
VENTING ALWAYS HELPS
We have wanted to write this blog for some time. It feels good to vent frustration. We encourage competition but we look upon dispensing of misinformation with disdain. With 40 + year of concrete lifting experience behind our products and service we are defensive when our friends and customers are misled.
The next time someone tries to sell you different foam – ask the following questions:
- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIFTING CONCRETE?
- WHEN AND WHERE IS THE LAST JOB YOU USED THIS FOAM ON?
- CAN I CALL YOU EACH TIME I PULL UP TO A JOB SITE FOR HELP?
Jen Mazur is the Sales and Service Director of HMI. Over 10 years of experience in the concreting lifting industry.
Paul DelFino is a principal of the consulting firm Opportunity Inc. For over two decades he has assisted entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, responding to economic downturns and merger and acquisition activity. He has consulted with HMI and RaiseRite for over 17 years. His publications include “Avoiding Skewed Entrepreneurial Strategies” available from all on line booksellers.