The Price is Right Said Red

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 14th September 2016.

'If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, then wait until you hire an amateur.’

The quote above came from the legendary American fire fighter Red Adair.  A lot of you will have heard of him but some of you might not have so let me give you a very brief bio.

From the 1950s to the early 1990s, Red was THE go to guy when there was a fire.  Actually let me clarify that last statement.  Red was the global expert when it came to oil well fire fighting.

Along with his well trained team, he extinguished dozens of huge fires all over the world including Piper Alpha in 1988 and the blazes set by the Iraqi army in the Kuwaiti oil fields in 1991 following Operation Desert Storm.

Old Red and his crew weren’t cheap, but they were the best.  Their track record of dealing with these massive fires was second to none.

In an industry where each day a fire burnt would cost millions of US Dollars as well as endanger lives, cutting corners on cost wasn't the wisest of moves.  Not least where efficiency and experience were concerned and so vitally necessary.

When I saw this quote, it immediately made me think of incidents in the past where cost had been put before value.

I’ve had the odd person come to see me saying they could get my service cheaper elsewhere.  It’s at this point that I've corrected them.  Yes, they probably could get a similar service somewhere else cheaper but is it the same service and the same experience.  Are they comparing like for like and apples with apples.

With many things in life I’ve seen people so obsessed with cost that they ignore the value (quality).  Financial planning isn’t a commodity like a loaf of bread or a pint of milk.  It’s the experience of the planner and the experience they give to the client that creates the long term value in the relationship.

I’ve also seen the flip side of this when financial planners charge too much and for doing very little work.  Apart from being very poor, it's also morally wrong. 

We’ve probably all been guilty at some point of putting cost before value.  I know I have when it comes to DIY at Home.  Just ask my wife Caroline and she's made me learn the hard way where my ears have hurt with her being right!

So from starting with an American fire fighting legend, I’ll finish off with an iconic Italian designer Guccio Gucci who wisely said that 'Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten'.