The Hudson Contract sales office in Manchester is always a hive of activity, handling enquiries from potential new clients. They come from various sources including our accountant referrals, subbie referrals and – most importantly – client referrals.
But a recent call from a company in the West Midlands is in a referral class of its own... and it’s fair to say I almost thought my ears were deceiving me.
It started out like many others, which is to say I ran through the pleasantries with our potential new client, discussed the reason for his enquiry, explained a little about the background and services that Hudson Contract has to offer and set up a meeting for our regional account manager in the Midlands.
Before I ended the call I asked the question I always ask: "How did you hear about Hudson Contract?"
I expected a standard reply: My accountant referred me… I know someone who uses you… I’ve been looking at your website… I read something about you…
…When the man on the other end of the line said: “I heard about you through UCATT”, all I could manage to say was, “I beg your pardon? I thought you said through UCATT!”
Potential client: "Yes, I stumbled across their website and had a read through. Your name kept coming up."
Me: "I'm afraid they don't like Hudson Contract very much"
Potential client: "I noticed that. It’s why I decided to call. I thought if they dislike you that much, you must be doing something right."
Me: "That's good to hear. I'm glad you did call, and I'm sure we will be able to help you."
Potential client: "I'm not a union man, I can't stand them, and never have"
It took me a few minutes to recover, after which I told Hudson Contract Chairman, David Jackson, about this most unlikely of sales leads.
After he’d finished laughing, David agreed this enquiry should be marked: “Referral by UCATT”.
Which means that if the enquiry comes to fruition, we can contact the union and ask our local official whether they’d like to attend a day at the races, enjoy some wines or make a donation to charity.
Hudson Contract and UCATT agree…
David Jackson adds: “In all seriousness, and in addition, I should also like to thank UCATT for their initiative to kick scam ‘Umbrella’ companies out of Yorkshire. Hudson Contract is happy to stand alongside the union in its drive to urge local authorities across the region to ban the swindling contract that can leave workers up to £100 a week out-of-pocket.
“Both Hudson Contract and UCATT agree that forcing workers to be paid by so-called umbrella companies and charging each worker for the ‘privilege’ is an abhorrent practise that needs to end.”