Proving You’re Not A Cowboy Tradesman

12 June 2013

Cowboy tradesmen are the bane in every hard working tradesman’s life

So how do you beat the image?

Well continuing in our guest blog series David from YOUR Insurance gives some ways in order for you to do exactly that!

Proving you’re not a cowboy

As a tradesmen, you have an uphill battle ahead of you before you even start working for a new client. It is completely unfair, but you will from time to time struggle against stereotypes regarding unprofessionalism. Everyone and their dog has a friend of a friend who has had a run in with a cowboy builder, rogue electrician or easily distracted plumber.


If you work as a tradesman, your first major task when meeting a new customer is to convince them that you are trustworthy and will do a good job. In the cynical age that we live in, this is not always straight forward because maybe your new client just watched “builders from hell” last night and has been whipped into a state of fear by the ever-helpful television.

What can you do?

There are things you can do to win over your client. The most obvious is to do a good job and live on word-of-mouth recommendations and reassurance. A new client that comes to you on the recommendation of one of their friends is one that is going to need a lot less convincing. Previous clients will often be your best source of marketing as they share how satisfied they are with the work you have done.


As for active things you can do, you can simply act in a confident manner and generally win your customers over with charisma, politeness and professionalism. Of course the danger with this is that this is also exactly what a “successful” cowboy builder will do too so you can’t rely on your patter alone.


You basically need to convey that you are a professional and that you take the things that your customers are afraid of very seriously as well. One of the things you can do to put minds at rest is to ensure your public liability insurance is in order.

Insurance can equal assurance

Many clients won’t let you anywhere near their property without you having public liability insurance in the first place, but if when someone asks if you have it in place you can reassure them that it is all in order, you will present them with the impression that you have their best interests in mind and that any mistakes you make will not ultimately cost them. Having insurance in place is something a true professional who takes their work seriously would do. You can even reassure clients that don’t ask for public liability insurance to be in place by showing them proof of cover and explaining that they have nothing to worry about.


Stereotypes are rarely fair, but you can understand the suspicion your customers might have, no matter how infuriating it might be. Of course, you could instead hope your clients have a sense of humour and turn up wearing a wide brimmed hat and spurred boots.

About the author

Written by David Hing for YOUR Insurance, a specialist broker that knows you’re not a cowboy and wants to help you prove it.


Thanks David for the blog post!

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By Adam Austin

Co-founder of YourTradebase. One quick, easy app that frees you from paperwork and lets you get back to the job you love.

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