I got a call from one of my local coaching clients, asking me to fill in for him at a meeting.
He is a remodeling contractor and my history as a contractor made me an easy choice for a meeting he couldn’t attend.
I needed to walk a new job with one of his subcontractors to make sure the scope of work was understood and that expectations were in place.
I set the time with the homeowner and the sub to meet at 930am. At 900am I called the sub to let him know I was running early and I would see him there. He didn’t answer his phone.
930 came and went. So did 940 and 10am.
I finally reached him at 1005am and he gave me some crap about traffic and still being 20 minutes away. I told him thanks for not communicating that earlier.
This is one example of what I see too often from small business owners like this subcontractor. He knows his trade very well, but he sucks at running his business. I had never met the guy before that day, but I can tell he is making things way harder on himself than he needs to.
People do business with people that they know, like and trust. Below, I want to share a few thoughts I have on how this guy blew it.
I don’t know you yet so you better amaze me
The homeowner and me were new clients of this sub. Neither of us had ever met him before. When you are hired to do a job you must come out of the gates strong. Be early. Communicate. Act like you want the work. When you fail to impress early on you make it harder for your clients to like and trust you.
Being likable makes up for many other sins
Crap happens. The meeting will run long or a car will stall on the highway creating a 15 minute delay. Whatever it is most people understand that things happen. Another way business owners make things hard on themselves is that they are not thinking about the client enough. “What is the respectful thing to right now?” should be a question we all ask ourselves when doing our work.
Simply communicating with your clients before they feel disrespected will go a long way and make you more likable! Something like, “Hi Tom. I wanted you to know that I got out of a meeting a few minutes late and I’m on my way to you now. I will be about 30 minutes behind schedule. If this doesn’t work for you, I’m happy to come back at a time that doesn’t complicate your day.”
I don’t trust you
It bothers me when I’m not trusted. Our subcontractor friend now has the homeowner (client) looking over his shoulder and questioning his every move. My remodeling friend also has him under a microscope. Regardless of the type of work he does right now we still don’t totally trust him.
Will he show up on time and keep us on schedule?
Will he follow the blueprint?
Subcontractor dude complicated his life by failing to make us feel like we were important.
Build your business the easy way
There are no ‘Easy-Buttons’ when it comes to building a business. No silver bullet formula. But, if I had to narrow things down to the easiest way to build a profitable business it would be this:
Respect means proactive communication.
Respect leads to a better experience.
Respect turns into referrals.
Respect is the foundation of a highly profitable, growing business that is a joy to lead.