Effective communication skills
Here are 4 guaranteed ways to drive away, a new commercial client.
"Why would I want to wreck a perfectly good commercial client?" I hear you say.
"They bring in the regular work for me. I'd never do anything to upset them."
I'd hate to think you'd 'put your head in the sand' and ignore some wise advice.
I recently interviewed a facilities manager at one of Sydney's largest retirement villages.
He said there were the four problems he has, with tradies and small business service providers:
1. Not turning up on time.
"I ALWAYS turn up on time, Paul".
I'm glad to hear!
I know this is a no brainer.
Of course you'd turn up on time for a big client, wouldn't you?
But I also realise you're day's don't always go to plan.
You get held up - and it's not always your fault!
You know what to do if you're going to be late, don't you?
"Yep - call him".
For this manager, poor punctuality was enough for him to go looking for your replacement.
You don't want that.
2. Not communicating thoroughly about the progress of the job.
Effective communication skills.
I know, you didn't become a plumber or an antenna installer because of your communicating skills.
"What does he expect, Paul?"
It seems he relies on all his contractors to be his 'eyes and ears' around the property.
He wants them to let him know, where they are up to in the progress of the work, either verbally or in writing.
How is the job going?
What has been done and what more is yet to be done? Could there possibly be any delays?
He wants people to observe other problems that may become an issue for him in the future, so he can prioritise his work and his budget.
"What, look for other things that need doing, you mean?
Wouldn't that seem like I'm trying to get more work out of him?"
Can I tell you about my mechanic?
Every time I get work done on my car, he writes across the bottom of the invoice, issues that will need my attention soon.
Some are minor and others should be a major priority for me.
I rely on him, to have my best interests at heart. After all, I have no idea what goes on under the bonnet of my car.
3. Having to call a tradie back because the job wasn't done right - the first time.
"What! Are you questioning the quality of my work, Paul?"
No, not at all.
I'm sure you do a fine job - when you're not in a hurry. We all get pushed for time, sometimes.
That's when cutting corners looks so attractive.
Or, maybe it's one of your workers who's been taking shortcuts.
For this property manager, sloppy workmanship is a sure way to cut off the regular work he's been dishing out.
4. Not leaving the place tidy.
I know this sound's petty, but if you didn't clean up your mess, he has to arrange another expensive staff member to clean up after you.
That's what ticks him off.
Effective communication skills are the key.
I hope this helps you get and keep good commercial clients.
Tell me what other things upset commercial clients in the comments section below: