You know I’m the biggest cheerleader of SME builders….. I really am. I think you guys are awesome…. But there is a cloud over dealing with some of you sometimes….. and it’s not just when WE are trying to work with you!
You knew it was coming……COMMUNICATION.
Man. Love ya but seriously?!? And you know I’m generalising here; you also know EXACTLY the guys I am talking about. The ghosters. The ones that reply to an email three weeks after you have sent it. The ones that never return phone calls. Doesn’t matter who is trying to get in touch…. Customers…. Subbies…. Salespeople…..Ugh.
I get it, you are in the middle of a big web of people who are trying to get a project complete, you are the guy that everyone comes to when there is a problem. You are also often the guy who gets paid the lowest hourly rate for the work that you do…… Handling all the calls, all the emails, its hard work. But you HAVE to get on top of it.
Suck It Up, It's Not That Bad
First, you have to suck it up when you need to call someone with bad news. Don’t put it off. Get it done. Eat the frog first. Can’t get to a job when you thought you were going to be able to? Ring the client straight away. Can’t price that job because you are too busy? Ring the client straight away. You’ve decided to quote that job you sent to us yourself? For goodness sake ring Paul and let him know…. We really truly honestly don’t mind! By being communicative you are helping other people do their job/run their life better, even if you think you are telling them something they don’t want to hear. It’s JUST as important as telling people the good stuff…. I promise.
Then – get organised. Believe it or not being organised is a choice. If you aren’t and people are chasing you all the time… that bed is of your own making, and you can remake it if you want to.
Hate voicemail? (I do!!) then either don’t have it – have it divert to an admin person if you miss the call, or have a message telling people to email you instead and that voicemails won’t be checked.
Have a million emails coming through?
Use email folders!! Prioritise the emails into things that need action straight away and square away the time you need to answer them on a daily basis… make it a rule, first thing? Lunchtime? 5pm? Answer all the emails that have come in that day that are urgent then, don’t get distracted mucking about with your phone trying to answer them during the day, especially if you are on the tools. If people need you that badly they will ring you!!!!!
As one of those crowds who need to get in touch with you…. As both a client and as a colleague….. If you have awesome communication, I will sing your praises to anyone who needs a recommendation. Why? Because more often than not, a job is not going to go smoothly, and I wanna know that you will be in touch with me BEFORE I have to chase you up to let me know. And also of course, yarns with builders are our favourite!