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I Never Say “No”

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I just returned from the NARI Spring Board Meeting in Phoenix. As you might expect, business is slow for many contractors, but not for everyone. I spoke with 2 remodelers who were having their best year ever.

I had to know why. I asked each what they were doing, and their message is captured in the title of this posting.

Don Van Cura in Chicago said that he will talk with anyone who calls, even if he doesn’t do the work they are looking for. He has removed all voicemail prompts from his phone, and his office manager takes all calls.

What he shared with me is that potential customers need direction, and support. He will refer people for work he doesn’t do to competent trade contractors and suppliers. He will also go out when someone wants something as simple as a new sink or faucet. He smiled when he told me this. These “service calls” became bigger projects when he got to the homeowner’s house and begin to review the project. The homeowner just needed a little help.

Greg Antonioli who works near Boston let me know that he does something very similar. He speaks with everyone, and takes the time necessary to take care of past customers, no matter what they need done. As a result, much of his work is now 2nd and 3rd projects for a very satisfied client base.

He also made another interesting comment. He said he had more referrals than ever before from people he hadn’t done work for. He will tell potential customers on the phone that he might not be the best person for what they need, and he will refer them to another contractor who does that type of work. As a result, he gets referrals from callers who were impressed with his customer service, and impressed enough to refer him to their friends.

We are in a relationship business. Be a resource, and guide potential callers when they have taken the time to call you. You never know what might come out of these calls