Electrocution lesson

High voltage

Shocking news!

Like many, I have trouble getting tradespeople to do anything.

But compelled by the dictates of 120-year-old Empire House, I keep bashing away.

Recently, I had a rare win with an electrician.

I report this result in the hope you may repeat it in your home and/or business.

Such peer review could flag a shift in artisan communication.

Negative

In the past, I sought to curry favour with tradies by being friendly and flexible.

But I went way too far. For instance, when a:

  • Sparkie asked for a convenient time to visit, I said I worked from home and was there pretty much 24/7.
  • Plumber said he was flooded with storm work, I said I’d happily wait until he caught up.
  • Plasterer mentioned he had several big jobs on, I offered to let him do mine in between.

I thus gave away all my power for a modicum of goodwill.

And when, as people do, these craftsmen took my inches to miles, I got upset.

On reflection, I see I was unreasonable, as I’d created a rod for my own back.

Positive

Having failed to resolve a chronic phone line problem, I switched from gentle reminders to a more structured approach:

‘Dear Fred*,

Could we please get this problem fixed on Monday?

I’ve been waiting for nearly six months now, and my clients have been complaining about my crap phone line – which is making me sound like a hack.

I have a multi-party phone conference with a huge new prospect this week, so it’s critical I get this problem sorted beforehand.

Please can you help?!

Best regards,

P.’

Fred came the next day! He fixed my line, which remains flawless.

How come that?!

Stunned at my success, I analysed my approach and found four points of difference. I had:

  1. Nominated a specific day.
  2. Flagged the time I’d been waiting.
  3. Detailed the consequences of not getting action.
  4. Used a much firmer tone.

Maybe I was just lucky.

But I sure plan to try this tack again.

(I’ll let you know how I get on.)

Rewire?

Meanwhile, let’s take a macro look at my experience.

Building-related businesses are dropping like flies.

I wonder if this downturn might encourage tradies to lift their game.

Could the building industry take a hard look at itself and address such chronic complaints as:

  • Failing to turn up.
  • Failing to turn up on time.
  • Turning up unannounced, weeks after an appointment, immediately before some vital event (e.g. large family dinner).
  • Doing sub-standard work.
  • Using sub-standard materials.
  • Refusing to provide guarantees.

In my view, any tradie who pulled this off could eclipse his shabby competitors to win a dwindling work pie.

Or is such thinking pie in the sky?

Whatever your view,

this debate needs your

spark.

🙂

* Not his real name.

 

Paul Hassing | Founder & Senior Writer – The Feisty Empire