Thoughts That Build – Fears of Clients & Contractors

Fear, let’s talk here today and not in the sense of whether we should make a decision or shouldn’t. I’m talking about the fear that exists out there with clients as it pertains to contractors, doesn’t matter if you’re a general contractor or a subcontractor, clients still fear engaging with them as we know most people love referrals because it gives them that sense of confidence, but I want to talk about why they fear these things? What are the reasons behind it? Now we’re blasted in society, in the media about how bad contractors are. We see shows on TV talking about how contractors walk away all the time.

In my experience that’s actually the exception, not the rule. I mean we’ve got people who are bad in whatever industry that you’re in. I’m sure I can name any industry and you can pick the bad apple but clients seem to feel that contractors are either over charging, they’re not going to perform, they can take their money and run and it creates the sense of mistrust, right from the get-go. But here’s the interesting part there’s a fear from us as contractors as well, back to the client and it’s even the case in commercial when you’re dealing with much larger dollar figures. The residential, everyone knows as well even from the contractor side, that’s why they include a payments, upfront payments before work is done, payments for materials. It’s not always the case like that on the commercial side but there’s a fear from our side as well that we will perform the work and we’ll still be waiting that we will sign a contract that’ll say you got to pay quick and they won’t that at the end of the project when you have a holdback that they will nitpick at details.

We all know that there’s a cost versus performance dilemma, shall we say right, if everyone had infinite budget, the quality would be perfect, so how do you straddle that line you can’t always want to pay for a fiat and get a Ferrari that’s what I like to say. Anyway nothing against fiats but that fear comes from both sides and the question is how do you bridge that gap. How do you instill that trust in people, I like to always leave money at the end of a project could be five percent, ten percent as a good will to say hey I’m doing this just to show you that I’m paying my trades that I will finish my deficiencies from the client side. How you instill that trust is could be a deposit, it could be following through on those contract terms that you will pay in 24 – 48 hours or seven days, whatever that case might be respond to questions quicker, that creates more trust between the partners. Now for me what I like doing as well sometimes I’m guilty of not doing it but I don’t like to just email a quotation off to a client, there is something to be said to sitting down in front of them walking them through your proposal explaining to them how you came  up with your number, why, what those qualifications are and what they actually mean? The client has to understand that hearing you not reading it on a sheet of paper that’s where you bridge the gap of trust. Again, it comes back to the human to human connection, how do you present yourself? How does the client present themselves and how do we follow through on those words. Those are the most important things to dispel a lot of the myths as it pertains to this fear between contractors and clients.