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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Spurway

Can you top this?

>> One phone call is all it takes <<

I'm about to start a large renovation of my house. It will involve a large extension and some major changes to the inside and outside. For a small building firm I'd say this was a sizeable project.

I recently had gotten planning permission and so we were all systems go.

All I needed to do now was the easy part, find a builder.

There's a lot about and so it shouldn't be too difficult ... should it?

I can now tell you, it's a lot harder to spend money than I originally thought.

In total, I contacted five building firms. Let me tell you how it went ...

Builder 1:

Found on checkatrade. Left a voicemail, didn't hear back. Called a second time 3 days later and left another voicemail, again, didn't hear back.

Builder 2:

Recommended by a friend. I called his mobile and the owner answered. He was a lovely guy but could do nothing until 2022!

Builder 3:

Another we found on checkatrade. I rang and left a voicemail and two days later he got back to me. Said he had a lot of work on at the moment, but that he would call me back to arrange a time to pop over and talk about the project when he had more than ten minutes. I never heard back.

Builder 4:

Builder four was actually someone recommended to me by one of our clients. I called, left a voicemail and he called me back later that evening. I described the project and he committed to popping over for a chat, which he did the next day. Turns out he is mega busy too and wouldn't be able to start until October.

Builder 5:

This one I found via Google. Wish I hadn't bothered. Some disinterested bloke answered my call. Said he couldn't come around for a couple of weeks. He didn't bother following up to confirm a date and time, and so that was that.

It's likely our project will have to wait now until October. But given my impression after meeting builder four, and having him talk me through his sensible sounding recommendations, I'm comfortable we'd be making the right decision in going with him.

But here's a thought experiment for you ...

If a prospect phoned you with a sizeable project right now, how would you respond? What would you say?

Would you show eagerness to talk and consider the project, even if in the back of your mind you might be asking yourself when could you fit it in?

Would offer helpful assistance and advice even if it meant cutting a few minutes out of your day?

Would you perhaps have recommended someone else for the job if you knew you couldn't possibly fit it in?

If you did any of these three things you would have topped four out of the five builders I attempted.

Actually, if you'd just answered the phone with a positive tone you would be doing better than at least three of them.

So ask yourself, can you afford to turn away business? If not, answer the phone, with a smile preferably.

Best, Lindsey

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