There’s a thick layer of dust everywhere in Denegri Towers just now; not because I have relaxed my house-keeping rules further than usual (if indeed such a thing were possible) but because we’ve got the builders – rather, builder – in. Our bathroom and loo, previously sporting a look I’d describe as “Eastern-bloc chic” are being overhauled into something rather more up to date and enticing. Spa, rather than stalag, is the look we’re aiming for.
This project has been some months in the planning and execution. The interesting thing is that when I made the original call to the builder back in January, to see if he’d like the work, he let me know straight off that he had no availability until June at the earliest – which eventually turned into July.
Despite – or more accurately, because of – this we were happy to wait. When someone is so busy you’ve got to wait six months, you can be reasonably certain they’re good. Plus, he came highly recommended by friends of ours – he did their kitchen and it was incredible. I say was - they sold their house not long after and the new owner promptly ripped the entire ground floor out to make an open-plan living space. The kitchen was one of the casualties of this, ending up in a skip. Nightmare! Also, he tells me that in 15 years of doing this work, he’s never had to advertise – all his work has come through word of mouth – which is pretty impressive.
Now it’s our turn. Robert, the builder (I have assiduously avoided calling him Bob the Builder; I’m sure he’s heard it all before*) has been working on our project for a couple of weeks. On some of those days, I’ve been working at home, on others Mr D has been here, and on yet more he’s been here alone with the dogs for company. Each and every combination has worked well – he’s a considerate and tidy project manager, he’s very pleasant, so we’re very happy to share our space with him at close quarters, but much, much more importantly, we trust him. How so? Well, it’s not a single factor, rather a combination of everything I’ve already mentioned. The quality of his work was a given. He’s got good people skills. He even puts up with the dogs (he’s a bit afraid of dogs in general, rather than ours in particular).
All of this has got me thinking. Would your (indeed our) clients want you in their home? Can you honestly say that you tick all the boxes for them? Technical excellence? Emotional intelligence – by which I mean, amongst other things being good at listening, asking questions, picking up when they’re not sure about something and identifying how to resolve it, for example? Would every single one of your clients be willing to recommend you to others in their network, ensuring a steady stream of work? Are you patient, able to deal with the idiotic questions they put your way (if they’re anything like me)? If not, why not? What are you (we) waiting for? I’m writing this late on Friday afternoon. I’m going to finish this post, and spend a wee while thinking about how I get better at delivering the products my clients want before I start my weekend. Wish me luck – and if you are a past or current client reading this, do let me know if there’s anything I could do better, differently or more of to keep our working relationship strong. I mean it! You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org All feedback will be gratefully received.
*Before I got married, my surname was Bain. After a lifetime of people telling me I was the “bain/bane” of their lives I know how quickly the joke wears thin. Much more quickly than you’d imagine, hence my impressive show of self-discipline here ;)
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about the author
Nicky Denegri is our Senior Consultant. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop her an email and we will be in touch.