EPISODE 28 – Be Remarkable To Your Clients
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
If you’ve never seen the podcast before or listened to the podcast before the purpose of the podcast is to address a bunch of building industry norms that I’ve in my belief anyway cause unnecessary pain, not only to the builder but everybody on the team, as well as, and most definitely the clients of builders in the building industry.
The great thing is that we are unpacking a whole bunch of ideas, theories that have been put into practice and being proven to work by our Builders Business Black Belt members. And they’re gonna bring the ideas I’m gonna share with you.
You also may notice that we’ve changed the format a little bit. Traditionally, the we do an interview with somebody, and we will still do that from time to time.
But I really felt that I wanted to address, and almost do some training sessions, some free training sessions for you guys used to podcast for that.
So, you can grab this information, you can implement it into your building business. Everything is going to be building business specific. So, what we’re gonna cover today is why your product isn’t the building that you do.
So, I’m gonna unpack that.
Also gonna answer a very commonly asked question that I get from lots of builders. And instead of the normal tech tip or the book review that would, we’ve done in the past, what I’m going to share with you is a personal productivity hack.
So, everything that we’re now doing on the podcast is all focused on giving you stuff that you can implement straight away, and get results from immediately.
*Transcription of the show*
The first thing is, what is your product or what do you do? Is a question that I ask everybody particularly when people are joining our Builders Business Success forum.
So, if you don’t know about that it’s our free Facebook group and encourage you to come along and join, ask questions, get involved in the conversation. When you apply to join the Facebook group, there’s three questions you need to ask.
The first one is what are you specializing? And it’s pretty funny watching some of the answers that come through. One of the more common one believe it or not is building. So, I meant to for you to get a little bit more specific than that.
Some people will say custom homes, architectural designed projects, or outdoor entertaining areas, or first floor extensions, or knock down rebuilds or renovations or whatever.
So, the answers I always get are about the building. And what I’d like to pose for you to consider, and to start to think about and ask questions about. So, jump into the Builders Business Success forum . When there’s something that you want to find out about that I’ve mentioned in the podcast, and ask questions because I will address those questions on future episodes of the podcast.
If there’s something I said that you perhaps don’t disagree with, and you wanna put your point of view across, jump into the success forum, Builders Business Success forum Facebook group, and put your ideas in there. Be great to have a conversation. But that’s when I ask that question, it’s always about what you do. And my question to you is shouldn’t your product be what your most important ideal client wants?
So, shouldn’t your product be what your most important ideal client wants? And I would suggest to you that if you can imagine this scenario.
You’ve built a home, you’ve handed it over, let’s say a year ago. And your past client receives a visitor. Someone that they haven’t seen yet for a while. They’ve never seen their new house.
They catch up with them. They’re sitting around having a cup of coffee, and the guest says, you know, what was it like building the house? I will guarantee you that the homeowner your past client won’t grab your their friend’s hand and walk around, and show them the amazing workmanship that you have performed.
Yes, I know that they appreciate that but it’s not something that is remembered long-term. In fact, the experience that they had walls building is the thing that is remembered forever. And the house at the end of the driveway that you built is an icon. It’s a reminder of that experience.
So, do you wanna be remembered every time they drive up the driveway or every time somebody asked them that question what was it like building your own home? Do you wanna be remembered for not turning up on time, not doing what you said, not listening all of the complaints that we get all of the time from clients of builders. Or do you wanna be remembered for giving them a remarkable experience?
And what I wanna put to you, what I wanna pose to you is that your product is not the house, the extension, the renovation. That your product is the quality of the customer experience throughout that building project or process.
Now, if that’s the case, if you buy into this, if you believe that your product is the customer experience, wouldn’t you want a better and better quality product all the time. Wouldn’t you wanna be improving the quality of your product?
I hope you’re answering this yes. Because if you do this, if you have that mindset shift, and you give priority to the activities in your business that deliver the things that are important to your clients such as good quality communication, reliability and trust feeling like they’ve been understood and feeling like you really care about them and their priorities, and their concerns and the quality of their experience.
That’s what they care about. Of course, they care about the quality of your work. I get that, but I believe that your client thinks that that is an expectation.
Otherwise they’d build it themselves. The reason they’re not building it themselves is they don’t know how, they don’t have the skills. And if they did it would look like a piece of crap.
So, they bring someone in who has the experience, and the skills to build something beautiful. But I will guarantee you that when the visitor arrives, and asked the question a year down the track what was it like building a house?
The topic of conversation will be the experience that that customer had, not how good your building skills were.
So, I’m suggesting that you have that mindset shift. And if you do, it means that your focus, and your conversations, even with your team members are going to be more around what can we do to improve our product?
What can we do this week to blow our customers socks off? So, they remember us for all of the right reasons. And the purpose of this is so your business can become a remarkable business.
What remarkable simply means is it’s kind of like if you’ve just seen a most amazing movie, and then you see your mate the next day before you talk about anything else you go, “Man I got to tell you about this movie I saw last night. It was amazing for these reasons that…”
They didn’t ask you, you not seen any good movies lately. You just volunteered the information.
And so that should be your objective for your building business is what do we need to do in our building business with our communication, with our systems, with our processes, with our listening ability, with our ability to build rapport and trust, all of those things?
Communicating where we are at any given time, giving them little surprises.
They’re the sorts of things we can do to blow them away. And if that’s your focus, and if it’s the topic of discussion with your team members on a regular basis at some stage in the future, you will start to develop a remarkable business and think about that. Think about the value of having a remarkable business.
A business that is remarked upon without somebody asking the question how does that affect your business?
Because I know for sure and certain with all of the interaction that we have with so many builders is one of the biggest frustrations is marketing.
How do we get better quality customers that aren’t price focused, that have the type of projects that we want?
Well, by becoming a remarkable business you’ll find that the type of people that you are working for, and you give them a remarkable experience they start to tell other people that are just like them. And you start to fill your business with those same type of people, with those same type of projects that you want to do.
So, there’s a ton of things that you can do to make your business a remarkable business.
Sadly, what we’re finding with Builders Business Black Belt is many customers think that just doing what we think should just be an expectation, fulfilled expectation like turning up when you said you would, calling back when you said you would. Just being reliable and delivering what you promised.
It seems that many customers think that that is extraordinary. And I just think that is an absolutely sad state of affairs. When you can just be ordinary and same extraordinary.
So, what effect would it have on your business if you went past that level of just delivering on people’s expectations and you went to extraordinary.
An example of that might be, and Builders Business Black Belt members do this stuff all of the time, and they get sensational feedback. For an example, bringing the customer on site, a little bit of a surprise, get the guys involved as well.
Let’s say you’ve just got the slab done, and you haven’t even got the walls up. You’ve just got the, you know, where the walls are chalked out on the slab, and bring in the customer on site, and in the dining room or where the dining room should be.
Have a nice table, get some catering, get the boys involved and have a nice lunch with the clients. And they’ll start to imagine what it’s going to be like when the project is finished.
They get to chat with you guys, you know, not business business. Business you’re just shooting the breeze with your customer. And it was a bit of a surprise. I’ll guarantee you doing something like that, creates that remarkability, it creates that experience. “You never guess what our builder did for us the other day.
You know, they come and pick us up from work and took us to the site and gave us this incredible lunch. And we met the guys and it was just fantastic.” What might that cost? I reckon it would cost significantly less than what keeps getting spent on SEO and Facebook ads, and all of these attempts to try and market your business.
The amount of people that will get told of that experience can be amazing. What else can you do? Just listen right from the start. Listen, what are people’s passions? What are people interests? And what if the husband was a bit of a golf tragic? And one day you just walked onto, you know, you met him he came on site or whatever, and you went, “Oh, I remembered the other day, you know, when you know, sometime earlier when we were talking, you’re interested in golf.
I was reading this magazine the other day, saw golf article, ripped that out the magazine I’ve got it for you.” And you put it in an envelope or whatever hand him the not the whole magazine, just the golf article.
Because if you think about it it’s you showing that you paid attention back then, and you thought about him in your own time. What that is demonstrating is you listen and you care you give a stuff. You don’t have to buy him a set of golf clubs. You just found a golf magazine, ripped the article out and say, “I read this, thought you’d be interested in.” Those sorts of little things have massive impact on your clients.
So, what can you do? Have conversations about this with your team? Get your team involved in coming up with ideas to blow your client’s socks off, just by doing these little things.
They don’t have to be massive, costly things. They’re little things that just show you care, and you listen. Why this is important. And is because one of the most important things, or one of the most powerful things you can do to build rapport and trust with your clients is prove that you listen by having them feel like they have been understood.
So, feeding back what they have said to you, how they feel about what they’ve said to you is super super powerful. I’m not sure whether you have ever heard of Abraham Maslow but he’s famous for a bunch of things. Maslow’s learning ladder and most particularly, Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.
And if you can just imagine a triangle, and the triangle has some horizontal lines through it, and it’s got five sections basically.
The bottom two sections are all about what humans absolutely need from a physiological point of view. And that bottom section, the first section is just air, water, food, shelter, things like that. We absolutely must have them.
The next level up physiologically is safety. And what that means is that quite often if someone is starving to death they will do anything to be able to get that drink of water or that food so they can survive.
And their requirements for safety is way way down. But once people are fed and watered and have shoulder then the focus becomes on safety.
And how do I keep safe? And the bottom line is we don’t care about that next level up until we’ve satisfied that basic level. And they’re the first two levels on Maslow’s hierarchy.
Then we get into psychological needs. And basically the first psychological need this isn’t verbatim but this is how I’d like you to understand it is to be understood. And there are a whole lot of other needs above that, but this being understood is the equivalent of oxygen, psychological oxygen. If somebody is suffocating, they don’t care about their safety.
That’s how those physiological needs work. You know, if there’s nothing to smash the window, so I can breathe again, I’ll use my hand or my elbow or my foot or something. And yeah, I might cut myself pretty badly doing that but to hell with safety, I can’t breathe.
Exactly the same thing happens psychologically which means I don’t give a stuff what you’re telling me until I feel that you understand me. And little things like that handing the golf magazine article to a client is proof that you understand, you remembered, you cared. And it is so so powerful. And I would be suggesting that you challenge yourself to introduce little disciplines like this. Little ideas like this into your process.
So, you are on purpose saying it’s now time to blow their socks off. What can we do? To be able to do that, in the past you have to listen to what their fears were, what their frustrations were, what their passions are, what their priorities are, and deliver something that shows that you’ve listened, and shows that you care. So, I believe all of this stuff to create a remarkable business.
This stuff needs to be planned, and it needs to be choreographed. Just like I said, you know, at a certain point through your build process, they should be an alarm.
They should be a reminder. It’s now time to blow some socks off, what can we do? And you plan it. And you action it to make sure it happens. Don’t let it be one of those things that I might do if I think about it, or I might do if I’ve got time because, you know, I’ve got to build sheet.
Remember what’s more important. The thing that was remembered long after the quality of the project build. The thing that’s remembered long after that is how you made them feel. Their experience, the quality of their experience.
So, my suggestion to you is to learn, refine, and improve with every client interaction. Almost have a dossier on your clients, you know? So, when you’re having just your normal chit chat, you’re listening to things that are going on in their life, you know, and write it down.
So, you can remember it, you know. Imagine three weeks later going to the client and saying, “How did your dog’s hemorrhoid operation go? Don’t remember talking about that?”
So, you’re paying attention, and you’re sort of showing that you care, not just about the project, but about them as people and their lives, and you will be remembered. And you will be remembered because of the quality of the experience that working with you gave them.
So, I hope that’s helpful. if you’ve got any questions about it, jump into Builders Business Success forum, ask any questions, start any arguments, whatever you wanna do. I’m open to any sort of discussion about this. I love talking about it. And if I can help you understand it at a deeper level so that you can implement it. That is what I wanna do, okay.
Q & A
Question and answer time.
So, what we get asked a lot is should I give prospects time to go over the contract before I meet and answer any of their questions?
So, the question is basically, you know, should I give them the proposal, the quote, the contract, whatever it is.
Let them look at it , and give them time to mull it over, and then you meet with them and are answering questions.
Answer, very simply. And Oh, no, I don’t believe that you should give them the proposal. Let them look at it and then make with them. Just like everything else that we’ve covered, you need a process and you need to practice the skills for that process.
And so, how I would suggest that you do this. If you’ve created a proposal or a quote for somebody, please don’t send it through the post or email it or drop it off and say, “You know, if you me to go ahead, give us a call.” That is one of the main reasons as to why many builders I’ve spoken to might do 10 quotes and get two jobs. Because they drop it off and let the quote do the work. That’s craziness. You’ve put all of that effort into it, make sure you give it the best shot to get that job out of the line. If that client is a client that you want to take on.
So, one of the first things you should do when you’re presenting the proposal is before you show them any of the content is that you revisit the concerns and the priorities that you spoke about, and don’t just start waving my hands around every time I wave my hands around I batch of the mic, need a better system.
So, when you’re unpacking the proposal, what I suggest is you revisit the concerns, and the priorities that you should have asked about in the very initial meeting.
One of the big things you’ve got to discover in the initial meeting is what are your priorities? What are your concerns? Guess what that’s doing folks. That is understanding from their perspective. It’s very very powerful.
So, you should have written that down. You should have captured that information. And before you show them the proposal you should revisit those concerns and say, so Mr and Mrs Jones, when we spoke initially, you said that these things were your concerns. This concern, this concern, this concern. You also mentioned that these two things were absolute priorities. Is that right? Have I got that right?
So, you’re getting feedback and then has anything changed? It’s really important to ask if anything’s changed because what’s the point of giving them a proposal that is probably not relevant anymore. It might only be a small change.
So, but ask the question. Has anything changed? if they’ve had major changes, and it kind of makes part of your proposal irrelevant or something you need to go and fix? My suggestion would be let’s discuss it. Let’s unpack that. Let me understand it and go away and read jig the proposal before you present it.
I think it’s bad to present a proposal that doesn’t come completely line up with their current concerns and priorities. If they say, “No, nothing’s changed.” I think this is absolute key.
So, start taking them through the proposal you’ve created, and address each of the concerns and show them where in the proposal you’ve addressed that concern. And here’s where I’ve addressed that concern.
Here’s where I’ve addressed that concern. Does that make sense? Are you happy with that? Like check in with each of the concerns, and then do the same thing with the priorities. You mentioned that this was a must have.
So, this is where put this in here. Does that make sense? That you’re happy with that? Cool. Then show them clearly the pathway forward. What the next step is to move forward with this. To award you the job and get started. To paint the next steps and then ask them to take that next step.
Ask them to take the next step rather than you saying, “If that makes sense all good, If you’ve got any questions, let me know, and then let me know if you wanna get started.” Like you’re just throwing away massive amounts of opportunity doing it that way.
So, I hope that makes sense. If again, if you’ve got any questions about that, you can certainly reach us through Builder’s Business Success forum, and ask some questions there. As I said, one of the new things that we’ve introduced is the personal productivity hack.
And I’m looking forward to these. And one of the reasons is that they can be super simple, and they can make a profound difference.
This is gonna be one of those super simple things that you might go though but it can make a profound difference.
Personal Productivity Hack
one of the first personal productivity hacks I would suggest because I speak to a lot of builders. I’m indirect with a lot of builders and trades people, and very few of them are organized.
And so, what I would suggest you do is use a diary or some sort of tool, even if it’s in your phone, and 30 something years ago this is where I cut my tastes training. Was with time management and back then we always used to promote the diary. In fact, back then it was the daytime a diary.
It was a day to an opening plus it had a month at a glance, but it was a physical diary. And there’s a whole process on how you plan your day.
And even back then, I would say to people, “Choose the tool that you’re most comfortable with.” Just because we had the daytime a diary, and we were promoting it. If they didn’t wannA use that, I would say, “Cool.”
You know, because you are far better off with a great philosophy, and a blank pad of paper. Than the best whizzbang, you know, $800 diary system that you just use, like a notepad. It just becomes a world’s most expensive notepad.
So, use a diary or a tool to record firstly, your appointments, annual meetings. How many times, and be honest with yourself, have you turned up late or forgotten a meeting, forgotten to make call somebody back.
You’ve got to write this stuff down. And then of course the second part of that process is you’ve got to read it. And so, how you do that is build a new written, with one of these things. I’m holding up an Apple pen. So, not one of those things, unless you’ve got an iPad.
One of these things, that’s a pen, and use a piece of paper and write down what your engagements in your appointments are for the day. And then also write down the list of things that you need to get done today, and put some thought into prioritizing those things.
And I’m gonna give you one question to take away when you’re prioritizing. And that is this, look at each event in your list of things to do today and ask this question, what will happen if I don’t do this today? What will happen if I don’t do this today?
Emphasis on today because we get pushed around by urgent all of the time. And if you ask that question quite often, most often, you’ll find, hey it won’t make any difference today. And that doesn’t mean you won’t do it. It just means that you won’t be stressed out unnecessarily because you think you need to do all of this stuff today. You are far more effective when you feel good.
So, get an actual idea and understanding clarity on what you need to do today in what order, and where your appointments are.
So, you don’t show up late to add an extra level or layer of stress and pressure that you are planned and prepared.
So, ask that question what will happen if I don’t do this today? But use a diary. Do you use a tool to write stuff down, write your appointments down, write down the list of things you need to do today, and use that question to prioritize them.
I’d love to hear your feedback, just doing that. There’s a whole lot more that I can share with you with that but just start there and let us know how you go.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
The Take Away from this podcast is for me everything needs to be planned, choreographed, rehearsed and improved.
So, I encourage you to choreograph your phone calls, choreograph your initial meetings, choreograph how you present a proposal to your client, choreograph all of those sorts of things.
Choreograph how you plan your day. That’s a choreographed move. It is appointments and meetings. How much time have I got left in the day outside of those appointments and meetings? Don’t build a list any bigger than the time available.
Like if you’ve got four hours of meetings and appointments, and travel and all of that sort of stuff, and then you load yourself up with all of these other things to do, you know you won’t get them done.
Listen, now subconsciously and it just adds stress. So, all of that is choreographed. And the improvement part is absolutely essential.
So, have choreography. Have plans and processes and procedures. That’s choreography. And then constantly look to improve them. Because the one thing that I learned a long long time ago it’s a very very powerful law of life I believe. And it is your either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.
So, the only way you can avoid being ripe and rotting is to be green and growing, constantly asking questions. How can we improve? How can we improve? And unless you have a procedure, a process, a step by step process that you continue to follow, and you improve that.
If you’re just making all sorts of random improvements that doesn’t work, you need to be able and measure how it used to work. And now we’ve made this improvement, measure how that works. But be constantly having discussions with your team, get them involved, and be constantly setting goals to improve your business.
So that is it for our new look, new format podcast, Builder’s Business Success podcast. I hope all of this was helpful. I hope it stimulates you to get into a conversation.
Go join the Facebook group Builders Business Success forum, jump in there, ask questions. Or on our Facebook page, Builders Business Black Belt Facebook page wherever.
You can start a discussion, ask questions, whether you agree, whether you disagree, I don’t mind, I’m happy to get into a discussion about it. If there’s anything that we talked about today, and you wanna chat with us about it, we encourage you to do that.
All you need to do is book a call. It’s pretty simple. You can just go to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au, there’s a button on there called Schedule a Call. Underneath this video, there’s a button that will do exactly the same thing.
If you’re listening to the audio only version you just need to navigate to the website buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au as I said hit the Schedule a Call button. Just fill out a little form that lets us know a little bit about you.
And then you’ll be taken to the calendar week, and schedule a real quick call, and we can help you understand. Is there anything that we can help you with?
You can ask questions and just get into a conversation. We can find out how and if we can help you.
So, you know, if we can’t, we’ll certainly tell you. If we can, we’ll show you how, and then it’ll be up to you. But if you wanna chat with us about anything that we’ve talked about in this podcast, anything about your business in the way of improvement all you need to do is book a call. That’s how to do it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show.
I look forward to talking to you next week on another episode of Builders Business Success podcast I’m Mick Hawes, from Builders Business Black Belt. That is it, bye for now.