“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
Even the GOAT failed, and he attributed those failures to his undeniable success. It’s not about the shots you miss, it’s about how you follow up and about what you learn. It’s about the next shot. Now, as home industry professionals, we don’t have the luxury of 9,000 misses, because our clients depend on us for results, and we need to deliver with consistency. That said, we’re human and mistakes and missteps happen. How do we rebound from them – and turn failure into success?
What does “failure” look like in the home construction and design industry? It could look like an estimate or projected budget that was not accurate. It could look like a delay that, to your client, is unreasonable. It could look like a mistake made in the wiring of a house that will cost more time and money or a plumbing project that is more complex than initially expected. It could look like an email or a phone call that was not returned promptly – or at all.
In other words, it could look like just about anything. Failure is likely to take the form of unintentional mistakes, miscommunications, or even misconceptions on the part of clients (ever have a client blame you for the weather, for example, or for having a 100 year old house with secrets, and bad wiring behind its walls?). Regardless, it is important to treat these situations seriously – and as the opportunities they can be.
You’re facing a difficult client situation; you may even lose them, and the income they could infuse into your business. What do you do?
Make sure you fully understand the issue at hand and have a clear grasp of the facts. Is it a communication problem? A scheduling problem? A budget problem? What’s going on? Get the information you need to move ahead.
The solution? Prioritize client communications and allocate 30 minutes at the end of the day to answer queries; delegate this responsibility to a project manager; implement a solution like BuilderTrend so clients can access important information online, anytime they need. Whatever the solution, tell your client exactly how you will address the issue and keep it from reoccurring.
People fail; we’re only human after all. But we don’t have to repeat the same mistakes, and we can apply lessons learned to avoid other issues. When we learn from failure, we improve in the future.
Failure is not the “F” word. It is not to be hidden from, denied, or ignored. Rather, think of these tough situations as opportunities to make meaningful changes and build stronger relationships with your clients. If you can address a problem proactively using the tips above, you will likely also find that you turn a client who is angry, dissatisfied, or frustrated into one of your strongest brand advocates.
Why not also learn from other artisan’s failures? Hey, if you don’t have to make a mistake yourself and still benefit, all the better! With Home Artisans of Indiana, you’ll be part of a community of like-minded home improvement professionals and have access to roundtable discussions, exclusive resources, and peer-to-peer conversations that can help you grow. Let’s build better businesses together – and use failure as an opportunity to learn. Contact Home Artisans of Indiana to learn more.
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