If You Want the Job, Ask For It!
Contractor tip of the month
By Damian Lang
Do you close the deal and get that contract? Or, do you just send out the bid in hopes that the owner or general contractor received it and will give you the job? If you aren’t asking for the job, and the customer doesn’t know how bad you want it, your odds of getting it are greatly reduced.
My masonry contracting firm was recently awarded a large project that we thought we had no chance of getting. How’d we do it? Simply by following up on the status of the project. In fact, when our estimator called, the GC said the mason contractor who previously had the job had gone out of business. Also, he said he never had our proposal from the bid a year earlier. So we sent him a copy of the proposal and were awarded the job. (Learned a lesson here: If you want something, ask for it!)
Last month, my daughter, Amy, wrote a letter to the Easter Bunny. Little did I know what Amy really wanted for Easter until I found this:
“Dear, Easter Bunny, thank you for all the things you gave me last year. Easter is my favorite holiday. Thanks for the ducks you gave me last year. But they aren’t at my Dad’s house, they are at the pond. I kinda want a bunny for Easter, but I better forget it because I don’t think my Dad likes animals. But a bunny would be nice, because I get lonely around the house because my Dad won’t let me have animals, just ducks for the pond. But I do have Spunky (her dog) but that’s all. I wish my bunny was still living. If it was I would be playing with him now. I didn’t tell my Dad I wanted a bunny, because he would yell at me and say he doesn’t like inside pets. I had a dream that my Dad got me a bunny. I wasn’t happy when I woke up because I figured out it was just a dream. I used to get bunnies every single Easter but now I’m getting ducks. I mean I love my ducks but I never get to see them anymore. Every time I go to the pet store I never can get one. So I’m just asking you please can I have a bunny that’s all I want for Easter. But If I don’t get one it’s okay because your probally busy. and have other things to do. Thank you!! Love, Amy.”
Amy didn’t get her bunny for Easter for this letter never got to the Easter Bunny (me). In fact, on the night before Easter, knowing she had written a letter to the Easter Bunny that wasn’t on the fireplace hearth; I checked the trash and found it there. It was crinkled up and scribbled out but still legible enough for me to read. She never gave the letter out for fear of the unknown. Some day I plan to show her this un-sent letter and explain to her that if you want something, you must ask for it. By the time I (the Easter Bunny) got the note, it was too late to get her a bunny, or you can bet she would have woken up to one.
It’s amazing how our kids can remind us of the simple lessons in life. When you write up a proposal or submit an estimate, make sure the customer gets it and understands why you are the best fit for the job. Ask for it! Pick up the phone, and start calling customers to see what they have in the pipelines. You may find some new work by just staying in touch with them. If they know what you want, they may just give it to you!
About the Author
Damian Lang is a mason contractor in southeast Ohio and inventor of many labor saving masonry systems and products. Lang has served as the Marketing Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America. He is also author of the book Rewarding and Challenging Employees for Profits in Masonry. To network with Damian on contractor tips or tips you have and would like published, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-749-3512.