When To Cover For Your Contractor.


When your client tells you that services you have performed do not meet their personal standards, it is tempting to throw your contractor under the bus.

“I had a good talk with my contractor — that idiot — and told him his job is at stake if he doesn’t get it right.”

This may pacify some people, but the wise client will see this more as a diversionary tactic — to get the focus off of you (the butt-kisser who wants to keep their business). The contractor, though he may in fact be at fault, is not there to defend himself. Guilty before proven innocent. If your client is a person of character they will see this as a character flaw on your part. Always blaming others — when is it your fault?

What you should instead do is cover for the contractor.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the client’s dissatisfaction is to be diminished. And, I’m not suggesting that you deny the obvious — it’s easy to tell when someone did a poor job even when you told them in specific detail what needed to be done. Some people don’t need to be painting a house. Some people should not be landscapers.

The person most responsible for poor results, however, is you. The one who obtained said client. The one who hired the contractor. The one who accepted the work order. The one through whose hands the results passed. The one who probably didn’t give the contractor the appropriate instructions to begin with. The one who didn’t QC everything during and after the lifespan of the project.

The time to cover for the contractor is when you are really at fault (Pssst — you’re always at fault).

>>Covering for your contractor serves the following purposes ::

1. It helps you build a company of character. By blaming yourself for poor results, you cultivate in yourself a sense of humility. The business owner keeps just as close a watch on himself as he does his contractors — maybe even closer. He acknowledges when he did not provide the appropriate paperwork to help his contractor. He admits when the problem goes all the way to the President.

As concerned as he is about pleasing the client and doing the job well, his primary concern is to build something deeper than good customer service. Something that follows him from his desk to his coffee table. Something even his family can attest to, not just his associates. The character-driven entrepreneur may even lose a client over a poorly completed project, but he will not lose his moral compass.

2. It helps you develop loyal contractors. Because of the pressure in the REO industry to keep clients, contractors are used to getting blamed. Contractor turn-over is high. Routine firings are done in the spirit of keeping a company great. My thought is just the opposite would show company greatness — keeping your contractors.

Instead of firing someone for making you look bad, why not accept the blame yourself, have a heart to heart with the contractor, and build a relationship? This way you can build a servicing organism backed strongly by loyal contractors who maybe should have been fired a long time ago but realize you are about investing in them personally. To invest in contractors personally takes them to a higher level of effort, ambition and delivery. They are grownups and know when they do wrong.

3. It shows your client that you are a professional. When you tell your client, “I accept full responsibility for these poor results,” it disarms them. Even if for a moment. They may still fire you and not work with you again (just being realistic), but at least they will see someone not using the same old tool of diverting the blame. This speaks volumes in the REO industry.

Keep in mind, there are times when solving the issue could be done in hiring the contractor. Make sure you’re hiring someone who knows what they are doing or who at least is trainable.

If you want your company to be great it requires accepting responsibility for not only the good, but the bad as well. Your contractors and your clients will see this.

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