8B — June 27 - July 10, 2014 — Owners, Developers & Managers — 1 -( % 80%28-'

Real Estate Journal


C ONTRACTORS /S UBCONTRACTORS By Glenn Ebersole, P.E, Hollenbach Construction, Inc. How to strategically know when WRÀUHDFOLHQWRUFXVWRPHU


ne of the things that business owners dread PRVWLVWKHWDVNRIÀULQJ

During 25 years of owning my RZQ EXVLQHVV , ´ÀUHGµ FOLHQWV and learned the strategic value of doing so. In those 25 years of business, I realized that not ev- ery client was the right or ideal client forme and I becamemuch more strategic inprospecting for and selecting my clients. During my business coach- ing endeavors I continuously askedmy clients, “What are you pretending not to know?” when it came to discussing clients or FXVWRPHUVWKDWWKH\VKRXOGÀUH I listened to story after story of how some of their clients or customers took up so much time and energy and they felt

drained in serving these clients or customers. They toldme they were losing their enthusiasmfor their business and they were not taking time to market their business, as they should. They shared with me how angry and resentful they had become and they evenbeganwonderingwhy they were in business. So after listening and hearing them, I asked them again, “What are you pretending not to know?” While ending a business re- lationship may be painful and not easy to do, the alternative of continuing this dysfunc- tional business relationship is not strategic or healthy at all.

I coached my clients through these situations and can verify that after my clients committed WRDQGWKHQÀUHGWKHLUG\VIXQF - tional client or customer, there was relief, peace and personal satisfaction about what they did. I encouraged my clients WR GHYHORS WKH SURÀOH RI WKHLU ideal client or customer and to XVHWKDWDVDÀOWHUIRUDOOWKHLU prospective clients or customers in the future. That strategic ac- tion diminished the probability of them doing business with a client or customer that they ZRXOGKDYHWRÀUHODWHU My experience led me to de- velopa list of twelve signals that

will let you strategically know WKDWLWLVWLPHWRÀUHWKHFOLHQW or customer and they are: 1. You avoid contact with the client. You avoid taking phone calls or meeting with the client because you know it will make you angry or upset. 2. Every invoice you submit LV TXHVWLRQHG LQ ÀQH GHWDLO E\ your client, even though all billed items are legitimate and documented. 3. Your client never pays his or her invoice on time and always has a complaint when you call to ask about a past due invoice. 4. Your client is always op- erating in crisis or emergency mode and is constantly request- ing unrealistic response times from you and always waiting until the last minute to provide needed information and deci- sions to you. 5. Your client has no respect for your time and is habitually late for meetings, cancels meet- ings at the last minute or with- out notice, and/or forgets about meetings you have scheduled with the client. 6. Your client is micromanag- ing and is an impediment to solving problems and resolving issues. 7. Your client only works “in the business” and not “on the business” and they refuse to let go of things anddelegate to their teammembers. 8. Your client exhibits aggres- sive and abusive behavior. No one needs to be tolerant of this behavior. 9. Your client always wants you to reduce your fee, give additional services at no extra cost, and/or produces little or no QHWSURÀW 10. Your client is a chronic complainer and/or overly de- manding. This is a no-win situ- ation. 11. Your client acts unethi- cally. Ethics are non-negotiable. 12. Your client deliberately lies or misleads you. Once the trust is broken, it is over. Do you have any clients or customers right now that dem- onstrate any of the above behav- iors? If yes, will you have the courage to take action or simply “let it pass?” Your answers will KHOSGHÀQHKRZVXVWDLQDEOH\RXU business will be in the future. Glenn Ebersole, P.E. is the strategic vice president, busi- ness development/marketing and member of The Strategic Leadership Team at Hollen- bach Construction, Inc. „

an employee. Well, there is anotherdread of business owners that is similar to that and it is WKHÀULQJRID client or cus- tomer. The is-

Glenn Ebersole

VXHRIÀULQJDFOLHQWRUFXVWRPHU or in other words “letting go of a client or customer, is a real issue faced by all business owners. $QG , OHDUQHG IURP ÀUVWKDQG experience that this is true.

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