The Successful Marriage between Contractor and Customer
Any construction project is like a marriage; you have the bride and groom or the contractor and the customer and the ring or the project. The bride can be the most beautiful woman of your dreams but if the groom doesn’t show up on time to the wedding there will be problems. Likewise, the groom can be very hardworking but if the bride does not appreciate his work he will be left feeling empty and confused. Finally, as every bride and groom knows, there is that one perfect ring out there that was made just for them! And no other project will do.
In keeping with the marriage analogy above, I will attempt to offer some project counseling to the would-be brides and grooms of this world.
To have a successful marriage, I think you must start with three things; 1) a foundation of trust, 2) a willingness to compromise, and finally 3) open communication.
The contractor establishes trust by answering the initial phone call or returning it the same day, showing up to the initial sales call dressed professionally and arriving on time, and prepared to discuss the brides ring. This initial trust is built on by providing a timely estimate, answering all correspondence in a timely fashion and generally showing interest in the bride.
The customer establishes trust by having done some basic research as to the type of ring they would like, making sure they are present for the first meeting and making sure to minimize outside distractions. The bride will continue to build trust with the contractor by answering questions in a timely fashion, valuing the contractors time by not looking at other rings that you know you either cannot afford or do not want, and generally showing interest in the groom.
Compromise comes naturally to the groom. The contractor should have no preconceived notions about your ring and as such be willing to look at other possibilities. However, once the bride has narrowed her search down to one (maybe two) rings, she should focus her attention to that ring.
The contractor may need to offer some education to the bride on the topic of rings. Some rings are just too big for the hand in question, some rings don’t have enough spark in them, some rings are too fragile for everyday wear and some offer no room for future growth. A good husband will carefully listen to the bride as she establishes what ring qualities are important to her.
Once the bride has made her desires known to the contractor, she should have developed enough trust in her future groom to listen to and take his counsel to heart. Keep in mind that husbands spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for rings and most are considered experts in this area. Some amount of butterflies in the stomach are considered normal at this stage of ring shopping, both for the contractor and the customer. However, if the bride strongly believes the groom is not looking for the ring she described it may be a sign that he is just not that in to you. Ultimately, the perfect ring, should adequately reflect the dreams of the customer with the realities of the groom.
Proper communication is never-ending. We have always heard that a contractor and a wife should never go to bed mad at one another and I couldn’t agree more! Over the years, I have found that most disagreements about rings result in misunderstandings by one party or both. Modern technology has only added to this misunderstanding as emails and texts don’t always convey the “meaning” that was intended. Both the customer and the groom should go to great lengths to make sure they know what the other party understands. Assuming can lead to hurt feelings and broken rings.
Stay tuned for in depth “counseling” on each member of the wedding party. Next week we will take a closer look at what it takes to be a great bride!