In the construction industry, relationships between the contractor and the supplier should be long-term. Louis G. Garcia, CEO of the Veta Corp. of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tenn., gave these ten tips for turning a contractor into a customer:
(1) Be in conversation--this means listen to what the general contractor is saying. Question the contractor and confirm what you heard. (2) Be trusted and trusting--if you do not trust the contractor, do not work with him. If he doesn't trust you, fix it, or don't work with him. (3) Be knowledgeable. Know your product, services, staff, project, contractor and competition. (4) Be committed. Don't tell contractors about other jobs you have. Let the customer know you think his is your most important job. (5) Be of like minds. Have the same goals as the contractor--make it the best job at the least cost. (6) Be on an equal basis. The contractor needs you as much as you need him. (7) Be specific and direct. Be specific in promises you make. Meet delivery dates. (8) Be aware. Know what is happening on the job. (9) Be responsive. Change with the project and respond to problems. (9) Be satisfied. Satisfaction with the product, your employees, your work, the contractor and your profit are all essential.