How do you get customers
waiting in line
to do business with you?

An amazingly simple
and reliable device.
Use it well.

Be Dependable

Step 1. Staying in Touch

The timing of it is the trick. There are four periods:

  1. Before the customer wonders how it is going
  2. When the customers wishes you would call
  3. When the customer is concerned that they have not heard
  4. When too much time has passed and now it is awkward

I learned this from a part time handyman who was very much in demand. His whole business strategy seemed to simply be to be dependable. He was so much in demand that he often booked work for six months ahead.

After people had signed up for work and given him a deposit, he knew that he would be on time, but he also understood that customers begin to get anxious beforehand. So he would call them a couple of months ahead of the start date and tell them he would be starting on time. Then a month later, he would tell them he was going to order materials. Then when the materials arrived, he would let them know they had arrived and he would be starting the exact day he said he would. Then, of course, he would show up on time. Since he called before the customer got concerned, they stayed relaxed the whole time.

Step 2. Follow Through

Since he booked his work so thoughtfully, with schedule slack to accommodate the inevitable obstacles, he could complete the job without having to go away for a few days to handle some other customer with a broken commitment. Whatever slack he did not use, he would fill in with one-day jobs or work on his own income properties. By planning well and staying in touch, his customer satisfaction is much higher than the average general contractor.

Step 3. Deliver on Your Commitment

Do what you say you would, when you said you would. Your work could be the best quality in the world, but if you deliver it late, it is tainted with disappointment. For this reason, learning how to estimate timing well and learning how to tell customers the truth when it is not what they want to hear are two valuable skills.


People refer work to my handyman friend constantly. He has no marketing costs; his reputation does it all for him. He simply is dependable by staying in touch, starting on time, and staying on the job until completion. For this kind of service, people often are willing to wait for him for over six months.

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