The Price of Losing Trust

Trust is a precious commodity.

Trust is a precious commodity. Trust creates bonds that can last forever. Trust saves time. It enables freedom. It builds dignity. Trust greases the wheels of deal making. It simplifies business. It simplifies life.

When trust is lost, relationships are poisoned. Discussions grow confrontational. Time and energy are wasted, and money is lost. Lots - of - money - is -lost.

Some people are distrustful by nature. With them, trust take years to build and can be destroyed in a second. For others, trusting comes easy. They start off trusting and continue trusting until proven foolish in doing so.

Are far as you are concerned, two questions should be on your mind.

How do I as a contractor earn trust?

How do I as a contractor lose trust?

You earn trust by doing what you are supposed to, when you are supposed to, in the manner in which you are supposed to. When you reach an agreement, you keep your word. You earn trust by taking care of your clients - and your clients' clients.

You lose trust by doing the opposite.

Exploiting gray areas. Playing every angle. Trying to slip inferior products and methods by the building owner and his representative.

You undermine trust by charging outlandish prices for change orders, violating safety procedures, leaving your work areas dirty and tearing up other trades' work.

When you lose the trust of those who hired you, you suffer very unpleasant consequences.

The owner's representative watches you like a hawk. The general contractor cuts you no slack. Come close-out, you are nickeled and dimed for every perceived quality flaw.

You have an unfair amount of liquidated damages charged to you. Your retention and last pay application gets withheld until you settle for a reduced payout.

Most and worst of all, when you violate the trust of your construction team, you set in motion an unending chain of events that not only hurts you financially on the present project, it sticks to you for several projects to come.

The punishment could lead to your blacklisting among the predominant contractors and owners in your market. As you well know, the construction industry has become dominated by lawyers and lawsuits. It has also become heavily populated by sharks who rob every naive newcomer blind.

You don't have to be a push-over to maintain your dignity and you don't have to be a wimp to keep your word. You just have to stay on top of what you say, what you do and perform at the level of workmanship demanded by and appropriate for the job.

Ron Roberts, The Contractor's Business Coach, teaches contractors how to turn their business into a profit spewing machine. To receive Ron's FREE Contractor Best Practices Newsletter visit