Communication is a crucial success ingredient in every aspect of human dealings. The same applies to client and contractor relationships in every industry. No project, no matter how small, ever run successfully without clear communication between both parties. It could be written, verbal, or otherwise.
But regardless of whatever channel you decide to use, you cannot downplay the importance of assertive communication when dealing with clients.
Unlike several other industries, the impact of poor communication can translate into losses of up to thousands and millions of dollars in construction. If you’ve handled many construction contracts, you’ll know that factors like weather, delays from subcontractors, fluctuations in market prices of supplies, and other unprecedented factors can impede progress on any job. Hence, the need for a clear and transparent style of communication cannot be overemphasized.
But it doesn’t end there. As a construction professional, you must understand how best to reach out to your clients and provide an effective channel for them to reach you. It is better to keep your client in the know than to spring up surprises on them. Yet, this must be done in a very confident and respectable manner, without coming across as arrogant or difficult to understand.
Assertive communication is the best method for sharing information and providing feedback, as it leaves no room for guesses and assumptions. Communicating assertively means that you’re bold, confident, and clear whenever dealing with a client.
Are your clients clear about deadlines? Do they understand the cost of the project? Do they know what to expect and when to expect them? Answering yes to these questions will ensure that your clients are never left in the dark. It also saves you from repeatedly going back and forth over any contract.
The Importance of Establishing Confidence and Credibility
From the get-go, you need to ensure that the client understands your competence and ability to make a sound judgment as the project progresses. Clients get nervous when they perceive that the task might be overwhelming for a contractor. That may bring you under constantly unnerving scrutiny from the client.
But with clear and assertive communication, you can get the client to rest assured that the job is in good hands. Also, try not to sound too confident or arrogant. Ask questions to get further clarification.
Active Listening Matters
As you speak, endeavor to listen too. In fact, listen more than you speak. When it comes to the construction industry, it is far more important to listen than to speak. Listening actively to your client is a great way to understand what they want. You also are better able to bring those expectations to life. Tell the client if it won’t be possible or what it will take to make it happen.
Avoid Using Jargons And Big Words
Being a professional, you’ll be amazed to know how much Jargons and buzzwords feature in your communication every time. This may not only impede a clear flow of information but also be a turn off to clients.
The cost of poor communication can be expensive— not just to you, the contractor, but also to your clients. Therefore, every construction professional in the field must learn to be assertive in communication.