No one is perfect. No matter how hard we try, stuff happens and mistakes are made. So, what do you do and how do you recover?

The Harvesters offer some great practical advice this week on how to handle these situations.

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Ed Laflamme LIC

started his own business from scratch, built it up, sold it and then wrote a book about how he did it. So, he’s been there. He understands your frustrations, worries and concerns. Some of you may want to buy companies, while others may want to sell the one you own. You need expert assessment and guidance before you can move forward. Ed has experience in this area. He is recognized as a CLP: Certified Landscape Professional. Read Ed's full bio.


Great advice guys. Do you guys have a take on how we should address the employee(s) who made the mistake?

James – everyone makes mistakes. Peter Drucker the famous business author said to always check the system first to see if it is flawed before blame is put on the employee. As mentioned in our video, is there something on the end of the key to make it uncomfortable to put in the employees pocket? Are there locked backups in case this happens? Of course you may want to have a conversation with the employee to prevent it from happening again but as I started, mistakes do happen and we all make them.

Most people of reason can be placated with dialogue and addressing the issue(s). We all know and have experienced those that will not be calmed or reasoned with-these folks just get nastier and more demanding. Do whatever is appropriate to distance yourself from these “toxic tyrants”.

The best approach is to evaluate the prospective client PRIOR to doing business with them. There are many tells (vibes) they will give off during initial meetings that will provide insight as to their demeanor. Feel them out by asking innocent questions about their homes and other projects they have had done and see if they would refer those contractors to you. Gauge their responses (both positive and negative) and determine if they are justified. An example I encountered on a recent sales call was when I asked an innocent question of a middle-aged couple regarding the recent paint job on their house (which by the way was flawless). They launched into an immediate tirade about the contractor and his two sons who took TWO MORE DAYS TO FINISH than they said they would! They went on to explain that they started one morning, got a phone call from the older son’s wife that she was going into labor AND THEY ALL LEFT! They said “why couldn’t just the son leave?” This couple was equally angry about the whole thing regardless of the flawless result of the housing painting!

This spoke volumes about these people and I determined right there that I did not want to do business with them. My exit strategy here is simple-leave an outrageously high bid and thank them for considering my company for their needs.

Sometimes this method backfires-they called me to do the job! While they were pleasant enough the did nitpick some really minor points throughout the process-but addressing their issues immediately and my ridiculous overbid more the compensated me for my troubles.

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