Do you play The Waiting Game?

If you are a game show nut and Steve Harvey is one of your favorite game show hosts, even if he was the host of The Waiting Game, you probably wouldn’t watch it, and definitely wouldn’t play it.

How boring and stupid would that be? Let’s say there are two teams. Each one just sits there and waits. Nobody DOES anything. Each team asks each other a lot of questions which always have the answer “we don’t know” or “we’re working on it” or “let me check with someone and I’ll get back with you”. There is no action, no purpose, no goal.

You’d avoid that game like the plague.

So why put up with it in your business?

Oh, you don’t think you do. Well… here is a Waiting Game scenario: You submit a proposal for a 3-week project and the client tells you the job is yours and the start date. Weeks go by. You ask questions. The client asks questions. Nothing goes anywhere and after a month of this you still don’t have a signed contract.

You have not been booking work for that job’s time period. You were keeping that 3 weeks open for that client because he kept saying you have the job.

So now it is 2 weeks before you’re supposed to start. “Oh, yes yes”, your client says, “you’ve got the job”. “But I don’t have it in writing, no contract”, you tell him. He tells you, “oh it is going through the system”. You have been waiting a month of it going through the system.

You still have to make all the preps, order material, make stuff, put a field crew together, rent equipment, do a site survey and any other operations required to successfully start and finish your scope of work. Because, NO MATTER WHAT – YOU NEVER DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS UNTIL YOU HAVE A SIGNED CONTRACT OR PURCHASE ORDER. It will otherwise be a waste of your time, your company’s time, resources and money. Without some form of agreement, you will have no recourse when it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

The phone rings and it is another one of your clients that needs you for a 6-week job. You go to the meeting to find out that they want more than they told you and you have to start in 1 week.

But now you have to tell the new client that you “think” you are booked at the time they need you. You explain the situation and the new client says, “we’ll just get you a contract before the other company does”.

You have been playing The Waiting Game. So, what do you do? Stay loyal to the first client and continue waiting and maybe never get that job anyway? Or take the one that just came up and too bad for the first one?

The answer is easy. Call the first company and tell them you need the signed contract by end of business that day. If you don’t get it, take the second job. If you get more lip service take the second job.

If you don’t take the second job and the first one never comes, then you now have nothing for the company to do for 3 weeks because you have played The Waiting Game too long. Don’t watch that show. Control your clients like you control your company… for the good of all.

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