redo dilemma
Illustration: Ryan Heshka
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Communication with contractors

We were picking out stock trim at a local lumberyard, and Jeannie was explaining to the salesman what she needed. She would talk, and the sales guy would look at me as if she were speaking a foreign language. After a fair amount of silence, I would repeat exactly what she said, and the sales guy would nod and get us our pieces of trim.

He says: "When contractors or salesmen focused more on me, I felt sorry for them. If they'd only realized how often my wife is the decision maker, they would have made more sales."

She says: "This makes me so crazy I want to challenge them to dueling routers at twenty paces."

Survival tip: Ladies, don't back down. Research the type of work being done to bolster your confidence and your ability to ask informed questions. Stay calm and be firm. Use thoughtful silences to gain the upper hand in conversation with contractors and suppliers by pausing before you speak. You're the one spending the money, so speak with your pocketbook and reward the ones who "get it" by giving them your business.
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