man talking on cell phone
Photo: Andrea Booher
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8. Waiting a Few Days Before Returning Phone Calls

James P. D'Alessio was the best contractor I ever knew. (Unfortunately, he died, too. I miss him.) I knew Jim before all contractors had a cell phone clamped to their belt, in the days when you had to find a pay phone or make calls at the end of the day from home.

One time Jim got too busy to take care of a customer, and he recommend me and my guys for the job. Customer called me, and after about a week of my not returning their call, Jim stopped by my job. "I had to tell Mrs. X that she should call Carpenter Y about that deck she wanted built. How come you never called her?" I made up some lame-o excuse about being too busy working to spend time getting more work, and as I said it, I knew that it just sounded plain-old stupid. When you called Jim's number the recording promised that he would call you back before the end of that day's business. That's good business.

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