Delivery & Installation, Operations, V9I4

Good Communication, Good Hauling

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What’s one of the most important keys to running a good, successful shed hauler business?

No, cheating looking at the headline!

That’s right—communication. You can have all the business know-how, equipment, and hauling experience in the world, but if you don’t communicate well with salespeople, builders, and customers, your hauling days will be numbered.

To help us communicate what haulers need to know about communication, we’ve enlisted two expert haulers and communicators.

First, Jason Kauffman, owner of Kauffman Builders, offers advice about communication between haulers, shed companies, and customers.

Then, Sam Byler, founder and CEO of the Shed Haulers Brotherhood, offers up pointers on communication, as only he can (as seen in a previous issue of Shed Builder Magazine).


As a hauler, it is extremely important to have good communication between yourself/company and the salesman and manufacturer. 

Good communication typically heads off potential misunderstandings and bad feelings long before they happen. 

Good communication with your customers is also extremely important. Communicating clearly to the delivery customer on what to expect and when to expect you goes a long way toward helping a customer feel comfortable with the purchase they made. 

Little things like touching base with the customer shortly after a sale is made just to introduce yourself and let them know you will be in contact to set up delivery in the future, go a long way toward a customer’s impression of you and the company. 

Communicating to a customer about the delivery time is also important. Do not schedule a delivery two weeks in advance and then never talk to them again before you show up. 

I typically try to talk to the customer about their delivery date within 48/72 hours, and then again give them a 30-minute heads up before I arrive at their location.  

I’ve had more customers than I can count particularly point out those little communication factors as highly commendable. 

Good communication also leads to another point: mutual respect.

When haulers and salesmen, along with the manufacturers, have a relationship that is built on mutual respect, they will all look out for each other and be willing to help each other out. 

When those relationships are built on selfishness and each person is looking out for only themselves, you will constantly have sides trying to take advantage of the other person in order to line their own pocket.


Communication. It helps. Life is busy and hard enough without bad communication. So, here are some simple points to help us along the way.

Focus. Why is it so hard to stay focused? I’m not pointing any fingers at anyone in particular, but oh wow! After being around people for 10 days straight, I started noticing something. We can’t stay focused anymore. Just watch. We get sidetracked almost immediately. Watching other people. Our phones. Anything. More later.

Energy. Hard to stay focused when you have zero energy. This is a tough one for me. You have to get your rest. Energy is important. Especially when you are the one presenting! Lose energy, lose your audience. Same if the audience loses energy.

Respect. Half the problems with focus can come back to respect. Respect the ones you are communicating with. Respect their thoughts. Their time. Their ideas. Their stories.

Rapport. Build Rapport. Some of y’all need to look this one up. Build rapport. It doesn’t “just happen.” It takes effort. And focus. And energy. And respect.

Engagement. Now, with the above tools, you can engage properly. You can ebb and flow. Back and forth. But, be careful. It is easy to take it over. 

Repeat. This one is weird, and it takes some time and practice. And sometimes it’s repeating back exactly what you hear so they know you actually heard it. Other times, you can be more subtle.

And repeat the thought back in a different tone or different words. Repeating (mirroring) is a highly effective way to make progress and gain rapport in communication. When you repeat what was said, they know you are listening. And paying attention. 

Interesting note: Most people listen with one ear while they are already formatting their reply. They “listen” to reply, instead of listening to learn.

Attention. Stay focused, for Pete’s sake! They deserve your attention. Use everything I’ve just given you and learn to pay attention. So easy to do. So easy to fail. Could I ever tell some stories. 

I’ll give you one short one. A successful builder was at the show. (It’s hard to pay attention and stay focused at the show, I know.) He was not impressed with a couple of exhibitor owners; said they never gave him their attention. Always looking elsewhere. 

That’s tough stuff. Especially when he “was” their client. Oh boy. His comment was, “I guess that’s why they hire salespeople, to communicate better.” 

I’m not pointing any fingers. I’m saying we can be better than this. My toes were properly mashed. Ouch.

Personable. You have to be yourself. You have to let them be them. If the guy talks a lot, settle down and listen. Won’t hurt you. If they are a quiet crowd, engage them. Be yourself. Wait. If you want to be a public speaker, that’s different.

Some people shouldn’t be themselves, but that’s a different subject. Quite possibly, you need to get off your high horse, too. It amazes me how often I hear the cliched statement that you need to hang around people you want to be like. Come on. 

Sure, you need mentors, better people to help you, but you need to be the same to others. What if your mentors treated you the same way? We are all on our journey. Together. Be personable to everyone.

Exciting. Exciting is good. Overbearing is not. Learn to put a lid on it. And guess what? You can be excited when you listen. Huh? Yep, be excited that you get to listen. When you listen, you are learning. Be exciting, but tempered.

When we get excited, we tend to dominate the conversation. Learn control. At the same time, no one likes listening to a dry dish rag.

Connection. That’s the whole goal, right? Remember that. You have problems? Need solutions? Connect. Great communicators know how to connect. Learn your crowd. Learn your subject. Learn your art. So you can connect. 

When you connect, you get great rapport. Which leads to great communication. Whether with one, or hundreds. Or thousands.

I’ll end with this. I love to talk. Whether one on one, a dozen, or a thousand. But more than that, I want to connect. When we connect, great things happen. Let’s make great things happen.

Communication is key. Without it, there are lots of assumptions and imaginations that can get you in trouble very quickly.

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