Vision, Value, Integrity. Transmitting these values to others can only come from positive attitude and devotion to your target “Success”. Your success comes from these common business buzz words more today than ever before. The days of the perfect business deal just walking through the door are far and few between. So you say, “I’ve heard that before.”, but have you really? You are hearing in business, as well as in the health world a speech of tactics on your attitude. Attitude drives who and what you are and where you will be and ultimately the level of your success with your goals.
The start of 2010 feels fresh, new and definitely opens up exciting opportunities for you to shine and be different than your competitors if you remember that your attitude is what people see within seconds of meeting you. You have heard that communication is 90 percent non verbal and 10 percent verbal. You can actually see this if you are observing something as simple as birds at a newly filled bird feeder. You will see the “me first” birds, the “wait your turn” birds and the “never engage” birds. You will also be able to see which birds are leaders, males and females in the flock by just observing. I really doubt you will be able to confirm that verbally with any birds except maybe Big Bird from Sesame Street, but you can pick it out very easily. What do people see in you and your business when talking behind closed doors? Do people trust you? Do people see value in what you do for them? The sign of a true professional is someone who admits they are not perfect, can’t do it alone and knows that they will learn something everyday for the rest of their life.
Budget concerns will interface with every job you are involved with no matter how big or small. This is one of the first and most critical parts of the job to be assessed accurately. Making monetary mistakes will loose customer confidence in you faster than any other mistake. Sometimes a change order is out of your hands due to discontinued materials or a design change that the client has addressed with you. The relationship breakers in budget come from sloppy bids, unprofessional sub contracts, inappropriate material usage and poor design. Taking on too much or hiring individuals cheap just to enlarge your margin are integrity mistakes that will eventually catch up with you. Did you know an unhappy customer will normally tell at least 10 people about their experience? Reputation travels fast like dominos and will cost you jobs if you are just thinking of only your best interests.
You need to be ready to help your customer find their look with quality, budget and design. Interior design specification and solutions are so important for your reputation. Interior Design experts will be able to show your customer different alternatives and help handle some of the customer service that will be needed to see the job through. If you include an interior designer during “pencil ready projects”, they will catch design flaws and add creative ideas that will help the satisfaction level go up with your client. Designers are just as diverse as contractors. They all come with different backgrounds, personalities and specialties. In pencil ready projects, construction background, respect for the field and extreme knowledge of material application is a must. Even though there is a cost involved with hiring a designer, it will avoid costly mistakes not only with the current client, but also your reputation. Good team oriented Interior Designers will only make you look even better than you already do. Listening to the customer is a must for both the contractor and the designer. Remember you are not building your dream; you are building the customer’s dream. Lay out a plan with real numbers and the right team with materials applicable to their budget.
Clients today come with internet research and let’s face it, unrealistic numbers from some HGTV shows. This makes them more aware, as well as more naïve. It really depends on the accuracy and reliability of the source that they have obtained their information from. It is your job to be honest and clear in answering their questions. Make it real for them. Be ready to tell them real life instances and don’t be afraid to tell them what they want might not be the best thing for them in relation to their lifestyle. Being a Yes Man when you should be the Professional can really get you in hot water. Know your materials and products and have the right people and research backing you up. Take advantage of the product knowledge that is offered for free from your providers. Learn all that you can and make sure your team is on board with professional ethics and services. Being knowledgeable and team driven is the key to a job done with vision, value and integrity.