You know what bothers me? The other day I was doing some cleaning around the house, humming a tune that I couldn’t quite place. It stuck with me for a bit. I went through town, doing errands, visiting different people, even a sporting event. On my way home, it dawned on me. A radio ad was playing, and a plumber’s radio ad tune was stuck in my head.
I had accidentally, completely memorized this phone number. Some businesses operate on a service that is for repairs, and to be honest, there is a lot to learn from them. They need their information, and presence to be known in a community in order to thrive. Their service needs to be trustworthy, and generally needs to be well liked. I have decided very quickly from friends and coworkers about who to do business with in my community, based solely on their opinions.
Basically, a business needs the things being said about their work to be good, and easily identifiable. We know brands from tv or radio ads, and they can stick with us. Those kinds of ads can be expensive however, and challenging for us to use initially. Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives, but it all is dependent on your relationship with your clients.
Your clients know people, and will talk to others. If you rise above their expectations, they will mention it to others. If you do a poor job, that will be made known as well. How can we ensure that the statements being made about us are positive?
First and foremost, it is important to realize that you cannot fully control the report someone gives. People are their own creatures, and make decisions we do not get full insight towards. Sometimes, a person will be negative towards you without anything you have done. That’s part of life, tragically, but you can ensure that you do right by yourself in how you treat them.
If you want your clients to start helping in terms of getting your work out there, be friendly towards them. Treat your clients with respect and dignity, as well as take legitimate interest where it occurs naturally. Being pushy can make people uncomfortable, as they hired you for a job and not for a new best friend. But, at the same token, if there is a common ground interest, feel free to pursue it. Personally, I had an exterminator come out for a routine check recently. While he was making the rounds, he noticed I had a Player’s Handbook for Dungeons and Dragons on my table. The gentleman began asking about the games I play, and different events we may have both been at. Now, his company’s service has been consistent for years. The difference is that when people ask me about exterminator services, I have a name and face attached to the service. Moreover, I have a fun story that I share with my friends and family, so even if they are not looking for pest control, they have heard something positive about them.
Basically, part of what you need to do as an individual who provides a service, is to engage your clients and customers on a human level. Sometimes, people just want a professional who can come in, and do the job right, no nonsense and engaging conversation. Other clients will enjoy a bit of banter, to know the person they are working with. If you can get that down well, you can get customers who recommend you to others.
The other portion I have noticed is the straight up desire to do the work. I totally understand that there are days, maybe even weeks, where we do not show up with our best work. That’s life, and it’s natural. However, we need to put in the hard work to do a job well. Just this week, we had to have a plumber come in and service our building. He was recommended to us by one of our clients, who knew we were having trouble. In fact, he went so far as to send the individual to us, and estimate the cost of repairs. We were having trouble with one bathroom. This gentlemen went through our entire building, checking out every fixture we had, gave an estimated cost, and then a discount on top of it.
Why would he do that?
It’s because he cares about our efforts, and recognizes what we need done. Through our connections, and his connections in our community, he sees a way that we can both mutually benefit. If we need more plumbing work done (and we inevitably will), we now have his number and business cards on hand. We also know that he works hard, and wants to do a good job, and has solid results. His extra effort will pay off in how we talk about his business, and future dealings with us.
In a lot of ways, each time we meet with a client in a professional setting, it is an audition! These auditions build a portfolio of reputation, and can turn into a returning client and customer, or if done poorly, lost future sales. That isn’t to say that you should put on a cheesy smile and lose all of your personality: it’s a reminder that your engagements can lead to more business in the future!
I’ll take a minute and celebrate the hard workers at Sprout Invoices for this same behavior. We take time to help clients use their invoicing plugin to solve their clients issues, but I have also seen us help individuals handle other WordPress issues as well. We are not kidding about our desire to see your business be successful, and wanting to help you invoice well with WordPress, they put in extra time and effort to help you see the results that you want. If you get a minute, feel free to check out some of the other suggestions on the website, or look at some of the invoicing solutions that Sprout Invoices can offer for your WordPress page!