Finally—You Won’t Believe This!
In a sense, here, you are your best marketing tool. If you get a call for a job, no matter how small, and do it to your customer’s satisfaction, you’ve saved that customer (and their friends and neighbors) a lot of time in looking for a painter next time they need one, because they already have someone they trust.
The most amazing thing happened with a contractor the other day. He came by to install a new dishwasher—the cheap one I got courtesy of my old Homeowners’ Policy finally got to a point where turning it on had about a one in ten chance of success. Essentially, you had to hold your finger on the “on” button while slamming the door shut from about two feet out, and you still weren’t guaranteed a payoff. Not good for the door or your finger.
Here’s what happened that was so amazing: the contractor showed up at the appointed time, took the old dishwasher to the alley (where someone snapped it up right away), and started to put in the new one. He needed to get a part for the installation, which he did himself rather than sending me to look for something I knew nothing about. I offered to add it to his bill, but since it was all of $4.00 he didn’t charge for it. Once it was installed, he turned it on and stayed around for a bit to make sure the water was going into the dishwasher and not all over the kitchen floor. I paid him the agreed upon amount, and he said if I had any issues to give him a call.
You might be asking what’s the big deal about that, but that’s the point. This is how it’s supposed to be! No “adding to the price at the last minute,” no “not showing up,” no “leaving the old one in the middle of the kitchen and saying it’s my problem.” If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that this is a big deal.
Another thing, and you’ll see this in Erick’s article this month: there wasn’t any haggling. He gave me a price and that was the price. He wasn’t going to do it for less. To me it was worth paying a “professional rate” to get it done right. When I need more things done that I can’t do, I’ll give him a call.
In a sense, here, you are your best marketing tool. If you get a call for a job, no matter how small, and do it to your customer’s satisfaction, you’ve saved that customer (and their friends and neighbors) a lot of time in looking for a painter next time they need one, because they already have someone they trust. People are still calling local painter Adam Dill from seeing how he painted my dad’s house over a year ago.
Recently I’ve come into contact with a young man with some sort of chromosomal disorder; at age 20 he’s in fact the oldest person alive with this condition. He’s about four feet tall and maybe 80 pounds and basically this condition keeps him developmentally at around a year old—I’m not exactly sure. He doesn’t talk, and he can walk with assistance, and there are some serious medical issues that come with all this. Best thing you can do is take care of him and keep a smile on his face. Pretty much, he’s got a happy disposition. You know he’s especially happy when he smiles and claps his hands.
Since you can’t entertain him by sticking him in front of a TV, as a caretaker, you have keep him engaged. One of the things he likes to do is pick things up and throw them, so at a summer camp they put him in a room with a whole bunch of colored plastic balls that he could throw with impunity and no risk of injury. He was as excited as could be. His dad sent out a photo with a note that well, sometimes we forget about the little things that make us happy.
Sometimes the little things—like getting a dishwasher installed correctly on the first try—are a big deal.