Any business person will tell you the very best advertising is word of mouth. There will never be a more effective mode of persuasion than one person telling another about a positive experience with business. It remains the undisputed marketing champion and the golden ring of every enterprise.
Especially today, when consumers have resources like Angie’s List, Google reviews and myriad Social Media outposts, smart business people are always wanting to know how best to leverage their customer’s good will and maximize buzz around their brands.
So how can you get people talking positively about your work? How can you persuade them to persuade their friends and families to give your business a try?
In a recent report from ABC News, consumers were asked what their biggest complaints with businesses were. Their answers were compiled and ranked in a list of ten different industries, ranging from auto repair to construction work to telemarketing.
In a vast majority of industries (7 of 10), one of the main consumer complaints was “failure to deliver”.
The very best way to generate good feelings, and great recommendations, for your business is simply to be a finisher. Deliver on your promises and word will get out.
Think about it like this. Any business can promise the moon at the start of a job, so everyone is at the same starting point. It is relatively easy to talk a good game and look like a genius at the beginning, before the real work has begun. But how many of those are there at the finish line, all the i’s dotted and all the t’s crossed? Not many, at least according to ABC’s report.
This also makes common sense. How many times have you had an auto mechanic tell you his repair was rock solid, only to be back at his shop in two days? How many of you have had a kitchen remodel get started and then never finished the way you wanted?
Become a finisher and you will stand out. Become a finisher, and people will tell other people about you.
Here are a couple of tips to help you be a real finisher, and a buzzworthy hero to your customers:
1) Be careful what you promise.
We all want the job, and we know we have competitors, so it is easy to over promise just to land the deal. We’ve all done it. But if you promise something you cannot do, or cannot finish it in the time you say, you have failed even before you have begun. Be honest with customers about your strengths and weaknesses. But more importantly, be honest with yourself about them. Set realistic expectations up front, and you have a realistic chance of finishing well.
2) Use the 10% rule.
Whether it be time, material or labor, always estimate using at least 10% more of it than you think you will need to do the job right. The 10% rule is common in construction; it just magically takes more wood or shingles or siding than you planned. So, add this cushion in at the beginning to ensure you are not in a pinch at the end. It will help you finish strong, and profitably.
Much of finishing well is about beginning well. Use these tips to become a solid finisher, and you will impress people. Impress people, and they will send others your way.
Do you have any other tips about how to finish well? Please share!
Thanks for reading.