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swstout
03-01-2009, 01:04 AM
Hi all,
I visited a friend today who makes custom cabinetry. He was one of my team in Viet Nam who was disabled from a bullet in the back and runs his business from a wheelchair (He views his condition as a slight inconvenience, not a problem). He does about $200k a year net. He was interviewing an installer when I got there.
The man he was interviewing was well qualified with a lot of experience (15 years+). He told me to get him an iced tea and whatever I wanted while he interviewed the man. When I came back, he was telling the man that he would not do. He said, “In the few minutes you have been talking you couldn’t get a single sentence out without a 4 letter word in it). The man then told him, ”I wouldn’t use that kind of language in front of a customer”. Irving then told him, “I hire a person for about 40 hours a week, but have him represent my business – me – 24/7”. If one of my customers’s saw you outside the job and heard you, it would reflect badly on me.”

He sent the man packing!

It got me thinking just how important public scrutiny and presentation actually was to a businessman. It is not how a customer views you; it is how your organization is viewed. How the “company” is much more than the product or service provided. We talked about this concept for about 2 hours.

How do your employees represent you and your company?

Steve

SuperiorPower
03-01-2009, 01:32 AM
How very true. People tend to look at one aspect and think they are doing great but neglect the other aspects. For example, you can have a nice website, talk a good talk when the customer calls, but when the initial contact is made you are poorly dressed, poorly prepared, your equipment appears as if it could break down on their property, etc., and your customer may not be impressed. Most people find excessively vulgar language repugnant. If when you speak to them you are interupting them, cursing, running down other customers, running down your competitors, etc. it makes you look questionable.

But if you show up and don't interupt them when they are speaking, don't swear, are polite, knowledgable but not overbearing, and when asked about your competitor you either refuse to comment or just say something like "we will do our best to make sure things are done correctly" etc., your customer is going to think far better of you. If they don't, ask yourself this, do you really need them? Think of this as a politcal campaign and you'll do fine. It is indeed important to keep the whole picture in mind....

Steve
03-01-2009, 05:14 PM
That is a very good point.

It also makes you think about when you are on a job site and there are a bunch of guys cussing up a storm or they have their radio blaring. I think a lot of times, people forget that they are being watched. The neighbor may not be out in their yard but if they can hear all this inside their home and then look out the window and see a scene out of "Cool Hand Luke" with a bunch of guys acting like they are on a chain gang, word will spread and they will not be hired by those who have experienced the bad behavior.

It's an easy thing to forget but especially when you are out and about with your business signs advertising who you are, you are on a stage.

Drive carefully! Don't weave in and out of traffic. Don't cut others off. Don't race around neighborhoods.

picframer
03-03-2009, 05:14 AM
Very good point and very true, I am known to cuss at times but I do make sure there is no one around, well except my dog maybe. I had my new trailer in to a speciality shop yesterday to figure out what was wrong with the brakes, three times the fellow used a four letter word and it kind of set me back and it seems to cast a shadow right away on the company and the employee.

musician/lawnman
03-03-2009, 08:43 AM
Good thread. Image means alot. At one point I sold trucks for a while (Chevy/Dodge). I wasn't allowed to have any facial hair at all, no matter how neatly it was kept, it was off limits. I was like why? We deal primarily with male customers here... a man's man, guys who work for a living & need these trucks to do it, why would a beard be so bad that it's off limits? They told me studies show that there is a certian percent of the general public that when looking just at a photos of people & rating weather or not they looked trustworhy, bearded men rated much lower. Psychologist believe covering up your face with a beard makes people subliminally think you have something to hide. I don't personally buy into this theory at all & have noticed that for me, in the several different fields I've been in, My sales (My close ratio) drops off dramatically when I am completely clean shaven. I usually wear a thin beard around my jaw line & I shave it off every now & then for a change. After 3 or 4 times I noticed the trend of my sales droping off after I did this. I think with out any facial hair, I look too baby faced & people take me as inexperianced.
Still the dealership wouldn't have it. They said look, some take offence to a beard, noone takes offence to no beard. You can't give a customer ANY reason NOT to buy from you. I have always found that interesting.

outerelements
03-03-2009, 08:51 AM
Ok, i'll admit it, I definitely lost a customer over the actions of myself and the guy that was working with me one day. In one of my neighborhoods, it is like a ghost town in the middle of the afternoon (or so I thought). Make a long story short, we had our stereo blasting and the guy working with me stopped and took a piss behind a house he was trimming. He was seen doing it and I heard about it later that night from the customer; ultimiately, losing that account.

It was definitely a lesson learned on my part...

SuperiorPower
03-03-2009, 06:31 PM
It's an easy thing to forget but especially when you are out and about with your business signs advertising who you are, you are on a stage.

Good point Steve. As some of you know, my shop is only part time currently. What you guys did not know up until now is that I am also a local Law Enforcement Officer. We are told from the academy on that when we are on the street we may as well paint a big target on the car door or on our back because everyone knows who you are. You would not believe how many times we hear something "that other Department" did.

The same holds true for landscapers and lawn care professionals. Think about it, you are driving around with a sign on your truck door, maybe a sign on your tail gate, a sign on the trailer, or even a shirt that advertises who you are. If you cut a vehicle off when you are being in a hurry, cutting through the neighborhood, etc, you may not know it but that may have been your next customer. or it may be the neighbor to one of your current customers. They may call their neighbor tonight and say "hey, don't you hire Joe Blow Lawn Care to mow your yard? Well they just cut me off today and if I had not been paying attention they would have caused an accident."

Your customers are going to be much more faithful to their neighbors and friends than to you. You are just the guy that mows their lawn. Nothing more. Think about it......

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Steve
03-03-2009, 07:25 PM
Good point Steve. As some of you know, my shop is only part time currently. What you guys did not know up until now is that I am also a local Law Enforcement Officer. We are told from the academy on that when we are on the street we may as well paint a big target on the car door or on our back because everyone knows who you are. You would not believe how many times we hear something "that other Department" did.

I can only imagine how that must be.


For many years I had this friend who drove around town spreading fertilizer on lawns. He had this van and it had his number on the back. He was a terrible driver and always thought it was funny to race around and cut people off. At the end of the day he would go home and his wife would scream at him because of all the nasty calls she had to deal with during the day due to his driving.

Well, he is no longer married and he is no longer in business.

Lukacs Property Maintenance
03-05-2009, 12:54 PM
I think that if you present yourself as a sucess you will become a sucess. Think about what Donald Trump did to keep his image. He always focused on the Trump image. Selling the Trump "brand" as being asociated with high quality and sucess.

I agree with tring to set yourself apart from other lco,s.

Mike