You can be a go-to pro in your field and do tremendous work. Even better, you can come in under budget and ahead of schedule 100% of the time. While these things are certainly important for building your brand, performance is only a single part of the equation when you’re trying to grow your business.
So what’s the other part? How you interact with current clients, potential clients, suppliers and other professionals in the trade. Use this guide to learn more about how to improve interactions with everybody you do business with.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: How Business Interactions Impact Your Brand
It seems obvious that you shouldn’t treat your customers poorly. Obviously you don’t want to your suppliers or other professionals in your business to think the worst of you. However, how your interactions impact your company may not always be clear.
Here are some of good, bad and ugly ways that how you interact with those around you can impact your company:
• Positive interactions can help you get a little leeway when you need it. Whether you’re late finishing a project or making a payment to a supplier, those you work with are a lot more likely to cut you some slack if you have a positive, friendly relationship. Even more important, those people will still think you’re trustworthy when you take longer to deliver or need to fix a mistake on a project.
• Negative interactions can make mistakes or slow projects seem like you don’t care about your work or that you are not a trusted resource. Clients may also feel like they are not valued customers.
• Negative interactions can cost you repeat business. While you may be able to complete a job that you’re working on, contractors, professions and homeowners that hired you once may not hire you again if they had a negative interpersonal experience.
• Quality interactions with suppliers can ensure that they work hard for you. Remember that suppliers are a big part of your chain. When you need a supplier to deliver a product on time, the chances that they’ll go out of their way for you are much higher if they actually like you!
Happy Customers Provide Referrals
Client referrals are your lifeblood if you’re in the building or renovation business. Even if your customers are happy with your work, they may choose not to refer others to you if you left a negative impression.
If you want to get those referrals, you’ll need to ensure that make the right impression from the very beginning of your project all the way through the end. Keep reading to learn more about how you can make a positive impression on everyone in your professional orbit.
Tips to Make a Good Impression Before, During and After Projects
You’re great at your work and you always keep the budget in mind. That should make you a real fan favorite that’s sure to get referrals, right? Not necessarily.
How you interact with your clients and other professionals can significantly impact your bottom line. Here are some tips to make a good impression before, during and after your projects are completed:
• Be courteous and professional when you first meet clients and other contractors you’re working with. Be prompt and prepared and you’re most of the way there when it comes to making a good first impression.
• Ensure a neat appearance and provide clean, tidy presentation materials to potential clients. Any handouts you provide should be presentation ready even if you’re working on a construction site all day.
• Return phone calls, answer questions and provide quotes on time in the days to come. Don’t make customers or other contractors wait to get in touch with you.
• Keep customers in the loop 24/7 during a job. Whether you’re running late, need to cancel, have extra project requirements or are running into problems, letting your clients know ASAP ensures that they’ll feel like part of the process. Keeping clients informed of positive changes, like being under budget or ahead of schedule, also fosters goodwill.
• Follow up with customers a few weeks after you finish a job. Checking in to make sure that your customer is still satisfied with your work can go a long way. Correct any issues within reason in a prompt, timely manner. Remember that customers don’t always notice issues right away since they’re not professionals familiar with your finished product.
Building a successful business requires you to do top-tier work. How you interact with your suppliers, clients and other professionals can make or break your reputation though. Once you get a poor reputation in your area, it can be incredibly difficult to shake off.
The good news is that behaving like a pro isn’t hard. Utilize these tips and you’ll make a first-rate first impression every single day.