Depending on how we choose to live, our life may be calm and even-keeled, with little variation in our daily routine, or it may be filled with challenges: new decisions and experiences popping up at every turn. One of the good things about living in an advanced country is that (typically) we get to choose the path we desire: calm and reserved or wild and challenging. And while a calm and reserved life may suit some people just fine, if you want to grow, learn and expand your horizons, you must embrace (at least some of) the challenges that life offers.
When we are faced with these challenges, when we purposefully place ourselves in uncomfortable situations, our success is often determined by our outlook. The way in which we think about the situation, the mental goggles through which we perceive our circumstances, will often have a significant influence on our results. The challenges that we face in running our businesses often follow this same course, with your outlook often affecting your level of success.
So, how does my outlook influence my success?
Is there anything that I can do to help increase my chances of achieving my goals?
The overriding reason why most people start a business is to make a profit, to earn a living to support themselves and their family. Unfortunately, this can often lead to a myopic view of the situation, causing us to focus solely on short-term earnings. We all realize that bills need to be paid and that money doesn’t grow on trees. However, focusing all of our energy on short-term goals, to the detriment of longer-term plans, can quickly drive our business into a rut. The single-mindedness of this drive (to make the most money we can as quickly as we can) often sabotages our long-term goals, causing us to lose focus of the forest as we concentrate on all the damn trees that are blocking our view.
Obviously, we need to earn a living. So, to a certain extent, short-term, money-making goals must always be on our mind. For us, we make money when we perform a home inspection. It certainly makes sense to focus your attention on the client and the current situation. However, you would be doing your future self and your future business a disservice if you didn’t take advantage of the golden opportunity to market your business while you perform the inspection.
How does all this fit in with my business?
At the home inspection, you have an opportunity to market your business in several different ways, to multiple parties, all at the same time. Talk about getting the most for your marketing dollar!
Your client and their agent will (typically) interact with you directly during the inspection process. They have the opportunity to get to know you, judging your competence and professionalism through your actions. You market to the sellers and their agent by the quality of your inspection report, which they are both likely to see before the real estate transaction concludes.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a phone call from a home seller, angry that I discovered so many deficiencies on the house they’re selling. But, by the end of the conversation they are adamant about having me inspect their next home for them.
Your professionalism is marketed to everyone involved, simply by the total product that you deliver. It’s displayed by the quality and detail in your report. It’s demonstrated by your punctuality, your cleanliness and appearance, your demeanor, your preparation and attention to detail. It comes through in the fact that you routinely stay in touch with your clients, through calls, emails, social media and personal interactions. You market your professionalism with your consistency: everyone knows exactly what they’re getting and how you will act, because it’s the same product every time.
Consistency breeds familiarity, which leads to comfort, which (ultimately) leads to more business.
I will leave you with a quote from W. Edwards Deming, who was a man of many titles: American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant. He said that “profit in business comes from repeat customers; customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.”
Consistent, professional marketing makes your clients comfortable enough with you to tell their friends. Be sure to give them a reason to.
Note: This post is the first of a two-part article. Click here to read part two.
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