“When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em “Certainly I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it”….Teddy Roosevelt
How refreshing that is for clients to hear…”Certainly. I can!” So many times they are told, “No, it can’t be done,” when the truth is anything can be done in the manner you want for a price.
Bob and I have become the Venice, Florida go-to-people for projects that other companies turn down or would turn into their own projects. It would be done their way, with their selected materials and end up not accomplishing what the client wanted in the first place. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time we hit the nail on the head and the people are so pleased that we are showered with more business.
Our business success comes from living by these rules:
1. First and foremost…get into the client’s head. Put aside your own preconceived notions and listen to what they have to say. What do they really want? Absorb their surroundings. Find out about their roots, where they come from and why they moved to wherever it is they live now. Is it a get-a-way home or a permanent residence? Are they fun people or traditional people?
2. Find out what they want to accomplish with the work they ask you to do. Do they want a feeling of paradise or the Orient? Do they want functionality or decorative. Do they hate the color orange or love it? I always ask if mural clients have an aversion to lizards or dragonflies if I am doing a nature mural because I usually use these creatures in nature settings. Some people hate them, most people love them.
3. Never argue and never say no. If a purple flamingo with green eyes is what they want…give them a purple flamingo with green eyes no matter how you feel about it. (This is a hard one for an artist or a decorator) Even if you hate it, the purple flamingo with green eyes is what the client really wants.
4. If the project is going to be expensive to execute the way the client wants, by all means present them with a couple of options; one exactly what they asked for and one with a less expensive alternative. Some will choose the more expensive way and some will choose the less expensive way. Don’t be afraid to price the project for what it is worth.
5. If you do have to say the dirty word “No”, have someone lined up who will do the job in the manner that you would be proud of. Bob and I have learned over the years that whatever you take on that you hate doing will multiply. We do not paint whole houses or do whole house faux finishes…except for very special people where the word “no” does not exist.
6. Do your work as if you were doing it for yourself. Superb craftsmanship whether you are working for a company or yourself builds forever relationships.
7. Always be honest. Stand by your word and be truthful in what you say and do. Having integrity not only endears you to clients it enables you to have a good night’s sleep.