A professional image – the business builder

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According to John Armstrong of printing and branding specialist Custom Planet, you can win over potential customers by projecting a professional image. Here, he shares his top tips.

Trying to stand out in a competitive trade industry can be a challenge, especially with so many rogue traders giving others a bad name — especially given that many homeowners fear hiring tradesmen for not being able to find one reliable enough But, when it comes to generating business and gaining repeat custom, acting professionally when dealing with your customers will be your key to success.

In this article, I will be sharing my top tips for projecting a professional image when meeting your customers face-to-face.

Get a practical and professional uniform
First impressions are everything, with recent research finding that it only takes us a tenth of a second to start drawing conclusions about a person when it comes to characteristics like their trustworthiness. And, with uniforms capable of improving perceptions of professionalism and helping to build trust, you should think carefully about yours.

When your job is particularly messy, having a pristine white uniform that’s susceptible to getting visible stains on it won’t be ideal. Instead, opt for darker shades that won’t look as worn. You’ll also need to have some form of identification on your uniform, such as your company logo or your name and number if you’re independent — and don’t forget to use a contrasting colour to ensure it can be seen.

Be confident and honest
Your customers want to feel reassured that you’ll do the job properly, so acting confidently is very important. Explaining exactly what you’ll be doing and giving an honest and accurate timeframe and cost for the job will also help to build the customer’s trust in you, meaning they’ll be more likely to use your services again or recommend you to their friends.

If you genuinely think something might take more work than the customer has anticipated, it’s important that you tell them even if it means they need some time to reconsider the work. Also, even though each job can differ depending on the scale and severity, having a price list can show customers the rough costs so they can see how their final figure was worked out.

Follow up on your work
Once the job is done, following up on your work and getting feedback from the customer can increase the likelihood of them using you again. This will demonstrate a great level of professionalism and show that you really care, particularly if there’s an aspect of the job they would like you to look at again.

This can be something as simple as a text or quick call to check in with how they like their freshly painted walls or their newly-decorated living room. Plus, this may encourage them to leave positive reviews on your social media or website, as well as raising the chances of them recommending you.

As a painter or decorator, you’ll have a lot of tough competition but, by taking pride in your appearance and creating a great reputation, you can easily build trust with your customers.

A professional image – the business builder
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