15 Nov How to tell if Gambino landscape Lighting is a good fit for you and your project
By Mike Gambino
This ties in to last week’s blog Gambino Landscape Lighting Systems Are Not For Everyone. Have you ever hired a person or company on for a project that you thought was a good fit, but ended up being a bad one?
It happens to all of us.
Sometimes we get a gut feeling (trust it!) but not always. Sometimes bad fits blindside us and we have to dig our way out of the mess.
Educate yourself on the web about what is available, what your options are, what the general costs are, what you like and what you don’t like.
As with any significant and costly home improvement it is highly recommended that prospects considering landscape lighting should dedicate a fair amount of time on due diligence before contacting anyone to discuss their project.
Here are a few ways to pinpoint whether Gambino landscape lighting company is a good fit for you and your project or not.
Is the client willing to pay our system cost?
I don’t like to wait before talking numbers. I give a quote as soon as possible to see if the client is willing to pay our rates. This typically happens at the first and only design consultation meeting which there is a nominal fee collected if an agreement is not struck. Most of our clients sign with us at this meeting. If cost is an issue, I will usually hear the “We have to think about it objection” which means I will probably never hear from them again, or they will ask me to modify the scope of the project to accommodate a certain budget which is fine. If the client is willing to go without some bells and whistles, we can often salvage the project and focus simply on the basics that they NEED while giving them the ability to come back later for the upgrades.
But if the prospect is insistent that we lower our price without concessions (maybe they’ll offer us “exposure to their friends” in exchange). I can almost guarantee that they’ll try to haggle the entire project and become a problem which is not something we are interested in.
Prospects who are looking for deals, tend to make for some of the worst clients.
If a prospect is undecided after our meeting I will not follow up and contact them (I’m not going to beg for their business) at a later date. If they choose to contact me afterwards and become a client then I am of course very receptive to that.
Is Client motivated and excited about the project?
When you think about the project, are you excited to have it completed? When you’re excited about, and enjoy the process, you are more likely to get the best results from us that are above and beyond as we will feed of this vibe and ensure that we’re creating the best landscape lighting system possible and produce something that both us and our client are proud to show off.
But when you have reservations or dread having work done on a project, either because you are concerned about damage to the property, what your neighbors and friends will think or just unsure about the project itself for whatever reason. This vibe is also easily perceived and it’s hard to stay motivated to do our best work.
The honest truth is that we’re not going to love our jobs every day. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how fun the project is, we have bad days. And we’re not going to love every single project or client that we work with. But we should never work with someone who is such a bad fit that we have zero enthusiasm about the whole thing. It’s not fair to us, and it’s not fair to the client.
Does Client communicate clearly?
Clear communication between us and the client is crucial for the project to go smoothly.
You can be excited about the project, and completely capable of seeing it through, but if we can’t communicate because you are unavailable or disinterested, then the project is doomed before it even begins.
We must be on the same page, and speaking the same language. It doesn’t matter how amazing the project sounds, if we don’t understand what the client wants, we’re not going to be able to deliver it.
Are we both clear on the goal of the project?
A landscape lighting system without a goal serves no purpose. we need to know why you want landscape lighting, and everyone needs to be clear on what the landscape lighting system will be designed to accomplish. If you’re not clear on why the need for a landscape lighting system, we will have to help you dig deep and figure out what the purpose will be.
Some clients may be clear from the moment they contact us, others might need some hand holding, and still others may be unwilling to think past, “I just know I need one,” which helps no one.
When clients are unclear about why they need landscape lighting, and refuse to get clear, it doesn’t matter how clear we are, we’ll run into problems.
Is the timeline realistic?
Sometimes clients want things done yesterday, and unless we’ve got a clear schedule (which we very seldom to never have), we can’t make that happen. Is the client willing to adjust their expectations and go with the schedule that we recommend? If yes, great! If not, will they pay over-time or a rush fee to get the project done on their schedule?
Unless a client is making it worth our while to work extra hours and weekends, and we’re willing to do that, then an unrealistic timeline will just stress both of us out and create problems.
Are we both on the same page?
Us and our clients need to be on the same page, from price, to project management system, to timeline. One of the easiest ways to do this is for the prospect to thoroughly look over our website and facebook social media pages which lets clients know what to expect before we start working together. This outlines our basic procedures, how we’ll communicate during the project, what is expected of the client and at what stage (e.g. when is feedback, payment due?), as well as any other pertinent information that the client needs to know before we get started.
Likewise, we need to be on the same page as our client, in terms of what we’ll be providing in exchange for their money which is a turnkey landscape lighting system designed for them built from our specifications. While the actual scope of work may come after the initial design consultation process, we don’t want to get blindsided by someone dictating fixture type, quantity, placement, brand etc. It’s very important that we’re both on the same page about what the terms of service are and what the end product will be.
What does your gut tell you?
Most will tell you: you should always trust your gut.
Sometimes you recognize that something is wrong, but you can’t form the proper thought. Trust your instincts and avoid any project with someone or company that just doesn’t feel right.
And finally, remember to trust your gut. It won’t steer you wrong.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 29 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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