26 Nov Gambino landscape lighting’s Ideal Client Profile
By Mike Gambino
In fact, after talent, knowledge and experience, time is my most important resource. And since there are only so many hours in a week, I need to treat that time with great care. That includes qualifying every potential opportunity to make sure it’s a good fit for me and my company.
So how do I make decisions about which clients and projects to pursue and which ones to turn down? It all starts with what I call my ideal client profile.
The ideal client profile is simply a very clear description of the type of client I would love to have more of. It may be an exact replica of a client I’m working with today. Or it could be a combination of qualities I’ve seen in past and current clients.
I imagine I’m planning a road trip from Los Angeles to New York, and have room for up to six friends. I would limit my invitations to people whose company I truly enjoy.
Well, it’s no different when I’m deciding upon working with prospective clients. In my case, the ideal client is a property owner, contractor or architect. My primary contact has a significant amount of decision-making ability. She (or he) can make buying decisions on her own without resorting to a review committee.
She is also reasonable, knows what she’s looking for, and she consistently communicates her needs and requirements.
Furthermore, she values me as a key member of her team, so my fees are not an issue. She sees them for what they are: fair and reasonable, especially considering the unique perspective I bring to the table as an experienced tradesperson and landscape lighting professional specialist.
Finally, my ideal client has a steady stream of work for me. She doesn’t come to me with just a one-time need. Once she sees the quality of my work and the results I help produce, she continues to send work my way. In the case of a private property owner she retains my maintenance and after care services after the initial installation. In the case of architects, contractors or other professional trade associates they retain or recommend me for suitable projects every time the opportunity arises. In other words our business relationship is not just a one night stand.
I could go on with a few more descriptors, but you get the picture. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I automatically turn down opportunities that don’t meet every single criterion of an ideal client. What it means is that I carefully qualify every potential client and project, based on such factors as:
- The added prestige to be gained from working with this client (if any)
- The desirability of the project in question
- Where the project is located
- How much work I currently have on my schedule
- The project’s turnaround time
- The perceived difficulty of working with the client
- Whether or not the client is willing to pay my fee
- The client’s apparent ability to pay on time
- How difficult it may be to secure the business
- How badly I need the work
These aren’t the only factors to consider, but they’re some of the most important.
Making good decisions about what clients and prospects to take on has been critical to my long-term success in this business (22 years).
I always remember: It’s a long ride to New York so I choose wisely!
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 20 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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