22 Aug Common Traits of our most valuable landscape lighting clients
By Mike Gambino
Continuing with this series of articles aimed at defining the type of clients we work best with and those clients who are most desirable to us. We offer this to better define our best clients and share their common traits.
“We are just calling around to get some quotes and ideas. I’d like you to come out so we can pick your brain for ideas. We are really not sure we whether we even need lighting. Does it cost a lot? Does it cost a lot to operate? I didn’t see your website before calling because I am real busy, but I may if I get a chance once I hang up the phone.”
This pretty much sums up the type of client we don’t want – unrealistic expectations, unimaginative and just plain clueless. Conversely, there are some clients that are a pleasure to deal with. Ones that ask great questions, respect our work and make us feel happy to have chosen the entrepreneurial route. Some qualities we look for in a truly desirable client are listed below:
1. Expectations: A good client does not leave you guessing about what they want, when they want it and what they intend to pay for it. Additionally, they understand your abilities, constraints and limitations and work with them. They are decisive and know what they want.
2. Involvement: Good clients are closely involved with the project at hand, without micro managing. They provide the framework and expectations for the work that needs to be done, are available to ask and answer questions, yet respect your expertise and knowledge and trust you to make the right choices. They do not question your every move and look at you with doubt thinking they know more than you do when they in reality have no experience whatsoever with the task at hand.
3. Passion: My favorite clients are passionate about their home and property, and love making improvements especially to their outdoor environment. Passionate people are more concerned with producing a quality product or service and will do what it takes to achieve that goal.
4. Flexible: Understand that they may not be able to book the exact installation dates they desire but know it’s better to wait for the best service provider than to hire the wrong one and be sorry later.
5. Respect: A good client will genuinely respect what we do (that’s why they hired us), and will come to us for advice on matters related to our field of expertise.
5. Resources: Clients that don’t feel the need to skimp on essential resources required to complete our work are rare and wonderful to work for. Almost on every occasion where a positively knockout project results its because the client devoted the appropriate means to make it happen.
6. Commitment: In some ways this is the most important quality. A good client will honor their commitments, remember your conversations (it is always good to have email communications when possible so their is a paper trail should there be any miscommunications) and pay on time without haggling after the costs have been established. A great client will not bargain at all.
7. Long Term: The ideal client will respect our work enough to want to maintain a long term relationship with us AND refer us to their associates.
8. Refer: Ideal clients are so happy with the work we have done for them that they refer us without reservation to those who are like them and do so without expectation of remuneration. And they are kind enough to promote us and give us the highest ratings on various social media platforms.
In a perfect world, all our clients (and us) would have these qualities. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, but it is possible to at least evaluate our clients to determine if they meet our minimum standards. Better clients help us to focus on adding value, lower stress levels and ultimately contribute to building a stronger business.
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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