Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 7 seconds
Here is what I see when I look in the mirror. What I needed to know is what others see in me and my company Levco Builders.
To figure out the problem, I had to interview some of my thoughtful, articulate clients and ask them an open ended question that they could answer.
There is no post project questionnaire that could produce the results that I needed.
A favorite song of mine written by Shel Silverstein The Winner came to me while writing this post.
Not all projects are worth bidding. Occasionally I realize too late that I have won a project that I would have been better off not winning, regardless, we maintain our dignity and plow through. There are things to learn from every project and client interaction so a little older and a lot wiser we regroup and start over.
The key is to think like an avid fisherman. When fishing for a certain type of fish in a lake, you must use the right bait and tackle for the fish you want to catch.
Once you ask the fifty thousand dollar question, you must be an active listener. Listen carefully my friends! you never know what you might hear.
The most interesting thing I discovered was that I had used a secret weapon in my arsenal that I didn’t realize that I had.
Initially, I was cautious, I struggled with whether I should even talk about what I learned.
My secret weapon comes naturally and is just who I am. “No one is going to out Joe Levitch, Joe Levitch”. I realized that by defining who I am and what I stand for, that I am differentiating myself from the heard. I am my strongest suit.
On the projects I enjoyed the most, what my clients were buying was unique and not a commodity. In other words, who I am and how and I present my self and ideas is what they are buying. Remodeling is just a vision and the vehicle I use.
Here are some of the things I learned about myself.
- I was excited about the project. I could see what the clients vision was of their home and couldn’t wait to make it happen. That excitement made the client feel good and that was the chemistry that got the relationship going.
- Several clients were explaining that they were frustrated by contractors who wanted to do much more work than necessary. They were pleased that I was able to identify a clever solution to a complex problem before we started.
- Occasionally price is the only deciding factor. Those clients are shopping for a transaction not an interaction. They are rarely a good fit.
- Another client had seen my work at a neighbors house and wanted to get that level of satisfaction. The trust was created by someone else going first.
- One client had had a heart attack remodeling a home in the past and didn’t want to have another one. They found me and although I was just starting out at the time, they realized that I was willing to work closely and together to get through the growing pains of a new company.
Recently lots of leads are coming from our website. There is a tremendous amount of great content, so I am told. I feel like the more information I can put up on this site, the more I am able to help folks get to know me, and see my work, without having to leave the privacy of their own home so to speak.
- One client liked how I was able to explain my process. They could tell that I had put a lot of thought into helping explain what you get for your investment. They really liked how I was able to break bathrooms and kitchens into bite size pieces.
The premise is that if you can’t explain the “it” (a remodeling project in this case), then you don’t understand the it well enough to do the it. An example is using a toy to show the Bernoulli Principal of Aerodynamics in action, rather than showing the mathematical equation and loosing 99% of the folks.
My suspicion is that to the extent that I define who I am well and differentiate myself from the heard, I will attract a certain type of project and client. If that is working for you then refine it. If not, reinvent yourself and go fishing again until you catch what you are fishing for.