Getting it right (and maybe getting it wrong) on the sales and community service fronts

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Little jobs done right can lead to big jobs. Conversely, (if the Facebook assertions here are correct) failure to complete community service or charitable commitments can result in unfortunately adverse publicity. Everything counts.

Daniel Smith, owner of Ottawa-based Right Angle Renovations and Strokes of Genius Painting, wrote these words on his personal Facebook thread.

When people ask me if we will entertain “small” painting jobs, I often tell them the true story of the powder room paint job that turned into painting of the entire house, which led to renovating their ensuite bath, which led in turn to remodeling their kitchen, which eventually turned into gutting and replacing their neighbor’s kitchen too… So at the end of the day, that well-done $250 paint job easily led to over $100K worth of revenue… And counting!

And guess what? Before I got there, someone else had turned it down.

In a comment, Smith added:

Well I guess the point is that once you’ve proven that you can be trusted to show up and do quality work, people usually don’t want to go anywhere else, so every tiny job is an opportunity to get your foot in the door. Hopefully not too much luck involved wink emoticon

There are several messages underlying this story, especially the critical transition (and relevance) point between marketing and selling.

Effective marketing can attract the right kinds of clients to your door, but in the end, your delivery from the sales through completion stage defines your ultimate marketing success.

In this story, Smith recounts his responsiveness and recognition that small initial orders should not be treated lightly — they can in many cases be the precursor to much more work, both repeat and referral. Delivering the little details right on the small initial jobs can, if executed properly, lead to much more high volume work later.

Of course, what goes round comes round. Your marketing will always be much easier and more effective when you over-deliver on your promises (and on client expectations) and so your delivery should always be front and centre in your marketing thoughts.

There’s another perspective on this story, if you read the Right Angle Renovations’ recent Facebook reviews.  These touch on the issues of charitable and community service commitments and the problems that can arise if you don’t handle them properly. (In follow-up communications, Daniel Smith has given a different perspective of this situation.  It seems there are very much two sides to the story. See his comments.)

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