My intention with this blog is to shed some light on something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. When browsing different areas of work, for example carpeting, tile, drywall, painting and any other service, we are constantly bombarded with the word “pro”.. Skimming through Craigslist to see what the competition is offering, or just browsing other company websites, we are all too familliar with seeing other companies describe themselves as “pro”. But what exactly does that mean? Does every company deserve to call themselves pros? As an interior painter I often look online to see what other companies are offering and what their websites look like. Does the company with one, offset, blurry, distorted photo of a painted bathroom calling themselves “professional painters” hold the same weight as the company with numerous, professionally taken photographs of extravagant homes? Or another question to consider is, does the way in which you present your company affect the “professionalism” of your company?
Taking a first look into how the dictionary defines “professional”, we see this..
of, relating to, or connected with a profession.
(of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
So we can see by the dictionary’s first definition, all people engaged in an activity that’s considered a “profession” would be considered a “professional”. But as people that have truly mastered their art, this does not due justice. Expounding upon the second definition, we can conclude that not only do you have to be engaged in a profession to be considered a “professional”, but you essentially have to excel in that area as a result of the majority of your time being dedicated to that pastime. Going back to my example of the two painting companies that display their work in two dramatically different ways, we could safely say that the company with the blurry, distorted, crooked pictures might not be the best candidate for whom should fit the title “professional” as “professionals” in the second definition sense would likely take as good of pictures as the other company if they were engaged in this activity as their “main occupation rather than a pastime”. Taking pictures of your finished product is something to take pride in, and it’s likely that the companies that are doing outstanding work are excited and proud to showcase their work.
Aside from dictionary definitions, there are other factors that go into what people consider master of their craft, or “professionals” in the highest sense. Customer service is a huge factor that plays into the success of a company. You could land a few jobs here and there, but without the right attitude, you won’t get positive reviews, or referrals. Many contractors earn a good share of their livelihood from referrals and word of mouth. Having worked in customer service my whole life, I understand the customer service comes down to pleasing the customer no matter what (in general). If pleasing the customer if your first priority, that attitude will likely stand out from the other experiences your customer has had. Of course there are sometimes very unreasonable people that you find yourself working for that make your job more difficult than it has to be. But at the end of the day, it’s the pros that smile and finish the job with a good attitude that succeed.
Thanking a customer for their business is a great opportunity to really stand out. Simple showing some appreciation for being offered work is something that the customer will certainly not expect, and will be sure to remember. For some pros, work can be hard to find. When you finish a job well done, try and remember back on when you got the lead and landed it. Appreciation goes a long way.
Thanks for reading!