What A Tree Trimmer Can Teach You About Your Web Business
By Joshua Rose
The other day I got a knock on my door. A young man introduced himself as Tim and said he had trimmed the trees for the previous owner 2 years ago ... even mentioned them by name.
He then pointed down the street and said, "My crew is just finishing up over at Ron's house. We've been doing all his work for 4 years now. And I noticed you have branches that have started to damage your roof and are also growing into your neighbor's trees. And since my whole crew is already here, if you want to take care of it this afternoon, I can give you a really good price."
I looked down the street and waved to Ron. "Well, I know I need it", I said. "But how much are we talking about here?".
Well, we walked around the yard and talked and bandied about price for a few minutes. Then I agreed.
A couple hours later, the work was done and he did a wonderful job. The place looked great and he cleaned it all up as neat as a pin. He even fixed two of my sprinkler heads at no charge. I was a happy customer and there is absolutely no doubt he'll be getting more work from me in the future.
Well, you're asking, "What in the world does this have to do with making a living on the Internet?"
The answer is, "quite a bit". Let's take a look:
First, he identified the problem I had and knew he had the solution.
Second, he was aggressive in his marketing. He didn't leave a business card in my mailbox, as so many others do. He became proactive to establish a personal relationship.
Third, during the initial contact, Tim established "instant credibility" by referring to the previous owners of the house as well as to Ron, a friend of mine and someone I respect.
Fourth, as we walked around the yard, it was clear that he knew exactly what he was doing. He had expertise and he wasn't going to kill or harm my trees. I also realized that any thought I had of doing it myself wasn't at all wise.
Fifth, he offered something of true value to me at a very attractive price. And he explained why he could offer such a bargain price. I've learned that sometimes, "you get what you pay for" and a bargain price can turn into a total loss. But in this case, his explanation made total sense.
Sixth, we chatted and joked as well. He had an engaging personality and wasn't afraid to show it.
Seventh, he did the job extremely well. The pride he had in his work and reputation was obvious.
Eighth, he over delivered. He fixed one sprinkler head and replaced a second one at no charge. And when cleaning up, they raked the entire yard. The place hadn't looked so good since the day we bought it.
There's a few other lessons here as well ... but I think you get the point.
Succeeding on the Internet doesn't have to be an elusive or mysterious puzzle. The "real world" abounds with sound business practices that will serve you well on the web as well.
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