Throughout The Village we observe and learn some of the very best practices about business ethics, accountability, customer service, marketing, business profitability and more from people and places like the coffee shop, the chamber, the tavern (why not) and many more …13 places in all.
We will pick up in chapter 3 where our central character William “Bill” is about to learn some valuable lessons about the power of having a professional Image. Bill observes distinct differences between two sibling competitors.
Pete is a painter and his canvas is the interiors and exteriors of homes. Pete is the best at his craft in the area and has the latest and greatest in tools and equipment. It is no surprise that Pete is a painter because everything he has is completely splattered with paint including his shirt, painter pants, shoes, truck, trailer and tools.
Pete’s younger brother, Mike, also happens to have his own painting business. Mike, although not as experienced, has all the requisite tools and equipment. His tools and equipment are not the latest and greatest; however everything he has is immaculate. His uniform is clean and crisp, his truck is washed and waxed and his tools are well organized.
Bill notices the difference between the two trucks parked side by side in the lot behind the coffee shop. Bill asks himself him who would he rather hire to paint his home – Pete or Mike? Who would you rather hire based upon image alone?
Who do you think would do a better job? Who do you think would charge more? Who do you think would show up on time? Who would be more likely to clean up after themselves before they leave? And who would be more likely to stand behind their work if there was a problem? Image can create a number of pre-conceived assumptions.
This story illustrates how our image alone can be the differentiating factor in a customer’s purchase decision. The image we project creates an impression, a number of assumptions and a direct correlation to the perceived quality of our work, the price we charge, our value, reliability and more.
If we going to be a professional we also need to look like, act like and present ourselves as a true professional. We need to create our own desired image.
This chapter on image concludes with a one page lesson which includes a simple self-assessment regarding image (e.g., place of business, signage, uniforms, website, etc.) and the importance of breaking away from any industry stereotypes.
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