Show me the work

Have you ever noticed that when you use a comparison website, whether it’s for car insurance or getting the best deals on a hotel, something strange happens?

When loading your results, it takes a few seconds.

You see the results popping up on screen in front of you and after about six seconds, they are all there for you.

Why does this happen?

Well, I’ll let you know a secret. It is not because that’s how fast the computer is working to find your results.

The truth is, the computer program has all of your results in a fraction of a second.

But the clever marketing people realised if they loaded the results slower on your screen more people bought the product!

So why is this?

Well, the idea is that people like to see the work that has gone into something.

When you see the work involved, it makes you more willing to part with your cash.

A similar example to this is the Dominos pizza tracker.

For anyone that doesn’t know, when you order a Dominos pizza online, you can track its progress.

It looks like this:

The tracker keeps you updated on your order.

Now whether they care to admit it or not, most people got excited when they first saw the tracker.

A lot of people will have sat there and watched the tracker as ‘Jim’ prepped the pizza, and ‘Sally’ loaded it up for delivery.

So why did Dominos do this? And how can it help your decorating business?

Well, I’m sure there were lots of important marketing meetings at Dominos when they decided to make the tracker, but for me it comes down to a few things.

  1. Customers feel much better about spending their money when they can see the work that is involved in the service. It shows the value of the service.
  2. It manages customer expectations. This is especially important with pizza as for most people waiting 10 minutes for a pizza feels like an hour!
  3. It reduces customer service calls. People no longer need to ring up their local Dominos pizza trying to find out where their pizza is.

So how do we apply this to a decorating business so that you can see these benefits?

It’s as simple as taking the time to detail your system. In fact, it won’t even take you that much time because I’ve made a template for you!

It looks like this, and you can download it for free at the end of the article.

As part of your proposal, you could use this template (or create one yourself) to detail each stage of the process.

Of course, each job is different and the system you will use will be different, but this is a good starting point.

I suggest putting it in your proposal so that the customer can see straight away all the processes involved and hopefully be more likely the see the true value of the service you are offering.

You could even put estimated timings for each stage on there.

Plus, seeing as you’ll have customised it to their project, it will also show them the work you have already put in. As we know from the price comparison websites, this makes people more willing to spend their money.

I would also keep a copy of the document on the job.

Firstly, it means the customer can keep up to date with your progress and knows exactly what is going on. This manages their expectations and means they don’t keep asking you how much longer it is going to take!

It also means that whoever is completing the work stays laser focused. This might not be such an issue if you are the business owner, but it will really help if you have staff.

When everyone can see what stage they are at, they are more driven to push forwards and stick to the timings you’ve set out. Especially when they know the timings have been set based on how quickly each task is usually completed.

Finally, if you are using a different system to usual, setting it out like this will help you plan everything properly.

For example, if you normally brush oil based gloss on the woodwork, but on this job you are going to be spraying a water based satin, you will tweak the stages accordingly and work out your timings.

You’ll see that spraying the water based satin means you spend more time in stage 2, masking up, but less time in the application stage because spraying is faster and you won’t have to leave it overnight between coats.

Simply writing out your system for each job could help you experiment with new ways of working making you more efficient and therefore, more profitable!


To download a copy of the tracker so that you can edit it, please click below:


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