All of the above words could be construed to mean the same thing, and although they have certain variations on the same theme, they are all qualities we need to succeed in business. I make no differentiation between designers and contractors, as we all have to provide a level of expertise in both disciplines. At some stage during negotiations, we will be called upon to comment on all aspects of selling ourselves and product.
I fully appreciate that confidence comes with experience, which should be tempered with a degree of humility. Too much self -confidence can come across as arrogance and ruin any chance of converting an enquiry into a contract. Too little, and you risk being seen as indecisive or inexperienced.
I have met and read of contractors whose businesses failed because they always rowed with the clients/potential clients. They never use that phrase of course, but their tales of woe related at a later date, their failure to impress their customers with their skills and abilities, were firmly biased against the customers – never their failures. No matter how talented they were with their hands, they lacked the vital ability to make the customer believe in them – simply because they did not believe in themselves!
There can be no college training to instil self- belief into individuals – only practical experience can provide that level of confidence, but is something that can be worked on as another aspect of your business/personality. Only by really understanding your personal level of expertise – not simply an ability to draw, design or construct walls – but the fact that you are GOOD at what you do! You must really BELIEVE that you are very good at your job. You know the answers (or, equally important – how to find those answers) to any question that may arise and are not treated as personal challenges. (I have never rowed with a client in 46 years trading!)
You will NEVER become frazzled by interrogation by a client. They will know that you know what you are talking about! A completely self assured (not arrogant) person will immediately put the customer at ease, and control the whole interview. Any queries are listed and recorded, to be dealt with after the meeting.
All other ‘philosophy’ mentioned in these articles revolve around this one simple fact. If you can develop a confident personality, one that wraps the client into a warm blanket of assuredness, from the moment you meet to the end of the project, you will build a successful and rewarding business. Even writing this, it seems so obvious, it should not need to be said – unfortunately, many firms fails through a lack of self – belief by their proprietor.
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