Picture of Guest post with Jon Mailer

Guest post with Jon Mailer

When you hear the word innovation, what comes to mind? For many, they think of large technology companies, manufacturing changes, industry leaders, and global trend setters.

The reality is far different from this. Although the innovations that you see in the industries mentioned make an impact on a global scale, you, too, can innovate in your trade and construction business every single day.

You see innovation is just asking a really simple question. The question is:
“How do I serve my customers even better than I did yesterday?”

If you are looking to serve and to deliver value to your customers even better than you did yesterday; and you are looking at the way that you can modify processes, your product, and upgrade your people; then you are an innovator.

To get to the essence of innovation, we need to understand human behavior. Fundamentally, we are all the same with the drivers of many people’s behavior listed below. The reality is your customer may be:

• Greedy
• Impatient
• Lazy
• Vain

To illustrate this further, put yourself in this situation: would you prefer to have $1,000,000 or $10? The obvious answer is a million dollars.

Gee, you are greedy. Would you prefer the million dollars today or in 12 months’ time? 

Wow! You are impatient.

Would you like me to deposit the one million dollars in your account, or would you like me to give you a check that you need to bank yourself and then wait to clear for five days?

See, you are so impatient.

Finally, would you like me to shake your hand, pat you on the back, and tell you how much I value our relationship when I give you the million dollars?

Of course!  See, you are just as vain as anybody else.

As we are all fundamentally the same; to meet the needs above is equally simple.

As people are greedy – give them more than they expect.

As people are impatient, give it to them quickly!

Most people are lazy so make it easy for them.

And finally, appeal to people’s vanity by making them feel good in the process.

As you can see innovation isn’t that complicated; however, it isn’t necessary easy. To challenge the status quo. To break the unbroken and to continue to improve the way you are serving your customers, requires a consistent approach. It is not just a process. it is a philosophy.

I suggest that you take these characteristics that we have discussed above and approach your team and see what they can come up with—to appeal to your client’s greed, laziness, impatience and vanity.
Some examples could be:

  • For residential service clients, always leave a voucher for them to use your services again or make a follow up phone call 48-hours after the job to check in with the homeowner.
  • Have on the spot/mobile invoice and payment facilities available to make it easier for the customer to pay you.
  • For construction projects, have quality assurance/completion checklists in place to communicate/share with the head contractor once you are complete.
  • Have a site clean-up checklist to ensure all job sites are left spotless.

Simple. The little things really are the BIG (and innovative) things.

Have fun in the process and all the best to continue to be a leader in your field.

Picture of John Mailer

John Mailer

Jon Mailer is CEO of PROTRADE United, Australia's leading provider of business services to the trades industry. Jon is
author of ‘Not Just a Tradie.’