In the world of construction, what gets you in the door is not what keeps you in the door.
I run across two types of contractors that make me think about the idea that product is king.
1. “At least the end product was good!” These are the guys you can’t get on the telephone, that won’t come in budget, that won’t move you in on time. But they found the loophole that product is king. Their drywall work is perfection, their restoration abilities untouchable. The problem is that I hate this approach, I don’t think it promotes pride or trust in our industry. More than that it stresses people out. If you are this person, bring a marketer alongside of you, allow a proper manager to run the scene. The success will only be dwarfed by the praises spoken about your team. To me, the product is harder to come by, I think deep down we all know that.
2. “They look good on paper!” Once in a while I will come across a great looking sub or contractor who seems to have it all together. Clean vehicles, proper tools, they even show up on time. The problem is their product took a back seat to their image. Restaurants can be this way. Books, vacations, well anything I suppose. Don’t hire based on looks alone. I’m glad my wife understood that principle.
So spend initial energy on the product. Before the doors open, before a page is read, a bicycle rode, make sure the product will win. If you follow Seth Godin at all, you are familiar with what marketing can do for any item or business. Good marketing gets you in the door, but if the product bombs, or is incomplete, or lets you down, the negative chatter will soon expose the marketing mask.
So lets churn out high quality products. Your product could be your voice, a service, a product, or ideas. If the product comes first, you will be noticed.