Last month, we started a discussion about what it takes to be an outstanding professional window treatment installer. This month, I have four more tips for how you can go from being someone who can screw in a window bracket to a person likely to get repeat business and top reviews from clients.
A team player
The installer is always the link or the bridge between the seller (dealer, designer, workroom) and the end consumer. Regardless of whether you are an employee or an independent installer, you should never throw colleagues under the bus. I have seen this many, many times and nobody wins in those situations. Your job as an installer is to walk a very fine line between the dealer and the client and keep both of them happy.
This ties into being a team player but also has an extra element. For the most part, the installer is dealing with a client that is spending money on products they want and don’t necessarily need. To illustrate what I mean, imagine finding yourself in the middle of a deserted road with your car broken down. You don’t have a choice but to accept the first mechanic or towing truck available.
On the other hand, our clients are in a position to select the professionals that they are going to work with. Your job as an installer is to be friendly, clean, smile, act professional, and be polite and respectful with the client and colleagues. Being cocky and arrogant will drive your reputation into the ground.
Prompt and respectful
I have more than 600 five-star reviews and the vast majority of them mention that I respect the client’s time and arrive on time. If you are going to be late—even by five minutes—call the client and inform them of that. That way, you are telling the client you respect their time and are not feeding their anxiety. Nowadays, everyone has a cellphone and GPS, so there is no excuse to avoid communicating clearly.
Willing to listen and learn
One of the most common complaints I hear is that installers don’t like to listen to designers, decorators or workrooms. Some even go the extra mile to mention that they have been in business long enough and don’t need training.
Humility is one of the most important qualities an installer must have. In most cases, the installer is focused on the window, but the workroom or decorator has a bigger picture of the situation as they stand in the back of the room. Perhaps they have experience or important information to share with you. Be open to listening to other points of view.
The same goes for manufacturer training, webinars, and trade shows. New products are always being released. The more you learn, the more doors will open for you.
Roger Magalhaes is the founder of Trading Up Consulting, which provides installation training for window fashion professionals. Magalhaes draws on 15 years as a professional window treatment installer in the Boston area, where he received over 600 5-star reviews from satisfied clients. He is the installation instructor for the Window Fashion Certified Professional FastTrack program, serves on the board of directors of the Window Coverings Association of America and recently founded the Facebook group Window Treatment Installers by Trading Up Consulting.