• Robert Eckelman

The early bird gets the worm- Starting something early maximizes potential outcomes.

This is Not a fishing story unless you're fishing for new clients



Without Question being first improves the chances of success in today’s business world but there are other factors.


Offering value, making others feel important, timely and levelheaded pricing quotes, providing an ETA on projects or delivery, follow up & follow-through, delivering the product or service agreed to.


All of the above lets customers know they are important, they are dealing with a professional, builds a relationship rather than a transaction, cuts down on nonproductive duplicate calls, texts, or e-mails, creates delighted customers, and promotes referrals. Wow, that is a long sentence. I am passionate about the above. It is what I strive to deliver to customers and am super appreciative when it is delivered to me as a customer.


Here is a live example.


I finally decided to name my boat. The key point, it is an emotional, fun, purchase that is a want, not a need. If all the above was not fulfilled, I may have moved on and not done it. Late Friday 4/30 I did a Google search for boat name instillations. As usual, I read some reviews and submitted my specs to 3 companies. I had no expectation of hearing back until the week of 5/3.


On Saturday 5/1 by noon I heard back from Jack Coletti the owner of Midnight Oil Workshop with a precise quote and list of deliverables. This was as impressive, as his stellar online reviews. By the way, all of his reviews were consistent- Professional, eye for detail, creative, responsible, concerned about meeting customer needs…I sent back 2 questions, expecting to hear back the week of 5/3. Jack responded 23 minutes later. At that point in time I decided to use Midnight Oil Workshop to do the job. I did not shop price or wait for other quotes. Possibly I could have saved a few bucks but cost myself more time and effort (If you are continually being price shopped read from the top again). From the first communication to the complete job, I knew Jack took great pride in what he does and I felt like he treated me like I was his only client.


We moved on to the design. I had sent him a rough outline of what I wanted and asked him to make some improvements. He asked for my original artwork, I did not have any. Rather than making that an issue, he just recreated it. I had my first draft by 2:00 PM May 4th ( 1 ½ days). The first draft was good, Jack reviewed what I had sent and listen to what I wanted. I had asked for a few variations. I had four designs the same day. One was almost perfect, we made one slight change. I felt my input was welcome and the changes were not a problem. We actually co-created this naming logo and every time I see it I will take some personal pride in it.


We moved on to installation. Rather than rushing the process we looked at a couple of different size options, agreed, and moved forward. Jack put the portside logo on first. it was perfect. He then moved to the starboard side. That became a problem, I was not happy that the graphic we used would be pointing in a different direction. Without any hesitation, Jack said “I want you to be happy, it's important, it's your boat, I will redesign the logo. He said exactly what I was thinking. Within 30 minutes he had the graphic facing the correct way and did a great job with the installation. I was quite happy with his work and will give him a good review.


One final touch was a thank you note, all final artwork so I could make hats or T-shirts or whatever I wanted, and a request for review if I was happy.


This article is not about Jack, Midnight Oil, or my boat. It is about how to build a successful business, the importance of promptness, great customer service, melting price resistance, efficiency, referrals…


I never did hear back from the other two companies I submitted my design to.


SISU