How to Recognize a True Professional



Working with Nonprofessional service providers isn’t exactly a peaceful and enjoyable experience (to read exactly how chaotic and unenjoyable it is, subscribe here!).  So you hire someone with a uniform, a pleasant, groomed appearance, and an official website…but now you’re nervous.  They look the part, but is this person a *true* professional?  Here are 8 traits of an excellent character to be on the look out for.



  1. They communicate clearly.


A true professional is one who understands their job inside and out.  If your neighbor’s three year old daughter asked them what they were doing, they would be able to explain it so that she would comprehend so perfectly, she will walk away confident that she wanted to grow up to be a window cleaner too (hey, it’s possible; my three year old said she wants to be!)

Their intentions, process, and a specific, expected outcome should be discussed prior to the job so that there are no surprises and no confusion during the work to stop it or slow it down.  They will also encourage an open communication with the customer, ask for feedback, and answer any questions so that you, the customer, are confident and satisfied with the work done.



2. They bring a consistently quality performance.


Nonprofessionals may do an adequate job the first time, and maybe even the second and third.  You may be an exemplary window cleaner those first few outings, should you choose to brave the ladders and do it yourself.  But, let’s be honest, eventually a lack of joy, or energy, or motivation settles in, producing less quality jobs (or in the case of doing it yourself, deciding to postpone the job indefinitely).  A true professional, however, has a passion for their work.  Even if they aren’t in love with the art of their craft, they are obsessed with bringing an unparalleled, quality experience to their customers, and so are motivated to do an outstanding job, time and time again.



3. They are competent.


Competency is an important element of overall professionalism.  It doesn’t take much observation to see whether someone waltzed into a Home Depot for a squeegee and opened up a window cleaning company for a quick buck, but possesses no real experience.  While it’s inevitable for a tradesman to be continually learning and developing his trade—and that’s really a good thing!—you would be better off with the tried and true professional.



4. They connect with the customer.


Most customers want a trusted relationship with their service providers; somebody who cares about their home, their investment, their view, and most importantly, their time.  And a true professional wants that relationship as well, and will work to fulfill your needs.  Building that relationship will be top of mind, no matter what, and it is a driving force that is yet another motivation to create an extraordinary customer experience!



5. They admit and amend mistakes.


Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s human nature to want to deny and avoid responsibility for those mistakes.  But a true professional is not your average human.  They’re an overcomer.  They’re insured, bonded, and guaranteed, so that should misfortune arise, they have the full capability and commitment to compensate for it, and they follow through to the customer’s satisfaction.



6. They value their customer’s time.


A true professional does not forget that time is a fleeting gift, and that life is too short to waste it on waiting around for a dawdling, inefficient service provider.  They know that committing you to a vague schedule, or an overly-specific on-the-dot time (and then do not, or cannot, follow through) is not being respectful of their customer’s time.  Instead, they request the customer choose a reasonable pocket of time, and show up within that agreed upon pocket of time without fail.  If misfortune strikes, and they are unable to make it within that time frame, they will call (with plenty of notice!) and explain the circumstances so that the customer is not sitting idle in expectation and disappointment.



7. They work for a higher purpose.


There is a revolution among business owners to “find their WHY.”  Why do we clean windows?  Why do we want to provide amazing customer service?  Why did we start this business in the first place?  Some of the more obvious answers may be: “To provide for my family,” or “So that I can take a vacation for the first time in six years,” or, “So I could be my own boss, set my own hours, and just be free for a change.”  And while those are all good answers—noble answers…even just necessities for a comfortable and sane life—the true professional will oftentimes dig deeper, and find their higher calling and contribution for their community.

Having the ability to give back, creating job opportunities, enriching and enlivening the economy with healthy competition and interdependence with other local businesses; these are all ways that a professional contributes to the world.  And with these noble motivations in mind, you can bet they are going to reflect it in their excellent work.  And even better, you can know that your own money is a contribution to that higher cause as well, instead of going to the boss’s fourth Cadillac.



8. You trust them.


A true professional is frank, polite, and consistent.  There is nothing vague, evasive, or sly about them.  You know that they are a trustworthy and natural person, and look forward to your interactions with them.  You may even venture to call them a friend.


Because, while it may seem daunting to try to measure up your window cleaner in only one or two encounters, that’s what it really comes down to.  Trust.  Quality.  Friendship.  The person whom you feel comfortable letting into your home, beautifying your windows, and having a conversation with that surpasses awkward small talk.  That person is a true professional.


So what are your thoughts?  What is it that exemplifies a True Professional in your eyes?  Do you have a True Professional providing you exemplary service, or are you stuck with a Rupert Puddles?  (Seriously, look up Rupert Puddles on Facebook!  He’s every homeowner’s nightmare…and he’s hilarious!)