Whether you’re old enough to remember when Cher was the second half of “Sonny & …” or young enough to ask, “Who the heck is Cher?” you can learn a lesson from a 1960s hit which was sung by the former pop duo. “It’s the little things that mean a lot,” they crooned … and those words are echoed in the feedback that Networx has been hearing lately from home improvement customers.

They may not be too handy themselves (that’s why they hire one of you contractors!) but they can sure recognize good work when they see it. We’ve been interviewing leads about what -- in their opinion -- makes for a successful experience using a professional to get a repair or renovation job done. And one theme that we hear them repeat over and over again is: “The contractor went that extra mile.” “He was painstaking about detail.” “He paid attention to even the littlest things.”

From homeowners to apartment renters, your past and future clients get very excited when they see concrete evidence of beautiful, careful craftsmanship. In fact, one satisfied home reno customer got so excited that he emailed Networx a photograph to make his story known. The picture, which we’re posting at the top of this page, illustrates just how neatly his tile contractor had cut the tiles to fit precisely around the edge of his tub … when it would have been a lot easier and faster just to fill in the space with a line of grout.

This customer sent us a few other photos, as well, which showed the attractive overall effect of the bathroom tiling, but he was happiest about this little detail, the one that demonstrated the tile contractor’s skill and caring, and his willingness to do the job right. Now, as a direct result, the fellow is walking around with the tiler’s business cards in his pocket, ready to pass them on to his friends and acquaintances, together with his enthusiastic personal recommendation.

In the client’s own words: “He’s going to do all my tile setting from now on. I asked him for a stack of his business cards too, because I’ve got a lot of associates that are looking for work like that. I’ve been handing his cards out left and right.”

How much do you spend on tracking down leads? In a month? In a year? Yet here we have a tile contractor with a client providing him with tons of great advertising absolutely free … and all because he gave a bit of extra time and attention to the smallest details of the project. That, my friend, is the kind of publicity that is impossible to buy with money. It has to be earned … by taking care of the little things that mean a lot.