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The other day in a discussion about job photographs I mentioned a remodeler I used to do some some consulting with in addition to having some great camera equipment took the time to take some courses in photography and lighting and his job photos are as excellent as it gets but then I was reminded of something else he did incredibly well too,…he wrote great “specifications” for the line items in his estimates.
I put the word “specifications” in quotes because these were NOT cut and dry engineers specs but were instead J Peterman catalog like descriptions.(My version of what kind of stuff he wrote…)

—“Subway tile, a classic look that never goes out of style but with an elegant six inch wide trim chair rail height mosaic band strip around the room and another around the base you be inspired to think of what it was like living on 5th Avenue with the Vanderbilts and Astors in NYC during the gilded age.”—

He would write a “specification” for the installation of a particular Toto Water Closet that would make me think I would want my daughter to marry water closet like that and I don’t even have kids.

He made the estimates he did into customized catalogs for each individual or family he was reaching out too.

He used Wedi board and waterproofing products but I was thinking what would I write to describe the feeling of trust and security you (a homeowner) would get from a Schluter shower waterproofing system like we use.

A great product description along with photos and PDFs information sheets and URL links the prospective client can visit to learn more about the Schluter system is a form of “A Richer More Robust Enhanced Transparency”

I am reminded of the great Maya Angelou quote:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The way my contractor client/friend wrote specs and product descriptions excited you and energized you about the project.

Write great specifications and product descriptions that create a mood, make emotional connection, strive to deliver an “experience”. This goes to what Simon Sinek has said:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Show the people why you love and trust the products you use.

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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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