I’ve always found it important to discuss my training and certifications with potential clients in order to gain a competitive advantage. After all, if you are going to charge more than your competition you need to explain why hiring a Certified Professional is important. Earning a certification in your trade tells your potential client that you take your work seriously. It tells them that you’ve invested a lot of time to better understand all facets of the trade. A NWFA certification is not easy to achieve. It requires testing of your knowledge and hand skills. It tells your client that the industry has recognized you as someone who knows what he/she is doing.
Most people equate skill level with experience. Often one of the first questions you’re asked by a potential client is “How long have you been installing, sanding and finishing hardwood floors?” Time spent working in the trade and valuable experience are two different things. Time spent working in a trade may help you improve your ability to work with the tools that you have always used and implement procedures that you’re familiar with, which means that you’ve gained efficiency through repetition.
However, there are many ways to accomplish a task. Sometimes what you’ve always done in the past may not be the best way to accomplish it. The education you receive as a certified professional gives you a broader understanding of the task at hand and will help you find the best solution. While experience on the job is important, training and certifications let potential clients know that you have kept up-to-date on advancements in the industry and have been recognized by the industry.
When speaking with potential clients, I inform them that an NWFA certification requires maintenance. I continually have to attend training events (either in person or on-line) in order to maintain my certification. Showing this kind of commitment to your craft says a lot about you professionally. A homeowner that is about to invest a lot of money on flooring doesn’t want to leave the installation of the flooring up to chance.
It’s important to instill a sense of security and confidence with potential clients. You want them to understand that a Certified Professional will provide them with the best possible result. An NWFA certification gives you an advantage in earning the client’s trust.