Details matter. Maybe they don’t matter to you, but chances are they matter to your clients, or your prospective clients. And frankly, that’s more important than what your opinion is.

  • Will they notice that typo on page 3 of your proposal?
  • Will they notice you turn up 10 minutes late for the appointment without calling to explain?
  • Will they notice your breath smells of last night’s garlic prawns?
  • Will they notice your van is dirty?

The answer to these questions is YES! They will notice and what’s worse, they will give an unbalanced amount of importance to them. They may not even choose to go with you, even though you are obviously the better quality tradesman and have a competitive price. Not fair, right? Why choose someone because his van is cleaner than yours?

The reason is that the average person does not understand the technical side of your trade and so (pre)judges you based on things they DO understand. Like tidiness and courtesy. These things are what an Australian dentist named Paddy Lund calls, CRITICAL NON-ESSENTIALS, or CNEs. The little details that are not critical to your core performance of your trade, but are never-the-less critical to the success of your business. He discovered that CNEs have a disproportionately high level of influence with people on how they rated the expertise of his dentistry skills.

By paying attention to these CNEs he was able to raise his perceived skill level and therefore his prices and the type of client he attracted. He is now one of the most successful dentists in Australia, only will accept clients that are referred to him and works half the hours he used to for twice the money. Wouldn’t that be nice!

So what are the CNEs in your business and how can you systemise excellence in them?

Email me at to make an appointment with me to discuss how we can highlight your CNEs and make them part of your day-to-day success.

Andy Burrows

The Trades Coach