Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

“The more things change the more things stay the same,” as written by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849 and sung in song lyrics by Bon Jovi, Rush and Mac Ayres (at a minimum). It seems never more true than right now. 2020 was rough and 2021 seems to be following suit to a certain degree. We aren’t all the way back to normal, but I see signs that we are headed in that direction, hopefully. Anyway, the Main things (according to studies), that drive homeowners to a business really have not changed all that much. The way we conduct day-to-day business may have changed, but not what people want to know about you.

People want to know what you do and where you do it
. On your website, social media and any other media you have – be it business cards, flyers, commercials, videos, mailers or whatever – list the types of work you do and the services you provide. List your service and work areas. You don’t have to list every little burg and town in your area. Something like the greater _________area or central___________(whatever state or city you are in). A general idea is great and tells people what they want to know. 

Consumers want to see a professional website. And, now more than ever, that website needs to be not only user-friendly but MOBILE user friendly. It should not only contain contact information but pictures and VIDEOS. It should be full of information about your business and give a very specific view into how your business works and what it can do for the people who buy your product or service. Think about a blog area updated regularly and an FAQ area as well.

Photos – people want to see photos. They don’t have to be state-of-the-art professional photos, unless of course you are a photographer. Before and after photos are great. They showcase what you did to transform a project. Before, during, and after photos carry just as much weight. Put photos everywhere, not just on your website. Photos should be all over your social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your Google page. If you are into videos, post those too. TikTok and Instagram are perfect for videos, but post them over all your social media. 

Make sure people know that you are qualified to do the work you do. Share license information. If you are a class A contractor or any other class for that matter, share that information. If you are certified to cut certain material, say it. Some quartz companies do certify stone fabricators to cut their material. Share the fact that you have been in business 5,10, 15 or 20 years, or whatever your longevity is. If you are an MIA member, say it. Consumers find comfort in stability.

Collect reviews. Everything now is about reviews and ratings. I personally don’t hire a company that has less than a 4.5-star rating. If I like the look and feel of a company and their rating  is below 4.5, I start reading their less than current reviews to see what the problem might have been and if they have taken steps to corrected it. 

Send your customers emails to encourage them to leave reviews but don’t limit yourself to one place like Google. So many places now have ratings.  Facebook, Houzz and Angie’s List come to my mind first after Google, and there are so many more places out there where consumers can leave ratings and reviews. If you don’t have time to collect reviews, there are companies that will do it for you (for a fee, of course). 

Publicly respond to your reviews. Thank the customer and invite them back. If you get one negative review, don’t let that throw you. See if you can work it out with the customer and then ask them to change their review. Plus, if you have a lot of glowing reviews, one bad review isn’t going to hurt you all that much. 

Boast about yourself. Not just how long you have been in business or the great work you do but about awards that you have won or public recognition you’ve received. Have you won any NARI awards? Put them in your showroom and add the links to your email address and website. Have you been written about in any regional or national forums? Put links of those as well on your website and social media. Below is my email signature. It includes our tag line, a link to an SRG article written about us, our member affiliation with different organizations and notices of different awards we have won. We will be changing it soon because we have more recent NARI awards and updated reader’s favorites, plus we recently received a HOUZZ award. Don’t be shy. Show those things off.  If you have done some charity work, spread that as far and wide as you can. Show off your good deeds. It’s all about consumer trust and confidence. 

We help people LOVE being at home

We help people LOVE being at home

Want to know more about us? Check out this link:

Have you downloaded our Free Stone and Tile Care Guide? 

2019 NARI CotY award winner in 4 categories

Voted 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 Best of Richmond for Countertops and Countertop Installers


Consumers are much more savvy these days than ever, and it is so critically important that you put your best foot forward. Just because times are a little different these days doesn’t mean that what is important has changed.

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at