I like nice people. I know the world isn’t full of them, and they mostly have no place in business, but I like nice people. Be nice to me and I’ll probably buy your product, even if it’s slightly sucky. Lie to me, and your business is history as far as I’m concerned. And last week, I put this into practice in a very curious way.

I was looking for Bouncy Castles, so I Googled ‘Bouncy Castles in Nairobi’ and ended up on this page. I skimmed and realised the prices were basically the same, so I looked for other methods to sift the wheat from the chaff. My first concern was contacts. They all listed phone numbers … and hotmail/yahoo addresses. Not good. I next checked for websites. Nada. I looked for anything else that would catch my attention – a pretty name, descriptive info, a dancing turkey, anything to give me a sign. Nothing doing. So I dialled the first number on the list. I figured if I didn’t like it, I’d inky-pinky-pon-key, or maybe just call them all.

The phone rung like ten times before it was answered, and I came that close to hanging up. When the guy finally picked up, he was professional and courteous. I asked lots of questions and he answered every one. I was going to ask where his office was, to see whether I could get a closer provider, but then he offered me a discount, which pretty much sealed the deal. I really like this guy.

The lesson here is that people will tryout the first service they see, so you need to be visible. If you’re on any list, you should be at the top. When your client drives by, make your pitch so good that they don’t want second opinions.

I needed an artist too, and after a bunch of great coincidences, I got two names. I thought I’d call them both, but instincts said to try the second name first, so I did. He answered his phone promptly and was very well-spoken. I like that. He took all of my questions, answered them immediately, and set up a meeting, though we ended up doing the whole thing online. He even gave me his plan of action and the project started right away. I gave him a deposit through Mpesa and he got to work. Everything was sorted in minutes, and I knew I was getting my money’s worth. I was quite happy with this guy. He has a nice voice, and some Google sleuthing suggests he works in radio …

A few hours later, I figured I should still call the other guy, just in case. I called and explained my project, and he suggested we talk it over on email, which was fine, except I felt a little brushed off. I was glad I’d called the other guy first. Still, I played it to the end, sent an email with my brief and everything. A few hours later, he replied, giving me the first guy’s number. Hurray for intuition!

The results of are phenomenal. He worked fast, he worked well, and I would gladly do a cartwheel for him. Please note that I don’t generally do cartwheels. The project was to build me a Manga character, and as you can see, the resemblance is uncanny. He did this piece too, and it’s truly my favourite.

Ladies and gentlemen, credit where credit is due. If you need animation done, Pointblank is the guy to call. I don’t think he has  a website … [or does he? I didn’t ask] but I can give you his details if you need them. For now, bow at his awesomeness and check him out on Facebook and Twitter. And yes, my hair really is purple – but only in sunlight.

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