2012 for me has been a whirlwind. Looking to step it up for my business, I reached out to both current and past clients to discuss their graphic design and printing plans for 2013. I met with one of my clients that I've created many of his business cards. When I asked what his design and printing plans were and how I can help, his response was "Well, why should I go with you? What can you do for me?"
It's took me aback for a second. I normally don't get that question until a client tells me what they need, especially if they're a new client, which this one was not. But, the question was interesting. I never had to sell myself before. My work and my personality seemed to sell itself. But businesses are dealing with a new day and age. You can get the rug pulled out from under you by the next guy offering a cut-throat price. Frankly, my best friend felt he was full of horse-pucky. He felt that my client wasn't interested in really working with me because he knows my services and that I'm willing to work with him, so asking that question wasn't necessary. "You can't do business that way," he said. "I have to speak with customers all day who need things. I'm not calling them up saying, 'You need this $18,000 machine because I should have it'. They let me know what they need and I go from there."
Both of them gave me some interesting advice and it made me think of what I need to focus on. I feel that still, after all these years, customer service still is lacking for a lot of companies. I am looking to focus on my customer service and how customers can get a hold of me (social media, email, phone, etc). I feel that when you offer a quality product that everyone else is offering, you have to look at what your competitor is doing right and wrong. It has been an eye opener all that I've learned in the process, especially learning that offering cut-throat pricing doesn't help your bottom line. Everything I have learned will continue to help me grow, which is my goal in 2013.
What do you think is more important? A provider who can sell themselves or one who is willing to work with you and help you in anyway they can?
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.