What can decorators actively do to get noticed among the competition?
One sure fire way to stand out from the crowd is to create added value for your customers. While there are many ways to get your customers to appreciate you more, here are a few I considered to be cost-effective and efficient.
One area always worth exploring is your network. A network of your peers and services you utilize can offer you a wealth of information and help. Your ability to access this vast amount of knowledge also means that your customers have access to the same resources, through you. That's value added.
Another strategy is in-person visits. Today, everyone is communicating digitally. Seeing someone in person, albeit an ancient form of connecting, is a real separator. Looking at today’s society and into the future, how many suitors do you think your customers are seeing? What better way is there to get to know the decision maker(s) and anyone else who may have input in the final decision? Lastly, which is the best form of contact? An email, a phone call, or a combination? And as an additional benefit, who is going to be more memorable? The person that sent in one of the thousands of emails they received, or the one they saw in-person?
Becoming a reliable partner is also a method to add value to your business and for your customers. By being their partner, you will not need to go into business with them. Instead, you are making yourself their expert in that arena. By being attentive, responsive, keeping the lines of communication open, and having solutions when needed, you are making yourself a central piece of their growth. By knowing your customer and knowing their customers, you are positioning yourself to give them a quality of value with an opinion that carries weight.
One last category we’ll discuss is turnaround times. In this sense, when referring to turnaround times, I’m not just speaking of production but also customer inquiries such as quotes, suggestions, questions, and so on. We live in an “instant” society, where patience is a thing of the past and waiting is unforgivable. Set your systems up to respond as quickly as possible, keep working to improve them, and always respond sooner rather than later.
I hope these suggestions stimulate your value-creating juices, and if you haven’t tried any of these yet give them a shot. If you have, keep improving on them. Either way, let me know how things go, and if you have any suggestions to share I’d love to hear them.
Here’s to being worth your weight in gold!