You Can’t Always Charge Full Price For Everything

I’m a businessman. I love what I do, but I don’t do it for free. And I don’t expect others to either. However, I do expect to have an idea of what I am paying for. Especially if you deal with a visual medium, like websites or you are going to be managing something I can’t readily qualify, like PR. I was looking for a someone to design my website and I spoke to a number of great people.They had great words, but none of them gave me anything with which to connect. Just my own mental pictures, which history has shown is’t always the other’s picture.

There is a reason there are pictures in catalogs, because if you selling something meant to be seen, people need to see it. Especially if your describing a concept. Websites are concepts. In some manner suits can be as well, so I have to be able to draw out my idea for my sewers and my clients. Does this take time, of course it does, but it is necessary to get me to fall in love with your concept. Many business don’t want to take the expense of doing work they are not getting compensated for. They don’t see the big picture. In business this is called a loss-leader. You are basically doing work for free, or a reduced price, in order to gain business that will profit you down the road. It’s an investment in your success.

When I started William Wilson Clothing, I offered reduced pricing to specific people who could easily afford my suits. Why? Because having them as clients gave me credibility. Doing that for just one client gained me 3 more. I also donate suits to charities. This is not only a good thing to do morally, but it also gains exposure and brand recognition. All of these cost me in the beginning, but they paid off in the end. One of my best clients won one of my suits at an auction. He was so impressed with the quality and speed, that he continued to buy. To date, he has bought about 10 suits and 15 shirts in the last year.

If any of the web designers had taken the time to build even a quick mock up that I could have an emotional reaction to, I probably would have signed with them. But they didn’t. Sure they will have their reasons and excuses why, but at the end of the day, the end result is, they lost my sale and anyone I would’ve referred to them, because they weren’t willing to put in the sweat equity to earn my business. Same goes to the PR people I have talked to. None of them have given me a plan of action that they would take for my situation. They just tell me things that are possible. A lot of companies like to put the minimum into their client until they have a contract and are getting their money. Which is why, many of them are struggling.

Here is the takeaway for this. There is a reason dealerships let you test drive cars, why department stores have display televisions and appliances, why there are mannequins with clothing on them; to garner an emotional reaction. To allow you to visualize your self using the product. Can this be costly? yes. Is it effective? Absolutely. When people feel a connection or  emotional response to an item or idea, they will more than likely purchase it. Put in some sweat equity and give me something to fall in love with. Give me something other than words and proposals. Give me something to like, not just something to sign, and maybe we can do some business.

God bless and dress well,

William the Clothier

Do You Know Who I Am?

I hate when someone calls me out of the blue to meet with me because they want to see “how our businesses can work together”. Especially when they is no feasible way for us to work together. It basically comes down to they just want access to my client list. For those of you who feel this is a bright idea, let me tell you now. IT IS NOT! I deal with high profile clients that do not appreciate being solicited, especially to someone else. If  you ask me to do that and I don’t even know you, that further lets me know that you are not accustomed to dealing with highly successful, or high profile people.

But that isn’t what this is about. Today I’m talking about the geniuses that ask to meet with me, but have no idea who I am, what I do, or what I’m about. If you are going to request a meeting with someone, have the decency to do the research and get to know something about them. Nothing makes me feel like I am wasting my time more than sitting in a meeting, I didn’t request, and having to introduce myself. If you asked to meet with me, find out about me on your own. This isn’t a date, this is business. Look at my website, read my blog, look at my Facebook and Twitter updates. Find out as much as you can. This saves us both time, and potentially you a lost sale.

Business is about relationships. I won’t do business myself with people I don’t know; let alone introduce you to someone else in my circle. Now I’m not saying if you do your research you will automatically get my business. But I am saying that if you don’t; I guarantee you will not get my business. I don’t care if you are selling oxygen and I’m suffocating. I do not do business with people that are so disrespectful, incompetent, and unprofessional as to waste my valuable time requesting a meeting, but not doing their due diligence and preparing for it. Successful people don’t meet for the sake of meeting. We don’t fill our calendars with meetings, just to feel busy or important. We meet with a purpose, or we don’t meet at all. My time is valuable. If you don’t have enough professionalism to research the person, and company you are requesting a meeting with, you have no business meeting with them.

God Bless and dress well,

William the Clothier