Why Customers May Not Take You Seriouslyby Rodney Tatum
Picture this scenario. I make the decision to start an upscale business. Realizing I need to inform community members about my existence, I decided to take action promoting my business. I walked up to a fast-food restaurant at 1 in the morning in a t-shirt posting a sign advertising authentic prime rib dinners on sale for $50 and steak dinners for $20. Considering the cost of premium-grade meat, I am disappointed that my extremely generous offer was not well received. A month later I vent my frustrations that no one wants to eat a fancy meal at a nice restaurant in my area. Another business owner asks about my research and marketing plan to acquire my target customer base. I respond by mentioning I try my best to spam garage sale social media pages where you look to purchase used items for cheap. Meanwhile, I am shocked to find out that there are restaurants charging over $100 for the same meal. I (might) investigate what is making this business more successful than mine. I may make a few minor improvements to my business operations. None of my changes involve time-consuming research, paid advertising, or sales (skills) training. I shut down my business within a year.
Many readers may find the previous paragraph humorous, but the sobering reality is I described most people starting a detailing business. So many people leave the workforce to proudly be in charge. Meanwhile those same people refuse to perform the minor responsibilities that come with being your own boss. Many people quit the industry a year or less later realizing this obvious lesson. Running a business is a challenge. Detailing is a niche, meaning establishing yourself is even more difficult. I am far from the perfect business owner. My mindset and business acumen has significantly improved in the past several years. But some issues I see from people struggling are obvious. On the surface the lack of congruence in how people present themselves selling higher-end services is obvious. Underneath that it reveals people who have been employees all their life, who are still acting like employees in the business realm. I would include even as detailers, the lack of effort to master and be knowledgeable about your craft, is palpable. There is no shame in the realization that you are not fit to run a business. Unfortunately, most people will skimp on the uncomfortable work that a business owner must do.
When you are shocked to find out we charge three to four times as much as you, there are several elements that are left out in your ‘it must be your area’ argument. We are licensed and insured. We likely have a real paid for website, without stock footage. We spent time networking with the community. We invested many hours to produce quality marketing content and reach specific segments of the population. We have paid advertising money for multiple social media platforms. We dress and communicate professionally. Our logo was produced by a real professional. We use high quality products that cost more money. We spend more energy focused on making sure we do not damage someone’s car than we do under stress to finish detailing quickly. We are not afraid or shy about saying the word ‘no’ to a customer. We are knowledgeable enough to explain what and why we are performing any detailing related activity. Many of us have paid for multiple trainings and mentorship programs to continuously master our detailing and business craft. Success did not come overnight. But everything I mentioned, a client has told me or alluded to, is a factor in his or her decision to choose me over another (cheaper) detailer.
Have you been shocked, skeptical, intimidated, or felt a general disconnect when someone posted a video on YouTube about their more expensive rates for a detailing service? Have you EVER taken the time to look at their website? Have you ever gone on a road-trip to visit an established shop to see how that business operates? Have you pretended to be a customer and wonder would you spend more than a hundred dollars on (you) a complete stranger?
Those people who tell you afterwards they found a guy that can do it for cheaper, they tend to not care about how you present yourself. Those that are less concerned with price have different criteria. But I am not referring to your before and after pictures. I am referring to your ability to present yourself in a way that customers will take you seriously. They want to feel comfortable with you at their home or leaving a $100,000 vehicle in your hands. They want to see you taking yourself seriously.
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