What Value Do You Add? By Mark Coudray

One of the common problems I hear all the time from t shirt decorators is “my customers don’t take us seriously.” In general, the public sees apparel decorators as “just another t shirt guy.” We must be recognized as the premiere  authority in our market or niche. Our credentials must be unchallenged. Our technical ability recognized  by the marketplace. Our reputation must go beyond our local market/niche to encompass everything about how our product is used.  But how do we accomplish this? We want people to recognize the opportunity to access  our skill set locally and to feel welcome in doing so. Part of accomplishing this involves how we address  risk or guarantee.  I know of very few printers who express a policy on guarantees. Yet, when you talk to any PTA mom in charge of buying shirts for the school, it’s the number one concern. They want to make sure they are making the right decision ingoing with you and they don’t want to be embarassed by making a mistake. We want our clients to know they’re welcome and that the business they do with us will be a positive “experience” they can talk about and pass on to others. Jay Abraham calls this “Preeminence.” We want to encompass everything about what we do and how we do it. We’re here to exceed the expectations of how our clients use our products and delight them with the final outcome. One of the  goals of Preeminence is to create a story that goes along with the experience. The easier we can make it to tell our story, the more word-of-mouth referrals we receive. This is important because a referral comes to us with a different expectation and a different mindset than someone off the street who doesn’t know us or what we do. Those individuals require much more time and effort for us to prove we’re who we say we are and that we’ll do what we say we’ll do. A second major goal of Preeminence is the role of authority. If you’re truly an expert, your aim is to completely educate and position yourself as the sole provider of the goods and services your customer is looking for. As such, you have an OBLIGATION to completely inform and educate your customer.  You want to become the trusted advisor. In the process, you’ll automatically establish yourself as different from all the  price cutting, low balling, fly-by-night competitors who’re continually starting up and closing down. The role of education is all about just one thing, education. This isn’t some hidden sales pitch. The commercial focus is minimal to nonexistant. Our entire goal is simple to build confidence in our position as an expert in the market at what we do.
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Industry presenter, author, and speaker. Over 300 published articles, columns and papers. Past SGIA Chairman, Parmele Award winner. Member Academy of Screen Printing Technology.

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