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Paula Fargo

Just Show Up, Sign Company Owners

If you do, you’re already ahead of much of your competition.

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IN A PREVIOUS COLUMN, I mentioned that there are few things you have to get right every time, and one of them was, “Do what you say you are going to do.”

Doesn’t sound very hard, does it? Pretty straightforward, almost embarrassingly obvious.

You’d be surprised. Or maybe you wouldn’t be?

How many times have you been told a problem would be addressed, but it wasn’t?

That someone would call you back and they didn’t?

That a job would be finished by a particular day, and it wasn’t?

Feels pretty crappy, right?

I’ll bet you can feel your blood pressure rising right now, thinking about the last interaction you had with your cable provider, cell phone or insurance company, doctor’s office or tax authority.

Life seems to be increasingly fraught with these negative interactions. So, let’s take lemons and make a tasty summertime drink! If you are experiencing this, you can bet your bippy that your clients are, too.

“Showing Up” Takes Many Forms

Turn things around for your customers — show them what actually showing up looks like — and you will look even more like a hero than you would without all of the other negativity.

  • Be friendly when people call.
  • Take an interest in their project.
  • Give some good advice.
  • Offer a prompt estimate.
  • Make an achievable promise.
  • Meet or exceed that promise.
  • Provide an attractive product.
  • Follow up with your client.

Do that consistently, day after day, year after year, and see if that doesn’t put you head and shoulders above your competition.

Companies that are perceived as meeting their promises are more successful and profitable than their competitors.

What’s holding you back from just showing up? Folks, this is the bare minimum. If you can’t do that, maybe it’s time to hang up your SIGNSHOP OPEN sign and go find a job in the Comcast call center.

Paula Fargo is the owner of Curry Printing, a small commercial printing and sign company in Baltimore, and has managed tens of employees and satisfied more customers than that over the past 35 years. Contact Paula at paula@curryprint.com.

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