I just tried to hire a photographer. She was recommended by a friend and her website and Facebook page didn’t suck, so I reached out. I sent an email using the ‘info@…” on the website and received thoughtful a reply the next day (with no signature line). After a short exchange we set a time for a phone call. So far so good.
At the appointed time, I waited a good ten minutes for her call. I checked her email – no phone number. But using a phone number buried on her website I got a recording that said – get this: the Mailbox was full. Apparently I accidentally dialed a previous decade. Not so good anymore.
So, I sent a polite email that triggered a call. She apologized and said a shoot had run long and let me know that she needed to fix her website and disconnect the old phone number I had called…wait, what? You are telling me this in the first ten seconds that you don’t know how to maintain your website, that you have a phone number that doesn’t work, and you have done nothing about it? Do go on.
The photographer’s contribution to the conversation never really made it over to my side of the phone. She talked about what normally happens in photo shoots, but didn’t ask me a single question that would help her understand her subject and potential client – me. This is not working out.
OK, I cut solo-preneurs a lot of slack and reset my opinion to neutral. I explained who I was and what I was looking for hoping she would rebound. Nope, she just proceeded to tell me that her estimate was 2.5 hours of time and her price was about one-third of what I was prepared to pay. She even said, “I know I’m cheap.” Here’s the thing, based on our interaction I was not about to pay her ANYTHING.
But I would have paid her three times her rate and here is ALL SHE HAD TO DO:
- Have a professional email signature with a phone number
- Call at the appointed time or let me know that being late was a possibility
- Ask me a few questions about myself
Granted this is all she needed to do from the customer perspective. I bet there are a million things she knows to do but doesn’t have time for. But, how long would it take to do the things that would make a dramatic difference?
How are you killing your pipeline? Are you so focused on delivery that you can’t find time to do three simple things that the customer cares about? And, if you have employees, then the potential obstacles to new business are multiplied exponentially.
I could triple this photographer’s business in one year with simple, inexpensive fixes. What are your growth expectations? What is ten percent growth worth to you? Why do you believe that the solutions are hard? Let’s talk about it.
Wait, here’s my phone number: 214-704-7018