“An Overnight Success After 30 Years of Hard Work.”
In The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell points out that some businesses toil away for many years and then suddenly, one seemingly small event causes what looks like an overnight success. That small event without the foundation of positive events over the years would have meant nothing.
Things Can Tip the Other Way Too
Shortly after starting Success Dynamics in 1991 I launched an ad campaign in a major business oriented publication. I paid a premium for the upper left hand corner of page two, and for 10 years placed different ads in that spot every week. I used an advertising agency, a PR firm, a graphic artist and a professional writer to create fresh dynamic copy weekly. The phone didn’t ring once, yet I continued to justify the cost. I Looked at it as institutional advertising, my billboard if you would to let people know that I was here. Every year the price of my spot went up ever so slightly while the magazine became ever so thinner and thinner. Then one day I received a notice of another price increase for the same space, and I cancelled the entire ad campaign. It was a reverse tipping point.
One Too Many
The sales rep called me to see why I was quitting and I told him, “You keep raising the price for the same amount of space, and I see less and less value.” He began to scramble, reminding me how many people are looking at my ads, and that the price increase was menial; only a few dollars more than last year. I said, “Well that makes it that much dumber to try to squeeze a few more dollars out of me instead of going out there and finding new advertisers.”
I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Don’t take your customers for granted! The price for my services has increased over the last 20 years, but I have never, not once, gone back to my loyal existing clients and asked them for any more; not a penny. They have appreciated this and have sent me more new business than I could have ever received by raising my prices to them.
DON’T DO IT!!!
I belong to an elite Honolulu business club. As a member, I have seen the service and benefits decline in recent months and have heard that they are in need of new members. Today I received a lengthy email from the club extolling their virtues, none of which have been evident to me, and then down towards the bottom came this paragraph:
Should I, or Shouldn’t I?
As I was asking myself that question, I received an e-mail from a friend and fellow club member saying something like, “That’s it, I am resigning my membership.” Another tipping point. The amount of the increase was nominal, the negative impact was monumental. A loyal, long time customer feels unappreciated. Sad! As for me, I am still undecided, but I don’t feel as good about the club as I did before.
It’s NOT About the Money!
Anyone who belongs to this club has plenty of money, but it is money that was earned the old fashion way; by doing a better job, not just asking customers for more of it. It’s a principle thing.