Inspiredesigner's Stimulus Plan: Getting people to loosen their belts

Ok. So technically, we are still in the middle of a recession. Bummer. No one wants to spend the money they have, people have lost the money they've saved. Futures are uncertain, hard lessons from the past are being learned. Many are losing their jobs, their benefits, their dreams...

So, as someone who sells things like artwork, high end decor, furniture, building materials, and all kinds of other things people don't really "need" how exactly do you convince people to buy?

Some companies are trying to entice shoppers into spending by offering deep discounts, financing incentives, or to beat the competition. But is that really what people are looking for? Maybe.

Or maybe they are looking for something they aren't finding most other places these days. Trust. People do not trust the government. They do not trust our leaders, our institutions, our bankers, our financial brokers. They have been lied to, decieved, taken for granted. What they need is for someone to do what they say they will do. Someone who can give them the best information possible, to follow through with a plan, and to make them feel good about their lives, regardless of any economic downturn.

As a designer, builder, architect, artist, or retailer, you have the power to do something all those other people cannot do. You can develop a personal relationship with your client. You can tell them what you are going to give them, and deliver. You can excede their expectations and create raving fans, rather than leaving them disappointed that they spent their money with you.

Now is the time to go above and beyond. Now is the time to tell your clients what you have to offer, why they should spend their money with you instead of someone else. It's the time to reassure the client, to think outside the box and go the extra mile to make them happy. They may not spend as much as they would have a year or two ago, but they will spend what they will with you! Not only that, but if you make a client happy now, when they most need it, don't you think they will come back and spend more when the economy bounces back?

So, if you want to keep doing what you are doing, then do it well. Do it better than you ever have. Smile more. Listen closer. Send thank you notes. Go out of your way. You may just be able to do more than "stay alive" through the recession...you just might thrive.