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“God, I can get costumes way cheaper than that.”

I remember this particular morning I was cold calling potential customers. In all honesty there is a reason there is a high turnover in call centres but sometimes, as a new business on the scene, cold calling is the only way to talk to potential customers. I have met some truly wonderful people through these calls. I have also developed a thick skin. So, when this comment came my way I wasn’t nearly as phased as I thought I would be.

Be objective

When you design and create something you can be protective of it and somewhat defensive against all criticism. In order to grow as a person and as a business you have to learn to embrace feedback and be open to criticism. That does not mean you have to agree with it or even do anything about it. You just have to be open to hearing it, analysing it and deciding, rationally, if you need to take any action at all.

Not everyone is your customer

In this particular case no action was required. This person was not a potential customer. Instead of being offended by her comment, or question the viability of my business, it allowed me to move on quickly and not take up any more of her, or my, time. I was not going to spend time explaining that yes, you can buy polyester mass produced costumes that fall apart after one wash as compared to ours which are designed made with heavy weight cotton and are made to be durable. I did not need to explain this to her- she had made it clear that price was her most important consideration.

Everybody knows that quality costs money. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a lot more. It’s a completely rational fact of life. When somebody tells you that price is their most important consideration they are telling you that they do not care about the quality, the durability, the craftsmanship or the benefits they will gain from your products. They do not value the same things as you and you do not need to invest your effort to convince them otherwise.

I am glad I called that lady, it made me re assess my own conviction in the value of what we do and get very comfortable with the fact that not everyone agrees. We choose to focus on the people who do share our values and that’s ok by me.