In matters of pricing, patron relations and vendor-to-vendor interactions, our industry’s ethics in metro Detroit are evolving. Vendor ethics aren’t often discussed, but they’re there in every question we answer and every decision we make. It is up to us to hold each other, our clients and the perception of our industry to a higher level and to look out for one another.

Adhering to a handful of key ethical pillars can help ensure we serve our customers and our industry to the extent that they deserve. 

I’ve been asked how to respond when a client comes back with a cheaper quote and a request to beat it. This kind of price warfare doesn’t benefit any of us in the long run. Undercutting our own prices means compromising our business goals and our relationships with other vendors and consumers. Most importantly, it lowers the value of what we do in clients’ eyes. I have reached out to fellow vendors to let them know the client is asking us to beat their price. Giving a heads-up is always nice and informs that vendor what the potential client is doing. I may not want to work with someone that constantly gets quotes from others for a cheaper service. I want to be worth more; our ideas are worth it!

I wish I could take credit for this tagline. Attending a conference with this as the topic was an eye-opening experience for me and my team. We have adopted it and live by it. There’s nothing better for business than being great at what you do. Find your niche and master it. Dabbling in other areas just dilutes your business proposition and pits you against vendors who specialize in those areas. If we each stick to what we do and tap into our networks of industry professionals when we need them, we’ll be more likely to succeed together. Being a part of industry organizations allows my network to grow and me to recommend other trusted vendors.

How we treat each other matters. We can take care of each other by being mindful of our impact and looking out for others’ interests. Building relationships and connecting and recommending other vendors helps make things better for our clients and for our industry as a whole. ILEA and NACE are perfect for this. I learn new things from people just starting in this industry as well as from seasoned masters. Asking questions, giving advice and starting conversations helps all of us grow. Not every vendor is the best fit for every client; it is knowing who to connect to whom. Keep in mind there’s plenty to go around, so don’t be afraid to pay it forward.

By supporting each other, we can raise up the industry as a whole. Let’s take a stand for our industry and each other.

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