“Well it's freee. What do you expect?” This was something I overheard at a social event where there was complimentary food. The bread was dry, the salad was soggy and the beer was watery. Yet everyone's expectations were met. Is that what we have come to settle for? That when we do not pay for something that it is going to be sub-par?
Let's look at this another way. Imagine for a moment … Your brother-in-law is a carpenter. The family is sitting around the table for Sunday dinner. You mention that you would like to have your basement remodeled. Your brother-in-law enthusiastically offers to do it for you, for the price of materials and a few steaks on the grill. “Sweet!”, You say, equally enthusiastically. “Let's do it.” Nine months later, you're still starving at bare studs in your walls. WHAT ?!
This begs the question, should we charge full price for our products and services when dealing with friends and family? And if they do get a 'deal', and are not paying full price, does that give us permission to get stingy and slack off with the very people who could be (um, should be?) Our greatest supporters?
I believe that ANY TIME you are delivering your product or service, it should be done to the best of your ability. Regardless of the situation, do a great job, every time. Not just because someone may notice, or that that it's the right thing to do, but because it's the way to show people they can expect your best every time. Not just when it's convenient, or when you're getting paid top dollar. Every time. What happens then is that your best becomes what people expect of you, which is otherwise known as your REPUTATION. What an easy way to get a great reputation.
I have clients who do work for one another all the time. They do not do it as a trade. They do not skimp or take extra long to do the project just because it's for a friend. They do their best work. And guess what? They are also their best source of referrals for one another.
I like this quote by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon; “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” We recognize it on companies and brands, but do not always think about our own personal, or business brand.
What do YOU think? Is it better to pay full price for something to get the level of quality you expect?