respect – a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Respect is a very personal thing to me. Being from the South, respect is very closely tied to honor and value. To show respect is normal and expected from person to person. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few we (in the South) observe.
- Holding doors for people as they approach.
- “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Ma’am” being appropriate ways to answer.
- Removing one’s hat when indoors or when hearing the national anthem.
There are many other ways to show respect, but for Lennis Design, there are a few that might surprise you. When customers visit with me they have an idea of what working with a web designer should be like. They’ve either worked with one in the past or formed their opinion by listening to others who have.
Either way, they aren’t usually prepared for my approach.
I spend time with customers listening to them and don’t get in a hurry to rush them along.
I’m often told, “The other company I spoke with gave me a price without even coming to visit, and here you are spending time with me to learn about my business before I’ve even paid you anything.”
My usual response is, “If I want you to invest in the Internet side of your business, I have to be willing to invest in you.”
Unlike most designers, I’ve been on the management side of business and people for quite a while (19 years as of this writing). I never put the business (money making) side of things on the back burner from a design perspective.
I tend to focus directly on the parts that make money and get less hung up on exotic technologies to get the job done. I think quality and availability are the two more important goals of design. Your customers can tell when something is written thoughtfully and shows you know their perspective.
If I can’t understand your business enough to sell for you then I’m probably not the right person to help represent you on the Internet.
Which brings me back to respect. I respect the time and effort you spent building your business to this point.
It’s not important whether you have a less than stellar website to start with – more importantly, you got started! You’ve learned from your experience and will make a better customer for me so I’m glad to help you with the next version. Some lessons have to be learned from first-hand experience.
My respect for you and your business is what pushes me to give you the best quality work I can produce.
Only another business owner understands how much you’ve given to get this far. Only another business owner knows what it’s like to be grateful to make no money, but have your bills paid. Only another business owner knows that it’s okay to lose 8 times out of 10 so you can win on the ones you didn’t expect to work.
Because I am one of you, I respect what you’ve done and want to help you do more.
Robert L. Brown