As I have mentioned before, my husband and I are working hard to get in better shape. One step he has taken is to hire a personal trainer.
In many ways, I feel like business coaches are a lot like personal trainers. Anyone who can help you set goals and get you where you want to be—simply and quickly—deserves the title “coach.” You pay him, you have to show up, and results happen.
Well, one day I was cleaning our home office and I came across the trainer’s business card. And I use that term loosely.
It was a business card in that it contained his name, title, phone number and e-mail address. But from my perspective, it was a disaster. He may as well have scribbled his e-mail address on a cocktail napkin or etched it into one of those Bud Light bottles with write-on lables
they were testing in bars (which I thought were really funny, by the way.)
He clearly printed it himself on lightweight cardstock. Black ink on white paper. Flimsy. Boring. And I thought to myself, “Dude! Have you never heard of Vistaprint?”
Because that is what Vistaprint is there for. For individual people and small-one person start ups to get started up. My Mom of Twins club prints cards with Vistaprint, usually for free. We use them to pick up other moms of twins at parks, the grocery store; you get the picture, right? You can get 250 cards printed free when you respond to an Evite, for god’s sake.
Here are a few further thoughts on this matter.
1. We should be glad Vistaprint is there, because it keeps these $20 orders out of our shops.
2. A Vistaprint user like the one above is NOT your customer. Now, when he opens up his own gym, hires a staff and expands, THEN he is your customer, so we can thank Vistaprint for helping to get him there. Because with a little thought and care, ANYONE can print up nice business cards, which in my world, everyone should STILL do, because it makes you look professional and polished. And that you care.
3. If prospects tell you they use Vistaprint for legitimate business needs, like brochures or other collateral material, I think you need to ask a few qualifying questions to decide your next move.
- What do they like about Vistaprint?
- What could they be doing better?
- What kind of insight and personal interaction do you get?
- What if there is a problem?
And if they double down and say they have never been happier, maybe it’s time to move on. There are other fish in the sea whose values, needs and business plans will line up better with your offering.
So let’s leave off with lamenting the existence of Vistaprint and the like. They do what they do, so now you go and do what YOU do, and find yourself another big fish!