These days, I'm working hard to save my customers and partners money.
I'm not cutting my speaking fees or discounting my consulting, either. I firmly believe that when you focus on price, you start down the slippery slope to the no-profit zone. Instead, I am focused on reducing my costs to customers and partners.
For example, I've trimmed back any luxuries on the customer's dime. No more first or business class, unless it is a bargain. In fact, Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue are looking pretty good these days. No more upgraded hotel rooms, standard works fine for me. Yesterday I drove my car to the airport, because it will save today's customer $100.00 over a taxi or car service. The meal I had last night was under $20.00. Etc.
This sends a signal to my customers that "we are in this together". By cutting my costs to the customer, I'm helping them get by with less during these tough times. That is one of the most socially responsible habits we can develop over time.
For my partners, I'm cutting back on requirements that cost them money too. Gone are overnight packages (ground or regular mail now works fine). I'm happy to receive all communications via email, so very little paper or plastic needs to be bought or shipped. Additionally, I'm NOT asking any of my service providers to cut their prices either. I want them to remember my loyalty during this period for a long time. By looking out for their bottom line, I'm preserving my business eco-system.
I say all of this because we seem to be so focused on OUR bottom line, and as a result we've started to squeeze our partners and customers for every dime we can. If they don't survive, how will we? I truly believe in "The Law Of Interdependence" — our success depends on the success of others.
How are you helping your customers and partners save it forward? Post your innovations under comments so all of us can continue to innovate in this area and make a difference.