February 2, 2014

Appreciation Marketing – Too Many Customers?

Recently, while discussing marketing with some attendees at a networking event, one of them said that their business had too many customers and didn’t need to market. Marketing is not a priority for their business, and they don’t believe that any change is needed at this time.

The people who overheard this reacted with quizzical looks. Several of them were shocked that anyone would make such a statement when customers are the lifeblood of any business. Many realized that this person had just engaged in marketing when voicing these feelings, but this was negative marketing.

Marketing is everything that you do from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning until your head rests on the pillow at night. It can be positive, intended to draw your prospects, customers, and others deep into a business relationship as engaged clients. It can also be negative, causing others to turn away from any relationship.

There are customers, prospects, and other people with whom you have no business partnership. You want other people and businesses to become clients, not customers. You have a business relationship with customers; you should have a business partnership with clients, and you cannot have too many clients.

Your customers should become clients, and your clients should have a vested interest in your business success. They should believe that your continued success will mean success for everyone. Cross referrals and support for new ideas and theories result from a client partnership. The great shoe and clothing company, Zappos, establishes a partnership with its clients and vendors, believing in everyone’s mutual success.

Some businesses have a season that is busier than the other times of the year, when they have a great influx of customers. Their professional practices and procedures are their best marketing efforts. The fact that they can handle a vast increase of business at certain times is a testimony to their customer service.

These businesses realize that the remainder of the year may be leaner for customer activity and that they must be productive during the busiest periods. These customers are a great marketing opportunity in that they bring other referrals to the business when their relationship is handled properly. Plus, these businesses anticipate this increased activity, and are not surprised by it. They are ready for it.

Return to the conversation that started this posting. Upon hearing a comment from anyone that they didn’t need any new customers, many observers would have stopped referring others to them. Why should anyone pass referrals to a business that does not want any new customers or cannot handle any increase in business? After all, referring partners have their own reputations to consider.

Remember that marketing is everything that you do, positive or negative. Every word that comes out of your mouth may influence someone who hears what you say. Make sure that your marketing reflects positively on your business and on yourself. Potential customers may not hear what you say, but possible referring partners might.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Let’s succeed together through partnerships.

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