There are different types of prospects. Who do you want to do business with, customers or clients? Customers are the people who are looking for the quick, cheap deal. They will never be long term clients, and they certainly will never be business partners. Customers will buy from you if you have the lowest price, but would jump to anyone else who will accept a lower price than you do.
Customers may refer someone to you, but they usually don’t listen to whatever someone else may need. If they don’t know what anyone else needs, they cannot refer them to a business to solve those needs. These customers might only refer business to someone who has given them something free to gain their business. They will definitely jump to the next free deal or to the next low price.
Clients will buy from you at a fair, maybe higher, price if they believe that they are receiving value for the price. They understand great customer service may be as valuable as the product or service that they receive. They do not negotiate each and every order and might be on a recurring order basis with you. They understand what is required to make sure they have a continued, reliable, source of their orders.
Clients will refer business to you because you have provided a reliable supply of products or services at a fair price. They also know that they will receive the same great service each time that they purchase from you. A client understands what it is involved to provide your offerings to them without having to renegotiate the price each and every time. Clients listen to your advice and know they can trust your judgement.
Business partners may be clients but are more than just a client. Business partners readily refer business to you who may also be your business partners and not just customers. Business partners will offer advice, solicit your advice, and have a vested interest in your continued business success. You enjoy doing business with them.
Would you cut a special deal for a business partner? Of course you would. The bargain that you give to a business partner is a reward for their continued relationship with you. You may discover a lower price on your raw materials, or you may find a situation on which you may partner with them. It is the special opportunity, not the norm. It is not because they have bargained you down in price so that they get something for nothing.
Business partners are the people who you have come to know, like, and trust, and they feel the same way about you. You practice Gratitude Marketing, and so do they. You may each purchase from the other, but that is not a requirement. Business partners are much more than customers, may or may not be clients, but will always be devoted to the networking relationship that you both have helped build.
Which do you want? Do you want customers, clients, or business partners? Do you know the difference, and can you recognize each when you first meet them. Which do you want to be, and what do you do to become a partner of another business person? It may very well be up to you to lay the groundwork.
What do you think about when you network and market your business? Is your business attracting the right person that actually helps your business grow? Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 to let me have your thoughts.