October 18, 2015

Customers and Clients

Last week we discussed how prospects may turn into customers, but should also become partners with us. These partners should be referral sources for us and should be people to whom we refer others. They are literally our partners in business, and our relationship with them becomes vital to both parties. Our mutual success is founded on our honesty and openness with each other and on the principles of karma.

As we attempt to develop prospects into customers, we discover others with whom we will never have as customers, but they still can become our partners. Likewise, we may never become customers of some other parties, but we can still be their partners. Who knows, that partnership may even revise our feelings or needs to the level where we do become customers, even clients.

Our intentions should be to develop prospects into customers. However, our work must not stop there. We must show those customers how much we appreciate them and their business. After all, they have put money into our pockets, and we should show them that we care about them, their own prosperity, and their business with us. Everyone likes to be thanked, even when we are the customer.

What is the difference in a customer and a client? A customer of a restaurant is welcomed into the restaurant, given the first table available and a menu, and their order is taken by the next wait person. The table may be anywhere in the establishment, perhaps even by the kitchen door. Their order is taken, and delivered, with little fanfare, no extra conversation, and no familiarity.

A client enters a restaurant, is greeted by name, is seated at a table of prominence, perhaps by a window, and the wait person brings them their favorite refreshment, announcing the specials of the day, but anticipating that they will order their favorite meal. Menus are not necessary unless requested, and the conversation is sprinkled with names and familiarity.

Our customers require reminders of what we offer to them, including add-on products or services, upgrades to accounts, and expiration dates. Clients are usually on renewing subscriptions, contact us as needed when their information changes, and are familiar with our offerings so that they often will upgrade their orders themselves. They actually want to hear about changes that will enhance their experience with us.

Both customers and clients may introduce others to us as referrals. Customers will simply pass names to us, perhaps telling the referred person about what we do and what we offer. Clients will refer people and businesses to us that are ready-to-sign prospects, after telling them about their great experiences with us. Both of these referral partners should be rewarded as to their level of involvement in the new customer.

Gratitude Marketing should be utilized to make customers believe that we really appreciate their business. Gratitude Marketing will turn customers into clients who actually love doing business with us. Which would you prefer, customers or clients? Or would you also want partners who share an interest in mutual prosperity? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

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