Someone comes into your store (or you go to them), and gives you money in exchange for a product (or your services). Congratulations! You have a customer, right?
Here’s one small change in your thinking that could make a big difference in the amount of cash you get to put into your bank account: Don’t call the people who buy from you customers. Call Them Clients. What difference can this make? A Big Difference.
Why? Because these two terms imply two very very different types of relationships:
- The word Customer implies someone who buys something. It is a transactional relationship.
- The word Client implies a relationship where help is given. That help is given always, ongoing, consistently, over many years.
The word Client shows more respect and care given to the relationship. And that ultimately results in more sales and revenue over the lifetime of the relationship. These sales come in the form of repeat business, increased referrals and an increase in the amount of each purchase.
This shift in thinking also decreases the cost of getting new business. It’s always easier and less expensive to get new business and referrals from Clients than it is from Customers.
Without “Clients,” your business will go belly up. You’ll spend too much of your time chasing new “Customers.” You’ll spend a higher amount of money getting new “Customers.” You’ll burn out your energy and burn through your resources faster than Congress introducing a new handout program.
So start calling them Clients instead of Customers. Do it starting right now.
You and your Clients have long-term relationships. Have everyone in your company use the word Clients instead of Customers. Use it in all of your letters, post cards and ads. Use it in your conversations whenever you are speaking with them.
Client always infers importance. That goes a long way towards building long- term success.
Here’s a short story to illustrate my point…
I worked for a big, dumb company for several years selling advertising solutions to small, local businesses. No matter how hard I tried (over and over I told the CEO, vps of Sales and dozens of others in management how careless and downright stupid they were acting), the company stubbornly continued to refer to their advertisers as Customers instead of Clients.
That company’s stock price tumbled from an all-time high of around per share to less than per share in just a little over one year’s time, and then went bankrupt a few months later (and just shortly after I escaped the sinking ship).
Was their total business failure due only to their stubborn insistence on continuing to insult their advertisers by calling them Customers? Hardly. They famously mistreated their advertisers in so many more ways. And the company was mismanaged on almost every level and in almost every department in truly spectacular fashion.
But referring to their advertisers as Customers certainly didn’t help their cause. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake, or you may be headed for a similar disastrous fate. In your business, make the decision that you have Clients – not Customers.
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