If you’ve been following me for some time, chances are you know that attaining a strong platform for creating predictable profits begins with a focus on creating the greatest advantage or benefit possible for our customers, clients, or patients.
After sorting through an onslaught of “Cyber-Monday” offers in my email box, I became increasingly frustrated by desperate attempts to deceive, lie, omit, and manipulate just to get a sale.
…and I’m not sure who is worse at this point… those people teaching you how to deceive or the deceivers themselves.
But it’s hard to point the finger at them when you’ve got a bunch of MBA’s preaching: “The purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value.”
So let’s clear the air.
The goal of business is to earn profit – it’s not the purpose of business.
As strategic entrepreneurs, we’re always trying to find more ways to help these people achieve a greater result through the use and application of our product/service…
And all along the way, I’ve been stressing the importance of changing the way you think about opportunity… and the way you think about value.
Well, here’s another way to think about things:
Marketing wizard Jay Abraham suggests we forget “customers,” and think of everyone we do business with as a “client.”
… you might be thinking that those words are supposed to mean the same thing, but that’s not quite the case. Jay defines the two terms like this:
Customer: One who purchases a commodity or service
Client: One who is under the protection of another
So what’s the big difference?
A “client,” when defined like this, is someone with an ONGOING relationship with your company. They aren’t just someone who bought something once or twice – they are someone “under the protection” of your company…
But what does it mean to “protect your clients?”
If you were to sit in on a get together with a bunch of sales people, you’d probably find them bragging by saying things like:
“I could sell ice to an Eskimo.”
“I could sell a glass of water to a drowning man.”
“I could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.”
And while these people might have been able to get away with this type of shameless tactic years ago – with social media, review sites, increased competition, and easier communication – this type of selling strategy (though still popularly used) is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, using Jay’s model of “protecting the client,” you must have a focus on providing an advantage to your client beyond just making a sale.
In addition to understanding your client’s needs and wants, true strategic entrepreneurs are passionately committed to the idea of “what other advantage could I give my client to get them closer to their ultimate result?”
This could be offering top-notch support long after a product has been purchased, having a customer (excuse me – CLIENT) enrollment program for savings on future purchases, or simply staying in touch with them long after an initial purchase has been made.
And this way of thinking runs through every aspect of doing business… If you are thinking of all of your customers as “clients,” you’ll be that much more likely to go above and beyond… to give them that “WOW” factor that will keep them coming back time and time again.
On selling shoes, Tony Hseih, founder of Zappos said:
“We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for. We didn’t want to just sell shoes. I wasn’t even into shoes – but I was passionate about customer service.”
What can you do to make sure your client is under your protection?
How can you meet (and exceed) their needs, even if they can’t fully articulate them?
When you can become a trusted expert, a source of comfort or information, you’re one step closer to becoming the go-to company for solving their problems – they will feel protected by your company… and they will keep coming back in search of that experience.
In your corner,
P.S. If you’re ready to create the go-to company in your industry, check this out.
P.P.S. Does this message resonate with you? If so, feel free to share to those in your network! If you also want to reach out and say ‘hi’ – I also read every one of your comments!