First of all, what is the difference? Is there a difference? Absolutely!
- A customer has no ties to you. A client values your relationship.
- A customer buys on price. A client appreciates your value added services.
- A customer is buying what you are selling. A client is buying you.
- A customer does not think about you beyond the transaction. A client invites you over for dinner.
- A customer does not tell anyone about you and is reluctant to give you referrals. A client tells everyone about you, and is giving you referrals unsolicited.
- A customer is naturally suspicious of you. A client naturally trusts you.
Pretty clear differences, right? So who would NOT want every customer to be a client?
How do you turn a customer into a client?
- Keep the customers’ needs above your own.
- Show your customer that you value them as clients by thanking them, keeping them informed, being honest with them, and giving them the extra service above and beyond what is required.
- Stay in touch with your customers. Follow up after the sale and make it more about relationship than a sale.
- Do what you say you are going to do on or before the time that you committed to. Under promise, over deliver.
Clients are more profitable and a lot more fun to deal with because you are dealing with someone who is emotionally invested in you, not just buying from you. When we begin to develop clients instead of customers, it changes the dynamics of business.
Are you making it easy for people to do business with you? Have you paved the way for relationships? Think of customers as a rough trail with a lot of potholes you have to avoid. On the other hand, a client is the Autobahn. I don’t know about you, but I will take the latter. Here is to seeing you in the fast lane.