I often say of an old friend of mine that he would take the shirt off your back to give it to someone. A twist on the old saw.
It’s a lesson that impacts how I do business today.
You see, he’s a big people pleaser. A big salesman by profession. He would do anything for people. He is generous and magnanimous. Yet, he also has difficulty saying no to people.
He had a wide outer circle. Everyone loved him.
Though at times saying yes had a negative impact on the people in his inner circle. I know, I was one of them. It was almost like we had already bought, lol. His stretching too far, stretched and strained his close relationships.
My mind goes back to him when I think of why it’s important to tend to the relationships with the customers in our inner circle. After all business is done at the level of relationship. Our interpersonal experiences can teach us a lot.
(As to my old friend. Time and moving to another city have meant we don’t see each other regularly. Maybe he’s changed. Regardless, he always has a place in my heart.)
We spend a lot of time trying to attract new customers. But do we do it at the expense of the existing customers that keep buying from us? The allure of having that wide outer circle that loves us is so tempting.
It’s why I have an aversion to new user discount campaigns. The mobile operators are the worst at this. I guess it works for them otherwise why keep doing it. Its difficult for their existing users under contracts to leave them once they have bought in.
I believe while it’s important to create new user incentives – we should also do something corresponding to thank and reward existing customers. After all it costs less to keep an existing customer than to sign on a new one. So, we want to incentivize our inner circle to stay.
Otherwise, we run the risk that our existing customer’s satisfaction can wane over time. You might see that if you drill down in your customer satisfaction metrics to see if time has an impact on the score.
You want the enthusiasm for our products to outlast the renewal date. So, take actions to reward your existing customers to keep that enthusiasm going.
It reminds me of another old saying… Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.
Do you have other relationship lessons that impacts how you do business today? Food for thought!
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