When being a partner with you is not your customer’s best option

Recently I wrote about establishing a ‘CARING PROGRAM’ which fosters a mutually beneficial relationship for you and your customers. As sales/business professionals, we are always seeking ways to increase sales in ways that maximize our efficiency. Understanding our customers through such a CARING PROGRAM just makes things easier, right?
Let’s look at it from the customer’s perspective. Getting locked in with you is not always their best option. Why is that?
Because with such a lock-in, they may become dependent upon you. And, as the supplier, you may become complacent. As a result, you might not offer those customers something of value (perhaps a new product or a modification of an existing offer) that could really help them, simply because you’ve lacked the motivation to do so. Now the customer has missed out on something because their loyalty has tempered your incentive to change things up.
As the supplier, you may be getting fat, dumb, and happy with your loyal clients. Perhaps you start to “mail it in” rather than providing your best service attention. Confident in their loyalty, you no longer feel the need to earn their business. As long as you pass that annual review, you are golden.
But what about innovation? Are you offering them the best every year? Are you looking at what new things might improve their results? Are you thinking with their best interests in mind? Or are you just using what you did last year, engaged in a process of rinse and repeat.
Many savvy customers understand that they might be sacrificing something if they agree to work with you. But they expect something in return. If they are going to stay with youyou’ll need to work as hard for their business in year four as you did in year one. A CARING PROGRAM is not an excuse to offer less than your best.
Your customers always have a choice, whether you consider them as ‘locked in’ or not. Don’t let them down!

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