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This episode is a business coaching course that teaches about the worth of a customer.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Ask Yourself: Am I treating my customers like assets?
  • Lesson Nugget: Think of the worth of your customers as the lifelong potential worth of them for your company, not just a one-time sale.
  • Lesson Nugget: A customer relationship can extend past what you are selling right now. They could buy from you--because it's you--forever!
  • Lesson Nugget: A sale is only the first realized possibility with a customer. There is so much value a customer can have beyond the sale if you maintain the relationship.


-All right. Now we're on to Move number 14. Again, everything that we're doing is-- we're talking with Jim Cathcart, the author of Relationship Selling. OK? So if you don't own this book yet, you need to because these are short episodes here. You've given us action items, but this is the place to go if you want to deep dive into it, isn't it?

-True. And we have a whole suite of training materials that expands on each of those. I've got e-books for each of the eight competencies in the sales cycle. All that, yeah.

-So this is just scratching the surface here. But what we're talking about here-- terrible sound of just scratching the surface-- 14, what is a customer worth to you? Now why is this so important for us to think about? Before we dive to far deep into it, why do we need to know what a customer's worth to us?

-Because most people only think about the margin on that particular sale.

-Like the actual dollar amount?

-Like, I get $200 for every unit I move. What's the customer worth to you? $200. Well, that's shallow thinking. And yeah, OK, they're worth $200 right this moment. But what's a customer really worth to you?

-When we have that mind shift change, what kind of impact does that have on our company, on us? What does that do?

-Well, we start seeing our customers as assets. And like I was talking about earlier, a relationship is an asset, and when you've got an asset and realize it's an asset, you treat it better. You take care of it. You protect it. You watch over it. You measure its progress. So that mind shift makes you much more attentive to nurturing each customer, getting all the business that you could get from that customer, by being helpful in multiple ways. So a lot of things happen.

-I love it. I'm going to go ahead and let you jump on it, and I'm going to jump on out. Here I go.

-Great. Years ago, I read a book by Carl Sewell of Sewell Cadillac in Dallas, Texas. And Carl was, for a while, the guy on customer service in the automotive business. And one of the things Carl had found, and had become phenomenally successful as a car dealer, and he grew beyond that to multiple dealerships. But what caused his success was he thought of every customer as an asset in a very big way.

Not just, how much did we make on this sale? Mm-mm. He thought of the whole thing. He said-- this was at the turn of the century, so the two zero, zero, zero, yeah, that one. OK. So Carl said, a customer, an automobile customer, typical automobile customer spends over $373,000 on automobiles in their buying lifetime. Well, today that number would be much larger than that. And there are some people in the world that spend that much on an automobile, a Lamborghini, a Bentley, a Rolls, something like that. A McLaren.

But your customers, in their buying lifetime, are worth a great deal more than the most recent purchase you got from them. So no matter what you sell, I mean even if you're selling candy canes door to door to raise money for the March of Dimes or whatever it happens to be, the customer's not just worth a candy cane sale and $5 that you got from them for the candies.

That customer, your contact with them is the beginning of a relationship. That could be a continuum-- they could say, aren't you the same young woman that, when you were a little girl, you came by here selling candy? I remember you. You were always so attentive, and so reliable, and I just really liked buying from you there. And I remember when you worked at that store later, and we did business there, and I always said, I want to deal with her. That was because of the way that you served me. So what is it you're selling now? And they just open up.

So look at it personally, and look at it business-wise. Each customer's an asset that could be a personal asset to you in your own career. They could be an asset to your organization. But what's a customer worth? Well, a customer's worth the profit on what they buy. Fine. That's obvious. That's like, look at a pen. What is it? It's a pen. Yeah, but it's also a writing instrument. It's also business jewelry. It's also a fine marking instrument, whatever.

Look beyond the obvious. Don't just look at the things you see. Think beyond the obvious. What's a customer worth? Well, customer brings me the business they do with me. By doing business with me, they become an example that I can use to tell other businesses so that I get more credibility with the other businesses. Aha. They could be a referral source. They could bring and refer other businesses and other customers to me to expand what I'm doing. Right?

What else could they be? They could be a center of influence. They could help me get better known in a community, better accepted in a particular market or sub market. I could get more credibility with more people because of them. They could say, hey, have you ever thought about selling your products in this way? And give me new ideas, so they're almost mentoring me, as a consumer.

So a customer's worth a lot to me when I think about all the ways a customer can be helpful. Customer can be my sales coach. They can say, hey, Jim? You know, I love what we're doing here, but last time you came in, you seemed kind of rushed, and you really didn't take much interest in my people. And I don't think any of them got it, how cool what you do for us really could be. So next time you're in, you might want to take a little time to make some eye contact, shake some hands.

That kind of feedback, man, when you've got a customer that's that much on your side, that's pure gold. So think of your customer as like a pebble in a pond, and all of these other things are manifestations of the value you could get by being of quality service and value to that customer. Customer's worth a lot, especially when you consider their entire buying lifetime.

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