David: Management Guru Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of business is to create a customer.” Does that mean just selling stuff or is there more to it than that?
Chris: (Laughs) Oh, it’s just selling stuff.
David Yeah, it’s just selling stuff… that’s it.
David Hi, and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about the idea of creating customers. Welcome back, Chris.
Chris: Hey David, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. You know, in a way it seems obvious that business owners and salespeople need to be creating customers, but that doesn’t always appear to be the focus does it?
David: No, it really doesn’t. I think we lose sight of this and that’s why I think it’s an important topic to talk about because this idea of creating customers is just so critical to business owners, to salespeople, to anyone who is in the profession or anyone who is required to grow a business, that it really can’t be overstated. When we think in terms of creating customers, there’s just such a distinction. If I make a sale to someone, then technically that person has become a customer of mine. But again, if the goal at that point is simply to sell them something and that’s happened, well now it moves into the past. And so from my standpoint, the idea of creating a customer means you’re finding someone who is likely to come back to you again and again and again and is essentially going to serve as an annuity to grow your business, because you’re going to know that over a period of weeks, months, years, that this person is going to help to contribute to what you’re looking to build and you are certainly going to look to contribute to what they’re looking to accomplish.
Chris: It seems to me, and I can speak from experience; that one of the hardest things to do is to create that repeat sale, to create that business relationship. And I think it’s so easy for businesses to say, ah, let’s just move on to the next one. And then they start feeling guilty about not staying in touch with the customer. What’s the secret sauce of creating customers versus just making a sale?
Schedule a Strategy Session
David: Well, if you start with what it is that you want to accomplish, and you go into each relationship with the idea of creating a customer, then a lot of your actions will naturally follow. But if you're just going in with the idea of "I need to make this sale today", you tend to think more in terms of product. You tend to think more in terms of the things that you have to say and the responses you have to get, as opposed to thinking about the person and how can I help this person to achieve their objectives? Because when your focus is on them and identifying their needs and how you can help them with their needs, you become far more valuable to them. And as a result, you're going to become a far more likely to create the value they need, where they're going to want to come back to you again and again and again. You can't force people to do it. The only way they're going to come back is if they were happy with what you did the first time. So in a lot of cases when we're initiating contact with someone for the first time and we're giving them an idea of what we're going to be able to do for them, they're having to take us on blind faith. They can look at testimonials if we have those on our website or whatever. They can hear what other people have said about us in the past, but until they've actually placed that first order with us, it's all just kind of hearsay to them.
David: So, getting to that point upfront where you create that relationship where they feel comfortable enough to play that first-time order with you is a big step. Once that happens, then you have to be able to deliver. So it's not just a matter of I said all the right things and you placed an order, but I took the order, I processed the order correctly. You got what you needed, it helped you accomplish the objectives you set out when you decided to buy the thing. You feel good about it. Now you're going to be a lot more likely to come back. So, repeat business and this idea of creating a customer is far more than just our marketing. It's far more than just what we say or how we say it. It's really about how we live our lives, how we live our business, and those are the things that are going to determine whether or not somebody is a one-time order or an ongoing client.
Chris: And I think that the really big point is, you said earlier, we're focused on them and as part of our focus on them, we're going to do things that are gonna help to generate that next sale. But we're always focused on what's best for them and how we can help them. And after you've got past the trust of building the first sale, then it's about maintaining it, isn't it? And doing it authentically.
David: Yeah, it's about maintaining the relationship, the business relationship in a way that is appealing and beneficial to the person that we're interacting with. That's really the core of successful customer creation. Establishing a relationship where they feel comfortable with you, they feel confident in your ability to deliver and they would just never consider going anywhere else. One of the things that we talk about in our Total Market Domination course is the idea that once you've achieved that level of top of mind awareness where someone is completely comfortable with you, they're completely confident in you. Then when they're ready to place an order for the products and services you offer, there's no question where they're going. They're not going to be looking around. They're not going to be looking at ads for other businesses. They’re going to contact you first. So what that means is your competitors don't even have a shot at that business. And when we look at the idea of market domination, that's what we mean by that. It's creating an environment in which your very best prospects for the products and services you offer, know who you are, know what you do and want to do, choose to do, business with you over every other option available to them
Chris: Because they feel like they're taken care of, like you truly are authentically concerned about them and what's best for them. Man oh man, the difference between that and your standard generic cultural story of what it means to be a salesperson, right?
David: Yes. And they're doing it because they want to. Right? That is a key, critical distinction. They are doing it because they want to, they're choosing to come back to you because you've demonstrated to them that you do business the way that they would like to have business done.
Chris: And it's so simple and yet we lose focus on that all the time. And I totally appreciate your ability to bring that back. You know, it's so easy to lose sight of that in this day and age and it's probably been that way for time immemorial but being that person that you would want to be buying from, it's so important. But here's the thing, realistically, isn't there more to business than just creating customers, David?
David: Yes, obviously there has to be. There's an operations side to things there. I mean, there's all kinds of things that go into business other than just creating customers. But I think the point that Drucker was making when he said it, is that if you fail to create customers, you have no business. So all the other functions that are required for business are no longer required if you don't have people to serve. So to me, I interpret it as a priority thing. If you lack the ability to consistently create customers, then you're not going to have a sustainable business. And if you start that out as your primary focus each day, what am I going to do today to continue to create customers? And of course continuing to maintain the relationships you've already established, then you're going to be on much more solid ground.
Chris: And the bottom line of any business is if you don't have consistent sales coming in, it may not be sustainable. But let me tell you what it's going to be for sure is stressful. This is probably why a lot of people really do lose sight of what it means to create a customer is because they don't have enough sales coming in the door to feel comfortable to be able to do the things that we're suggesting be done to create that solid customer - sales, sales, sales, in the nicest, most authentic way, wouldn't you say?
David: Yes, and so many businesses feel that stress that you're talking about and they exhibit that stress in terms of not being able to get rid of clients who are not good for them, no longer a good fit. When they don't have a process in place for generating new clients like clockwork, then there's always going to be those levels of stress because they don't know where the next prospect or client is going to come from. That's why the whole idea of being able to create that environment in which your very best prospects know who you are is so critical to success.
Chris: To total market domination, right?
David: Yes. Some people don't love the term, they think it sounds a little too whatever over the top, but when you really think in terms of what it means; it simply means that the people who need to know who you are, know who you are. They have the ability to make a thumbs up or thumbs down decision on whether or not they want to do business with you and you have the ability to make the same decision about them. It's a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.
Chris: Well put. Total market domination in the most authentic, most enjoyable way that you can think of it, where you're just perceived as this person that knows how to be of assistance and how to help, and also has great set of products that contribute to that.
Chris: David, a big piece of this goes back to the way we define a customer, doesn't it? And you said a minute ago, you know the joy of picking customers that are a good fit and really focusing on them. Talk a little bit about how to define a customer.
David: There's been a lot of discussion in the past among salespeople about the difference between a customer and a client. I tend to view the terms pretty much the same thing. If somebody is a client, it does imply a longer term relationship. It implies an ongoing relationship. Whereas someone could have been a customer with your business three years ago. They haven't bought anything since. So does it mean that they're a customer now? And to me the answer to that question is no. But for purposes of what we're talking about here today, in terms of Drucker's description of creating customers, my view is that he's talking about people that you're going to have an ongoing relationship with. So, the type of person that I would normally refer to as a client, I believe is what Drucker is talking about in that quote.
Chris: So David, if customers can be created, doesn't that imply that they can also be destroyed?
David: It's just like matter. Yeah, now we're getting into scientific stuff. Exactly. Yes! It's absolutely true. If customers can be created, they can certainly be destroyed. And there's probably not a business owner or a salesperson who's listening to this podcast who hasn't inadvertently either destroyed a business relationship or had one destroyed because it was destroyed by the other side. So yes, and they're constants like the universe, new things constantly coming into existence and old things eventually passing away. So yes, it's very Zen in the sense that it just continues. It's the eternity of life and the eternity of business. Yes, they can absolutely be created. They can absolutely be destroyed. And so as business people and as humans, our goal is to try to maintain the relationships that should be maintained and to release the relationships that are no longer serving either party. And that's really just another sort of law of life and business.
Chris: And I think it's a really important point from the standpoint of really not saying destroy customers, but do yourself a favor, have enough of those sales coming in that you have the ability to say, you know what, customer B, you're just not a good fit. And let's get you pointed in the right direction and out the door and that is another incredible feeling that you can have, that you're really doing business the way you want to do it with the people you want to do it with. And having those sales coming in steadily gives you that ability to let go of the people that really aren't just a good fit.
Chris: Let's talk about the action steps. Let's review what we've just covered and what the action steps should be, David.
Action Steps for Creating Clients
- Think Long Term. Identify those you would like to be involved with.
- Focus on Customer Creation, not just closing sales.
- Identify Your Strategy for creating customers. Where will you find them? How will you approach them? What will you say and how will you say it?
- Schedule a Free Strategy Session and we'll walk you through this. Click here to schedule it now.
David: Okay, so first thing when you're thinking in terms of creating customers is really think long term. Identify the people that you would like to be involved in a business relationship with for as long as possible. When you identify that early on, you're going to be a lot more likely to want to maintain those relationships. If you ever run into a prospect that is ornery, uncooperative, doesn't show up for appointments, things like that. Ask yourself if they're like this before they're a client, how are they going to be afterwards? And then make your decisions accordingly. Choose the types of prospects that you would actually like to have. Second thing is you want to view the creation of customer relationships as just that, the beginning of a relationship. It's not just about making the sale, it is about creating a relationship that you're going to want to sustain; and then the third thing is to think in terms of how you're going to do this. Where can I go to find these customers? How am I going to approach them? What's going to be my initial contact with them? How am I going to nurture those relationships? Obviously that gets a lot broader and a lot deeper. That's the type of thing that we cover in our Total Market Domination course. If you'd like to discuss that and how you can implement strategies like that in your business, you can go to topsecrets.com/call, set up a strategy session with us. It's absolutely free and we can talk about what you're looking to accomplish in your business and see how we can help you to get there
Chris: And it's free. Let's just not lose sight of that. That's a free call with Topsecrets.com. David Blaise, tell us what's coming up on our next podcast.
David: Okay, in our next podcast Chris, we will be talking about attracting bigger clients. It's something that everybody wants to do. Everybody talks about, let's get into how to do it.
Chris: I like it! Thank you, David. We will see you on the next podcast.
David: Thanks, Chris!
If you're tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, be sure to check out my latest web presentation entitled Programming Clients to Choose You. Who are your very best prospects currently programmed to buy from? Is it you or someone else? If you want it to be, you, visit topsecrets.com/choose and register for the free presentation now. That's topsecrets.com/choose.