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Clients vs. Customers: Change Your Thinking

Feb 05, 2024

One business owner in our industry might be 100 times more successful than another business owner in our industry. It’s not because the one with more success is 100 times more intelligent than the other. They are not using equipment or processes that are 100 times more advanced.

The more successful business owner has a better philosophical strategy. They see the people they serve in a different way. Very few people talk about this but I’m going to let you in on this valuable lesson right now. You might notice from previous articles that I call the people we serve “clients” instead of “customers.” To see the difference, here are Webster’s definition of each:

Customer: A person who purchases a commodity or service.

Client: A person who is under the protection of another.

Whoa! Big difference, right? But the real difference is in how you could, and should, treat them. In the case of a customer, a business owner is looking to maximize and optimize the value of the transaction. The desired result is focused on the success of the business.

In the case of a client, who is under your protection, you are instead focused on what the client needs. Just like if you were protecting them like you were their personal bodyguard. You are looking out for what they need – personal safety and security.

Since business is all about creating solutions to client problems, you want to find out what your clients need, what results they are after, so you can provide those results. When you focus on their needs – and put them in front of your needs – you quickly become a trusted advisor to your clients. They will remain your client for a lifetime in most cases.

Your success and your income will follow the value you create for your clients and will be reflected by the relationships you have with them. Always focus on the relationship, and the money will follow. However, if you always focus on the money, the relationship will usually not follow. The path to success is clear. Now you know one of the key reasons one business owner can be 100 times more successful than another.

Have a great week!
• Dave


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