What is the purpose of a business? Every time I ask this question during a business seminar, the immediate answer that I get back is, “To make a profit.”
But this answer is wrong. The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. If a business successfully creates and keeps customers in a cost-effective way, it will make a profit while continuing to survive and thrive. If, for any reason, a business fails to attract or sustain a sufficient number of customers, it will experience losses. Too many losses will lead to the demise of the enterprise.
According to Dun and Bradstreet, the single, most important reason for the failure of businesses in America is lack of sales. And, of course, this refers to resales as well as initial sales.
So your company’s job is to create and keep a customer, and your job is exactly the same. Remember, no matter what your official title is, you are a salesperson for yourself and your company. And the best way to increase your value as a salesperson is to build your customer base.
The two most important words to keep in mind in developing a successful customer base are Positioning and Differentiation.
Positioning refers to the way your customers think and talk about you and your company when you are not there. The position that you hold in the customer’s mind determines all of his reactions and interactions with you. Your position determines whether or not your customer buys, whether he buys again and whether he refers others to you. Everything that you do with regard to your customer affects the way your customer thinks about you.
Differentiation refers to your ability to separate yourself and your product or service from that of your competitors. And it is the key to building and maintaining a competitive advantage. This is the advantage that you and your company have over your competitors in the same marketplace¾the unique and special benefits that no one else can give your customer.
See you next week when Brian shares the second half of this article about relationship selling and partnering for better profits. See you here.
About The Author
Brian Tracy is legendary in sales, addressing more than 250,000 men and women each year on the subjects of management, leadership, and sales effectiveness. He has produced more than 300 audio/video programs and has written 36 books, including his just-released books “TurboStrategy” and “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.” He can be reached at (858) 481-2977 or www.briantracy.com.