Travis J. Vanden Heuvel
Important Customers: Say What?
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Contributed By: Dave Vander Bloomen
I recently found myself on the phone with one of my suppliers. In this situation, I was attempting to "pull some strings" and make a favor happen for one of my clients. It happens once in awhile, and I choose to work with suppliers that also see the value in offering some favors when able.
But on this day, and that particular time, I heard myself say it. I heard myself say something I can guarantee I've said before in this exact same situation. I heard myself say something that most of us are guilty of saying. Only this time, I heard it differently.
"I really understand what you're telling me, but you need to know this is for one of my most important customers. I really need this to happen for them."
That's it. Nothing crazy. Those of us with clients have said something similar on more than one occasion. So what is the big deal?
I caught myself as soon as I said it. "This is for one of my most important customers." My mind then said, "But aren't they all important?"
Wow! Why had I never thought of that before? I built my company on the foundation that I'm here for the small and mid-size companies, as well as the big guys. I created a culture that gives as much attention to the small company just starting out as the 1000+ employee corporation. How had I been allowing myself to consider one customer more important than another?
I instantly thought about how if we stopped ranking our clients by size or monetary income, how much different would our energy be spent? How would our attitudes towards new business change if everyone held the same value in our minds?
Of course some of your clients are going to spend more money than others. But does that make them any more important than another? No! It shouldn't!
Now I realize that at the end of the day, most of us are in business to make money. And yes, I understand it's more beneficial financially to spend more time and energy on those clients that increase the likelihood of taking in some bigger orders. However, I also feel there is a way to spend time wisely and efficiently, all while making sure each customer feels important.
Challenge yourself this month. Take a look at your customer list. Rank them by the amount of time you spend talking to them each month. Now flip the list over. Make it a point this month to reach out or to go visit the clients you haven't talked to in awhile. See what they have going on. They are important too.
David Vander Bloomen is the Owner and President of Branding180 LLC. They provide their clients with decorated apparel, promotional products, marketing solutions, graphic design, and so much more. David lives near Freedom, WI with his wife, 4-year-old son, and infant daughter.