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Never too early to find, cherish great customers

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As I was about to exit a local grocery story, I smiled.

Why?

Because next to the perfectly lined rows of shiny steel grocery carts were five mini-carts. They were designed just for children, who could accompany moms and dads on supermarket adventures. And attached to each kid-cart was a sign stating, “Customer in training.”

My initial reaction was, “That's a cute, clever marketing strategy.” And then, boom, it hit me.

Billions of dollars are invested in customer-service training. It's a focus area that I, too, speak, write and consult on. Yet I know of no seminars that teach customers how to become great customers. Until now!

Therefore, this is the first official declaration of my customer-in-training program. Now I'll teach you, your customers and clients how to become great.

Great customers and clients:

1. Honor their commitments.

2. Clearly define goals and expectations.

3. Quickly identify the real decision-maker.

4. Pay their bills on time.

5. Don't allow you to fall prey to their internal politics.

6. Focus on value and outcomes, not price and discounts.

7. Seek long-term relationships.

8. Desire advisers, not vendors.

9. Enthusiastically provide referrals.

10. Consider you a contribution, not an intrusion to their success.

11. Tell you the truth and never attempt to deceive you.

12. Provide honest feedback.

13. Respect your time.

14. Don't make you jump through hoops, unless it serves a purpose.

15. Respect candor.

16. Return phone calls and reply to emails.

17. Value your expertise and opinion.

18. Don't string you along with false promises or expectations.

How do these apply to your customers or clients?

If your mind and tummy tell you that you have one who is ungrateful and unprofitable, then politely and gracefully move on and don't worry about it.

Find and cherish great customers. And be a great customer, too.

Jeff Blackman is an Illinois-based speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. Email him at jb@jeffblackman.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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