If you have a business, are involved in commerce in any way, you have customers. Customers are the people who pay money for the products or services or combination of products and services that your business offers. [Even if you are involved in a barter-type commerce, each side of a barter or trade is the other’s customer.]
This is not news to any of us with small or home-based businesses. Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Without paying customers, there is no commerce. All businesses need and rely on customers.
- an automobile dealership: your customers are people who (1) purchase/lease cars/trucks from you, and (2) pay for the services that your dealership offers in car maintenance
- a grocery store: this one is obvious, isn’t it? Your customers are people who come in to purchase the goods that are for sale within the store
- a dentist: dentists are businesses also. Your customers are people who pay to have maintenance on their teeth
- the lady or gentleman who sells insurance, scrapbooking supplies, juice, cosmetics [and many more products] as independent distributors/contractors/consultants: your customers are people who buy your products and/or services
- all of the above are themselves customers of the wholesale houses/companies from whom they purchase the goods and services they sell
- an artist/craftsperson: your customers are people who buy and/or collect art and craft items – these customers include individuals and even corporation entities
- a consultantcy: your customers/clients are people who need the expertise your offer whether it be business-related, personal growth or other areas
- …The attorney needs clients; the physician needs patients; the actor needs an audience.
The question posed today is this: if you have a business — any kind of business of any size — are you committed to it to the degree that you are your own best customer?
What is a “best customer?” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a “best” customer is someone who:
- loves your product or service enough to be a repeat purchaser
- loves your product or service enough to refer their family and friends to you
- loves your product or service enough to look forward to improvements or new additions to your product line or service offerings…your best customer will usually be the first to purchase these
Are you your own best customer? Do you:
- use your own product(s)/service(s) on a consistent basis? [Even if your business is that of a “business consultant” do you use the principles and ideals which you offer your clients?]
- tell everyone you know about your products/services because you (1) believe they are the finest available and (2) you are genuinely excited about them?
- brand yourself with your business and vice versa? Does your car have stickers, banners, magnetic signs, window decals? Do you carry business cards, have a website?
It is my belief that one of the essential ingredients for success — especially for the independent distributor/contractor or consultant with a home-based business — is to be your own best customer. If those around you can see your enthusiasm for your product/service, can see that you believe in it enough to use it yourself, then you give credibility to your sales claims.