Favorite Customers

Do you have a favorite customer? Have they been your favorite from the day that you met? Is it because they’re your biggest customer? Your best referral source? Your first customer? Your brother-in-law? How long have they been your favorite? Don’t share names or recognizable specifics, but we’re wondering….Does everybody have one?

7 thoughts on “Favorite Customers

  1. This is a great question. I do have some favourite customers due to various reasons. Some may have been big deals that I have closed, and some may simply be because I have built good relationships with the people involved in the decision.However there is one lesson that I have learned the hard way over the years. Just because they are my favourite account does not mean that I should miss any of the steps in the sales process. For example do not assume that if a customer has had the ability to make a decision in the past that they can do the same today. Things change over time, and even though they may be your favourite customer and they have been able to get a deal done in the past it does not mean that they can today in the current economy, etc. Maybe there was a management change, maybe their spending authority has changed, maybe there is a new team that has to be involved in the decision. If you get caught up in the “…they made it happen before, and can make it happen again…” type of attitude then you may find yourself losing business you had counted on. Great question, but wanted to share a lesson that I had to learn the hard way in the past :-).

  2. I believe everyone has a favorite customer, but we all have different reasons, depending on our personal motivators. In the ancient past (early 1980’s) I had designed a radically new product for a niche market that we served. After several months of lukewarm reception from most of the potential customers for the product, one of the smallest prospects made the decision to commit to our product. Shortly after, most of their competitors came to recognize our product. Very quickly, our first OEM customer became one of our smallest. But because they were the first to take a gamble on this radical new approach to their needs, they were always my favorite. They got special treatment anytime they asked for a favor.

  3. My favorite customers are the ones that are the most successful at using my service. Since I sell a service that requires my customers to spend time (not just money) in a mostly self guided training program and software product, not everyone excels at it. I’m good at figuring when people won’t get a return on the dollar investment. But, the ultimate ROI that they get on their total investment (time and money) depends on their time invested. The ones that get engaged and really take full advantage of what we offer, excel. And it also puts me in a position to collaborate with them, help them out a bit, give and get referrals.

  4. I run training courses and learning events for a living. Being based in the UK I was running a leadership training course for the European arm of a US owned company. The problem was, the program had been organized by the european people rather than US central team.The Head of Learning and Organizational Development came over to watch one of the programs – partly to ‘approve’ it and partly to run a critical eye over it. Nearly every initiative with this company historically comes from the US and gets rolled out to the rest of world – it ain’t meant to be the other way round!A couple of months later, this guy called me from out of the blue and said he was coming to London and would like to meet up. His suggestion was that he wanted to take the core of my program and co-develop it for a worldwide audience. Here I am some 18 months later. We co-developed a great program that has run several times in the U.S. along with Europe and Asia. The internal reputation of the program means we have a waiting list long into 2009 and we are just about to embark on the co-development of a new, advanced level program. He was also kind enough to write the foreword for my new leadership book and we have become friends as well as having a great business relationship. He is now my favorite client, for sure.And it all started from an observation visit that felt more like I was being assessed than lined up as a potential partner. It just goes to show, you never know.

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