Vendor-Partner-Trusted Advisor

How would you characterize the relationship you have with your customers? Good. Bad. Average. Let me suggest a different continuum. On the left side is Vendor (someone from whom they buy a service or product). To the right of that is Partner (someone with whom they share outcomes—what is good for one is good for the other, at least that’s the goal). Finally, to the far right is Trusted Advisor (when they ask you penetrating questions about their business or you feel the right to speak into their business boldly).

Now, with that in mind, where would you put your existing customers on that continuum? Be honest. No one is looking.

Which are most profitable? Which are the easiest to service? Which do you want more of? Can a customer at one point be moved to a point farther right? If so, what would it take? If not, why is this customer where they are? How can you find more “right” customers?

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