Who’s your customer?

“A customer is anyone whose passionate support you require in order to achieve your mission.”

As a speaker I travel a lot. I work all hours and many times I can’t be there when my family needs me most. I count on my wife to carry the load and thankfully she does (and does an amazing job at it!) Just imagine where my speaking career would be if I didn’t have her in my life to support my dream. Imagine where my relationship with my kids would be.

Often times when someone asks us about our customers we think of the people we sell our product or service to. But what about all those people who play a role in supporting our dream? People like our family, our vendors and our referral network. Aren’t they really our customers too? When you think of your world, whose passionate support do you need in order to be successful?

You see, most of us have a strategy for the customers who buy from us. We have ways of acknowledging them, thanking them and letting them know how much we appreciate their support but those who indirectly support our mission often get forgotten or overlooked.

I remember years ago I received a bonus from Microsoft; it was $1000 USD tax free. When I received the money I thought about putting it in the bank or paying down a bill but instead I went to the jewellery store and bought my wife a diamond pendant. You see, I knew who was really responsible for my success. The next morning when I gave it to her I cried, she cried, but it was a spontaneous moment that defined how much I cared about her supporting my dream. I count on my wife to accommodate my needs. I count on her to support me without condition and I hope and pray that she will still welcome me in her arms at the end of each day. I am very clear that supporting me can be a lot of work. It can be tiring, it can be thankless and I am sure there is a time that she would just love to say no.

Do you have “customers” you need to be acknowledging and thanking? For example sometimes we take vendor relationships for granted. We assume that it’s part of their job to support us but I have had plenty of opportunity to see how nuturing and investing in vendor relationships has allowed me to break rules, get the inside track and have a much easier time being successful. Remember it’s only natural to help and protect those you care about the most.

Take a moment to think about all those people whose passionate support you require to achieve your mission and find a way to say thank you. Your investment in time will undoubtably find you more business; create you more opportunity and make being in business a lot more fun!

Curt Skene