From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Your Customer Network

Did the last lesson give you heartburn? Because it's entirely true, most companies are pissing away money on the wrong customers. And, now you at least know the difference and what to do about it.

Today you'll learn about the most important thing you can do with sales & marketing efforts to attract profitable loyal customers.

In the next issue, I'll show you one of the many ways you can become your customer's biggest competitive advantage. With this insight, you'll leverage the power of business relationships to make your company irresistible to your buying audience.

In my recent trip to Kinston NC (USA) I learned something I want to share with you. It's the one thing you must understand about your customers to have profitable business relationships.

Now this thing is a physical object that I can't give you over email, it won't cost you anything to get, but you must send me your postal address or you won't get it.

Until next time, I am wishing you health and wisdom.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. My schedule is filling up quickly for upcoming Washington DC (USA) visits December 30 to January 2; Toronto (Canada) January 3 till 6. Write to schedule some time to pick my brain.

Does Your Customer Feel Like Part Of A "Good Ole Boys" Network Doing Business With You?

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

What ever you do today in business can be copied, stolen, or completely ripped off tomorrow by competitors interested in stealing your customers? How are smart Sales & Marketing Executives creating the one thing your competitors can't steal?

The only difference between keeping the customers you have and attracting the customers you want is the relationship you develop with buyers. Do your customers feel a part of something special, something they can't get anywhere else?

Sales people in the trenches know how hard it is to take business away from a competitor who understands this secret. As an executive, haven't you heard at least one of the following excuses?

"They must be bribing somebody, that customer won't close."

"Can't crack them, they do business with {COMPETITOR}."

"They just weren't interested; they said they didn't know who we were."

"I just can't get in with the decision maker, they won't return my calls."

Every one of these excuses is used daily, but the one question sales people never ask is, "How can I be the number one choice of this customer, no matter what other options are available?"

The only thing in your business that can't be copied seems to be the last thing anyone wants to develop. It's the relationship, and here are some ways to position your company so that . . .

  1. Using your product or service puts customers in a special position. This position gives the customer a unique competitive advantage in their own industry, only for using what you offer. Could this be your responsiveness to support issues, how you setup the solution, or back-end strategic training? It's critical you do something that makes you a critical part of a customer's competitive advantage.
  2. Doing business with you gives customers special privileges or insights. What are you providing your customer intelligence they can't get anywhere else? Everything you know about your industry is of value to your clients, so why not share this with customers in a way that gives them strategic advantages or helps them get more from your products.
  3. What you offer clearly delivers distinct advantage. Beyond just providing an advantage, your customer must know exactly what it is about your solution that provides the results. How are you educating, demonstrating, or helping customers understand how what you offer works better? The more tactile the better.

In another article, I'll cover more strategies that create customer loyalty and position your company as the logical choice of your industry. But, remember right now . . .

These things will help customers attribute part of their success to working with you, and that is the only proof of loyalty available. This loyalty is earned with strong relationships, not your product or service. And, a strong mutually profitable relationship can't be taken away no matter how hard your competitors try.

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