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

Loyal Happy Customers

Could have used the last lesson years ago; in my hindsight you learned how to rebuild damaged customer relationships even after you've done everything wrong. Mistakes will happen; I hope that lesson prepared you to turn bad experiences into new opportunities.

A common relationship "fix" in business to business is to use discounts or gimmicks to quell an upset customer. In today's lesson you'll find out why this silly notion just doesn't work, discounts and gimmicks just don't make happy loyal customers like some might think.

Your opinions are important to me; I'm interested in what you have to say on this topic. What concerns you most about rebuilding damaged customer relationships? (Reply by email or fax at +1 (877) 207-3798)

The month of March is about implementing business relationship principles. You'll learn what every manager must know about starting new projects, plus some things you'd wish you knew years ago.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. What can connect solutions to deep customer emotions while creating rock-solid loyalty? The things you don't know about emotional intelligence will hurt your bottom line. Learn more at "Developing Emotional Intelligence In Business With Three Steps"

How To Create More Loyal Happy Customers Today Without Discounts Or Gimmicks

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

If you want loyal happy customers, understand discounting doesn't work, and no promotional gimmick can keep this type of customer coming back .

Before you learn why, let's look at the definition of discount and what exactly is a gimmick . . .

Discount -- (1) The amount a price would be reduce to purchase a commodity of lesser grade; (2) The difference between a list price and what a customer pays;

Gimmick -- (1) A unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries; (2) An attention seeking device, usually dimensional, used in advertising;

Here is why discounts and gimmicks don't work in 90% of all cases in business-to-business sales and marketing . . .

When you discount, you program a customer to be motivated by price reductions, rather than other selling points of your offer. The "discount" is all the customer hears, every other reason for buying is thrown out the window.

If you program your customers this way, the only way they will buy in the future is by discounting. Never discount. It just hurts your margins and erases any perception of product value.

Unfortunately, sales people often use discounts to close an opportunity instead of actual selling skills . . . many prospects will respond to lower costs because they really don't understand what they are buying. Help prospects understand your value, and get their loyalty at full price.

How about gimmicks? You know those witty little specials you run throughout the year to get sales people motivated. Perhaps, themed . . . exciting huh?

Not really, because . . .

You're in the business-to-business world, not the corner retail establishment. Gimmicks also distract prospective buyers from valid reasons they should buy. Giving away an iPod´┐Ż doesn't create customer loyalty; it only produces temporary interest.

Yes, you will attract attention, but its attention being taken away from what your solution has to offer. There is a right way to use gimmicks too,

Customers attracted by a gimmicks and discounts, aren't loyal because they are easily lured away by a more terrific gimmick or discount . It's a quick race to the bottom, a poor foundation for a profitable customer relationship.

There are a few ways to use discounts and gimmicks to attract loyal happy customers, but almost every business-to-business firm does it wrong. You'll discover all the right ways by sending a self-addressed business sized envelope to: USING DISCOUNTS/GIMMICKS, Dept CK-0602B,PO Box 3123, Martinsville, VA 24115.

If you really want loyal happy customers, don't resort to gimmicks and discounts, how about present your solution in the context of a customers own interests. Use innate customer desire to attract their attention, lead with "what's in it for the customer."

Any company can give a percentage off, others can bundle in mugs and other gimmicks, but often this "smoke and mirrors" approach does more harm than good. Lead with what they get, that true real value for choosing your solution and you'll attract buyers who are more loyal.

© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ customer-relations | applying-strategy /

# # #
Inside Strategic Relations is for Sales and Marketing Management who want to turn business relationships into profits. Members read past issues at

Thank you for passing this newsletter to your staff and associates.

Home | Featured Articles | Glossary of Terms | Subject Index | Site Map | Editorial Calendar | About us | Contact us

Center for Strategic Relations, Dept IUN,
1123 Spruce St #3123, Martinsville, VA 24115-3123

24-Hour Phone/Fax Hotline: +1 (877) 207-3798

© 2001-2023 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Sitemap.