Why Your Best Friends Are Bad News

avatarSo why might your best friends make your worst clients?

Because the chances are they’ll have become your customers for all the wrong reasons. Before we look at the worst reasons, let’s look at the best reasons for someone to buy from you.

People should buy from you because of what you offer, how well you deliver it and how convenient you make it for them. If you can add value to their purchase by giving them more, especially if you can solve a tricky problem, so much the better.

You’ll notice that none of that has anything to do with what you want.

A friend, however, will very often be thinking about what you want, with the result that they might buy from you, even if they don’t really need what you’re selling and could get a better service with more convenience from someone else. They don’t really mind if you’re not giving them anything extra or solving a problem for them.

The reward they get is the warm fuzzy feeling we all have when we help someone we care about. In other words, they’re helping you, rather than you helping them.

The exact opposite of a healthy business relationship.

Now, a few easy sales when you first start are to be welcomed. If you’re new to business you’ll have a lot to learn and you will have to eat during that learning process, so I’d never say no to a sale at that time. But to survive in business you need to learn pretty quickly how to find and secure customers and clients for the right reasons.

Easy sales actually slow your learning process.

To thrive and get to the position with your business where you can charge premium prices you’ll need to learn how to deliver more, solve your customers’ problems and become more than just the supplier of one product or service. You’ll only get there by learning what genuinely delights your customers.