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Without Customers You Have No Business
July 16, 2010
Written By: Pete Petersen

One of the most savvy business leaders I have worked with has a way of keeping business very simple. Over the years he has reminded me frequently that the most important thing in business is customers and without them there is no business. This all seems pretty elementary and straight forward but, as important as customers are; we find that many of the businesses we work with really don’t know much about their customers. Consequently they are missing sales opportunities or are making plans and decisions without any facts. There is lots of information about customers on the market to sort through but having a good solid leadership discussion around a few basic customer questions is often a good start to help better shape business direction. Here are a few starter questions we have used:

  1. Why do people buy from us? Is it because of our people, our products, our quality or our customer service?
  2. How do we get new customers? Do they come by referral, the internet or by word of mouth? How do we lose customers? How do we know?
  3. What is the profile of a good customer for our company? How many “good” customers do we have?
  4. What does a good supplier look like to our customers and do we fit the description?
  5. What is important to our customers? Do we know their direction, issues and concerns so that we can be their supplier of choice? How do we know?
Our experience is that taking the time to know more about customers, studying the facts and adjusting the game plan is a great way to gain an edge in a very competitive market.

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