“The easiest customers to get are almost never the best ones.” ~Seth Godin
When Seth Godin speaks, this marketing expert listens. At least when he’s speaking volumes of truth.
Connie Jean came out of a networking group. Paid me well for the first project and sang my praises for about three months, and her attention lasted about long enough to to make me gravely sick. After a short while of “playing” in her network, I realized that she changed best friends like I change my underwear and her word was worthy of consideration for about an hour. Anytime after that it would be different.
It wasn’t that she lied to anyone. At the moment she said it, what she said was true, in her mind. But she changed her mind frequently. When the next designer entered the door of her group, THEY were her favorite, her best friends and her new playmate. Old playmates and network friends were quickly forgotten.
Connie didn’t realize she was fickle. But she also didn’t realize she broke hearts, ruined business relationships and in general built a dynasty of deceit. She loved her work, her groups and her ability to draw a crowd. Connie is what most marketers recognize as lovably dysfunctional, and the rest of the world refers to a ADHD.
Connie Jean is an easy customer. She’s everybody’s customer. She isn’t loyal to anyone. And her desire to be pleased, be the center of attention, and drive business is hindered only by her ability to maintain relationships. But, in her defense, no matter how many times she’s burned people, she manages to draw them back into her business relationships, because she’s really good at creating valuable networks. People go back to get more of the good stuff. She’s just a lousy customer.
So, what does that mean in the context of finding good customers?
Remember that good customer relationships take time and effort. If you find yourself in a networking organization where you’re the new product, have an exit plan. You won’t be the best in the west for long, the network leader is probably fickle and you’ll be moving on down the line. But don’t be afraid to build other relationships while you’re there. Those relationships will most likely be rewarding and beneficial.