You should choose your customers based on those that are “value minded” and appreciate your efforts to supply them a high value product or service. By Gary Shotton #000191
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here in Kampala Uganda in East Africa. And today we’re going to talk about value minded. You know we’re going to talk about the customers. Your customers and deciding who and what customers are a good fit for you. And suggest that you get rid of some customers. Is that possible? Yes. You should fire or move away from some customers and refuse to do work for them. Would that be true? Yes.
Let’s talk about the value minded person. First, I must mention that you could line up any group of people. Any group of anything. And just divide them into different subgroups. And I’m going to divide the general customer base into three major groups just in thought pattern. I’m going to call the first one the premium minded. You know these are great people that are usually very affluent. They’re very wealthy. For whatever reason oddly enough, I’d usually say that the premium minded people are generally a second or third generation in a very successful legacy, but these are the people that don’t mind spending money. They don’t mind. And it’s fine. They’re going to fly first-class. They’re not going to go to a foreign country set on an airplane for nine hours, 15- or 13-hours whatever length without being in first-class.
You know that’s fine, but I’ll tell you the difference between coach and first-class could either be the difference between $1,200 and $12,000 that’s quite a bit of money to be premium minded. That’s a customer that you know most of you are not going to try to rub shoulders with. And most of you listening in this starting and getting started you know unless you’re supplying to them some service like mowing their grass or doing their landscaping you know I’d still be careful with that customer, because you know when they’re premium minded; I watched and they’re very tempted to just move around without loyalty to their suppliers.
Group number two would be those that I would call cost minded. You know they’re the entire other end of the spectrum. And you need to know these groups because if you don’t understand these groups, you’ll make a mistake and maybe be catering after somebody that really doesn’t meet you and meet your company. So, you know the cost minded person (I don’t want to be derogatory here) but you know they’re going to buy the China made shoes. The China made plastic where anything made the cheaper, they could possibly buy it. They’re going to compare and just look at cost. Just based on cost. This is the cheapest thing I can possibly get. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten cents more or ten cents less, I am going for the cheapest. And so, you know these costs minded people I would probably avoid again. Because you’re going to be competing with things and other people, I call it like grubbing down for the bottom of the barrel. You’re going to be working your tail off trying to be the lowest cost supplier to these customers. And you know it’s just not worth it. You’re going to be competing against somebody right down the road that’s also lowest priced. It could work but at the end I suggest that not be your target.
My target is what I call the value minded customer. The valued minded individual. And that individual is somebody that’s going to look at a product or service and determine that you know for money I’m paying this is a fair value for my meal, for my transportation, for my room of my hotel, for my airfare, whatever it might be. They’re going to say this is a fair and fair value minded product for what I pay. That’s who I focus on. We have three big customers. And we appreciate the teamwork that we have with them. We appreciate that they are value minded. We appreciate that when things change, we can come to them explain why our price maybe have gone up slightly. With them being value minded they understand that they’re not looking for the absolute bottom dollar.
One time with our biggest customer about two years ago one of the buyers shifted his attitude and went to the lowest cost supplier on a family of parts that we had. And you know that family of parts when you added up the annual sales was seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And this one buyer shifted their attitude. General attitude with my customer was value minded customer. But they went to the cost minded. And they went and determined that they could get this part this family made in a foreign country for twenty five percent less what I was being paid for. You know I had to look at my numbers. And I had to determine. You know that family apart went away we did not make those parts for about 15 months, and we all were kind of betting, almost anticipating, almost joyful inside that we thought that would come back to us. And sure enough, that supplier that was a value supplier, bottom dollar providing that family of parts the lowest cost couldn’t keep the quality. And after about 15 months we got the phone call and my customer said they never apologized that’s not in characters to them. They said but could you start making those again? And fast? And we did. We were happy to do that.
Let me give some examples of value. So, we’re a value minded supplier to each one of our customers. And frankly, we have a few new customers that’s one of the considerations. Are we just a cost minded supplier to a cost minded customer? Or are we a value minded supplier to a value minded customer? And we’ve now had a chance to look at about five new potential customers and we found two of them, that in one case on the second order when we quoted it we gave them a price and they said you know, you actually have priced it too low. We’re going to go ahead and give you the order but here’s the value that you should be charging us. We’re going to increase the sales price. That doesn’t seem to happen very often. That’s a value minded customer. We can be loyal to them. We can be dedicated to them because we can talk when there’s problems, and there’s issues, they’re not going to fly away just because our cost went up a little bit. And so that’s what you’re looking for.
You know, I’m standing outside a restaurant here in Kampala Uganda and when they’re showing the menu and they’re showing their plate of food that’s going by I think the slogan is where your money gets you more or something like that. And you know that you can see it. They’re providing a generous portion of food for a very fair price. I just got a cup of what’s called americano coffee. And here you can see a picture of it, and you’ll see that they didn’t pay for it but this a small cracker, a small gingersnap cracker that came with my coffee. They’re wanting to show me that they’re a value minded customer. You know that’s happens back in my home state, my home city, there’s a couple restaurants that man every time I go, I say I’m coming back because I got such a value for my money. Now if I take my wife out on an anniversary or her birthday or something like that, we’re probably not going to go to that restaurant. But we’re going to go to another restaurant that has a much higher environment and cost, but I still want a fair value for what I pay. Every place I think is this a fair value. Value minded. You might want to think is this something you have a customer base that’s full of any one of these groups? I suggest you move to a value minded customers and be a very value minded supplier.
Well, thanks for listening. I hope these are helpful. It’s an honor to be with you. And just please share these Inspiring Better Business.
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