It’s kind of a trend in our industry to label customers as enemies. Because that position is so nonsensical on its face, I have to believe these comments are really aimed at something else.
Certainly customers are like everyone else – they act in their own best interests. What does that mean? It means they’ll make decisions based on their own best interests, and they’ll seek the very best product, the most attractive terms and the lowest price available. In other words, they want to buy the best product for the least amount of money.
We all love customers who are loyal, and I can’t express the gratitude I hold for our customers. However, I also appreciate that if I provide superior value, my customers will reward me; but, if someone else offers more value, they will eventually take their business elsewhere.
It’s kind of a paradox – they care about us and they want us to succeed, but they care far more about their operation and their business; and those considerations will drive their final decisions. While we may have personal relationships with a lot of customers, they are rightly focused more on their own success and failure.
That means the seller, not the buyer, is the one who must adjust the product and the service he provides. Our customers want to have fun, they want to improve their genetics, they want marketing access and opportunities, and they want to be confident in our abilities and breeding philosophies. They want to make their life better by purchasing our product; in a nutshell, ensuring their satisfaction is our job.
If we don’t understand the needs of our customers, we’ll quickly be out of business. Thus, we should always strive to be focused on our customers and their needs. When you make a decision, pretend your customers are in the room and keep in mind what they would think about that decision.
-- Troy Marshall