Partnering For Profit

By: Brian Tracy

The way you can stand out from your competitors is for you to position yourself as a business partner, always looking for ways to improve your customer’s business.

Help Your Customer’s Business
When you deal with a businessperson, you can be sure of one thing: that person thinks about his business day and night. It is very close to him. It is dear to his heart. And if you come in and talk to him and ask him questions about his business, looking for ways to help him run his business better, the customer is going to warm up to you and want to be associated with you and your company.

Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
As a partner, you should always be looking to help your customer to cut costs and improve results in his or her area of responsibility. You should look for ways to help your customer in non-business areas as well. You should position yourself as someone who cares more about the success of your customer than anything else, even more than you care about selling your product or service. This approach to partnering in profit with your customer is a key way to differentiate yourself and to keep your customer for the indefinite future.

Practice The Reciprocity Principle
There is a principle of reciprocity in business that is extremely powerful. It is simply this: If you do something nice for someone else, they will feel obligated to do something nice for you. You should be looking for opportunities to go the extra mile, to do more than you are paid for, to put in more than you take out. By extending yourself, you improve your positioning in the customer’s mind and increasingly differentiate yourself and your company from your competitors who are after the same business. If you do this long enough and strong enough, you will eventually develop the partnership to the point where your competitors don’t have a chance against you.

Action Planning
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, think about how you can help your customer’s customer with your product or service. Take time to understand how your customer uses your product to do his business better.

Second, focus on increasing your customer’s profits and financial results. Show your customer that doing business with you is both satisfying and profitable in the long run.