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4 Ways to Tell Your Most Valuable Clients From Your Biggest Time Wasters The size of their order is not the only factor to consider when determining which clients merit special thanks.

By John Rampton Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


It is important to remember that no two clients are the same. A few will give you huge profits, more than a few will bring you nothing but headaches. Over the past month, my company Due has been separating our most valuable clients vs our not-so-valuable (bottom line) clients into different groups. This allows us to focus extra time and effort towards the clients that are making our bottom line grow.

Companies like Lowes and Home Depot have previously spoken about the impact of customer service. The companies saw a major bump in their sales as a result of improved customer service. Several other studies have also shown the importance of customer service.

It's a given that customers would be more interested in buying from a company that offers excellent customer service, compared to a company that takes everything very lightly or offers a poor experience. Some customers are even willing to pay more for good customer service, leaving no reasons for businesses to not invest in it.

Even though companies understand the importance of customer service, they are not always able to provide the needed support or service to their clients. When you're online, it is all about delivering value to your customers. However, companies often fail to do this due to a lack of available resources and sometimes due to poor planning. After all, how many customer service agents can you have?

In such a scenario, it becomes important to evaluate your customers and mark them based on their importance.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

Focus on revenue instead of sales.

Do not judge a client based on the amount of sales, but on the profits he brings you. The formula is to subtract cost from sales. This way you would know exactly how much profit a client is bringing to you company.

It's important to concentrate on profit and not on volume of sales, especially if you're selling different products. Since the profit on each product is different, a client is more valuable if he purchases a product with more markup, even if he buys it in less quantity.

Customer's "ability to purchase' is another factor that comes into play with this stage. Once you know your customer's ability to purchase (affluence level), you can easily put them in brackets and also market accordingly.

Related: The 80/20 Rule of Sales: How to Find Your Best Customers

Referral value of clients.

There's no marketing better than word of mouth. A client who brings you more clients is more valuable than anybody else, even if they are not your biggest customers.

Encourage clients to bring in more clients with some perks, such as $10 off your next purchase for every client you bring. Some companies also use a point system where clients earn points for each successful referral, allowing them to convert the points into money or products after reaching a minimum threshold.

Note: In today's digital era, clients who leave you positive reviews or create a buzz online are also considered special. Marketing has evolved over the years and most businesses are now using online marketing to generate buzz.

The client 'age.'

When we talk about your client age, we mean the duration for which he has been a customer. Clients who have been with you for years merit special attention. Taking such clients for granted, neglecting their needs, risks losing a long-term client and gaining a reputation for unprofessional conduct.

Client retention is cheaper and more important than client acquisition. It's important to tell your old clients you value their business. Offer them discounts or send them a thank you email just for being a loyal customer.

It's all about doing well by being nice. A thank you email that makes your client feel special is your best marketing email. Around 54 percent of all emails sent are for marketing purposes, but when you mix it up with a thank you note, your chances of getting leads turn higher.

Related: Why Gratitude Is Your Key To Customer Growth and Retention

They're low maintenance.

Customers who know what they want and don't need much after-sales service are very valuable. They allow you to concentrate on other, needier customers.

You can find all this and much more about your customers by paying a little attention to them. It's important to keep a list of all your customers with factors such as average order size, the number of orders per month etc.

This way you will be able to easily compare your clients and reach a sound judgment.

While it is important to tell apart your MVCs, remember that nobody should ever feel neglected. If your other customers begin to feel "less privilege' you would start to lose business.

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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