Imagine the stakes if there were only one customer on earth – the last customer.  What would the customer’s perspective be?  Do you think companies would act differently to win that last deal?

The last customer will choose whichever vendor or product they want.  The customer controls every aspect of the transaction, including timing.  This customer [rightly] feels they have as much time as wanted.

businessman-in-field

The Customer Wants

  • Uncomplicated – Is it easy to do business with this vendor?
  • Responsive – Does this company listen to (and act on) my needs?
  • Fair – Do I get more value from the purchase than the price of the product/service?
  • Long Term Commitment – Will this company pack up and leave after I make my purchase or will they support me after they have my money?
  • Fun – Why not?  Since I control when (and if) a transaction occurs, why wouldn’t I choose a vendor that is fun to work with?  After all, life is short and the experience (the ride) matters.

Companies competing for the last customer will try to figure out how to close the deal quickly so that they beat the competition and win the business.

Companies Must Determine

  • Pricing – How low will I have to price my products to win the business?  Will that be low enough to beat the competition?
  • Features – Do my products meet the customer’s needs?  Is it clear what our product costs?  What the product does?
  • Treatment – Do my business processes support the purchasing experience?  How we will support the customer?  Is it easy for customers to make the purchase?  In short, have we done what is needed to ensure the customer’s success?

Clearly there isn’t just one last customer on earth.  But if we pause to think of how each of the stakeholders in the purchasing transaction think and act, we can learn how to treat how to customers today.  The pivot point is that each customer holds the power of the “last customer.” They can choose.  Which ways does your company cater to customer needs in order to earn the business?

The Last Customer on Earth
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