HINT: It’s not who you think it is.
If you think your real customer is the customer in your store, or your client online, or a person reaching out to you, or whatever…
In the meantime: Who am I to talk about this?
- 4+ years in sales for a well-known multinational telecommunications company (in-person sales as well as making in- and outbound calls during COVID-19)
- Network marketing for a year as an “independent associate” (read: “idiot”) in Sydney, Australia in 2014. Fortunately, I didn’t have many friends back then. Otherwise, I would’ve alienated them all. Oh, and I also tried door-to-door sales
- Affiliate marketing between 2014 and 2017 with my own website; while working dead-end jobs on the side: barkeeper, courier, kitchen staff, store personnel, warehouse worker, e-commerce assistant, service staff, youth soccer coach, and prob’ly some more …Let’s continue:
While most of these jobs, if not all, were shit (never made much money)…
…they were priceless.
Why? Because they gave me one thing you cannot buy:
And that’s why, in the following, I’m going to share with you a basic but powerful perspective I got from working in sales since 2014—be it retail sales, telesales, network marketing, affiliate marketing, or even door-to-door sales.
Your ‘Real’ Customer Explained
NOTE: I’m not going to share internals. Everything I share can be found online by a simple Google search and by browsing social media and/or forums… nothing new under the sun.
One basic rule:
If you skimmed the intro, chances are you’re employed at a company (no matter the size and whatever position you hold). For you, there’s one basic rule:
Your customer is not found within your employer’s customer base.
He is found within your organization.
One step—or a few more steps, in most cases—ahead of you:
Please your boss. Cater to his needs. (Not sexually!)
Because your boss has to follow the same rules if he wants to get ahead; your boss’s boss is your boss’s number one customer.
Your boss’s boss has to do the same if he wants to advance his career.
And so on.
I don’t like playing this game, so I opted out.
- In network marketing, I wasn’t “my own boss.” The founder of the company was. It would have taken me decades to make decent money if any.
- In retail sales, I hated the fact that commissions were based upon team effort. Meaning, you can work your ass off and receive just the basic salary (because your team members were lazy AF). It reminded me of high school, where you could get a good grade even if you didn’t participate much in teamwork. You just had to be part of a successful group.
- In affiliate marketing, someone else dictates the rules. Same as for network marketing; you’re not in control. No further elaboration needed.
Kendrick Lamar puts it best in his song Hiiipower:
In other words: If you hate kissing ass, do your own thing (or marry someone who’s rich).
It’s the only way.
P. S. If you’re self-employed, then, yes, your ‘real’ customer is your direct customer. People who benefit from your work directly and pay you for it, in return.
This applies to service providers like freelancers, coaches, consultants, independent writers, et cetera. If, however, you’re an employee at a big company it’s a different ball game. Even if you’re on top of the food chain. Even if you’re the CEO.
Only the founder is removed from this equation because he owns the company and is in total control.