Clients vs. customers

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Jan 6, 2009 2:05 pm

I'm curious, as a few of the posts here have referenced "customers" as opposed to most of us who use the term "clients."  How do you see those terms as different, or is there any difference?  If so, how do you handle your interaction with clients, vs. how you interact with customers?  Does it differ based on the type of investment you're recommending (insurance, annuity, planning, individ. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)?  Just curious...

Jan 6, 2009 4:45 pm

If I ever refer to a client as a customer to their face, it will be the most embarrasing moment of my career.  A customer is someone that walks into Dominos and buys a pizza and you never see them again.  A client is someone that trusts their financial future with you and think of you as the go-to guy any time there is a financial issue that they need clarity on or need help reaching their goals.

Jan 6, 2009 4:50 pm

With that said, there is a definite difference between a client and a customer in our books.  The client is exactly as described above.  A customer is that guy who only buys tax free bonds from you, but has his trust at the bank.  Or the guy who only buys stocks from you and doesn't want to sit down and do any of that fancy financial plannin' stuff.  As long as he has enough money to buy his beer, he's all good.

 
I would guess we all call them clients to their faces and to our friends.  However, I would venture to say that the majority of us who are still trying to build our businesses have way more customers than we would really care to think about or admit to.
Jan 6, 2009 4:59 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

With that said, there is a definite difference between a client and a customer in our books.  The client is exactly as described above.  A customer is that guy who only buys tax free bonds from you, but has his trust at the bank.  Or the guy who only buys stocks from you and doesn't want to sit down and do any of that fancy financial plannin' stuff.  As long as he has enough money to buy his beer, he's all good.

 
I would guess we all call them clients to their faces and to our friends.  However, I would venture to say that the majority of us who are still trying to build our businesses have way more customers than we would really care to think about or admit to.
 

Very good Point Spiff
Jan 6, 2009 5:12 pm

I've had two customers in the past five years and fired them both.  Clients...I keep.

Jan 6, 2009 5:45 pm

Well i'm a rookie at Jones, most of my "clients" at this point better fit the definition of a customer, but tell 'em I told ya!

hopefully as time elapses that will change,
but at this point I'd settle for an office
Jan 6, 2009 6:58 pm

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was running newspaper ads back when we had a bunch of those step-up agency bonds at AGE.  They were yielding well north of 6%, if I remember correctly, when cds were at 3ish or 4ish, I think.  Got a bunch of business from it, but it was interesting to see what happened with all of those accounts.  I call 'em yield whores, because I don't think a single one of them has stayed with me.  Product-oriented customers, vs. relationship-oriented clients, I guess.

Jan 6, 2009 7:09 pm
2wheeledbeemer:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was running newspaper ads back when we had a bunch of those step-up agency bonds at AGE.  They were yielding well north of 6%, if I remember correctly, when cds were at 3ish or 4ish, I think.  Got a bunch of business from it, but it was interesting to see what happened with all of those accounts.  I call 'em yield whores, because I don't think a single one of them has stayed with me.  Product-oriented customers, vs. relationship-oriented clients, I guess.




Lemme guess...It worked so well that you quit doing it. Been there, done that.

Jan 6, 2009 7:25 pm

A customer buys a product.

A client buys you.
 
Nothing is wrong with a customer.  You just want to know that you have one.  With a customer, you put them in a draw and if they call you, you talk to them.  Otherwise, you don't spend any time.
Jan 8, 2009 11:09 pm

Banks call clients customers...so I guess that will be our new term for them lol!

Feb 26, 2009 7:29 am
anonymous:

A customer buys a product.

A client buys you.
 
Nothing is wrong with a customer.  You just want to know that you have one.  With a customer, you put them in a draw and if they call you, you talk to them.  Otherwise, you don't spend any time.




Great definitions by the way I have never thought of the difference -Customer / Client,,,,but surely there IS a difference,,

Mar 9, 2009 9:35 pm

back in the 80's, the airline I worked for had a revelation that we would call those who travel "customers" instead of passengers.  While I explained this to my staff of 20 or so who reported to me directly, one good ole boy redneck spoke up and said, the plane crashed with 110 passengers on board....not one customer perished in the crash.

 
Clients are the way to go.