Where They�ll Be Most Effective
It�s not unusual for 70% to 80% of a firm�s cash business to come
from 10% to 20% of its customers � often referred to as
�A-customers.� Yet don�t confuse these customers as being only cash
What is an A-customer for your firm? Each business needs to develop
a specific profile of its best and most profitable customer. High
volume is a major ranking criterion. But be prepared to downgrade
the slow-paying big spender who consistently demands extra discounts
Take another look at your customer base. How many ��A�s can you
identify? Where are your potential ��A�s? What strategies can be
developed to keep them coming to you? And what can you be doing to
secure additional candidates? This is more than a time-management
exercise. It involves rethinking your overall strategic plan. Each
company must keep asking itself which client category is most
important for both short-term and long-term survival.
ideal A-customer is one who makes the most significant contributions
to your bottom line. This is where your barter customers contribute
heavily because their trade business is incremental business ...
extra business that can be especially profitable. It�s often the
frosting-on-the-cake, so to speak. Sometimes this customer receives
a lower level of service because he or she is not demanding, and the
business is considered �only trade.�
Yet, when properly analyzed, their business often places them up
there in the top category, because they contribute heavily to your
bring your employees (or team members) together and see how close
they can come to designing the perfect A-customer. Write down all
the criteria � it is important to your company�s future.
your imagination to develop this mythical entity, and you will make
some interesting discoveries. Plus you will develop a benchmark that
allows you to see your customers, whether cash or trade, in a new
Then you can focus your marketing efforts where they will do the
most good ... stabilizing and increasing your customer base by
adding more A-customers.