The Difference Between Customers and Clients and Why It Matters in Your Business
July 4, 2021

The Difference Between Customers and Clients and Why It Matters in Your Business 

Not only do we need to understand the difference between customers and clients, but we need to know how to turn customers into clients before we can focus our efforts properly. 

I was asked by one of my Power Agents® recently about whether it’s better to have the first meeting with a potential buyer client at her office, or at the buyer’s home. While it always depends on the circumstances, I always recommend that the first meeting with a new buyer always take place at the office, and I want to explain why.  

Setting Boundaries 

The first meeting sets the tone of the whole agent-client relationship. It’s the conversation where you cover what they can expect from you, and what you expect from them; you set the boundaries right at the beginning so that everyone starts off on the same page.  

This relationship isn’t like personal relationships where you go through the dating process and it evolves over several months and the boundaries develop. You don’t have that kind of time with a buyer, so that’s why this sit-down meeting is where you say, “Here I am, and here’s how I work. Does this work for you? Great, let’s work together with that understanding.” 

TIP: For more tips on setting boundaries with clients, check out this article by Young Law: “5 Strategies for Establishing Boundaries With Clients.” 

Moving from Customer to Client 

At this point, this potential client is still considered a customer, and this is an important distinction to keep in mind. Working with a buyer as a customer versus working with them as a client is like one of my favorite analogies. You have someone that goes into a shoe store looking to buy a pair of shoes. You show them the shoes you have in stock, and if they don’t like any of those shoes, they leave the store to go look in another store — that’s a customer. 

A client is far more than a customer. They are someone who you are going to coach and work together with in their search. You guide them, offer professional advice, and help them through the decision-making process. They are those customers who come into your shoe store and if they don’t like any of the shoes you have, they choose to make a commitment to buy shoes with you, and then you hop into your car and drive them all over the city to other shoe stores until they find a pair of shoes they love.  

The Importance of The Buyer Agency Agreement 

This is the difference between a customer and a client — when that customer decides to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement and commit to working with you, they become a client, and you will work with them in a more deeply involved way as opposed to someone who isn’t willing to commit to you.  

When a potential client refuses to sign this, they are refusing to commit to buying from you, and why put a ton of work into someone who is already telling you they probably aren’t going to buy with you? Let them stay your customers but focus your efforts on those who choose to be your clients.  

TIP: Don’t have a Buyer Agency Agreement form?

No Problem! Check with your brokerage first to see if they already have one they want you to use, or check out these templates to create your own! 

What’s Next? 

Are you ready to start taking things to the Next Level®? If you don’t already know what you need to do to get to your next level, we can help! 

Power Agents®, for more incredible strategies and useful tools, head over to the Buyers tab in the Classroom. Whether you need flyers for your listing appointments or ways to communicate your value, Darryl will help you get the skills you need to be the go-to agent for the buyers and sellers in your farm area. 


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