Thought Leadership + Practical Advice

The Dangers of a Transaction Mindset

Customer Frame Blogs_Blog 3 - Do you have a transaction mindset or a relationship mindset when it comes to your customers?_Pete + Sueanne_Featured Image

Last week, we talked about transactions vs relationships with customers

+ how when times are good, businesses can often inadvertently switch to a transaction mentality, just to get the sales processed + the paperwork done.

But how does this impact how your customers feel about you? How does it impact them coming back? 



Remember our automotive client?

His industry is going gangbusters at the moment. Sales are literally walking through the door.

There’s little ‘time’ for relationship building because there’s so many customers + so much work to do.

But why should he care? Why should he even try? For every customer that walks out without a sale, another five walk in the door!

Because relationships underpin everything. Relationships are what sees them coming back again, spending more money more often + telling everyone they know about you.

What does that mean? Less money invested in marketing, less discounting, less chasing the next sale when things get bad again.



Our client asked a clever question – ‘so, how DO we build relationships with our customers?’

Here’s a few questions you can ask yourself straight up, to know whether you’ve got a transaction mindset or a relationship mindset:  

  • Have we done anything for our customers in the last 12 months?  
  • Have we checked in on them post-sale? 
  • Do we know if they’re happy?  
  • Do we know if they’re having problems with our product? Or if they’re enjoying it?  
  • Do we know if there’s more we could do for them, to help them enjoy our product more?  

If the answer is no to any or all of the above, then chances are you’ve gone down the transaction path.

You have no relationship with your customer aside from rubbing wallets once. You don’t even realise the danger of having a transaction mindset.

Sad, but true.

+ guess what – your customer knows it. They feel it. They know you’ve had your way with them + that you’ve moved on.



When you treat a customer like a number, like a transaction, they can’t help but feel it.

Because you haven’t taken the time to build a relationship with them – you haven’t invested in them – they’re unlikely to feel any loyalty or connection with you.

So, when it comes to the next time they want to buy a car, or a product or service like yours, you’ll have to try all over again.

They won’t automatically come to you as say, a loyal customer would. They’ll shop around, perhaps look for the best deal or the best customer service, depending on what’s most important to them.

But you’ll just be another one on the list. Not top of the list. Perhaps maybe even at the bottom of the list depending on how the last interaction went.

Which means that instead of goodwill + loyalty getting you the next sale, you have to go back to marketing, sales + promotions. Transactions.

so the cycle repeats.



Customers are an asset of your business.

As a CEO or business leader, it’s your role to assess the strength of that asset.

We call it the customer bucket – how many customers are you pouring into your bucket, how many are you keeping in your bucket + how many are leaking out the bottom?

Just because business is great, your revenues are up, the books are overflowing, doesn’t mean your customer bucket is full.

We call this the flow rate – as you pour new customers into the top of your customer bucket with all your sales + wins + awesomenessthere’s customers leaking out the bottom from your lack of customer service, follow-up, relationship-building.

You stop pouring new shiny customers in the top, you’ll find your bucket empties pretty quickly.




Well, here’s a couple of tips to get you started: 

  • Think about your customer as more than a walking wallet – understand what they need, get to know them, treat them with care  
  • Think about what your competitors are doing + how they’re treating their customers. One day their customers could be yours, if you do it better than them 
  • Get your staff thinking about how they could build better relationships with your customers in their interactions every day 

It’s time to shift your focus from the ‘sell + tell’ of attracting new customer transactions + start putting effort into building relationships with the customers that are right in front of you.

Your bottom line – + your customers – will thank you for it. 

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