Are you a good buyer? How so? How do you make buying decisions? What’s important to you? Have you brands and products you repeatedly use? How open are you to a new idea, brand or product?

What causes this loyalty?

Think like a buyer for a moment and accept that there are ample choices of high-quality products and services from which to choose because there are.

How are your suppliers and vendors appreciating you?

[1] Have you received a handwritten thank you note?

[2] Have you received any free expert advice, tips or news?

[3] Have you ever received a book?

[4] Are you part of a customer loyalty program?

[5] Have you been treated to a meal? Or a coffee? Or golf? Or a game?

[6] Have you ever received a gift?

[7] Have you received a surprise upgrade?

[8] Have you received a surprise discount?

[9] Have you ever been asked for feedback?

[10] Have you ever received a gift card?

[11] Have you ever been “customer of the day, week, month or year”?

[12] Have you ever received a milestone award – ie. your 10th order, or 3rd visit.

[13] Have you ever received the “Hello Norm!” welcome?

  • From the sitcom Cheers. Loyal patron Norm Peterson was always welcomed upon arrival by everyone saying, “Hello Norm”.

[14] Have you ever received a phone call of thanks?

[15] Have you ever received word that a donation was made in your name to your favorite cause?

[16] Have you ever been invited to join a VIP list or club giving you preferred service, pricing or some other exclusive benefit?

[17] Have you ever received a free car wash?


How are you being treated?

Do your suppliers and vendors appreciate you?

Are you a name and a face, or just a number?

And does this matter to you?

How might your customers answer these questions as applied to you?

These “niceties” may be unnecessary for you and your business, but if your customers are clients – people with whom you develop a relationship — and if you work with them more than once, and if their repeat business is important to you, perhaps you should revisit some of these ideas.

And if you are the client and you work repeatedly with a supplier, and their impeccable service and quality matters to you, perhaps you might be more appreciative of them.

Be a better buyer. Choose your providers wisely. Cultivate a strong relationship with them and occasionally, say thanks.


There are 2 earlier posts in this series

Be a Better Buyer – dozens of factors that buyers should consider when buying. We can and should be more discriminating in our purchase decisions.

Be a Better Buyer – part 2 – consider the representative – are you negotiating with a captive sales rep or an independent supplier, or business owner? Are they pursuing what is best for you or for them?


Steve Gatter is an advocate and adviser to small business owners. His website is