Broker Check
Are You A Customer or a Client?

Are You A Customer or a Client?

| April 07, 2021

Have you ever purchased a service and you were so excited about it initially? Then, you felt like nothing more than a number?

Have you ever felt like the service you received was as warm as ice?

Image courtesy of ShutterStock
Image courtesy of ShutterStock

In this blogpost, Dave breaks down the difference between being a customer and a client.

He talks about the importance of asking this question and how you can apply a quick test to determine the difference.

What about you? Are you a customer or a client?

When dealing with service providers, would you rather be a customer or a client?

Are you a customer or are you a client?

I think this is a question we should be asking ourselves guys in every professional services relationship. Even as a physician, it's something that you should be asking yourself.

Have you ever started off in a business relationship and you were so excited about getting exceptional service only to feel like you felt you were just another number to the person who sold you something?

This could have been a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, a personal banker, a financial advisor,  a CPA, whoever.

And I think it really does bring us to a really important juncture. Does this person treat folks as a client or as a customer?

Here's an example.  I heard a story from Marie Forleo that I thought you could really relate to.

Let me ask you a question- do you remember the last time, the last night that you went clothes shopping. You're all by yourself and you have no friends with you.

You saunter on up, right to the store, pull a bunch of clothes off the rack, and go into a dressing room.

You come out. You are nervous. You ask the sales associate, "How do I look in this? Does this look good?"

clothes trying

And you know, if you've had this experience, ladies, right?

They say, "Oh, my god, you look fabulous. Don't worry. It's really tight, but that's in right now. You should go ahead and take it, go ahead."

And then, you bring the clothes on home. You show them to your husband. You try them on. You look in the mirror and you're like, "Oh my god. Why did I buy this? I hate this thing. It doesn't work at all. "

And you know you shouldn't have bought those clothes, but you were sold them by someone that you trusted.

Well, let's counter this with another experience. Let's see if you've ever had this one.

You go into the store. You get on some clothes. You try them on. You walk on out. You ask them, "Does this look good on me?"

And the sales associate says, "You know what, that's not so flattering. You should try this or that or come back when we have more inventory."

Photo provided courtesy by Master isolated images on
Photo provided courtesy by Master isolated images on

So, let me ask you a question...

Which store would you go back to?

Which store would you talk about?

Which store treats you as a customer and which store treats you as a client?

Even with the hard truth and there's still polite service, which of these two would you rather have?

And instead, what I've seen many many times whether it is someone in my industry, financial advisors or CPAs, I've really seen this model a lot when people are focusing on serving large numbers that folks are no longer clients that they are customers.

They are just someone that, as matter of fact, I know a CPA that he probably has 800 clients and he has never, ever seen or even talked to 200 of his clients. Every single year, they just send in their stuff.

You guys, those aren't clients. They are customers. So, I want you to think about...

How would you like to be treated as a client? I would like to know from you- how would you get the best possible experience?

Or would you prefer being a customer? You don't care about getting help on various issues. You would rather do it yourself.

So, I would love to hear from you. What are your experiences? What should it look like from professional services- whether a financial advisor or CPA or someone else?

I would love to hear from you, comment or e-mail me at

I would love to hear from you on people being treated as customers or clients.


Dave can be reached at (800) 548-1820, at

Advisory services through Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services LLC and securities through United Planners Financial Services of America, a Limited Partnership. Member FINRA and SIPC. The Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services, LLC (CAG) and United Planners Financial Services are not affiliated.

The views expressed are those of the presenter and may not reflect the views of United Planners Financial Services. Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation.