I little while back my IT advisor emailed me to set up a meeting to discuss ways to save money on my ongoing tech needs. I have yet to meet anyone who isn't interested in finding ways to save money, so I gladly accepted his offer.

At the meeting, he presented a list of 15 ways that I could save a considerable sum of money, every year, simply by buying some new equipment. In fact, the savings he identified were more than enough for me to equip my office with new computers and printers over the space of a few years.

What I liked the most, even more than the savings, was the proactive approach that this business had taken. I don't get a lot of calls like this from suppliers (in fact this is only the second), but I sure wish I got them all the time. This proactive approach is the way to build incredible relationships with your customers, and I think we can all take a lesson from their book.

We all have the opportunity to be more proactive with our customers, but of course, once someone is a customer, we tend to get a little complacent, and that's the problem. I think any business where the entire team is looking for ways to help their customers save time, save money or have a better experience, will win in the end. Especially if they are constantly going to their customers to share their suggestions. It's the perfect win/win and so incredibly rare, it will have people raving about the business.

My question to you is simple, when was the last time a supplier came to you with a pile of ideas to help you save money, time or to simply to make the experience of buying from them better? Imagine if you were that business? In a world of increasing competition and choice, this is going to become increasingly important, and it isn't that hard, it's just a state of mind. Genuinely and sincerely look for ways to serve your customer, knowing full well that your customers will reward your initiative.