When people talk about your store, what do they say?
When one person says to another Oh, the Vac Shack? Yeah, thats the guy that or Theyre the guys that .. . How are people going to finish that sentence?
Do they say Hes the guy that yells at you?
Hes the guy that has a dog in his store that jumps on you?
Hes the guy that wont take a part back if it doesnt fit?
Hes the guy that takes the time to answer your questions?
Hes the guy thats funny and makes you feel welcome?
The main reason people either buy or dont buy is the experience they have when they are in your store. Its not your prices, the competition, the weather, or what brands you sell (although all those things are a factor). The main reason they dont buy from you is that they dont like something about you. Or you did something to irritate them.
Your store has a reputation whether you like it or not. The longer you are there and the more people you see .the more people have a shared experience of your store.
Your store is seen as an extension of you, and your personality.
This experience will be shared with others. If they really really enjoyed you & your store (whether they bought or not) they will tell several people. Eventually individuals will hear about your store from several sources. Most of these reviews will be similar. These reviews can make or break your store. I have a local acquaintance that has a store that yells at his customers. He has the lowest prices in the state. His service is excellent. But almost nobody that knows him…likes him. He keeps telling me its the economy, or local politics, or the newspaper ads he runs arent pulling. Every year his sales go down. Its sad. Hes killing his business and just cant see it.
I recently went to buy furniture with my wife.
Im pretty sure that at least once I asked a stupid question. He didnt roll his eyes, snicker, or change his tone with us. Im sure that at least once I said a stupid joke or otherwise irritated him. We were there for a couple of hours,
What would have happened if at any time I thought he wasnt looking out for our best interests? We would have left without buying. And so do most customers.
What if I would have caught him in a lie? Wed be gone and hed never know why.
We bought because the store was pleasant, he was very helpful (and a world class salesperson) and he made buying easy. Did he have the lowest prices? How should I know? Probably not. But thats not why we bought. And thats not why your customers buy. They buy based on the experience they have with you & your store.
Recently, as Cheryl & I were walking out of the local Bob Evans. (were older now & the law is old people eat at Bob Evans) a teenage girl pointed at me and told her dad Thats him. Thats the guy that gave grandma a belt for her vacuum cleaner & put it on for her. He walked over to us, shook my hand & said Well be in to buy a vacuum cleaner. And they were.
What if she would have pointed at me & said Thats him. Thats the guy that yelled at grandma ? The story would have ended well, differently.