What is Your Store Personality?

When people talk about your store, what do they say?

When one person says to another " Oh, the Vac Shack? Yeah, that's the guy that......" or " They're the guys that....." . How are people going to finish that sentence?

Do they say " He's the guy that yells at you" ?

" He's the guy that has a dog in his store that jumps on you" ?

" He's the guy that won't take a part back if it doesn't fit" ?

" He's the guy that takes the time to answer your questions" ?

" He's the guy that's funny and makes you feel welcome" ?

The main reason people either buy or don't buy is the experience they have when they are in your store. It's not your prices, the competition, the weather, or what brands you sell (although all those things are a factor). The main reason they don't buy from you is that they don't 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 it's the economy, or local politics, or the newspaper ads he runs aren't pulling. Every year his sales go down. It's sad. He's killing his business and just can't see it.

I recently went to buy furniture with my wife.

I'm pretty sure that at least once...I asked a stupid question. He didn't roll his eyes, snicker, or change his tone with us. I'm 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 wasn't 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? We'd be gone and he'd 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 that's not why we bought. And that's 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. (we're older now & the law is...old people eat at Bob Evans) a teenage girl pointed at me and told her dad " That's him. That's 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 " We'll be in to buy a vacuum cleaner." And they were.

What if she would have pointed at me & said " That's him. That's the guy that yelled at grandma" ? The story would have ended...well, differently.

Claude Whitacre is the author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. Claude speaks on small business advertising and retail marketing.

Click Here To Return To More Articles By Claude Whitacre

Click Here To Return To ClaudeWhitacre.com