Enthusiasm; that’s the word I’ve been looking for! When you go into a small local business and are greeted by an owner, you’re greeted with enthusiasm. When they talk about their service or product it’s with passion and with knowledge. They care and also know what they’re talking about.
It isn’t so much about making a sale, or getting you to buy local. It’s about sharing knowledge of a passion that they have built a business around. The sale is a natural result of that interaction.
The foundation of that business is something they are keen to talk about and love to teach others about. Chances are if you’re at that store in the first place, it’s a shared interest.
Small business owners are genuinely happy to see you, and after a return visit or two more than likely will greet you by name.
I’m not sure about you, but nothing makes me feel more welcome and appreciated than when I’m greeted by name and with an authentic smile. I’m a social person, and I like to chat. I absolutely enjoy when shopping includes a visit.
For example the other day, I dropped by Scott’s Toys and Hobbies to pick up some of my favorite oil pastels and was hoping to visit with the owner (Diane).
She is a wealth of knowledge, about her products and her town. It’s a chance to do some shopping, and to catch up on the latest happenings in Downtown Duncan. As luck would have it, she was in and so I enjoyed my shopping experience that bit more.
On the flip side…if you work in (or own) a small local business, please remember the person standing in front of you has chosen to visit your establishment. More than likely over a big box store with bigger selection possibly lower prices.
The reason they are in your store most likely is for the overall customer experience. Ensure you deliver, give them that extra dose of enthusiasm for free and they will be back to buy local again and again.