Are you just selling something, or are you sharing your passion?
Think about it. Off the cuff, you might answer, both. And, in some respects you’re right, but your customers will respond much better if you are sharing your passion, rather than just selling product. And if you don’t know the answer, that’s okay. You can find out. Take some time to answer these questions.
- What excites you most about offering your current product, or product line(s) to your customers?
- If you couldn’t offer this product, how would you feel?
- If you talk to someone, but don’t end up with a sale, are you happy that you were able to educate or share information? Or are you frustrated because you didn’t “make a sale”?
If the product, or product line(s) you offer are interchangeable (as in, you couldn’t sell this widget, but you could sell that totally unrelated one), and if you’re frustrated because you didn’t make money, even though you spent a long time educating someone, then you might just be moving a product. If that works for you, and that’s happy, then there’s no problem. But you might find, if you followed your passion that your customers will respond better.
In this day and age customers have several, if not dozens, or hundreds, of choices where to purchase their products. That they come to you speaks well of your business skills and your customer service. If they keep coming back, then that’s even better. However, if you have customers who shop once and never come back, or you spend time educating customers only to have them go elsewhere, then there’s generally a disconnect between your passion and your product.
If you’ve had passion, but feel like you lost it, then getting it back can seem like a daunting task. Remembering what made you passionate about your product in the first place helps. Finding new venues can help too. For example, if you sell primarily online, but shift to doing some in-person events, too, then the act of speaking with people who visit your booth or table can help to reignite the passion. (Or it can teach you that you need to move on.)
Ask customers what they love about your shop. Why do they come back? What do you offer that others don’t? Reward these loyal customers who take the time to answer your questions and use the information to help drive you toward your passion.
There’s nothing wrong with selling widgets online. But I can tell you, the stores I connect with, and the places where I want to shop again, are the ones who capture me with their passion about their product or service, and in doing so, they keep me coming back. Because these stores care about their product, I, in turn, care about their store.