Your Specialty

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I love to ask new clients “what makes your store special?” “Why should a customer choose your store over another that sells the same products?” I usually hear generic answers like “our service” or “our products” or “our people.”

I politely remind them that their competitors also have products and people who deliver service. Then we usually spend the next hour drilling down to what exactly takes place in their business that differentiates it and how customers connect with that differentiation.

More often that not it does circle back to their people, but at a much deeper level than the owner/executive realizes. Inevitably, he/she sees that it’s the attitude and actions of the staff that the customers will or won’t connect with.

From there, it’s easy to show that the staff’s attitudes and actions are determined by the executive’s or owner’s own attitude and actions, along with their own beliefs and standards. It always starts with leadership.

Why am I sharing this with you now, in the thick of the holidays? Two reasons.

First, it’s crucial that no matter how busy you are, you don’t stray from whatever it is that makes customers choose you over another company. If people love your store because of how you make them feel, you need to make sure your staff continues to make it happen.

If customers choose you because of your product knowledge, you can’t afford to rush customers during the purchase process.

If customers choose you because of the special services you offer, you need to make sure you continue to provide those services throughout the holiday season.

Is it difficult? Absolutely! If wasn’t, you wouldn’t stand out.

Second, I want to remind you that the role of a leader during the holiday is to keep the staff focused and inspired. I know you know that, but all of us need to be reminded this month that it’s OUR attitude, actions, beliefs, and standards that determine if the customer chooses your store or another.

Just about any retailer can sell a boatload of products in December. It takes a special company to win customers at the same time.

So let me ask, are you maintaining your specialty this holiday?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.

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