Today more than ever passion should be something that moves us to make our businesses snap to attention. Sloppy or uncaring service will not be tolerated in the new economy. So how do we bring passion into our business. You need to demonstrate a connection with your customer, a connection with your suppliers and a connection your business. Let’s take the last point first. I have been into many jewellery retailers and gallery stores, where you just get the feeling that the owner is in business and has a nice enough shop, but there’s no passion. You walk in and maybe someone says hello, maybe they don’t, you ask about something and you just get the bare minimum back. The whole shopping experience is very bland. You need to get a complete understanding of the products you stock and the people that make them. Find out the ‘storey’ behind each collection and the people that go in to making them. Communicate that to your staff so they can convey that over to the customer. Feed back to your suppliers and develop a working relationship with them. Make the supplier understand that it is in their interest to service you well with a collection that works. Let them help you fine tune the collection so you can exchange something if it is not working. As long as you’re making it worth their while there’s no reason why they wouldn’t. Finally connect with your customer. Develop a relationship that you want to last many years not just one purchase. It’s all too easy to be short sighted, especially when times are tough, but you need to treat each sale as a lead up to the next sale.
If your customers get what you do and identify with your passion for the things you have to offer, you won’t be selling to them, they’ll be buying from you. There lies the critical difference.