After almost six years in business, I’ve started to see a pattern develop with respect to shoppers who come into my dog boutique. I’ve boiled it down to my Top Six. How many of these have you seen in your boutique?
From the second The Naysayer walks into the store, there is negativity. The Naysayer responds to a simple greeting with "I’m not going to buy anything, I’m just looking.” The Naysayer picks up every toy in the store, even the most durable brands, and insists that their dog will chew through them in 30 seconds. The Naysayer looks at the gourmet treats and announces to the world that their dog won’t eat any fancy treats...it only eats Pup-peroni and Beggin’ Strips. The Naysayer usually doesn’t buy anything.
The Frugal is very interested in the products. After a long discussion about durable toys, long-lasting chews, the pros and cons of blanket-style coats versus parka style coats, and paw protection for their dog during the upcoming winter months, The Frugal will buy a $1.95 hair bow and a $1.95 sweet potato chew. The Frugal, thinking they are at a flea market, will offer you $10 for a $30 item. After you refuse to dicker, The Frugal will ask when your next sale is. The Frugal will spend $3.90 + tax.
To The Greenpeace, putting apparel on dogs should be a capital offense. The Greenpeace will insist that their dog would be embarrassed to wear the doggie T-shirt that is displayed on the mannequin (I wasn’t aware dogs can actually experience embarrassment?). The Greenpeace will usually tell you about one of their friends that have a small dog that would love your store. The Greenpeace usually doesn’t buy anything, although will sometimes buy something for their friend’s small dog who doesn’t apparently feel embarrassment.
The Spy will usually have their hands behind their back as they look at your products from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. You will actually see that The Spy has hands only for a brief moment when they are looking for manufacturer’s information on a product. The Spy may tell you about their aunt in California who would love this store and ask to take pictures of all your displays. The Spy will tell you on their way out the door what a nice store you have. The Spy will never buy anything.
The Be Backer
The Be Backer will usually come into the store during a driving rainstorm with their dog in tow. After the putting their umbrella away, they’ll point out all the things in the store that they are going to buy...just not today. The Be Backer may ask you to put some things on hold for them...do so at your own risk.
Ahh...The Lover. The Lover is why you opened a dog boutique. The Lover returns weekly to get their dog more treats and long-lasting chews (even though they may not need them). The Lover buys one of the new collar patterns you’ve received since they were last in. The Lover brings you a cupcake and coffee from the local Cupcakery. The Lover brings their sister, aunt, mother-in-law and second cousin into your store whenever they are in town. The Lover genuinely cares about you, your dog, your kids and whether you have the proper work/life balance. The Lover comes to all your events, participates in all your fundraisers and tells everyone they know who have a dog to support your business.
It’s a good thing there are so many more of The Lovers than The Naysayers, The Frugals, The Greenpeaces, The Spies or The Be Backers.
Cheers to The Lovers…
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