I think I'll put out a few of my "could be misinterpreted" entries.
I want everyone to know what I say in the following post isn't meant to slam the customer. It's just human nature. I try not to take it personal. It's just business.
I've always hated the question, "Is this all you got?" Especially in my first few years in business. It was like a dagger in the heart. I'd hurry and order whatever was asked for and didn't have, and then hope the person came back.
Finally, I realized I could have a city block, hell, the whole downtown full of stuff, and I'd still occasionally get that question.
Here's what I've finally realized happens, though.
People ask for stuff. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I have a pretty good selection of stuff, if not everything in that category.
What happens is, if the person asks for a 'type' of thing, and I show him an assortment, and he walks away because I didn't have exactly what he wants; my impulse used to be to order more of it until I got what he said he wanted...
On the other hand, sometimes a person comes in and I have very limited quantities of it, and yet they still buy. They want it. It's very clear they want more of it.
Which of those two things do I support?
I support what sells. And if that sells, I get more, and if that sells, then I get more and so on....
Whereas the guy who won't buy from my assortment; sometimes having double or triple or quadruple the amount won't satisfy them.
(I want to make an important distinction here: sometimes you don't have something and the customer makes it very clear what they want and that they will buy it. I'm talking about the person who says he has an interest in something, turns up their nose at your selection, won't be more specific about what they want (implying that I should somehow know) and won't promise to come back if you order it....)
It really turns into a standoff. The customer is saying, carry more of this before I buy. I'm saying, I will not be carrying more of this, until you buy something.
Thing is, in the end, I'm making the choice to support what sells. There is no real standoff. There is only that customer walking away (probably to buy online, that is if he actually buys anything at all.)
And there is me selling what sells.
So I always want to say, "You want me to carry that? Buy something"
Or..."Gee, you say you want this stuff, but you're walking away...."
So here's what happens in the end.
It's a self-correcting problem. As a mature business, I have a pretty good record of what's selling and what isn't.
At the same time, I have a budget.
So I go down the list of things I KNOW will sell, because they keep SELLING, and then the next thing on the list and then the next.
Until the budget is depleted.
It's a self-perpetuating thing.
Sometimes I even have money left over. Now I could use that money to build up the section of stuff that people are always asking for but never buying.
Or I can try something else.
I usually try something else, until I find another thing that people actually buy (Not ask for, but actually BUY) and I start using my budget for that.
So after awhile, you get more and more people in the door (after all, by buying what sells you have a store full of stuff that sells) but -- ironically --you also get more and more people asking for what you don't have.
So the standoff continues. And as long as the customer can find it online or in the mass market, they just think you aren't doing a very good job. Until they can't find it anymore. Then they come to the store again, and the whole process starts over, and I'm looking at my clipboard and wishing I had enough money to get everything I just sold, and some guy I haven't seen in three years is bugging me to get him something he wouldn't buy before....
And I always want to say, "Buy it and I'll get more. Don't buy it, and I won't get more."
I don't say that, of course.
But it's the de facto result. It doesn't, in the end, matter what doesn't sell.
It matters what does sell.
(Take everything I said above, and multiply it for monopolies....If I'm the only guy selling a product, I generally get lots and lots, and carry the full line, and give a good price, and all the accoutrement....
Of course, this never lasts. As sales drop, I drop each little extra, and stay with the main product, and raise the price to full retail, or drop it completely.
No other choice.
The opposite of what everyone thinks. More choice just dilutes the power of the almighty buck.)
1 day ago