Today I read an article on linkedin by Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite.
He states in his post, ” I used to own a pizza restaurant. Each week, the same people would come in. We’d talk about friends, weather, politics. I got to know their likes and dislikes-who wanted extra pepperoni and who hated onions. Even though I made a pretty decent Hawaiian pie, I’m convinced I made a lot of sales just by listening and talking. Whether it’s pizza or cloud software, people like to buy from people. They appreciate the human interaction and genuine attention.”
My product line Tonya Rea’s Teas and Remedies turns 4 yrs old next month. As its birthday approaches, I ponder what the future holds, how I’ve grown as an entrepreneur, all the relationships that I have formed with customers and clients across the USA.
It’s so hard not to feel swallowed up in such a fast moving market. Am I doing what I should be doing? Do I need to do more? Why am I not as successful as fellow herbalist A? health coach B? aromatherapist C? I have to continually remind myself that comparison kills contentment. I remember the days before I had a “business”. I was content to make remedies for my family and friends. When I got to the point where friends encouraged me to really make this hobby a legit business, it opened up a whole new world to me. It has been fascinating but with lots of tears of happiness, frustration, and fears.
When I decided to open my business, I could have just opened up an Etsy store but I just couldn’t do that. Being intimately involved with people who wanted to purchase my products was just too important to just have a “store”. Making a sale has never been my focus…although money does play a factor in the growth of my mission! But really, it’s the deep connection with customers and clients that I love the most. When a customer contacts me to order Immunity Booster syrup because her whole family is sick, I love that I get to pray over them as I make the remedy for them. Checking in after a few days to see how they are doing is so important to me. Another benefit of personal communication regarding a product is that it gives me the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the situation so the remedy is matched to the person not the disease. It also allows me to accommodate that customer that wants the PMS tea but has such an aversion to stevia she asks that it be left out. Whatever the case I am intimately involved in making each and every remedy!
Sure you can walk into any local health food store and purchase some Elderberry Syrup but are you going to get the human interaction that you will from an herbalist who handcrafted a bottle of elderberry syrup just for you? To me there is just something special about that personal connection. Did you know that according to statista.com that herbal supplement sales are estimated to be around 36 BILLION U.S. dollars in 2017?! I don’t know of any herbalists that are rolling in that kind of dough so I’m guessing much of this is coming from large manufacturers. My hope and dream is that the people that purchase these would first see what they could purchase from an herbalist.
I have had people message me about having a place on my website to order but I have really tried to hold off on that. I want to keep the one on one human factor as long as I can. Holmes also says we are to have “a willingness to put yourself out there and actually care about people, one customer at a time.” That’s what I do. For any of you reading this and have worked with me either through a consultation or product purchase you know that I am all in.
It’s tempting to want to be like superstars I see online that have thousands of followers and no post with less than that many likes. I’m thankful for the pace of my business for now that allows me to practice my passion and pour into each customer at a time.
As I ponder TRTR’s upcoming birthday, my heart does long to help more people. Thank you for taking time to read these bouncy thoughts of mine. Please share this post on your social media and let’s get the human factor back in herbal medicine. Below you will see a picture of the USA. I have drawn a heart on every state that I have shipped my remedies to. I would love to be able to draw a heart on every state by the time my business is 5 years old. That gives me just a year! Will you help me? If you know of someone in a state that doesn’t have a heart on it, will you please send this link to them so I can get them on the map?
Blessings and wellness,