A small business owner’s nightmare- The Ghost

As a small business owner you come across and have the pleasure of connecting with some great people…and you also get to experience some not-so-great people. This is one of those times, when you experience that customer I call “The Ghost.” They’re the customer that is extremely interested in purchasing your product, but has no interest in paying for it, or being respectful enough to communicate they changed their mind.

Business owners understand the amount of work that happens behind the scenes. We put a lot of love and energy into our craft in order to pass that along to lovely souls. When “Ghosts” strike, it not only wastes everyone’s time, but it’s also potentially lost sales because we are reserving an item for them.

A good friend of mine who is a small business owner herself came up with this beautiful analogy:

What is easy to think

When you claim an item, you are just ‘putting it into your shopping cart’ like you do on Amazon. If you don’t checkout, oh well. Maybe you’ll just wait to grab it later…

What it’s actually like

You walked into a small boutique that has spent precious time and money advertising new items. You find the one of a kind item you saw advertised, take it off the shelf and hide it in the store where only you can find it, and you leave. Customer #2 ( and possibly #3-30) walks in to the store to find the same item they also saw advertised. They cannot locate it, walk out of the store, down the street and buy a similar item from a different shop. It’s not their dream crystal they had their heart set on, but close enough. A few days later you walk back in to the store, take the item from the hiding spot, put it back on the shelf and walk out again. Unfortunately the store has already lost the sale from the other customer(s) because they have now found a similar item and spent their money. Those customers may never return to the shop. Who knows when another customer will finally come along who likes that one of a kind item.

The “Ghost” is infamous for doing this act, which quite frankly is not only a disregard of others but disrespectful of the small business owner’s kindness… The Ghost claims an item from a live sale, online auction or posting on social media; Expressing all the interest in the world for the item they must have, but when it comes to actually paying for the item they disappear!

As a small business owner myself the MOST frustrating part of this experience is not that I have to deal with a person that is displaying shitty behavior, its not that I have lost a sale because they ghost, or that I have to tell other customers that item is reserved for someone who doesn’t end up paying for it, or that I loose the sale because the once interested people move on….the WORST part of it is the adding to my responsibilities (of the many that a small business owner has) that NOW I have to be a bill collector. I have to repeatedly message or remind of payments when I am providing a service and extending my trust to my customers through different forms of interactions. For the ghost to take advantage of this is a real burn!

So to just shake it off…let it go…have a smile and have a laugh I decided to make a video about the experience…

This is nothing more than having some fun, having a laugh, and being lighthearted about an issue we all experience. There’s no reason to let it affect you, sometimes you just have to laugh and keep going…

CLICK HERE to watch

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