Local Loyalty

So, a question for anyone listening:

If you prefer to BUY products locally, including the operational supplies and materials to keep your business running BUT, you sell your own products and materials across the country or even the globe, how do you overcome the obstacle of being told, “Not interested, we only buy locally?”

I’m constantly talking to potential customers and while I’m not always trying to sell them something, I hear a lot of people talk about how loyal they are to local businesses. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, not at all, but it strikes me as somewhat hypocritical when I hear people on a high horse or soapbox waxing poetic (in their minds, at least) on how virtuous they are or their company is because they buy locally.

I know it’s not necessarily a cut and dry issue- they may spend dollars locally on very specific things and shop elsewhere for everything else. The prospective customers I’m talking to may indeed buy what my company sells from the guy down the street and maybe everything else they have shipped from China for all I know. That’s just bad luck or timing on my part, I suppose.

I typically feel slightly put-off though, when I’m told someone only buys locally, and I often respond, sometimes failing to keep the irritation from my voice, “Oh, and do you only sell your products locally then?” I realize how silly it sounds, but sometimes if throws the person on the other end off just enough that I can get a bit more detail out of them about what exactly they’re buying locally and what they’re not. Sometimes it’s just their way of getting rid of me, and I understand that too, it comes with the job.

In some cases, buying locally to THEM means that they buy from the Wal-Mart they pass on their way to the office each day. Sure, I can appreciate that local jobs exist there and perhaps that’s what they’re supporting, but I don’t think many people understand that THOSE big companies aren’t necessarily looking out for local business interests either. How many mom & pop’s are gone now because of the big box stores?

Anyway, this is mostly just a rant to get it out of my head so I can continue with my day. I’m still left wondering about answers to the question I posed above.

3 thoughts on “Local Loyalty

  1. I work for a family owned local business. To find that in an animal hospital is rare. Alot of them are owned by big business. I feel that the client’s get better quality for a better price at my hospital. Thats why we have a larger customer base than the 20 other hospitals in our area. Great post.

    • Thanks, D. I know that my company provides far superior service for the money than our clients can get from the big corporate entities, more personal and more readily available, but that doesn’t stop some people from insisting they can get a better deal. It’s a mindset.

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