Why It’s Important to Create Wicked Experiences in Your Business


Why It’s Important to Create Wicked Experiences in Your Business

Have you ever walked into a store and been greeted with a uniform, “Can I help you?”

You can see them out of the corner of your eye pretending to tidy the store. You know they are just doing their job and waiting for an opportunity to sell.

‘Sales’ is an important part of a business and we all know this. The thing is though, if our focus is on the transaction itself, the person just feels like a number or a dollar amount in the till.

When our focus is on creating a memorable experience and really serving that person, then they feel more connected, and because of this we often find they continue to return to us over again.

Many years ago, I had the privilege of working with an amazing man who had an incredible store in a small town called Port Douglas, way up in Far North Queensland, Australia.

His name was Willie Harland, and the jewellery store is Wicked Willie’s. Willie was a real character and passed away a few years ago. He is still sadly missed today. He is remembered with love because of the positive effect he had on so many lives.

Willie was an expert in creating a memorable experience, and because of this, I would love to dedicate this article to him.

To build a successful business and stay in business in a small town like Port Douglas, is a huge achievement and Wicked Willie’s is amongst the small number of businesses that continues to grow now, so many years later. Since his passing, his beautiful partner Tracey Flanagan has taken over and has maintained the store’s reputation.

Part of their success is their gorgeous stock and the environment they have created. The other part is the beautiful women that work there; they are always chosen because of their friendly personalities, their personal presentation, their qualities and principles. Because of the way they treat people who walk into Wicked Willie’s, you feel like you are being welcomed into someone’s home.

Willie taught by demonstrating and what we learned about creating a memorable experience, has people flying into this small town from other parts of the world, specifically to visit the store.

The lessons I learned with Willie have stayed with me and helped me build a successful business of my own:

  • It must be fun.

One of the things Willie would often say to us is “Just have fun. What’s the point in doing it if you’re not having fun?” And this is so true. When we are having fun in our work, then it creates a happy environment.

We all know when we walk into a happy environment, or we are around happy people, it feels good, and this means we stay longer.

  • Be playful.

Willie taught us to be playful, and because of this the focus never needed to be on selling. His favourite game was pulling out hanks of stunning stone beads or delicate freshwater pearls and telling stories about the exotic countries they were found. He was playful in sharing his passion.

When we share our passion with others in this way, they become just as intrigued as we are and this means the transaction happens virtually unnoticed.

  • Focus on the person.

I remember the greatest natural talent we all had in the store was building a relationship. People would often just pop in to say hello because they felt welcome. To us, they were people with lives, not customers. We knew their names, and we took an interest in who they were and the things that were happening in their lives.

When we treat people in this way, then they feel a sense of belonging and this means they repeatedly return.

Willie laughingly used to say:

“If you stay any longer I’ll have to charge you rent.”

People coming into the store whether to visit or to make a purchase would often stay for hours and they would laugh whenever he said this.

Think about the ways you could create memorable experiences for the people connecting with your business and start to implement them. 

Take notice of how much longer they do want to stay.

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  • Louise Shay

    Beautiful Deb. So true. Miss Willie always will. Tracey is doing an awesome job with her great team.

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