36: Growing Your Facebook Following with Shawn Goans

June 6, 2018

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Yigal Adato: 00:04 Hey everyone, my name is Yigal Adato and this is the Pawn Leaders Podcast, a podcast that help you make more money, stress less and live an epic life all while working at the pawnshop. Hey Shawn, welcome to the show my friend.


Shawn Goans: 00:23 Hey, good afternoon Yigal. How are you?


Yigal Adato: 00:25 Good you’re good. I know this is the second time that we’ve tried to get this done. Thank you so much for being patient and coming to the show.


Shawn Goans: 00:32 Oh, sure, sure. I’m honored to be here.


Yigal Adato: 00:35 So before we get into why I brought you on the show, give us a little bit of history of how you got in to the pawn business, where your pawnshop is and yeah, let us know.


Shawn Goans: 00:47 Okay. Well the short story is we’re in Fort Scott, Kansas town of about 8,500 people, county of about 14,000. So we’re a small area. I’ve bought and sold all my life just, been in sales before I’ve been self employed for the last 6 years. I own two businesses. I also have a decal business, but then the pawn business for 3 years. And the way I got in the pawn business, I literally came in to this pawnshop to buy a log chain one day, I needed a log chain and I got to talking to the owner and I thought, man, it’d be fun to own this pawnshop. The owner was getting ready to retire. We started talking about buy sell and about six months later it happened and I’m the pawnshop owner.


Yigal Adato: 01:29 Wow. I see you went from customer to pawnshop owner.


Shawn Goans: 01:33 Exactly. Yeah, exactly. I had never, before I walked in to buy that log chain, I’d never even thought about owning a pawnshop, but I always enjoyed buying and selling my entire life though.


Yigal Adato: 01:46 What did you do before being in the pawn business?


Shawn Goans: 01:46 Well, I’m trained as a commercial pilot, but I’ve been in sales and general management and flying corporate airplanes for most of my career. But I’ve sold everything literally from rock to airplanes, automotive, fold metal roofing I’ve sold all my life.


Yigal Adato: 02:03 Nice man. That’s incredible. I’m still shocked that you just walked in and say, I want to buy this place and you made it happen, very cool.


Shawn Goans: 02:11 Yeah, it’s not a big place. I mean it’s a small shop. But we enjoy it, we love it.


Yigal Adato: 02:18 Very cool. So you guys are in Fort Scott, Kansas. Right? And tell me a little bit about the laws or how much you can charge a month and your hold periods.


Shawn Goans: 02:28 Okay. We’re at 10% in Kansas. That’s what we’re limited to and that’s what we charge here. And then, well, it’s a 30 day loan and then 90 day grace, well total before it becomes our property. And then, we typically have a general whole period of 30 days after that 90 before we put stuff on sale.


Yigal Adato: 02:51 I got you. So not the most interest I’ve heard like you said we were talking before some states make a lot more money, some states make a lot less. [Incomprehensible] between at 10%.


Shawn Goans: 03:02 Yeah, and like you and I touch on at one time, right across the line, literally five miles from [Incomprehensible], Missouri and those guys are getting 25% two and a half times than we are. So yeah, that’s a little challenge to think about that but in the big scheme of things. It all works. It’s like doughnut. Just got to do a lot of it, you know.


Yigal Adato: 03:20 Yeah. Do you ever have people from Missouri come in to your shop cause its less interest?


Shawn Goans: 03:23 We actually do. Yeah. There’s a town 20 miles east of us and we literally have people come over here and pawn with us because of the interest. So I mean, you know, at the end of the month, a hundred dollar loan, a 110 days to get their item back versus 125 but they’re at hometown. So


Yigal Adato: 03:39 Yeah, that makes sense, the drive makes sense. I think I would do that too. Nice man, I brought you on for a special reason, right? I know that you’ve been in the business for about 3 years now. You do have a lot of gun business in your shop. Not too big of a store. You have 8,500 people in your city and about 14,000 in your County, right? But you have over 9,000 people who like your Facebook page. And I really want to talk about that because I think it’s very, very important. I think Facebook is huge for the pawn business. I think it’s important to have a big amount of people on your Facebook page. Can you give us some tips? How did you go from buying the shop? I’m guessing the old owner didn’t do much on Facebook but essentially your holds [Incomprehensible] plus some of your [Incomprehensible] like your Facebook page.


Shawn Goans: 04:35 Yeah, I mean literally this is an old school shop and I’m embarrassed to say that I worked on cards in a shoe box, basically like the old owner was for about a year and a half before I hooked up with one of the pawn master and got on software. So it was really an old school shop there was not even a computer here until I bought the shop. I mean it was old school, it was somebody walked in, they help him. They were in the yellow pages, older gentlemen been here 31 years. So I was pretty much starting from scratch as far as social media and everything. So we created a Facebook page and started with just kind of word of mouth, just saying, hey, have people like our Facebook page and then I started doing small giveaways, like t-shirts and gun accessories and stuff like that. Work our way up to doing a 22 rifle, that maybe we had a wholesale cost of $109 in and then we kept growing and Hannah got up to where we were giving away an AR every month which are wholesale cost is around $500 on that. And then what I started noticing though, giving one AR a month away was it was great for the first week and a half. Wow, just the likes, we’re going crazy in the shares and then everybody kind of forgot about that. She noticed started tapering off. So I thought, well, Hey, what if I give away two maybe lesser price items a month, every two weeks. So that’s what we gravitated towards with maybe a couple of wholesale, $250 pistols at retail for say, 359 and do that a couple times a month. And that’s what we’ve been doing for several months now. And that’s been really good for us. But I do want to qualify. I mean we do have over 9,000 Facebook likes 8,500 in our town, I’d like to say that all those are in this city. Literally we have likes all over the nation. But in our range I mean, we have a range of probably on average about draw a 40 mile circle around our shop and well, we had some people drive, drove up here several times from 50 miles away, make a hundred mile round trip just to come to our shop. And, you know, they drive faster for gun shops to get here just because they enjoy our customer service.


Yigal Adato: 06:54 That’s amazing. So, obviously you’re a gun shop, Facebook doesn’t like you.


Shawn Goans: 06:54 Right. Yeah, they hate us. Yeah, yeah. We’ve been kicked off like a lot of your clients have, we’ve been kicked off Facebook, shut down, where we couldn’t post, scared me to death. In fact, you and I and his name [Incomprehensible] embarrassing me now, but he’s talking about a way to help me capture some of those people. We had that conversation on your page. Because yeah, it’s scary. I mean, that’s Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg or could decide one day he doesn’t like us and it doesn’t like gun shops and just shut us down. The great thing about it. So much to say you don’t have your name on the building and he has his name on the building and he’ll shut us down. So,


Yigal Adato: 07:36 Yeah. Has growing that Facebook page you seen a correlation between that and your business growing?


Shawn Goans: 07:44 Oh, tremendous. And that circles back around to why it’s so scary that Facebook hates us because yeah, if we didn’t have Facebook we would, I mean, we, we have enough following now. I would like to thank that we would still have repeat business because people like us and like our prices, but gosh, we just, you know, there’s a direct correlation between posting on Facebook and I really have to be careful about how aggressive I get on Facebook because I can load our shop up and overwhelmed us on a Saturday. So I mean a lack of traffic is not a problem. So, I mean here in the next a year and a half we’re going to knock out some walls and expand our showroom.


Yigal Adato: 08:31 So talk us about that, you say that lack of client isn’t the issue. What are you doing on Facebook apart from the giveaways.


Shawn Goans: 08:33 The giveaways just posting about the, I may do a poll or I may just say, hey, I’ll post a picture of a revolver in automatic and say, Hey, what? Say you, what do you carry for concealed carry and just engaging type post. We post a lot of prices like a lot of your gun customer or your gun shops out there, they are competing against guys online like Bud’s gun shop and you know that they big online stores are giving stuff away. So you know what I’ll do, I’ll get on Bud’s gun shop and figure out, Hey, with my $25 transfer fee and what they’re selling for with free shipping, how much margin is that going to leave me and think, well, hey, is there some advantage for them to be able to come in here? You know the guns right here, they can handle it, choose a different gun, I’m going to say add $25 for that value and maybe that will be my price. If I’m happy with that margin, then I’ll post a picture of the Photoshop you know, the gun in there with the price and our logo and post that on Facebook and it gets a lot of engagement. We posted it towards just yesterday and a girl walked in tough noon says, Hey, I need that gun and started talking to her and it turns out her boyfriend’s dad or somebody had one, one of our guns, they were from 30 miles away and he’s the one that recommended she get a hold of us. And the bought this gun that was on Facebook


Yigal Adato: 09:51 So, its not just about selling on Facebook, it’s about engaging the crowd.


Shawn Goans: 09:57 Yeah, it is. It’s about being, well, you know, marketing and advertising, it’s about repetition. And you know, when we give these guns away, it gets shared so many times. And a lot of these people, they’re not in the market for a gun. They think it’d be cool to buy a gun or you know, or have that gun. But when they do, let’s say six months down the road and they’ve seen our shared guns, you know, 12 times in the last six months, who are they going to think about when they will go to a gun shop? They’re going to think about us. And we see a lot of that.


Yigal Adato: 10:34 So it’s about being top of mind all the time with this people


Shawn Goans: 10:34 That’s exactly. On top of mind. Exactly.


Yigal Adato: 10:35 So, do you do anything to followup with let’s say you a giveaway this guns on Facebook people see them, it happen when they call in, when they come into the store to kind of remind them of the Facebook page or is it just,


Shawn Goans: 10:49 yeah, we have, yeah, we have posters hanging around and on the back of our card it says a home of the free Facebook giveaway every two weeks. And we have that on our Facebook page. We have it on our web page. Yeah. We promote the heck out of that. Absolutely.


Yigal Adato: 11:07 So, you just mention you made yourself famous for these giveaways?


Shawn Goans: 11:09 Well, yeah. Yeah. And that’s why I’m a little embarrassed. I feel like I’m walking among kings with I’ve been listening to your podcast and talking, some of the names and some of the, these guys were at multiple stores and [Incomprehensible] man I was listening to him going, wow I should be [Incomprehensible] for this guy and learn. So it’s really interesting to be among this crowd and but it’s just the timing was right and I just kind of figured out how to maximize, given away guns to build the business. It’s just working great.


Yigal Adato: 11:47 And for me what a pawn leader is, I talked it about all the time. It’s about being a better leader, being a better marketer and being a bit of strategists and yes your right the people on the show are incredible leaders, but you kind of broke the code. When I saw your Facebook page I said, how does this guy have 9,000 likes? Everybody’s like paying for those. So that’s why you belong here, man. So I thank you, are there any other tactics that you can share with us that would help the pawnbrokers listening?


Shawn Goans: 12:19 To build that brand loyalty and everything, we really, I mean, and in fact I would just listen I think his name was Scott and he was talking about how he appreciated his customers, engage his customers, respect his customers and I was like right on with all of that. I believe he was down in Mississippi.


Yigal Adato: 12:34 [Crosstalk]


Shawn Goans: 12:36 Yeah, exactly. I just listened to that here recently and one thing that we do, and without fail, we send a thank you card. Everybody that buys a gun from us gets a handwritten thank you card. Hey, pleasure having you in our shop. Anytime we can help you with anything, let us know. Sean and Jean and we’re just a two man shop. It’s me and my brother in law, Jean but you know, man, we service people to death, you know, and just take really good care of them.


Yigal Adato: 13:03 Nice. So, you’re not just servicing them when they come in to the shop but you’re actually engaging on Facebook and social media so they kind of know who you are then when they come in they get incredible customer service. And so the deal is sealed. That’s a customer for life.


Shawn Goans: 13:17 Exactly. And then it’s [Incomprehensible] like in sales, its like a warm call, when they come in and you’re right, they felt like they already know us and they know a lot about us and they’re comfortable with us so they’re more likely to buy. And I mean, it’s incredible. My brother-in-law jean, he is, I swear he closes seven out of 10 people that come in to look at guns. I mean, seven out of 10 will be walking out and I’ve been on sales on my whole life. I mean, 70% closing ratio is incredible.


Yigal Adato: 13:48 That’s outstanding, outstanding.


Shawn Goans: 13:50 So, they’re really comfortable with interaction with Jean. And Jean and I are completely different. He is a guy, he will spend an hour with somebody and you know me, Scott was mentioning the speed and greed and I’m like that man, sometimes I get in front of someone, I’m thinking if they’re not going to buy in two minutes, I’m done. And so we compliment each other real well. You know we are two completely different personalities.


Yigal Adato: 14:16 Awsome man. Well Shawn, thank you for being on the show, before you go, you’ve been in the pawn industry not too long what are some mistakes that you’ve made looking back in your years from buying that shop, when you walked in that you would want to tell people, let’s say be aware of these mistakes.


Shawn Goans: 14:34 Well, number one, the owner, he was 81 years old and he was getting done, man. He was just burnout and he was supposed to come up and help me and he didn’t. So I pretty much learned the business from just make the mistakes. So, you know, know I loaned, I made some stupid loans that you can Google something, but determining value and determining really what you can sell it for I would suggest anyone wanting to get in a pawn business man, go to work for a pawn broker in another town or something and really learn the business. I mean, starting from scratch. I think you’ve had guys mentioned it, but you know, take whatever capital you think you’re going to need and triple it. Now if I had it to do over again now I probably would have went to work for someone and then I would have started my own shop because it’s so, it’s pretty, I mean, we have bought a small shop, so the cash outlay wasn’t a lot, but I know there’s a lot of places, I mean, you want to go buy an established pawnshop, you’ll going to spend a half a million dollars. And that’s a lot of risk for somebody that hasn’t been in the business. You sneeze and you’re in trouble, you know? So those would be my two words of advice is really know what your loaning on and but go learn from somebody. That’s what I do, anytime I don’t know what I’m doing, I learn from somebody.


Yigal Adato: 15:55 Awsome Shawn. So, just a summarize, for those of you who looking to grow your Facebook page really check out Shawn Fort Scott Gun & Pawn. You’ve done an incredible job, I’ll go in that Facebook page. I think it’s important part of marketing because you have a list there that you can grow. And I think one of the key things that you’re saying is don’t just try to sell people, give to people. Right? Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, uppercut, which talks about like Jab, Jab, Jab, me, then I give, give, give, give, give, give and then ask for a sale. At some point.


Shawn Goans: 16:26 Yeah, making deposit, there was another book that talks about making deposits in the emotional bank. So you withdraw. I don’t really subscribe to that. It almost feels like, you know, like using people and I don’t, I just want to service people cause I really like people. You know what I mean? I love people. I love talking to CEOs. I love talking to ditch diggers cause I feel like I can learn from everyone. Just like Zig Ziglar. I mean, you know when people think you’re interested in them as if you truly are like I am, they will reciprocate man, they want to do business with you. You know because they feel like you’re interested in them. So it’s all good.


Yigal Adato: 7:05 Love it Shaun this is been amazing. I want to thank you for your time on being on the show and making this happened, I know you’re running the shop at the same time as you are on the phone with me. For those people listening don’t forget to join us in the Pawn Leaders Podcast Community. Shawn is in there, so you can ask, answer any questions that you have for him, and if you ever want to talk with me, please go to www.pawnleaders.com I do complimentary strategy sessions for pawnbrokers and hope to see you guys soon have an incredible day.



Shawn Goans is the owner of Fort Scott Gun & Pawn and Fast Guy Stuff. He has a background in Sales and Aviation and made the dramatic switch to the pawn business after making the transition from customer to pawnbroker. Shawn shares his pawn business experience thus far on today’s episode of Pawn Leaders.


[00:49] Shawn’s pawn store is located in Fort Scott, Kansas


[01:02] He has been in Sales for the past 2 years and in the pawn business for 3 years


[01:12] Shawn went from customer to pawnshop owner   


[02:29] 10% interest charged on a 30 day loan and a 90 day grace with a hold period of 30 days 


[03:25] People travel to do business with him because of the low interest rate


[05:08] Shawn had to start from scratch with making a name for the business. He created a Facebook page and used word-of-mouth and giveaways to increase following


[07:02] His Facebook page has been removed multiple times due to his business being a gun shop


[08:36] Engaging posts are used as a strategy on Facebook


[12:39] Tactic used to engage customers:


  • Send a handwritten “Thank You” card to customers after they make a purchase


[14:53] Mistakes to be aware of:


  • Make smart loans
  • If you are new to the pawn business, work for a Pawnbroker to learn the business

Yigal Adato

Yigal is a 3rd generation pawn broker, and is now a mentor, coach and educator with the pawnbroking industry.

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