4 Steps to Your Big Change

Just Because You Want Change Doesn’t Mean You Will Change Retailers tell me all the time that they want to make ‘a big change’, but rarely do they know what this change looks like. Sure, they exclaim their readiness to rock the boat, but they are too far from water to set sail in the first place. Often folks think I’ll define this change for … Continue reading 4 Steps to Your Big Change

Train Like a Classroom Teacher

The 7 Steps of Quality Retail Training Before I worked in specialty retail, I was a classroom educator. Straight out of the military I took a job as a non-credentialed physical education teacher. I lined kids up like they were in basic training and had them shout a call-and-response while I guided them through stretches and calisthenics. They loved it, I loved it, but the … Continue reading Train Like a Classroom Teacher

Yo, What Up?

Your Greeting Needs Intention (and Attention) I used to bank where employees were obviously required to punch every customer in the chest with a canned greeting. “Good morning/afternoon sir/ma’am, welcome to blah-blah bank. How can I be of assistance today?” Ugh. Each time I walked in I felt embarrassed for the employee on deck. Their sad face spouting a scripted and sullen hello, likely motivated by … Continue reading Yo, What Up?

We Aim to Please

What an Atlanta Airport Bathroom Visit Taught Me About Customer Service On Monday I had a layover in the Atlanta airport. I don’t usually fly through ATL—mostly because I am a Southwest loyalist—but when I do I am repeatedly impressed by the airport’s amenities. If I’m passing through in the evening, I’ll head over to terminal E and visit One Flew South—a classy joint for … Continue reading We Aim to Please

New Retail Word: Handseling

Offer Your Customers a Good Luck Charm I’d like to introduce a new word to the specialty retail lexicon—handseling. Ever heard of this word? Neither had I until I interviewed the owner of a local bookstore for an article I was writing. She used it when referring to her staff’s interaction with each customer. As in, “When handseling, staffers really need to make sure we … Continue reading New Retail Word: Handseling

Your Goal is Not to Sell

Your Goal is Not to Sell – It’s to Connect “Stop selling stuff.” That’s what I tell retailers looking for a new, innovative way to approach the day. None think I am serious, but I am. I usually end up having to repeat myself. “No really,” I say. “Stop selling stuff. Just stop.” But my words are so far out in left field that folks … Continue reading Your Goal is Not to Sell

Retail Archaeology

– Retail Archaeology: The Innate Passion of Discovery – My grandparents retired from their San Francisco jobs to a piece of property up north. Their hidden acre sat on the rocky slopes of an ancient volcano. The surrounding land was covered in shiny black glass—obsidian. Gramps told me if I’m patient and look closely at the ground, I might find an arrowhead. After scouring every … Continue reading Retail Archaeology