This year I drove to The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, Texas. Amounted to just over 2500 total round trip miles from my home in central North Carolina. Part of the route followed the same stretch I walked earlier this year. And though that was a nostalgic highlight, it’s not what I came here to write about. TRE, per usual, was a giant reunion. I … Continue reading Trust and Authenticity
Last week at The Running Event, the keynote speaker uttered words every single business owner needs to hear—He said, “Love and business…there’s plenty of room to cultivate both.” Love and business. Two terms that typically don’t get much playing time. Not together, anyhow. But this guy insisted that any business’s future relevance depends on both working as one. The speaker was Walter Robb, former CEO … Continue reading Love and Business
Specialty retail is a performance, and there’s a giant difference between a ho-hum experience and one that earns rave reviews from the harshest critic. Your people wear metaphorical “makeup” so folks can see them from the back row. They exaggerate their movements and animate gestures to make a solid impact on the entire audience. Hopefully they don’t overdo it. Maybe your show’s been running for … Continue reading Unforgettable Retail Performance
Not Just You…You Plus One One of my mentors always claims, “The store is a stage.” And you know what? I believe him. Because when the retail show starts, we can’t afford to be unprepared. If we are, we’ll get booed off. Possibly shut down before our run is though. So, if you are the sort of person who needs three espresso shots before you … Continue reading Amplified
Customer Freedom is Customer Loyalty A sign in a sporting good store asking folks, “Please don’t play with the balls,” is like having one at Costco telling people not to touch the food samples. It doesn’t make any sense to try and keep shoppers from handling a product they might end up buying. Same goes with any products you keep under lock and key. Usually … Continue reading Don’t Touch the Balls
Best to Stick With the Basics When I was an in-the-trenches retailer, I attended countless trainings on pretty much any topic you can imagine. But I’m not going to lie, training didn’t always feel productive. In fact, I often left wondering why we were always harping on “best business practices” when really what I needed to know was how to handle the one-off stuff. Like, rather … Continue reading Hoosiers Layup or Tomahawk Jam?
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
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
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?