All Of Life Is A Sale
The gravitas of our retail business, coldly defined, is a profitable sale of goods to the final, ultimate consumer. The retail experience can be better-defined through a simple spirit of giving called “customer generosity.”
Not just coupons, special sales, drive period promotions and or paper rewards but rather through one-to-one ambient care and generosity for a consumers' happiness. After all, who can resist being happy? Who can resist generosity? Who cannot be grateful for a brand, for a product, or for a retailer who makes them happy, who delivers generous service, support and smiles before and after the sale. Generosity is a profitable magnet. Generosity begets generosity. In retail speak generosity is the language of profitable boomerang store traffic.
In our socially charged world, consumers define retail brand-leadership in mere seconds. They decide whether a retailer becomes their favorite brand or not “right after their first purchase or when their service begins,” per recent survey results from ClickFox. And according to a new study from Thunderhead.com, American consumers don’t feel their relationships with businesses (read brands) are improving. According to the findings, 25 percent of customers would switch to a different provider (brand) on the basis of just one single negative experience and 1 in 5 would never re-establish trust in a provider after a significant negative experience. Finally, only 3 percent of Americans completely trust the advertisements they see, read or hear, according to the results of a survey conducted by YouGov.
It is axiomatic based upon this research that consumers define retail brand-leadership in mere seconds. Of course, in our hyper-social-networking lives consumers also promulgate their positive or negative definition of a brand experience across the clouds instantaneously. And according to YouGov’s survey, retailers cannot simply advertise their way around lackluster in-store service and support. No way, no how!
Retail leadership is defined as a person or team who guides and directs a group to achieve a united goal, an agreed-to omni-vision. Although leadership is orientated by facts not by emotions, the heart of leadership defines the spirit of self-sacrifice, the doctrine of consumer necessity especially at the last three feet of the in-store selling aisle. Perhaps retail’s greatest leadership responsibility is in creating America’s next advancement of top business leaders. Retail leadership is expected to encourage associates to truly enjoy serving a customer and also enjoy physical retail giving, caring and sharing. The results of this regal-grooming-leadership? Consumer store traffic shifts favorably into kinetic-hyper-drive, cash registers are favorably over exercised and profits are generously delivered to stockholders. Life is very good for any retailer who tilts, decrees and promotes exceptional customer service and support in the language of disciplined leadership at the last three feet of the sale. But don't take my word for it- take a multitude of very smart third party research reports, as well as a multitude of consumers.
Yes, retail is a highly competitive, rough and tumble business. It can run hot or cold but must always run on offering best brands, products, prices, locations and services. Retail is also, we sometimes forget, all about selling. It is all about leadership salesmanship at the last three feet of the sale. Sometimes the “salesmanship” is projected through packaging or pricing or brand value. Many times the best store salesman is the product itself. But always, selling must be the life-blood of each and every retail store employee regardless of position. Sales failure, whether due to poor store traffic, weak store receipts, poor associate selling or anemic store profit intentions, represents an opportunity for leadership to step in to ensure that boomerang store traffic becomes a reality.
Gen One Ventures warrants 5 of 10 retail sales principles to ensure short and long term brand value, lifetime brand leadership and kinetic boomerang-store-traffic. Together, they represent retail opportunity, ensure consumer loyalty along with increased store traffic. These principles declare loudly that whether you are a retailer or a consumer, “all of life is a sale”:
1. Be Care-full: Care about your customers and they in turn will care about your retail brand. Be full-of-care for each and every customer by defining the kilter of a store associates score-card-expectants to sell customer-care, to sell and define your retail-brand-value first and foremost.
2. Mind Your ABS’s: Train your store employees to “Always Be Selling.” This means their most important responsibility across the store floor is to assiduously sell and mirror your retail brand prowess through serviced actions, knowledgeable support and customer care. This means mentoring all store associates in any position to gain customer attention, interest, conviction and appreciation for your retail brand: to teach associates how to improve their sales conversions.
3. Hire Thy Heroes: Pay for talent. Repeat and amplify: “pay for talent.” To many times we hire mediocre, tenderfoot-glib employees based upon a low wage philosophy. That philosophy directly impacts store traffic, brand opportunity, profitable engagements. Hire thy heroes, invest in them and deliver them the very best in sales training, personal development and selling tools. If you “build it” with best of breed human capital, “they will come.”
4. Train To Gain: Every nano-second of a customer’s journey through a physical retail store is an opportunity to muscle up and fuel gregarious customer-to-brand affinity. Each and every dollar spent in retail advertising must be soulfully mirrored and re-amplified through in-store human capital. Anything less in associate “brand ball carrying” and selling is a catastrophic, obfuscating-virus known as “the profit recession business.”
5. Six Sigma Fuels Retail Power: Six Sigma’s most relevant-gentry for retailers is called “Muda” which in Japanese means “waste.” Relieving and disposing sales performance waste reduces product and service costs, increases quality, services and consistency. Specifically excellence in preventing waste within Six Sigma includes A. TESTING your sales associates knowledge. B. INVENTORY supply level insurance. C. WAITING time for customers creates lost opportunity. D. SPEED to customer support and deliverables creates or defeats opportunity. E. MOTIONING responsibility to the wrong team member in store hurts opportunity. F. OVERPRODUCTION causes associates not to know where to start or stop causing both associate and customer stress, lost promises. G. OVER PROCESSING by some associates suggests weakness in deliverables from other associates which equates to poor customer service, support and care.