A few musings as we await warmer temperatures here in the Northeast…
Boston Marathon and a disaster plan
My heart breaks for the victims and their families after the double bombing at the Boston Marathon. I can't imagine being in the middle of that, but for some retailers it was a reality. One of the bombs exploded directly in front of Marathon Sports, an independent retailer, but fortunately nobody inside the store was hurt.
Although this sort of event is unlikely to ever hit your store, every retailer should have a disaster plan. Would your manager and staff know what to do? It's important that those in charge know that the safety of the staff and customers is absolutely the first priority. I know that seems obvious, but people don't always think logically when disaster hits.
If you don't have a disaster plan, create one this week. Then review it with your team every six months or so. We can only hope it's never needed, but if it does you can rest assured that your staff and customers will be a little safer as a result of having a plan in place.
I recently told a participant in my Extraordinary Coaching program to quit the negative self-talk. She said more than once what a lousy manager she was. First, she wasn't a lousy manager. There are things she could do better. Second, she was taking the steps necessary to become a better manager, which is hardly the sign of a lousy manager
Negative self-talk has a huge impact on our performance. If you keep telling yourself over and over that you're not good at something, well then of course you're not going to do well. We achieve what we believe.
I don't believe it's skill that separates the good managers from the great, but self-awareness, practice, believing in your own abilities, and the ability to stop talking and take action. Stop the negative self-talk and start focusing on what you can do and become. You have so much to offer your team! I know, because I meet so many of you at events and in your stores.
Note: I am starting another
Four Weeks coaching program in two weeks. At this point it is the only one I
have scheduled before the fall. Contact us for details.
Apropos of nothing:
* Best idea I heard last week. The owner of a boutique delivered a loaf of fresh bread with butter to her top customers with a note that read, "You're our bread and butter, and we so appreciate your business. Thank you." Love it!
* Markdowns are a natural part of the buying and selling cycle. Too many markdowns are a problem, but any buyer or owner who sees them as an evil or as an indictment of themselves will ultimately end up being a too conservative buyer. There's a happy medium in there. As Jeff Bezos once put it: you can't spend margin. You can only spend cash.
* Last week I had to teach an employee at a shoe store how to read the device that measure's people feet. It's not like I was working with them; I was shopping with my daughter. Yikes! The goal should be to ramp up new employees as fast as possible, but at the same time you can't let them loose with customers until they can add value to a customer's experience. How well are you integrating new employees into the store?
* We're less than four weeks away from Mother's Day. For those who depend on this holiday, consider hosting some smaller events heading up to the holiday. New product introductions, meet the rep, and other events are a great way to get moms asking for the products you sell.
Have a great week! And as a friend of mine always says to me... be brilliant!
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.