Lessons learned: Monitor performance, generate better results

November 30, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Monitor performance, generate better results

November 26/December 3, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 12 By Tom Jennings   Store owners and managers, this one’s for you. In my experience in consulting retailers on a national basis, I get the opportunity to observe a large and varied amount of sales personnel in action. One glaring observation I have noticed is most of these salespeople need one thing that appears to be sadly lacking in most operations: some constructive and active management. I...

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Lessons learned: Gain an advantage by putting customers first

November 19, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Gain an advantage by putting customers first

November 12/19, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 11  By Tom Jennings   It is a reality that most local, independent businesses are constantly being pressured by large mass merchants. It does not matter if you are selling toothpaste or televisions, some large firm is bound to have a bigger, faster, cheaper version that they are promoting with yet another barely believable offer. The floor covering business certainly falls into this category. Too often it seems as...

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Lessons learned: Avoid mixed signals when training newbies

November 2, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Avoid mixed signals when training newbies

October 29/November 5, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 10 By Tom Jennings   Frequent readers of this column will recognize I am constantly harping the point that there are lessons to be learned regarding the care of both customers and staff everywhere you look. Please allow me to share one with you. While having a lazy Saturday morning breakfast at a franchise restaurant recently, I observed an assistant manager training three new hires at a nearby...

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Lessons learned: It’s hard to retrieve missed opportunities

October 22, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: It’s hard to retrieve missed opportunities

October 15/22, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 9 By Tom Jennings   Recently while having lunch at a nice restaurant, I observed an example that everyone in management should have witnessed. At an adjoining table, a service technician for a local automobile dealership was seated with the firm’s general manager. The manager proudly told the server that his companion had won a contest for having received the highest ratings during the previous quarter for customer satisfaction....

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Lessons learned: Installation—The more things change…

September 24, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Installation—The more things change…

September 17/24, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 7 By Tom Jennings In the early 1990s, my firm was among several dealers asked to monitor all installation-related interactions with customers. We not only tracked installations, but all correspondence that we had with customers, which may have led to disappointment with the service experience they received. There were single and multiple store operations included. This group represented dealers with both employee and contract installers. These surveys were gathered...

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Lessons learned: Why ‘infomercial RSAs’ consistently excel

September 10, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Why ‘infomercial RSAs’ consistently excel

September 3/10, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 6 By Tom Jennings I was recently coaching a group of retail salespeople who were new to the flooring industry. While having a coffee break, the conversation shifted to infomercial salespeople. The general tone was one of amusement at the manner in which they conveyed their particular message for the product they were currently promoting. When I inquired whether they thought this method of selling was effective, the general...

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Lessons learned: Know who you work for

August 27, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Know who you work for

August 20/27, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 5 By Tom Jennings I recently had occasion to attend meetings in a large hotel in Atlanta. As I was walking through the main lobby, I noticed a bowl of bite-sized candies on the registration counter. Since I possess no will power when confronted by this temptation, I reached into the bowl and took a two-bite candy bar. Upon doing so, I was quickly admonished by the desk attendant...

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Lessons learned: What Sears can teach us

August 10, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: What Sears can teach us

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4 By Tom Jennings It was recently announced that Sears is closing another group of underperforming stores, including one not far from my home. As a longtime Craftsman tool junkie, I’m sorry to see this happen. But, as a retail merchandising junkie, who could be surprised? Rather than simply dismissing these announcements, there are a great many reasons flooring retailers need to be paying close attention to what’s been...

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Lessons learned: That warm, fuzzy feeling

July 13, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: That warm, fuzzy feeling

  July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2 By Tom Jennings   I have long felt that before you can be a good service provider, you must first be an aware service receiver. There are lessons to be learned daily regarding the correct way to treat customers. Allow me to share an example. Recently I needed to travel from Kansas City to Phoenix on short notice. In order to get flight times that would accommodate...

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Lessons learned: You can have it all

June 18, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: You can have it all

June 11/18, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 26 By Tom Jennings   During a business trip to Dallas not long ago, I found myself staying in a large, iconic downtown hotel. Throughout my stay, I kept asking myself how my reservation had been accepted as it seemed as if the hotel’s entire population consisted of Mary Kay Cosmetics representatives. My visit proved to be an eye-opening experience. If enthusiasm is contagious, everyone in this property was...

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