Everyday I’m out in stores visiting various retailers. Some are clients of ours, and others are just on my endless errand list. Pet stores, grocery stores, drug stores, sporting goods stores … the list goes on. I’m sure many of you can relate.
Often, these blogs talk about what’s broken in retail and how to fix it. But let’s turn the tables for this posting.
I want to share three recent shopping experiences that were all great, and that were all built on a common theme.
My first experience was in a clothing store while on vacation. I entered the store and initially felt like I did not connect with the concept. As I turned around to walk out, the sales associate engaged with me. She asked me if I had been in the store before and what brought me in. Then, she shared the vision of the store and the stories of the selected designers they worked with. After, she asked me questions about my lifestyle and picked out some items and told me the stories behind each. I was immediately intrigued and in the end walked out with 3 items. When I arrived home, I surfed the retailer’s website in anticipation of other great finds. I am now following them on social media and looking forward to their fall collection.
My second experience was in a grocery store. I was in the produce department picking out cactus pears (yes, cactus pears! My son loves them). The Produce Manager walked over and asked me if I knew the nutritional value of cactus pears. I mentioned I knew they were an antioxidant. The Manager went on to talk about all the other nutritional benefits of cactus pears, including aiding digestion. He then pointed out the kumquats and proceeded to talk about their powerful health benefits. Wow! Needless to say, I walked out with double the cactus pears and a bag of kumquats.
My third experience was at a pet store. I went in to look at a new collar for my dog. The sales associate asked me questions about my dog as she assisted me. She learned about my dog’s hip problems and sensitive stomach. Her curiosity and interest in my dog’s health resulted in me purchasing new healthy treats and joint/mobility supplements … and the new collar. I have since returned many times to ask for more recommendations.
You have to wonder why these employees are so engaged. Well, I asked.
- They love the products they sell and believe in them
- Their company continually invests in them, specifically in their Product Knowledge and Sales Training
- They love the people they work with and their boss
It sounds so simple, but the payoff is in creating happy staff that engage their customers and create an incredible experience with the brand.
So, how do you create this? Two simple steps to get started with:
- Curate your teams carefully. Do not settle. Every hire must believe in what you believe in, what your brand represents and share the passion for your products/services.
- Teach your people the Mastery of their work. Give them all the knowledge that empowers them to work with purpose and confidence.