Maximizing Retail Growth
By William Seidman
In these hard times, every customer matters. Retailers must ensure that all customers who contact them have an extraordinary experience which, ideally, leads to better percentage of customersactually purchasing goods and services and larger average sales per customer. Traditional means of increasing store performance, typically training, have not been successful at developing storepersonnel sufficiently to provide this winning customer experience.Fortunately, recent scientific breakthroughs about human behavior and the importance of modelingbest practices after star retail managers are changing this scenario for retail organizations big andsmall. Instead of implementing new selling programs only to find very few employees adopting thedesired behavior, retailers can leverage their best sales personnel and managers to drive attitudinaland behavior changes that lead to more effective customer conversion and increased sales. Usingthis approach, real connection
with customers’ needs promotes rapid sales growth.
This approach has four distinct stages.
Stage 1: Set the Bar
Identify Your Stars
Use your organization’s top performing sales personnel and managers to define the desired attitude
and behavior. Th
ese star players (i.e. the “positive deviants”) are often the most influential leaders
of the organization because they are highly respected for their history of success and positiveattitudes. A critical element of their performance is a commitment to ach
ieving a “greater socialgood” from their customer interactions that invariably aligns with both the customer’s and theirorganization’s business objectives.
Stage 2: Motivate Change
Utilize a concise, high-
energy statement of the positive deviant’s grea
ter social good created byfocusing on customer connection as the catalyst to engage others in the change process. Whenpresented in a particular way, this statement causes retail personnel to feel honored to be part of providing customers with extraordinary buying experiences and see themselves as criticalcontributors to the overall success of the organization.In turn, by generating and writing down personalized, positive images of the statement, storepeople are more open to new ideas and learn them more quickly even while their natural resistanceto change is suppressed. People feel that a profound commitment to store success is their idea,which generates a perception that the customer connection is critical for the entire organization.
Stage 3: Sustain the Change