What can you learn from Circuit City!
There was a time when Circuit City was a retailing juggernaut; but that was the past and now itis non-existent in any physical form. Having successfully expanded its operation during the 80sand 90s, the retailer rested in its laurels while old competitors advanced and new competitorstook a slice of their pie.
n the face of decreasing sales, Circuit City took a new step to cut costs.
t fired 3000 of its best performing salespeople and replaced them with high-school teenagers.As a result of this, customer satisfaction dwindled. So did sales and now, the company is gone.
Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.
Circuit City could not understand the nature of its own business.
n electronics retailing, a storeneeds salespeople that understand the products on sale because of the complexity of the saleand a natural tendency of customers to know as much as possible before investing on a $2000HDTV. Hiring high-school students works for Walmart because in Walmart, salespeople areclerks that stock products on the shelf. Nevertheless, Walmart too has a dedicated electronicsclerk in every superstore.You, as liaison officers, need to understand your business and know what potential patientslook for. You are in the business of long-term relationships with physicians who send you theirpatients hoping that they get the best care. McKinsey Quarterly shows that 70 % of doctorswere influenced by their patients requests when deciding the hospital to send their patientsto
. Thus, one bad experience will result in the patient moving to a different hospital.
Tactics will get you nowhere if you present them to the wrong person,in the wrong fashion, without sufficient information, or at the wrongtime.
Unlike a travelling salesman, the success of your enterprise depends entirely on properlydisseminating the right information about your product to the right person. Thus a key factordefining your achievements is how good your liaison officers are when they talk to physicians.Although you are selling the same services, you need to treat each physician differently and
Kurt D. Grote, John R. S. Newman and Saumya S. Sutaria
better hospital experience
(McKinsey Quarterly, 2007)
(William Morrow and Company,