Thanks to The EDGE Retail Academy, attendees of JCK 2015 were able to witness two presentations from Terry Hawkins, bestselling author, well-established business woman, and President of the training company People In Progress Global. I had the fortune of attending her JCK Talk titled "The Retail Revolution" on Thursday, May 28, 2015.
Terry is certainly a dynamic speaker that keeps the audience entertained and engaged while also sharing valuable information. Although I managed to live tweet several important points during Terry's presentation, I've decided to write out more of my notes from her session in today's Daily Golden Nugget.
Here are some of the highlights from The Retail Revolution with Terry Hawkins...
Many companies offer training programs but Terry doesn't like the word "training" because it dumbs down the transformation of people as they learn new things. That transformation can't be achieved in a 1 or 2 day training program because you need to learn how to rewire your brain. You can't change your behavior after a short training program, it takes a massive investment of time to force yourself to do things better.
Americans spend many years in school then celebrate the achievement of their college degree. Celebration of successes is a natural part of how Americans think. It's so ingrained in American thinking that it has created a culture of the majority of people waiting to see someone else prove a successful strategy before they try something new on their own.
The U.S. culture is one where we copy ideas and methods from others who were successful before us instead of sometimes taking a risk on our own. Regardless of the journey that has gone before you, you can make decisions today that will absolutely transform your future. Don't be afraid to take some risks because a business doesn't go broke with one bad decision.
Many business owners don't know how to grow their business because they feel that customers want to deal directly with them. After all, the business owner is the best person to sell the products and services that they offer. Yet, the business won't ever grow unless other employees can also sell the products and services just as well.
Business owners should hire people who have the same core values as themselves, then train them in the specific daily processes in your business that customers actually love, rather than the owner's personality. In reality, a business owner hires sales people who get results by whatever means possible instead of following a formula for customer satisfaction.
By a show of hands, it was revealed that half of the audience were business owners and the other half were employees. Terry explained that the high performing sales people usually have the attitude that the business would not survive without them. Several laughs from the audience seemed to confirm that statement.
Instead of relying on high performing sales people, a business owner can develop a sales formula for everyone to follow. Regardless of what customer steps through your door, you can put them into the same sales process and achieve the same positive results.
The personality of the business is what your customers are attracted to. That personality is conveyed through all of your sales people. Your customers need to have a transformation experience in their retail shopping, but that can only be provided by the sales person.
You don't have to go to college to be a successful sales person, but Americans have been brainwashed into thinking that a higher education is necessary for everything. All of the money you make flows through the sale person at the front of the store. All the marketing that brought a customer into your store stops when a customer meets your sales person, but your sales person will lose the sale if they are not fully trained in your process.
The process will create that transformational experience for customers, but it also helps you achieve your sales goals. You should set sales goals in your store because they will motivate your employees to do better. That motivation also helps them appreciate the training you give them because they will realize it helps better their sales skills.
Employees who aren't skilled enough with their training will often cave in when customers request discounts. Oftentimes, an employee is too afraid that a potential customer will go down the street to a competitor that they will honor the discount request. With the proper sales training, your employees can out-skill a customer and even prevent them from ever asking for that discount.
Employee training isn't the only necessary component to developing a transformational experience for customers; your entire business must think differently. All too often, upper management is making decisions for the sales people without ever spending any time to learn who the customer is and how best to serve them.
Upper management often times makes decisions based on making more profits rather than customer service, but they fail to realize that great customer service will bring more profits than cutting corners. Sales people have the greatest customer intelligence in your business, but often times upper management never asks their opinions.
Instead of upper management making decisions for the sales staff, they should only make decisions for the immediate management level right below them, but only after getting their opinion as well. Every management level should only make decisions for the immediate level below them.
Terry refers to this process as "turning your business management inward." The purpose is to focus on the benefit of the customer rather than on the benefit of the owners. Ultimately, this method creates that transformational experience for customers and increases profits.