Archive for December, 2017

Goal Power

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

 It’s That Time Again;

New Year; New Conditions, New Opportunities and New Goals. Below are some thoughts on the power of a goal set right. 


It’s Only a Game
How many people would watch or play in a sporting event if there were no goals and was no scorekeeping? NONE!
One of the most influential books I have read is The Game of Work by Charles Coonradt. Charles makes the point that people will work harder at play than they will at work without tiring. When work is fun people will get into it. You make work fun when competition and scorekeeping are involved.


The key elements are goals and goal tracking. People must know where they want to go, believe they can get there, and know how they are doing along the way. As easy as goal setting sounds, a few critical mistakes can actually make the whole thing backfire. The two goals that won’t work for you are, “Too High” or “Too Low.” A goal seen as unrealistic is not motivational, and one that is too low isn’t challenging. I consider the ideal goal to be, “A little out of sight, but NEVER  out of reach.” Some think that simply setting a goal will bring about its fruition. unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Like anything else worthwhile there’s some work involved.  The first step in the process is analysis to be certain the goal is doable, then comes action and follow up.


There are basically two types of goals; externally and self imposed. If you are imposing the goal, be sure that the person or persons expected to reach it agree that he or she can. This is where the work is involved. Doing it right can be time consuming and inconvenient, but worth it. To spare this work I have seen companies set their goals by way of a formula, such as, “Last year’s sales plus 10%.” This process is a good starting point, but it doesn’t take into consideration “Unforeseen, extenuating circumstances” that make this year much different. For example, last year you had construction going on that hurt sales, but that’s not the case this year. A “formulated goal” would likely be too low. A little time spent negotiating allows you to hold people accountable as the month goes by.


Friday, December 29th, 2017

Constant Customer Contact


In any business nothing is more important than the customer. This needs to be demonstrated. You hear people say, “Were you able to find everything alright?” and, “Okay, let me know if you need anything else.” It’s about “customer touches;” how many, how gentle and how often.

The first obvious “touch” is on the sales floor, in a Pro-Active, No-Pressure manner. Be helpful but not pushy. Ask safe-to-answer questions that will help you guide the customer to the right item, and then give the information needed to make an intelligent buying decision.


Buyer or not, your next opportunity is as the customer is leaving. Your last impression is as important as the first one. Hopefully you have obtained this person’s e-mail address by now, if not; get it now, as it opens up the world going forward to additional sales for you.

Another sign of caring is following up on your service performance. This isn’t always easy to get because most people don’t want to get somebody in trouble. Well, if you have someone giving poor service, that person is already in trouble, but may not know it.

Bad news and stories of poor performance travel fast. If your customer has a problem; you have a problem too, and if you know about it you can most likely do something about it, both now and in the future as well. But, how do you get the unhappy customer to open up to you ? Or, better yet the happy customer to tell you about it.


We have a long time client with high-end jewelry stores in the Chicago area. Ownership is in the 2nd generation, so you know they are doing something right. The store is James & Sons Fine Jewelers.  I had an e-mail communication today with one of the sons. The tag line on Jim’s e-mail signature jumped out at me. I e-mailed him immediately asking for permission to share it with you. His reply was, “Go for it.” So, here it is:


Do you see why I found this so impressive? Your thoughts? 

The Magic Number

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017


It’s a New Year, and the best time to start some new success habits, or renew some forgotten ones. As a retailer, there is no habit more important than knowing where you are and where you should be.

It’s Magical
By definition, the “Magic Number” is the total amount sales that you must average from today until the end of the month to assure hitting your goal.
It’s indeed magical in that (assuming you set a SMART goal) it’s small enough at the start of the month that you know you can do it. And, when you reach and exceed the “Magic Number” you will see that is lower tomorrow therefore making it even easier.
On the flip side however, should you sell less than the “Magic Number” today, it will be larger in the morning, thereby offering you a “wake up call” early enough in the month to accomplish it.


The formula to determine your “Magic Number” today is: “Your Goal minus your Accumulated Sales for the Month Divided by the Number of Days Left in the Month to Sell.”
This is not Rocket Science; anyone can do that simple arithmetic. Unfortunately many people tend to forgive a bad day, figuring that there’s still time left in the month to make up for it. While there’s some truth to that, the fewer days you have left, the higher the number and stress level will be.
The key is to develop a sense of urgency early on, thus eliminating the stress at the end or even worse missing your goal.


If you are fortunate enough to be receiving our Morning Report that formula is built into it and will show you your “Magic Number” updated daily. This acts as a road map to hit your goal.
If you are not receiving the Morning Report CLICK HERE see how you can, and all that it does in addition to this.

Keeping Score

Friday, December 22nd, 2017


In Sports
In sports there are scoreboards They motivate the players to a higher level of performance by creating awareness and competition. They let the players know where they are going. When falling behind, they alert them in time to make the changes needed in time to win the game.



In Transportation
In transportation there are dashboards in cars and airplane cockpits. They let the drivers and pilots know where they are going and how fast. They act as alarm systems to alert drivers and pilots when something isn’t going right in time to prevent a crash or accident.


In Business:
Scoreboards and dashboards are important in business as well. They let the people in the company know if they are making money or losing money. They let the owners know if they are going to stay in business or not. Ideally the alarms would sound before it’s too late to make changes.


Too Late:
But, too often a dangerous trend is noticed too late or not at all, and a crash occurs. Unlike the dashboards in planes and cars, there are unseen variables. In the car the dials work exactly the same regardless who drivers are. Not so in business. Spreadsheets are often times looked at when the month is over leaving no time for a correction in behavior or change of direction. And of course there are those who wouldn’t know what to do about it, so not seeing it is in some way comforting.


Here Comes the Sun
Actually, there’s no more comforting feeling than waking up in the morning fully aware of everything that has happened right up through closing last night all with little or no effort on your part. We can help you with that: CLICK HERE:

6 Musts to Make a Sale:

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017


There are six things that must happen for you to make a sale. Leave any one of these out and your customer will leave empty handed.

They Are:

1.) The customer MUST come into the store. 

This is not to say that you cannot sell via your website or over the phone to a past customer, but generally speaking customers need to be able to touch it, sit on it, lay on it and more.

2.) The customer MUST find something that he or she likes.

The salesperson hasn’t been born yet that can sell things to people that they don’t like, need or want. Too many try to however.

3.) The customer MUST have the money.

You may have a customer that comes into the store, find the perfect piece of furniture, but has no way to pay for it. And if you try hard enough to sell that piece to that customer you will successfully sell the customer on leaving the store to never return.

4.) The customer MUST be willing to spend the money.

Having the money may not be enough. There may be something else the customer would prefer to spend that money on.

5.) The customer must trust the company.

If this is a customer that you have already done satisfactory business with in the past, this trust may already exist. If not, it needs to be established BEFORE you start “SELLING.”

6.) The customer MUST like the salesperson.

This is a big one since most people don’t like salespeople to begin with. This is why so many come into your store with their “guard up” and announce, “I’m just looking.”