Don't Be Afraid to Repeat Yourself
There’s a reason infomercials drag on: humans’ weakness for pattern recognition. We’re programmed to think something we’ve heard repeatedly is more important than something we’ve heard once. Yet, as the Entrepreneur.com blog points out, many business owners believe if someone doesn’t get it the first time, a different way to say it needs to be found. “If you have a well-honed idea and are trying to market it better, get comfortable saying the same thing multiple times,” writes Martin Zwilling.
When you hammer out a new lease with your landlord, sales rep or a media agent, sit them on the hardest chair in your office. According to the Sloan School of Management, sitting on a hard chair lowers negotiating ability.
BUYING AS A TEAM SPORT
Buying should primarily be data-driven, but too much financial discipline can result in a selection that lacks personality. At L’optique in Asheville, NC, which has built a reputation for its cutting-edge collection of eyewear designers, the whole team gets a say in choosing new frames. “[Owner Janice Gibbs] knows if we are excited about it, we will sell it,” says Hannah Gibbs, a trainee optician at the store. “With each of us being of a different age, having different taste and styles, it makes the perfect melting pot of inventory,” she says.
THE POWER OF GIVEAWAYS
Anthony Gaggi says the goal at his store, Anthony Aiden Opticians in New York, is to make eyewear fun and cool. A big part of that is adding the element of surprise, like asking celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz to help dispense eyewear, and off-the-cuff promotions. “I once had a dartboard and offered clients three throws. A bullseye; their order is free,” he says. “Outrageous giveaways always create buzz.”
BUY ROSES EARLY
If you hand out flowers to patients on Valentine’s Day, buy them earlier than usual this year, urges statistics guru Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com website. They won’t wilt for up to seven days while their prices will double as the big day draws near. Another option is to consider heartier flowers. “Carnations and orchids look nice, smell great and won’t wilt for two weeks,” says the site’s Cheapskate’s Guide to Buying Flowers for Valentine’s Day.
CHECK WITH THE VALET
Job candidates may encounter several people during their interview; office staff, salespeople, the parking attendant, etc. So, be sure to ask their impression of the candidates. As the New Yorker noted in a recent story on the hiring practices of Zappos, someone may put on a certain face while meeting you, but treat a receptionist or valet condescendingly.
SAY “I DON’T KNOW”
“No one in business wants to look like an ignoramus — but it’s hard to learn anything if you pretend you already know the answer,” says economist and Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner. Second benefit of being humble: Once you know what you don’t know, you can start running experiments and gathering feedback, he told Forbes.
YOUR PASSWORD SUCKS
If you use any of these computer passwords — x, Zz, St@rt123, 1, P@ssw0rd, bl4ck4ndwhite, admin, alex, ......., administrator — you’ve basically left the key in the door. According to a year-long, 119-country study by information security firm Rapid7, they’re the top 10 hackers try first. “……..” Really? Try harder people.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of INVISION.