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Should I Risk Another In-Store Event and More of Your Questions Answered

Such as, what’s better for a billboard – a smaller local road or a major arterial route?




stressed woman cover eyes with hands

An employee keeps telling me she is frustrated with different aspects of her job. How do I respond?

Start with her. Ask her what she thinks the answer is. If that doesn’t yield anything helpful or realistic, ask her to come up with three lists made up of:

  • The good stuff. The part of the job that makes her feel worthy, satisfied or accomplished.
  • The everyday parts of the job — those things that don’t suck and are part of pulling a paycheck.
  • The “Ugh, I hate this!” stuff that is frustrating her.

Put these into three buckets and then find ways, together, to spend 10% less time on the “ugh” stuff in Bucket C and increase by 10% time spent on the engaging activities in Bucket A. Of course, sometimes she’s just going to have to suck it up and do the ugh jobs but at least you’ve gone the extra yard. The point of this exercise isn’t to pander to your staff. People do better jobs when they’re doing what energizes them. You may be surprised what excites an individual.

We tried our hand at an in-store event but the results were disappointing. I’m worried a second poor event will hurt our store’s reputation and staff morale.

There is a line of thought that there is nothing worse than first-time success, because you’ll never know why you succeeded. Ergo, failure is good — IF you learn from it. “Many retailers create exciting in-store promotions but fail to get their staff behind the effort, or they fail to track the results by finding out what brought the customer in during the time period or most importantly they didn’t fully execute on the promotion,” says James Porte of Porte Marketing. If you haven’t done it yet, sit down with staff and review what was good, what didn’t work and how you could have improved the event. Then, give it another shot based on what you have learned.

What’s the best approach to a customer who wants something you don’t have?

Tell them where they can get it — but try to sow some doubts first. This may be an uphill battle if it’s a brand-name item they’re after but go ahead and ask what it was about the frame that they liked and offer to find them something similar. (Let’s say you don’t stock Ray-Bans, in that case, offer to show them Blenders or Carrera or SALT.) You never know, they may just fall in love with it. As a last resort if you can’t provide it, tell them where they can get it, because that’s part of your job. “It’s the professional thing to do if you can’t turn it around,” says sales trainer Shane Decker.

What’s the best way to deliver a bad employee review?

David Bentley coined the term “naked leadership” to promote the idea of totally honest management and stripping away the emotional hang-ups of giving negative feedback. In terms of handing down a less-than-positive performance review, that means:

  • Just do it. No sugar coating. No mixed messages. Make it clear you’re criticizing a result or action, not the person.
  • Stay on target. You’re doing this to identify and fix a problem.
  • Keep it simple, objective and sincere. Insincere feedback is a waste of everyone’s time and it detracts from your credibility.

This is about business and behaviors. It’s not about you and whether you’re a nice person, it’s about the team and improving the performance of your store. Keep that idea in your head and it will make the process much more useful for all.

I’m looking at two billboard sites. One is on an arterial road with very high traffic numbers and the other a smaller road that gets more local traffic.

Don’t be fooled by traffic numbers, warns the Wizard Of Ads Roy Williams. “High traffic doesn’t always mean high visibility. These are the pivotal questions: 1. How many people drive past here each day? 2. Are they mostly the same people each day driving to and from work or is this a twice-a-month artery for a much larger population?” he says. The first option is often the best because it reinforces your message daily and builds “top-of-mind” awareness, he says.



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