Entrepreneur best practice #3; If Sales are Scary, You Can NOT Afford to NOT get Creative..

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Market leaders act different. They understand it’s about more than taking your customer’s money. They go out of their way to teach their clients about their products and they show their clients creative new ways to use their products or services .

 

Market leaders focus on the buying experience.

 

 

The net result is they deepen the bond, the trust, with their clients and their sales increase.

 

I needed some chlorine tablets for my pool floater so I went to Paddock Pools. I have tried a number of pool supply stores over the last eight years, but I always come back to Paddock. I could buy my tablets at Home Depot, or even Big Lots if I time running out correctly, but I prefer to pay a little more and buy my chemicals from someone who knows pools.

 

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As I entered the store I could not help but notice a mini Haunted house to my right. I thought how cool…just like they create amazing Christmas tree displays to offset their down season sales, they also have Halloween decorations.

How smart…they created a merchandising customer experience.

As I checked out with my new bucket of chorine tablets I was asked …” Did you go inside?” I admitted the young boy still inside me wanted to, and she encouraged me to go inside and check it out. So I ducked my head and went through the cray paper streamers and went inside.

 

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Inside there where all kinds of products merchandised to illustrate how to use them, even a spooky fireplace in the back of the room. Everything in this mini Haunted house were product’s the store sells and they showed how to use them with a little creativity.

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I just had to ask the cashier how long this took to build and the cost. She said with a smile…” well we argues about how to do it for an hour, …we planned it for another, then it took two hours do when the store was slow.” I asked; “was it expensive?” …she said “no, not really.. I think we spent about $75”, (and my gut said they spent their own money and did not expense it.) I asked if I could take pictures of their handiwork and their faces just lit up with smiles.

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When business is tough you must be creative. As I discussed in my post about leveraging what you have, you must assess what you have instead of doing what most struggling entrepreneurs do and that is make a list of what they need to be successful…”if we only had….we could hit our revenue numbers”.

This store, this organization, did a number of things right…

 

They leveraged what they had.

 

They stuck to their “flight plan

 

Created an experience and not just a floor display

 

They “showed” their clients how to use their products

 

They “taught”their clients

 

They empowered their associates to be a part of the solution

 

They recommended I check it out

 

Once inside they had a create Halloween Christmas tree, reinforcing their other seasonal products

 

If I had young children, I promise you this display would spread in their network of friends and parents would be visiting this store, or junior would make their lives miserable until they did.

 

Market leaders act differently.

 

They understand it’s about more than taking your customer’s money. They go out of their way to teach and show ( versus tell and sell) their clients creative new ways to use their products or services and they focus on the buying experience. The net result is they deepen the bond, the trust, with their clients and their sales increase.

 

 

How about your business….

What can you do today that is creative, but is not expensive?

How can you create a customer experience instead?

 

 

When sales are scary you must leverage what you have and get creative to; “create sales velocity”.

 

 

I plan to circle back with this Paddock store and hopefully their manager will share with me the sales this year compared to last year as a % as my guess is their seasonal Halloween merchandise sales will see an increase AND their other products will as well.

 

Great Job to those at Paddock Pools who built this display in the store on Shea near the 101 freeway,… if you live nearby , bring the kids and check it out!

 

Entrepreneur Best Practices; #2 Dismiss or Distribute “Yafo’s” quickly …

flight plan

 

 

Entrepreneurs are an amazing breed. There is nothing like the thrill of launching a new product, service, and or business that perfectly solves a market need. Entrepreneurs are wired differently. It’s as if we have radar for problems and an inner passion to connect and solve them…we can’t turn it off. I share this in my recent pod cast on the struggling entrepreneur.(Episode 101A)

Market leading entrepreneurs understand how to harness and focus this gift, this blessing.

 

As the biblical prophet Jimmy Buffet says…” a blessing becomes a curse if you keep it to yourself”. So it literally drives us nuts to see problems and solutions so crystal clear that it interrupts our drives home at night, our work outs at the gym, and worst of all time with our loved ones. We just can’t seem to shake it.

However this blessing left unchecked can also become a curse with out a filter. Since entrepreneurs see market needs and create solutions, they often can not turn off the opportunity identification gene. At a recent Tie meeting the entrepreneur who had the vision and launched Kaboodle, said it best;

“One area entrepreneurs must learn to manage is YAFO’S”.

 

Yet

 

Another

 

Frickin (edited)

 

Opportunity 

 

One way entrepreneurs can build that ever so needed filter is ;” Buy a Map” as I discussed in a previous post. When you create your road map, or your “flight plan” as I have always called it, it helps you identify opportunities that are along your flight plan and accelerate your sales velocity to your desired destination. Your flight plan also helps you see that the YAFO you have just identified is too far off the current flight plan (would delay your arrival at your goal location) and helps pull your focus back to the current opportunity.

So what do you do with YAFO’s?

 

 

 

  1. learn to dismiss them…quickly
  2. create a new company to serve the opportunity if its large enough
  3. Distribute (sell) your idea to a current leader in that space and get back to your flight plan quickly.

 

 

As I said, entrepreneurs are wired, deep in our DNA, differently. We see problems and opportunities everywhere we go. We just can’t help it. For example my wife and I were out on date night and we went to see a great date night movie; The Ugly Truth. As we were driving home, and having many discussions about the movie, it hit me; someone ought to share the “Ugly Truths “about starting and owning your own business.

 

4 hour work week

 

Far too often the people that come to me have been sold a false, get rich quick, a four hour work week , expectation. Some accomplish this but for most of the entrepreneurs I have worked with over the past 25 years it is hard work and long hours. So I wrote the eBook you can download on my blog; 50 Ugly Truths About Owning and Running Your Own Business, and why you should do it anyway. (I literally could not sleep until I set this idea free)

Market leading Entrepreneurs implement clear flight plans, and they quickly identify YAFO’s for what they are.

 

 

 

 

 

How about your organization…..

 

Do you need a filter? Are you chasing multiple opportunities and not getting anywhere fast?

Are your efforts building sales velocity? Or chasing YAFO’s that are taking you off course?

What do you do when you find a YAFO?

 

A blessing can become a curse if we keep it to ourselves. However we must develop a filter, a flight plan that helps us quickly dismiss or distribute opportunities that are not in alignment with our flight plan.

A lack of focus stalls or decimates sales velocity….if you let it.

 

Not dealing with YAFO’s correctly delays and often derails your flight plan to your goal.