In Design Magazine: Does Your Company Have Heart and Soul?


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Article from In Design Magazine about creating a heart and soul for your retail business.

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In Design Magazine: Does Your Company Have Heart and Soul?

  1. 1. if i owned a jewelry store ... BY MICHAEL LEE STALLARD Productivity expert and author of Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity or Productivity I WOULD DISTINGUISH MY STORE from competitors by developing its heart and soul. Stores that have heart and soul enrich their owners, customers and communities in both eco- nomic and non-economic ways. What do I mean by heart and soul? Let me explain. While out running errands one day when we were relatively new to town, my wife stopped in at one of several jewelry stores on the main shopping street. The cases were filled with beauti- ful pieces, new and heirloom. The salespeople, however, were more than aloof. They ignored her. No eye contact. No smile. No “Hello, my name is X, may I help you?” This lack of connec- tion made her feel as if they thought she was unworthy of their attention. Not surprisingly, she has never gone back. These salespeople lacked the qualities I describe as heart and soul. The absence of heart and soul in the workplace is not unusual. This is the age of mind and strength. So often we focus on the tasks of our work and neglect the relational aspects. As human beings, we have emotions, hopes and dreams, a con- science, and deeply felt human needs. Research has shown that when we recognize these realities and treat others in ways consis- tent with them, we thrive. When we don’t, it is damaging to our mental and physical health and to the health of those around us. If I owned a jewelry store, I would encourage everyone on the sta to be intentional about developing heart, soul, GOOD TO GREAT FOR THE JEWELER WHO ALWAYS MANAGES TO REACH THE TOP42 JULY / AUGUST
  2. 2. RETAIL / GOOD TO GREAT“When relationships are not concept storenurtured, an opportunityto develop loyalty is missed.”— MICHAEL LEE STALLARD baublesmind and strength. Mind and strength are important becausewe compete based on the excellence of our work. Heart andsoul are important because developing relationship excellenceis necessary to sustain task excellence. When relationships fail among colleagues, communicationbreaks down and rivalries develop that reduce cooperation andteam spirit. Many customers can sense this. When relation-ships with customers are not established or nurtured, such asin my wife’s case, an opportunity to develop customer loyaltyis missed. In my store, I would encourage colleagues to take the time totreat everyone as human beings. This applies to those we workwith, suppliers and customers. Start by getting to know the firstand last names, stories and interests of these people, and to findsomething you have in common with everyone you meet. I would hire employees like my teenage daughter Elizabeth,an aspiring actress who works part-time at a clothing boutiquein our town. Just the other day while driving by her store, I spot-ted Elizabeth standing outside smiling, greeting passersby andhanding out flyers about the sale going on inside. People smiledback at her. Her enthusiasm is contagious (an e ect sociologistscall “emotional contagion”). Human nature is such that there will always be people who slogan: “Fun, flirty and fashionable — at a price you can a ord.”purchase jewelry as a badge of success. More and more today,however, people are defining success in non-material ways. store environment: Following the wildly popular concept of PeopleMany are seeking significance by deepening their relationships StyleWatch magazine, this store is always at the forefront of a ordablewith family and friends. To promote these connections, I would fashion jewelry. Life-size images of celebs on the streets wearinghelp customers commemorate significant events or people in jewelry adorn the store walls, and similar images are updated eachtheir lives with the purchase of jewelry that has a personalized week for display on large TV screens. Lighting and colors are cheerful,symbol or message. Furthermore, should they desire it, I would open and inviting; shoppers can try on jewelry themselves without helpo er the service of a writer to help them compose a special note from sales associates, and receive complete fashion advice from styleto go along with the gift of jewelry for that important event. counselors on sta . Think casual cocktail party, 365 days a year. To nurture the courage to connect is to nurture a big heartand a beautiful soul. You will see that connection enriches the marketing plan: Encourages customers to wear the same jewelrylives of your sta , your customers and the people in your com- that their favorite actors and actresses are wearing, at a price theymunity, creating not only economic wealth, but a wealth of even can a ord to pay. All marketing e orts tie the latest a ordable jewelrygreater value. fashions together with the celebrities who are wearing them, and emphasize that shoppers will always find THE very latest styles here. inventory: Designs made popular by celebrities for daily wear. Unique “designer” looks, but all for under $2,000, andMICHAEL LEE STALLARD helps leaders at organizations such as General Electric, most under $1,000. Store would need strongGoogle, Johnson & Johnson, NASA and Yale-New Haven Hospital boost productivity, “Conceptinnovation and overall performance. He is the primary author of the book Fired Up or relationships with designers for stock balancing Stores” ideasBurned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity or Productivity. in exchange for consistent sales and incredible are designed to be promotion. STORY BY TRACE SHELTON stolen. Like this idea? Take it and run with DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN CONCEPT STORE? it! SEND IT TO US: JULY / AUGUST 43