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Maximize 2016 Using Your Single Greatest Competitive Advantage |  January 06, 2016 (0 comments)


While every year brings change, this year seems to have brought more than most. At The Centurion, we know the retail landscape continues to evolve. To help you start out 2016 on the best note, we asked a variety of industry experts for their take on dealing with these changes. Each replied from their own viewpoint, offering strategies and insights into the changes the year ahead will bring. Our tenth installment is from Terry Sisco, ExSELLerate, and speaks to retailers about your single greatest competitive advantage – your people. --Caroline Stanley

Tampa, FL—The people standing behind your showcases today are your success secret for 2016. They are your single greatest competitive advantage over e-commerce as well as the local competition for a host a reasons.

Let’s take this reality even further. Do you employ sales associates or Business Builders? One commonality of successful retail organizations is that they hire, develop and nurture people who are hard wired to grow their business as opposed to simply employing a person because by all appearances, they can sell. This is a subtle yet huge difference maker.

So, what is the difference between a Business Builder and a Sales Associate?

For over forty years I have had unfettered access to front-line people who individually write upwards to ten million dollars annually in fine jewelry business. I have performed behavioral assessments on them to understand how they are behaviorally hardwired. I have studied, observed and benchmarked them. From these findings we have actually created a Talent-Cert™ which is like a diamond cert, but for people. In addition to the fact that they have specific and measurable behavioral attributes, here are a few top level findings:

Here are some comparisons between a Business Builder and a Sales Associate. Imagine a store full of front-line people with the following Business Builders attributes!

  1. Business Builders take control of their success. Sales associates blame everyone and everything else for their lack of it.
  2. Builders grow, love and nurture their customer community. Sales associates view customers as one and done transactions.
  3. Business Builders possess high degrees of personal accountability. Sales associates struggle with it.
  4. Business Builders love their career. Sales associates have a job.
  5. Business Builders are competitive and goal oriented. Sales Associates take whatever comes along.
  6. Business Builders view calling customers as a nurturing activity. Sales associates view calling customers worse than a telemarketer calling at dinner time.
  7. Business builders create sales opportunities. Sales associates wait for people to walk through the doors.
  8. Business Builders view themselves as the CEO of their own business. They think that you have simply hired their company to sell your jewelry. (Do not tell them any different).

Let’s be honest. Your merchandise is not your competitive difference. Your people are. The single greatest advantage of a brick and mortar store is the ability to develop a face-to-face, one-to-one relationship with a customer community. To grow your business, grow your people. The most effective way to stop the erosion of market share to e-commerce or the competition is to hire, develop and nurture business builders. A successful 2016 begins today.

Watch a special companion video featuring Terry Sisco and Lacey Garrett here.

ExSellerate is introducing to the fine jewelry industry a first of its kind, OnDemand All Access training strategy that delivers daily training directly to the individual learner’s mobile device via social media and other engaging digital formats. The program, available January 1, 2016 transforms sales associates into Business Builders by teaching participants to grow their strengths, build their customer community and create an impact in their community. For more information, contact Terry Sisco or call 800-298-4250.

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