There may not be a more prophetic insight from Apple founder Steve Jobs than his statement, "Some people say, 'give the customers what they want.' But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do...People don't know what they want until you show it to them."
Today's job market is incredibly tight. Most anyone who wants to work can find a job. Unemployment levels are at their lowest levels in the past 50 years. The current environment places a premium on the need to provide a workplace and culture that attracts and retains best-in-class talent.
There are business benefits to laughter in the showroom. According to Alison Beard's Harvard Business Reviewarticle, Leading With Humor, laughter in the workplace reduces stress and boredom, increases engagement and well-being and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytical precision and productivity.
Making cold calls is a fact of life for sales professionals. It's part of the job. However, a recent study found that nearly 50 percent of sales professionals are afraid of making cold calls. The primary reasons for cold calling reluctance are the fear of sounding like a sales professional and fear of failure, according to Weldon Long, author of Consistency Selling in an HBR blog post.
Nobel economics laureate Daniel Kahneman has spent his career determining how and why people make decisions. In his classic work, Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, Kahneman relates that there are two broad types of decision making. System 1 is thinking fast; simply reacting without much thought at all. You really don't have to think a lot about how you commute to and from work. It's instinctive after a short period. System 2 is slow thinking that operates at a more logical level.
Seth Godin is one of the most admired and respected minds in marketing today. He is the author of more than a dozen books and publishes a daily must-read blog for anyone who runs a business. Seth is unique because he looks at the world through different lenses, continually challenging the status quo to take fresh new approaches that work more often than not. He was among the first marketing minds to understand that the way people purchase had changed and recognized that it is necessary to change messaging to effectively respond to the paradigm shift that had taken place.
Seth Godin had another brilliant blog titled Managing Reputation in the Age of Infinity. Godin writes,
Amazon sells junk.
More junk every day. And they know this.
They sell junk that would never, ever be sold at a Wal-Mart store (or a BKBG Shareholder showroom). That's because in order to get into a store, a buyer, a human being with a reputation, has to allocate shelf space. The easiest way to lose your job as a buyer is to put brand-destroying lousy products on a valuable shelf.
In another brilliant blog post, Bernadette Jiwa (The Story of Telling) reminisced about the buzz that occurred when Ron Johnson, the genius behind Apple Stores, was named CEO of JC Penney. Immediately, Johnson tried to reverse Penney's decade-long practice of offering continuous sales and discounts and replace them with small store compelling customer experiences inside of a large department store. Johnson's goal was to convert Penney's into a place where people wanted to congregate instead of a place to buy stuff. Penney's stock soared when the strategy was announced, and the entire brick and mortar industry waited with bated breath to see if Johnson would succeed. Johnson's plan crashed and burned. Penney's stock price nosedived 37 percent, and Johnson was replaced after 17 months.
|There are not too many BKBG Shareholders or Preferred Partners that have too little to do. To start the new year off on a more productive footing, consider the following.|
In his new book, This is Marketing, Seth Godin contemplates dog food. "Dog food must be getting better. More nutritious and, of course, delicious," Godin suggests as he notes that Americans spend more than $24 billion annually on dog food. The average price of dog food continues to increase, and so has the number of gourmet ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, elk and free-range bison.