No one wants to pay too much for a new kitchen or bath. Everyone seemingly wants a deal, prompting many showrooms to offer a discount on their products and services before the customer even asks for one. This practice devalues what you bring to the table, brings price into the conversation front and center and reduces your negotiating power.
Brookstone recently announced that it is closing its 100+ mall stores to focus its energies on 30 brick and mortar airport locations and ecommerce. It’s another sign of a niche brick and mortar retailer seemingly throwing in the towel. For more than 40 years, Brookstone has offered quirky, niche products ranging from drones and all types of remote controls to 3D printed pens. Similar to recently shuttered Shaper Image and Radio Shack stores, Brookstone did not adapt to the changing retail paradigm that has resulted in a significant decline in shopping mall traffic. But it would be a disservice to Brookstone to blame online competitors and Amazon as the primary reason for its restructuring and substantially smaller footprint.
In 2011, Google coined the term, Zero Moment of Truth as the time between a consumer’s first interaction with a brand and the final purchase. If you don’t believe that the customer buying journey has undergone a complete transformation in the last seven years, consider this: consumers review on average 22 sources on information before making a purchase, and that number is more than 40 in categories such as travel and hospitality.
Learning new things can be difficult. It becomes even more challenging when the subject matter that you are trying to master is one in which you are not interested. However, this process does not have to be painful writes Dr. Barbara Oakley, in her book Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential.
How many times after working a full day do you believe that you did not accomplish as much as you wanted to? Have you ever wanted to add an additional day to the week or a few extra hours to a day in order to get through your “to do” list? A challenge in improving your and your team’s productivity is to determine how you currently spend your time. There are a number of apps that can assist such as Be Focused Timer, which is free, an enables you to track blocks of work and track past work history. Another app, Focus Booster ($2.99/month individual, $4.99 month professional) tracks where your time goes and can link revenue, projects and meetings to your to-do list tasks. There are literally dozens of others and always the option of tracking your time the old-fashioned way by recording it on a spread sheet in hour or half hour increments.
When you want to establish a relationship with a prospective client, be it a builder, realtor, multifamily developer or single-family homeowner, what’s better for an initial contact, email or phone call? After all, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. You want to make sure that it is a positive one. Robert Graham, author of Cold Calling Early Customers, recommends sending an email because it does not require the recipient to respond immediately. Plus, he adds that you can use an email as a reason to make a follow up phone call.
BKBG Conference workshop leader Derek Gaunt (Black Swan Group) had a great blog post this week about using leverage to gain advantages in negotiations. Derek defines leverage as a perceived advantage that gives you a leg up to achieve the outcome you want.
The Retail Profit Doug Stephens has astutely observed that purchasing products from Amazon is the quickest route from wanting to receiving. There is nothing special or emotionally engaging with acquiring goods with a few clicks of a mouse. Yet, Amazon is expected to be responsible for 80 percent of online purchasing growth in 2018 and commands 49 percent of all Internet searches.
What behaviors and characteristics prevent consumers from returning to a brick and mortar retailer? Podium recently surveyed 2,000 US consumers aged 18 - 64 to answer that question. The survey found that if a retailer demonstrated any of the attitudes and behaviors that caused consumers pain, they would never return to that business.
Derek Gaunt will be sharing the negotiation secrets of the Black Swan Group at the 2018 BKBG Annual Conference, September 25. Black Swan advises its clients to avoid the typical negotiating scenario where one-party states what their issues are and what they want and the other party does the same hoping to reach a compromise in the middle.