Newsletter - February 2011


Terrific Retail Tips Newsletter |Circulation 3,228| February 2011 |

Welcome to the February 2011 edition of "Terrific Retail Tips" delivered to your desktop free each month.

Putting the fun back into selling

I was in a client’s furniture store recently and noticed on display a deluxe reclining outdoor chair, well suited to the local climate. It was priced at $1,199 and written underneath was, ‘Reduced due to minor damage.’ Then there was a thick red line through the price with $599 in large red writing on the ticket which was displayed in a perspex display stand.

This chair was displayed in a high traffic area right next to the most popular items in the store and yet it had been there for months with little interest shown in it and no success in selling this end of line item. In talking with the owners I suggested replacing the existing ticket with a ‘$100 Off’ sign and beside it in large letters...

To read more click on Putting the fun back into selling or going to the Retail Insights blog at

Motivational DVDs

Following the recent mailing highlighting 10 books to help you make a difference in 2011, Alison Ninyett of Better Pets and Gardens wrote asking if I could also do a listing of my top 10 motivational DVD’s.

I am always on the lookout for good motivational DVDs to use in our workshops and to recommend to clients. The trouble is there are only 3 or 4 I’m comfortable recommending and using.

Next month I will review a new Australian made motivational DVD from Tom O’Toole, the famous Beechworth Baker and I will also fill you in on my favourite training DVDs.

Can you please help out too by providing feedback on any good training DVDs you have come across covering the topics of motivation, management, service excellence or customer focus? I’d love to share your views with your fellow readers.

A website that works

Before meeting you for the first time, phoning you or going to your premises, prospective customers are likely to check out your website. If they aren’t impressed with it or find it too hard to access the information that is important to them, your relationship will end before it has even started.

That’s why you need regular feedback from your clients about your website and so do we. has been a work in progress over the last 12 months. We have changed website hosts twice in our efforts to find a web host that could meet our changing needs cost effectively. We are now settling in with and it’s a relief to find people who can relate to us and will deal with us personally. At the moment the website is about 70% right. There is so much more to be sorted but I think we’ve got the essentials in place.

What do you think because it’s your opinion that matters?

Is it what you expect? Are there things that frustrate you about the site? What would make it easier to use and a better resource? What do you like about the site and find helpful?

I’d really value your feedback. The extra benefit for you is that when you make this assessment it then helps you in going back to your own website and experiencing and reviewing it more from a customer’s perspective.

Are you getting two copies of this newsletter?

There are two versions of the ‘Terrific Tips’ newsletter – ‘Business and Professional’ and ‘Retail’.

The ‘Retail’ edition contains all the information in the ‘Business and Professional’ edition plus there are usually a couple of extra items likely to be of particular interest to retailers and businesses supplying products and services to retailers.

At the website, new subscribers are asked to select the edition that best suits their needs. However, due to a glitch in the system many people who selected the ‘Business and Professional’ edition were also signed up for the Retail edition.

If you are getting two copies or the wrong edition please email us with your preference and Gwen will be delighted to sort this out for you.

How to identify the 'critical non-essentials' in your business that ensure your customers are consistently impressed

In most organisations your customers lack the technical skills or knowledge about your services, products and processes to assess how well you perform them. So instead, these customers make their judgement based on the seemingly non-essentials, the little things that they experience when they come in contact with your organisation.

That’s why we are launching a new service to help with this – a ‘Critical Non-Essentials Audit’ of your business. This is about taking the chance out of how your customers judge you.

Engage Jan Collins or Jurek Leon to conduct an initial Critical Non-Essentials Audit and get a clear picture of your business through the eyes of these customer experience designers and customer service specialists.

Click on Critical Non-Essentials Audit for details or email Terrific Trading.

If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing 70% right!

A recent posting from Kiwi marketer Sean D’Souza at his blog titled ‘The 70% Principle: Why You Never Get Projects Off The Ground’ challenged my thinking. And if you are like me a perfectionist, I’m sure it will challenge your thinking too – and perhaps you will learn something from it.

So what's the 70% Principle? Here’s a few extracts from Sean’s article:

“If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing 70% right. You can always come back to do the 20% later.

“Yes, read it again, and no, the math isn't wrong (Sean’s words not mine).

“If you're going to build a website, a 70% effort is fine....And nope this isn't a case for mediocrity. No one is telling you to do crappy stuff. But in the quest for perfection, most of us never start. The 70% principle is about getting your best effort out and into the hands of your clients.”

In one of the responses to the article (He had 35 when I last checked – How come I never get 35 comments?) Lisa Livingstone wrote:

My father, who worked as an aerospace mathematician for 30 years, told me several summers ago that customers (whether internal or external) only expect an 80-percent final product. I was shocked. Why would Dad encourage his conscientious daughter to tone it down?

“Anything beyond a B+ effort merely feeds your own ego, but accomplishes little extra in return,” he said. After I firmly planted that principle in my head, I started to meet deadlines with less anxiety and more success.

You can read the full article by clicking on

Patient Observations

Recently Cathy Johnson Campbell requested permission to use an article I wrote while recovering from major surgery. Since then I’ve had many readers write in with stories about the lessons that some sections of the medical profession need to learn about customer service. The message is just as important today as it was four years ago when I wrote it.

“Your story, Patient Observations, is a lovely addition to my site, thank you! I expect many others will also enjoy it and hopefully you will get a bit of traffic and contact from it.”

You can find it here:

Terry's Feature Product

Ever wonder how the human brain works when making purchasing decisions?
‘Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer's Brain’ by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin is a useful resource about why people buy things and how their brain works when they make buying decisions. It is also a sales guide to assist you to sell more successfully - in presentations, marketing materials, meetings and online.

The authors tell us that people choose to buy based on emotions. Emotions are controlled by our 'old brain', the one that makes survival decisions. They claim that unless you know how to talk to your prospect's 'old brain' in the language it understands, you may be wasting your time and money. But they fail to back this up with solid research in the way that groundbreaking books such as The Buying Brain, Buyology, How Customers Think and The Science of Persuasion have done.

They outline four fundamental steps to tap into the ‘old brain’:

1. Diagnose the pain.
2. Differentiate your claim.
3. Demonstrate the gain.
4. Deliver to the old brain.

They then outline four steps to deliver a message to the ‘old brain’ and six ‘message building blocks’ to do this successfully.

Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer's Brain is an easy read containing many concepts that you will find in other books, but this book is a great first step if you want to get a quick grasp of the topic and some tools that you can adapt and use in every day sales messages. Though don’t accept all their assumptions at face value.

Focus your energy on what you can do

“Managers can’t control the weather, the economy, interest rates and competitors actions – in short, the market. They can however control their own actions and responses. Once managers realise that it is internal processes and people, not external conditions that largely determine sales success, they start focusing ferociously on what can be controlled.”

I don’t espouse automotive sales management specialist Mark Walsh’s approach to sales but he is right on the mark with these comments for 2011.

Read the Sign

The town of Halls Creek in outback Western Australia has long been plagued by bad publicity and in a national survey in 2008 was labelled the most unliveable town in Australia. reports that many in Halls Creek believe the community is on the up, and the key now is to bring the tourists back. The local butcher is leading the way with his increasingly popular business sign.

At the entrance to Jamie Savage's butcher store, customers are greeted by the sign: "Welcome, we offer tough, tasteless, fatty meat and iffy seafood at city prices."

Mr Savage says the sign is creating plenty of interest.

"We thought instead of having a sign like 'Joe's quality meats', where you often walk inside and you don't really like the look of it, we thought we'd pre-warn everyone and then there's no comeback, so we decided on tough, tasteless, fatty meat and iffy seafood which covers the lot.

"The feedback's been great, it's now part of the itinerary when tourist buses come down. They pull up and you can see the lady on the mic giving a spiel, and lots of people coming through to say G'day and have a look. It's brought more people in for sure."

I’m all for finding creative ways to stimulate word-of-mouth but I do hope this is a case of ‘underpromising and overdelivering’. What concerned me was the reporter in a radio interview who congratulated him for his honesty!

Buying signals that salespeople often miss

Here are some typical examples of verbal buying signals that are often missed:

1. When a customer turns to a companion and says, “What do you think?”
2. When they ask about the length or extent of warranties.
3. When they say the word “So” and then summarise something that you’ve told them. As we often say in our training courses, ‘So’ is halfway to ‘Sold’.
4. When a customer asks you a question for the second time. For example, “How much did you say it would cost to have this installed?”
5. When a customer makes an ownership statement. For example, “Our daughter will get a lot of use out of that.”

You will find lots more tips on identifying and acting on buying skills in the new two volume, ‘Retail Selling: Complete Do-It-Yourself In-Store Training Programme’. It’s designed to boost your sales, impress your customers and sharpen the skills of your sales team without time off the job attending training courses. You really should check it out.

Terrific Quotes

“We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” John Dryden

“Habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”

Have a wonderful month.


Jurek Leon


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