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Avoiding Sales Sabotage

The Clifton Review  


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.  


Avoiding Sales Sabotage

By P.J. Malone 

So what happens when the power of the sale is in the hands of individuals you have no control over? Well, it simply requires strategizing.

The bottom line is that every move you ever make in business should be geared towards ensuring that your business can achieve its business objectives and goals—that means constant strategizing.

The ability to align your organizational activities in a way that ensures business success means finding ways to align everything impacting your business even if you technically have no control over the individuals involved. The following is an example of exactly that:

A company, which we’ll call Gamma, had a marketing desk inside the lobby of a large hotel. Itsmarketing strategy was a good one. It gave away a free beach towel to every single hotel guest in order to have an opportunity to ‘pitch’ the guest and ultimately get a sale for Gamma’s product.

Gamma found that their sales were unexpectedly low and wasn’t increasing even when the hotel had full occupancy. After they did some research, they discovered that even though they were giving away free beach towels, their marketing agents were not getting a chance to talk to every guest in the hotel.

If you never have an opportunity to present your wares to an individual, how can you ever get a sale? So, it wasn’t enough to have a strategy of giving away a free beach towel. They had to get the guests to come to their marketing desk to collect the free towels.

For that, they were dependent on the front desk clerks because guests are weary of being solicited, even when they want what’s being offered. Since the hotel staff didn’t work for Gamma, Gamma couldnot insist that the staff inform the hotel guests of the free gift. And quite frankly, the front desk staffdidn’t appear to care enough to simply do it, especially when the front desk got hectic and the staff’sonly focus was on checking in the next guest as quickly as possible.

The challenge was that Gamma’s great marketing strategy of giving away free towels did not align with the capacity of related staff to execute it.

The focus then became on finding a way to align all the relevant individuals toward their ultimate goal of getting the sale. Front desk staff had to get hotel guests to go over and collect a free beach towel.

Gamma’s marketing agents had to pitch the guests on the opportunity to receive another free gift while they were giving the guest the free towel. Once the guest accepted the second offer, and went to a follow up appointment, then Gamma’s sales agents had an opportunity to sell Gamma’s product.

So to fix the first step and align the hotel staff with Gamma’s objectives, Gamma’s director came up with a strategy. She set up a competition among the front desk staff.

Each front desk staff member was given a stack of cards that had ‘collect a free beach towel’ on one side with their individual names on the other side. They were then asked to give each hotel guest a card after check in, and to direct each guest to Gamma’s desk to collect their free gift.

The front desk staff were told that Gamma would collect all of the cards, and the individual, whose name appeared the most on the cards Gamma had collected from the guests, would get a hundred-dollar give certificate at the end of the month.

This campaign ran for three months, and by the end of the campaign, it had become a habit for the front desk staff to direct all guests over to Gamma’s desk to collect a free beach towel.

While Gamma had no control over front desk clerks, this strategy and campaign allowed them to still align the various components required to increase their sales. Gamma saw a major increase in their sales numbers following this campaign, which shows the importance of organizational alignment.

What made fashion mogul Peter Nygard so good at organizational alignment is his perfectionism. He always works to ensure that every department is doing what they should. So if one department can’t do their job as effectively because they are dependent on another department, he strategizes. And that is how he is able to always have his organization aligned.

Organizational alignment can make a difference in your business even when you don’t control all of the elements impacting your business goals.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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