Research

I don’t care what your staff think!

A generally accepted definition of a BnB product is stock that is a dependable and regular seller. They’re its that don’t need heavy promotion and discounting, and suppliers encourage stores to quickly replenish stock once they’re sold.Suppliers say there are many reasons why staff don’t act quickly to re-stock BnB its, and it frustrates th. I have first-hand experience with the situation.Many years ago, during a break from publishing, I ran a wholesale sports apparel business selling to retailers. We were the market leader in our category and we had a number of high-selling garments including a polo shirt.{{quote-A:R-W:450-Q: While seeing the same product instore everyday may be tiring, you should never get bored with product that sells }}Although the garment was a classic BnB it, the CEO of a major account representing 100 stores said he was thinking about dropping the shirt. I was gobsmacked because that one polo shirt represented more than $3 million in sales to his business. Worse, it was easy business; the shirt sold itself and we always had stock for stores to get a quick refill.We arranged a meeting and I asked him how he planned to replace the shirt. After admitting he didn’t know I asked why he wanted to drop the garment. “The staff are tired of seeing it on display and want something new,” he explained.He was somewhat taken back by my next comment: “I don’t give two hoots about what your staff say and think, and nor should you. I only care what your customers think,” and he responded with: “But I have to listen to my staff.”I was ready for that so, unveiling a store-by-store report, I replied, “Yes, you do need to listen to your staff, but you don’t need to respect their views.” The report listed the number of polos each store sold and also proved that sales were not declining. He hadn’t taken the time to analyse his own reports so he was a little surprised at the data. Nevertheless, he stuck to his guns.“We need something new,” he said. I disagreed, especially given he had no alternative, but I said there was no sense in arguing over subjective issues – we needed facts.To cut a long story short, two weeks later I went back to the CEO with a proposal: we would design three new garments and test th in 10 stores across the country.We would put the three new shirts up against our existing BnB design to see which was the most successful. The test would be at no cost to the stores – whatever they didn’t sell could be returned. I also told him he could be involved in the design of the new garments. He was impressed, and I added, “Better still, you will personally design one polo that you think is best.”At first he thought I was joking but I stipulated that that was part of the deal. He was a great client but I believed he had to learn a lesson. He accepted and we signed off on the proposal.So what happened? The original BnB shirt outsold all three together. The trial offered four garments, three of which were new designs, and still his customers chose our ‘old’ design. He was wrong, and guess what? The garment the CEO had personally designed was the worst seller of all four!The trial cost our business more than $20,000, however it protected his $3 million and, to his credit, he could not thank us enough. Further, it changed the way he ran his business. From that day, he saw the value in BnB products, regardless of what his staff said.The bottom line is that while seeing the same product in-store everyday may be tiring, you should never get bored with product that sells. If your staff are bored with BnB its, rind th that it helps to pay their wage and give th a job.If they still complain, change your staff rather than your product!