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Use Your Senses for Break Thru Thinking

By Christine Dubyts, Dubyts Communications

March 29, 2007

Are you stuck in a business rut? Looking for a way to break thru a sales plateau? Or just trying to find a way to cut costs and increase margins?  Try something radical . . . explore your world from different perspectives and some creative ideas will most certainly reveal themselves. 

Try these EASY exercises for break thru ideas:

Look but don't listen.  Experience your world with ear plugs.

  • Witness clients come and go.
  • Watch how they interact, use and store your product?  
  • Watch how your staff interacts with your clients, works in their own environment and enjoys their time off.  
  • What do their facial expressions reveal as they walk in the door in the morning, speak to customers, ring in sales, do inventory and walk out the door at the end of the day? 
  • What about traffic flows and processes?  Are there visible bottlenecks in the system?

Watch closely and record. 

Sit and look at what's going on in  your retail establishment for 30 minutes – what do you see?
 . . . Dust particles catch the light and perform an amazing dance as they float to the floor from the canister your customer just picked up and then immediately replaced on the shelf from whence it came . . .
. . . Your forever smiling employee spends so much time talking to customers the inventory sits in boxes waiting to be put on the shelves. . .
. . . But that same, ever smiling employee rings in twice as many sales as the others . . .
. . . Like you turned a switch, customers start wrinkling their noses and leaving the store, coincidentally the printing company next door just turned on their exhaust fan . . . (The sense of smell also comes in pretty handy here.)

The power of observation is incredible and can provide you with valuable insight about all aspects of your business.  Don't have a retail operation or staff?  You can still use this exercise at meetings, business gatherings, and presentations. 

When you show up to present a proposal to a client observe.  LOOK at your surroundings.  What's hanging on the wall? What type of office equipment is on the desk?  How can you make a connection to this person?  What type of reception do you receive?  What does their body language tell you? What do they do with your business card when you provide it to them?  Better yet, what do they do with the proposal when you hand it across the desk? 

Go into a networking meeting and really watch how people interact.  Who at the meeting attracts a lot of attention?  What is the flow of traffic?  How can you capitalize on this to make the most of the meeting?

It is important to remember that while observation can be extremely enlightening you then have to take that new sense of enlightenment and act upon it or it will simply be a new sense of enlightenment. 

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