cultureexperienceLeadershipManagementmattress industryRetail

Be Careful Who You Listen To

As I travel the country and talk to retail sales associates selling Spink and Co beds I get a lot of great feedback. Most of it is very positive but every now and then I hear something that sounds my alarm. The natural reaction to this for me and I’m sure for many of you, is to jump into action and address the issue. But is it really an issue?

I have seen HUGE mistakes made by business leaders (including myself) because they don’t thoroughly vet the feedback they are getting. Is it anecdotal or is there something to it? How often is it coming up? What is the proof that what is being suggested as a problem or opportunity really is something that needs to be addressed?

My friendly reminder to you today is that when you get feedback from people you should obviously listen to it, evaluate it, test the idea as much as you can, look for other consistent threads from different sources to see if it’s real or contrived, and only then should you act.

A few examples:

  • A buyer walks the floor and hears from his top salesperson that they really need a plush bed at a certain price point when the data says that only firm beds work up there.
  • An operations guy says that doing it “this way” is too difficult and takes too long until you do a time study and see for yourself that it actually helps you in multiple ways.
  • Your wife gives you directions on how to get places because it is a “better way to go” but Google maps says she is FULL OF IT. Not sure this one really applies. You are probably better off not listening to a computer over your spouse…the ultimate price is much greater than the cost of a few extra minutes.

Bottom line…don’t jump in, wade in, and make sure what you are hearing is more than one guy’s opinion. Not that you shouldn’t act on those every now and then, but for the big stuff you are better off proving it out in multiple ways.

Can you think of a time when you leaped before you looked? Share it with me in the comments section.

 

 

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