7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff - By Marshall Atkinson SCREEN PRINTING MAY-JUNE 2023
Too often, I learn about people in the industry who seem confused or frustrated. They bump along like they’re stumbling down a dark alley trying to find the correct door when there are so many amazing people who are all too happy to share and help illuminate the path ahead toward greater success. Here are some ideas for you to learn and grow from the best minds in the industry:
Everything starts and ends with a happy customer. Do they want something you don’t offer (yet)? Rather than simply saying no all the time, what if you solved that challenge? Make a list of what you need. Then, identify the key players with the knowledge, skill, creativity, and background to provide that product or service. Who is doing it right? Then, jot down some strategies you can use to learn from them. What is the best way for you to take in the necessary information?
Watching a video, having a conversation, or reading a book about something is one thing. If you want to learn, you must start trying things out for yourself. It’s ok to do something wrong or make a mistake. By the way, FAIL is an acronym for “First Attempt In Learning.” Also, keep pushing. Growth happens when you apply what you have learned and try again.
Attend Industry Events
How many tradeshows do you attend a year? For most small business owners, the answer is zero, or maybe one or two. When I ask why they don’t go to more, the most common answer I hear is, “The stuff they show doesn’t change much. Why go every year?”
The reason is that you must be present to win. A tradeshow can be the tip of the spear for finding answers, especially if it’s your customer’s event. What problems need solving? Who has the answers? Are there tools, techniques, or processes that can be deployed? Shows usually offer classes taught by experts, workshops with demonstrations, and booths you can stop by for info.
Conferences and tradeshows are also excellent places for networking. This can happen at organized social events or completely random by striking up a conversation in line for coffee. I often rely on tried and true conversation starters, such as:
- What is your biggest challenge?
- Which product or service do you feel is best (or worst)?
- What’s one thing that could make the biggest difference to your business right now?
- Who is doing cool things? Who should I be paying attention to?
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