June 2020 - 20

DIRTY SECRETS
A Training Map for
Uncharted Territory
When it comes time to hiring new staff, here's how to tackle how we train them -
with a whole new set of potential constraints.
By Christina Salwitz
U
p is down, out is in, and gray is the new black and
white in our unique business. Obviously, I'm not saying
something you're not already feeling. We're all trying to
read " Moby Dick " during our summer break, but it turns out
we got the Braille edition and we're all flailing about doing the
best we can to interpret what it means.
But, the good news if you're game to play along with me
here, is that this new world we find ourselves in wasn't
created in 1984 even though it might feel rather Orwellian.
Can you imagine not having the internet for sales, for your
informational blogs and newsletters, for the best and most
up-to-date information during a crisis?
Because of the editorial deadlines, I'm still in lockdown
(Day 43!) as I write this - and assume I will be here in
Seattle until at least the first week of May or possibly June,
so my crystal ball for where we'll be when you read this is
still foggy. We still have to prepare and assume life WILL get
back to normal, we will be hiring new staff at some point
and we still need to know how to tackle how we train them
with a whole new set of potential constraints.
20 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | JUNE 2020
Focusing on the Faces You Don't See
People buy from people. The face of our garden center
(both figuratively and literally) is such a huge source of
pride and we work so hard to make sure we manage our
first impressions in person. We focus on our smiles, making
connections acknowledging loyalty, so why do those elements
get left behind so often with online interactions, phone
orders or drive-through service?
Believe it or not, this is your IGC's chance to truly shine. By
their nature, big box stores can NOT do this, so IGCs get to
own this opportunity for service excellence. New employees
don't know who your best customers are, what they look
like, what they like to focus on, when they tend to shop or
how much they're likely to spend. But if you can tweak your
training to include this kind of information, when Mrs. Jones
calls in a delivery order of $500, the person taking the order
is going to make that personal connection, ask her how her
family is doing, and reinforce why Mrs. Jones loves shopping
at XYZ garden center.
" They feel like home. They understand me, anticipate my
needs and genuinely care about my gardening success, " she
might say.
Offer to snap a quick photo of Mrs. Jones when she gets her
delivery or picks up her order, get her permission to share it
and print it out for a Wall of Fame (either in the lunchroom

June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2020
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