In this episode, Jeff speaks with Kip Tindell, Chairman and CEO of The Container Store.
Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff from this week:
Big Idea #1: Selling is Service
Kip Tindell's approach is to offer solution-based retail as opposed to item-based retail.
If you sell a customer an item that is a mere commodity, you have failed. A customer can buy a tie rack anywhere.
But wait, aren't you in business to sell your products?
Yes. However, great service comes from approaching selling from the perspective of providing solutions.
A customer walking into your store to buy a tie rack doesn't want to just organize their ties. They want to clean their closet space, organize their life, and be happier in their personal space. Furthermore, they want to purchase from people who they feel good about at a price that works for them.
In other words they want a comprehensive solution, not a product.
Seen from this angle, selling and service are the same thing.
Big Idea #2: 1 Great Person = 3 Good People
Literally, one great person generates three times the business of a good person.
If this is true, then hiring great people becomes the cornerstone of a great business. To achieve this:
Be very selective of the people you hire.
Pay them one and a half to double the going rate. If they are giving three times the productivity of a good person, this is actually more cost-effective.
Give them more than enough experience. The average retail employee in America is trained for eight hours. The Container Store trains new full-time employees for over two hundred and fifty hours.
These all combine to create an environment where people are inspired to work, which naturally trickles down to the customer.
This company principle stems from Andrew Carnegie on his deathbed:
"Fill the other guy's basket to the brim and making money becomes an easy proposition."
"The other guy" starts with the employee.
Big Idea #3: Trained Intuition is More Important than Logic
Many people think that intuition and logic in business are incompatible. Good business is about solid numbers and plans, right?
Without intuition, it becomes difficult to make creative leaps to understand people and solve their problems; intuition is necessary to give customers a great experience.
Yet, intuition is the "sum total of life experience." So, it's more likely for someone with little experience who uses their gut to make mistakes.
People don't generally like to make mistakes, but, to be effective, intuition must be trained. Unlike logic, your intuition becomes greater the more you learn about a subject.
Valuing logic in the workplace creates "safe" behavior, which can only be so productive. To really supercharge productivity caused by intuitive leaps, employees should be encouraged to creatively solve problems and make mistakes. Allowing them to make these mistakes fosters their own dynamic growth which pays back tenfold.
Properly honed, intuition is the doorway to release your own genius.
Other Cool Stuff:
Links featuring The Container Store:
We hope you enjoyed and tune in next week!
-The en*theos Team
About Kip Tindell
Kip Tindell, Chairman & CEO of The Container Store, is responsible for creating the first ever store devoted solely to storage and organization products. Celebrating 30 years of success, Kip has built a company that now lies on Fortune magazine's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" 12 years in a row.
Conscious Capitalism is a registered trademark of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.