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Shapiro to Kick-off Conference

February 7, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf


Which do you find more difficult: negotiating with people in your organization or negotiating with people outside of your organization? If you are like most, the internal negotiations are much more challenging. On Sunday, April 15th, Dr. Daniel Shapiro will help us learn how organizational divisions naturally happen; what motivates these divisions and how to overcome them. Shapiro will deliver the opening keynote address of The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference slated for April 14-17, 2012 at Saddlebrook Resort, north of Tampa, FL.

Dealing with conflict in the world and in the workplace means dealing with its roots—and its roots are increasingly emotional and identity-based. In, “Teamwork: Building Effective Teams”, Shapiro delivers a practical framework to address the communication, leadership, and relationship issues that often get in the way of success.

It is not uncommon for internal negotiations to become so fierce that things start to resemble a civil war. Departments sabotage one another. No division trusts the other. Add in racial, cultural and organizational divisions, and the situation can be explosive. The net effect: lost productivity and morale.

From advising leaders of war-torn countries to working with leaders of Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Starbucks, Shapiro helps organizations of all dimensions solve the very human problems that divide us—as leaders, as employees and as everyday citizens. The Founder and Director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and a renowned experts in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution, Shapiro will address how to overcome the key human barriers to cooperation and workplace productivity.

For more information and to register for the largest gathering for retail merchandising and marketing industry players across North America, visit the Conference Center at #RMMC533

People Make the Difference

January 5, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


A few days ago, Supermarket News Editor-in-Chief David Orgel wrote about what he believes is still the most crucial factor in the success of retail outlets. In-store interactions between customers and associates, he says, is a fundamental that is often overlooked as we seek to improve the customer experience.

Orgel cites an article in the Harvard Business Review that states customer-associate interactions will become even more important for a couple of reasons. With all of the technology and social networking that we now experience in our day to day lives, a trip to the market could be just what that doctor ordered to help fulfill our fundamental need for human interaction. In a sense, everything old is new again with attention to personal service potentially becoming a key driver in retail success.

The key will be to maintain both a high degree of direct customer interaction with the speed, efficiency and convenience brought by in-home shopping. In effect, the need to execute efficiently at-retail becomes even more important. For a case in point, look at how a professionally staffed and run product sample or demo can greatly enhance both the customer experience and the bottom line.

This argument can be taken to another level. The members of NARMS, at-retail merchandising and marketing service specialists, are in the people business. No amount of shopper data can have the desired effect on retail without the human element of getting boots on the ground to implement the resulting in-store initiatives. Most of this work is done during business hours meaning NARMS member associates are trained to interact with customers because they are often identified as store staff.

The bottom line is that it is harder than ever to get customers in the store, so it is more important than ever to make sure their experience makes them want to buy from you and return often. Great looking stores with well-stocked shelves, convenient adjacencies, strategic displays and well run samples are a means to this end. We all need the human touch.



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