LP Magazine

NOV-DEC 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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and things will bubble up that otherwise may have stayed dormant and festering. Being an Awesome Solutions Partner One thing I've learned as a solution partner is that every retailer is different, and they all communicate quite differently. Some don't want to hear from me at all unless they have a problem. Then there are those with whom I can pick up the phone, pick their brain about a new product, and have a great chat. What needs to stay consistent is the attempt to communicate, from day one. Outlining the critical processes and double-checking that there is consensus is crucial. If your retail customer has a different expectation than you thought, it's only going to become exacerbated as time goes on. Don't hesitate to call your retail customers with bad news. We all have those tough calls to make; things don't always go perfectly. But the longer you wait, the worse it will get. As my friend and boss, Steve Sell, likes to say, deliver good news fast and bad news even faster. Communicate truthfully. People can smell BS a mile away. Retailers have enough to worry about without having to deal with a vendor who is colorful with the facts. We also have to accept that sometimes people don't click. Personalities may clash, or there may be history of some kind you have no control over. Communicate anyway. Ask the other party: How would you like me to communicate? What works best for you? What have you experienced in the past that you'd like me to do differently? Treat others with respect. This goes both ways. I have seen retailers treat vendors like indentured servants, and I have also seen vendors acting like they own the place. These attitudes don't serve anyone and only further build the walls between the two sides. If you are a retailer and have a procurement team who handles your LP buying, I suggest sitting in on a conference call or meeting to see how things are going. A finely tuned partnership between retailer and vendor can only result in benefits for both sides. Just think of the idea-sharing, problem-solving, and money-saving that could arise if ideas were exchanged freely and on a regular basis. To illustrate this, I'll leave you with an example as a final thought. I let one of my retail partners know I was going to be in his area recently, and we made plans to grab lunch. He was telling me about a problem they were having with some auditing, and I was able to recommend a company to him that might be able to help. You could write this off as normal networking or even run-of-the-mill sales stuff, but I disagree. This came about because we have good communication and feel comfortable with one another. Comfort and easy exchange of ideas only come about with some work upfront on communication. We're there. And you can be too. Treat others with respect. This goes both ways. I have seen retailers treat vendors like indentured servants, and I have also seen vendors acting like they own the place. These attitudes don't serve anyone and only further build the walls between the two sides. If you are a retailer and have a procurement team who handles your LP buying, I suggest sitting in on a conference call or meeting to see how things are going. SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE CONTROLTEK 70 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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