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A Creative Way to Avoid Unflattering Uniforms and More September Questions Answered

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Staff of Instinct Pet Food were hard to miss in orange Nikes at SuperZoo.

My staff hates the thought of a uniform. They claim polo or T-shirts don’t flatter most body types. I’d like people to recognize our staff, but I don’t want a mutiny.

The folks at Instinct Pet Food had an awesome solution to this in their booth at SuperZoo: orange Nikes. Not just orange, but bright, hunter orange. Every member of the team was wearing the same orange Nikes, and they were unmistakable anywhere they went. Moreover, see a bunch of people wearing the same bright shoes, and it makes you investigate what’s up.

One member of my staff is a smart guy, but he often speaks in a monotone that puts people to sleep. How can we liven him up?

Karen Leland and Keith Bailey, authors and sales consultants, suggest the following exercise:

1. Take a short and uncomplicated sentence like “Bill isn’t here right now,” and say it out loud with your normal level of inflection.

2. Now practice the same sentence, but this time exaggerate all the way up to a 10, like a radio DJ or carnival barker. Stop only when you sound truly obnoxious.

3. Now say the same sentence again, this time taking your inflection down a couple of notches to a level 8. Say the sentence one more time taking it down to a level 5 or 6. That’s usually the ideal level at which to keep your inflection. If you find people going back to sleep, return to step one and repeat the process.

How do I get my staff to listen to my customers better?

In our last issue, speaker and author Harry Paul underscored the importance of listening to the customer. To achieve this, he suggests using something he calls the EAR Model:

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E— Extrapolate and explore, getting as much information as possible.

A — Acknowledge, making sure you correctly heard everything.

R — Then respond because you’ll have correctly heard all the information needed to meaningfully and accurately respond.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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