Sunday, 22 December 2013

5 best Flipchart tools for trainer session survival

1. Marker Pen Top of my list is the   Promarker from Letraset
It comes with a large chisel nib for fills and a small nib at the other end for detail and finer work. The ink is alcohol based, permanent, and non-toxic. It dries fast on flip chart. 
It is advisable to use a spare blotter sheet to prevent ink bleed.

Useful tip: For quicker work on the fly wind some masking tape around the barrel  ( see in photo) which you can tear off for quick display on lecture / syndicate room walls.

2.  Another great colouring tool for displayed charts which avoids fears of bleed through damaging wall decorations is the  Stabilo   Woody 3 in 1 wide pencil 880/750. It is a coloured pencil, wax crayon and watercolour pencil in one. Its XXL lead is equivalent to 8 standard pencils.

3. As pro- trainers know yellow is not a good colour if you want you audience to see what you have written. This is why I have a thick yellow crayon for my flipchart work.

I use it for prepared drawing and numerical calculations which I build up during a session when using a flipchart . If I am worried of spelling a technical term incorrectly I pre-write it on the flipchart in yellow crayon. I can see it up close to the flipchart but the delegates usually cannot.

Useful tip: Another way to distract delegates from your use of yellow crayon is to put a heading in black with a border . Their eyes are drawn to the heading not the yellow crayon.

4. Glue sticks  Henkel Pritt Stickss are so handy for flipchart work. Since 1969 the Pritt stick has been the clean, quick and accurate way to stick paper, paperboard and photos and syndicate collage work.

Useful tip:   The Mr Pritt character on the barrel gives you instant inspiration for simple cartoon eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheeks mouth and hands to spice up your charts .

5. Masking tape . One way that Flipcharts beat PowerPoint outright is in the display area. Tearing off a flipchart and hanging on the wall using masking tape helps leaves the messages of your training session up for longer. After all once a slide has been changed it’s gone.
The effect of a gallery of flipcharts wallpapered through a training session is really useful for summary and review of session. It allows delegates to get up from sitting and promenade and take a note of points to follow up after the training interaction. They also see what a lot of work they have generated in the session.

Useful tip:  I photograph all course flipchart work with my  trusty Fujifilm digital camera and email them as a follow up to my delegates.  This also saves them time noting very detailed information from a flip chart during the session.

I get through lots of masking tape on courses so I recommend the  Poundland pack of 4 reels as particularly good value.  

Thursday, 19 December 2013

True Selling at Christmas 2103

There is a point of view that says ‘ nothing happens in business until a sale is made’.

It has recently been re-worked by the provocative UK comedian Sean Lock to promote his new video.

 ‘The true spirit of Christmas is selling…if there is no selling there is no giving.”

U.K. retail sales last November (2012) were 15 % above the average for the first 10 months of the year and 37 % above the average in December.

The UK multiples were promoting their Christmas season messages this tear from November with their epic productions.

The Tesco ad was themed around the strap line "There's nothing better than Christmas"

Boots  used the sound track of  Bronksi Beat’s Smalltown Boy,  for their ad, where a teenager  furtively takes to the street on a Christmas night to deliver presents to people who have done something special for him. Recipients include a teacher who helped him achieve a “B in Maths”, the “fittest girl in year 10” and the nurse who cared for his “nan”.  It used the brand’s “It Feels Good” punch line and highlights its offers on “1000s of Christmas gifts”

 M and  S’ advert engaged Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Helena Bonham Carter and David Gandy for their first Christmas campaign. The  tag line was ‘believe in magic and sparkle’ – began with leggy model Rosie chasing her dog down the street on a cold winter’s night and then having to follow him down a manhole, a nod to Alice in Wonderland.

Sainsbury's ‘Christmas in a Day’ clips  were followed by some more conventional ads for festive food.

A young boy in a bobble hat will be the star of Waitrose's Christmas ad campaign this year as the supermarket avoided the glitz and glamour to highlight its charitable efforts.

I'm a Celebrity Geordie presenters  Ant and Dec star  ignited the festive spirit eating Christmas in Morrisons' new Christmas TV ad, which presented an animated gingerbread man serenading them.

Wealth Management Consultants have for some time used the Carol dedicated to consumerism under the cost of your true love - The 12 days of Christmas An example is calculated in the PNC Wealth Management Index which has risen 7.7% this year.

12 Drummers Drumming,              $1,620.00    
11 Pipers Piping,                             $2,635.20   
10 Lords-a-Leaping,                        $5,243.37    
9 Ladies Dancing,                           $7,552.84    
8 Maids-a-Milking,                           $58.00       
7 Swans-a-Swimming,                    $7,000.00 
6 Geese-a-Laying,                           $210.00     
5 Gold Rings,                                    $750.00     
4 Calling (Colly) Birds,                    $599.96    
3 French Hens,                                $165.00    
2 Turtle Doves and                          $125.00      
A Partridge in a Pear Tree.             $199.99    

Total cost this year at cost           $27,393.17    ( £  16,709.833)

Total Christmas Price Index      $27,393.17   
True cost*                                    $114,651.18                   

*True cost is the "total cost of items gifted by a True Love who repeats
all of the song’s verses," according to PNC.

Savings do not seem to made on line at present

Total Christmas Price Index      $39,762.61          
True cost*                                    $173,410.13            

But the costliest true love gift of all , was more than money can buy. 

If selling is 'persuasive communication against resistance 'as sales guru Alfred Tack once described it, there was much resistance in first century Palestine to overcome by persuasion.

 - as Christina Rosetti  1830-1894 expressed in the last verse of her carol “In The bleak mid winter”

….What can I give him poor as I am ? 
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb; 
If I were a wise man I would do my part; 
Yet what I can I give him :Give my heart.
As well as trying to live up to my promise of 'giving my heart' at Midnight Mass this Christmas, I guess I will also look forward to settling down to laugh with and be laughed at by Sean Lock over the holiday festival.

Should Alexandr  escape from being tied up by the CNWL Recovery College trainers Spice up your training - event  
( #TrainingSpice18)( see photo) he is looking forward to  Christmas day TV ad,  where Alexandr Orlov and his companion Sergei get to grips with parenthood after the arrival of a baby meerkat called Oleg.

A press release from the Meerkova Times reads 

"Arrival of Baby Oleg was big shock in Meerkovo, but it mean for first time our Nativity production have real baby.

 Unfortunatelys, real baby come with real baby smell, but most peoples just say it add to authenticness of stable."

The baby’s parentage has not been made clear, although there is only one female character in the meerkat cast – the school teacher Maiya

Happy Christmas dear readers Peace and goodwill to all 
Great selling in 2014

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Train-the-Trainer Control and participation balance

Spice up Your Training  - Spice up their Learning

Training can be monotonous if things get predictable.  Keep the interest high by using a variety of methods and moving delegates around the room or building –particularly if they are unused to sitting at a desk all day!  How many of these do you use?  This is not a full list!

                                                                        TRAINER          PARTICIPATION
                                                                      CONTROL                   LEVEL

1.         Lecture                                               High                           nil
2.         Step by step presentation               High                           Moderate
3.         Guided discovery                             Moderate                   High
4.         Reading                                             Nil                               High
5.         Programmed learning                     High                           High
6.         Demonstration                                 High                           Moderate
7.         Directed discussion                         Moderate                   High
8.         Buzz groups                                     Low                             High
9.         Free group discussion                    Nil                               High
10.       Case studies                                     Low                             High
11.       Brainstorming                                   Low                             High
12.       Drama                                                High                           Low
13.       Problem centred groups                 Low                             High
14.       Syndicate method                           Low                             High
15.       Seminar                                             Low                             High
16.       Individual /group tutorial                 High                           High
17.       Individual task                                  Low                             High
18.       Projects                                              Moderate                   High
19.       Practical session                              Variable                     Variable
20.       delegate presentation                     Low                             High
21.       Audio tapes                                       High                           Nil
22.       Tape/slides                                        High                           Variable
23.       Video or film presentation              High                           Variable
24.       Delegate Video recording              Low                             High
25.       Role play/ Skills  Practice             Low                             High
26.       Computer assisted learning /
            Computer based training /
            Technology based training
           e-learning                                           Variable                     High
27.       Simulation and games                   Moderate                   High
28.       Action mazes                                    Variable                     High
29.       Interactive video                               Variable                     High

30.       Training instruments                       Variable                     High

Train the trainer 13 DRAMA

12.       DRAMA

            A short burst of real drama enacted before a live audience of trainees can be extremely effective.  If, for example, the subject is first aid the whole accident may be acted out before the audience.  It can work better when the whole thing comes as a surprise and the delegates are not sure whether it is “for real.”  They can even be drawn into the cast to assist as the drama unfolds.

A sonnet being performed at an Open day
 at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on London's Southbank

Monday, 16 December 2013

Seasonal Selling Lessons from Window displays in London's West End and Hammersmith

From window shopper to real shopper:

Here are some more ideas on selling displays from the top stores in London. They are helpful for those in retail or those working on exhibitions stands.

 Consider how the view looks from the inside as well as the outside

A window display is not merely for attracting people who  walk or drive past your store. It also can play an important role for the interior of the store.

 But consider whether this changes the original objectives of your display.

 These could well be different from the objectives you set for the side facing the street. On the outside, the objective may well be to attract attention and encourage people to enter. On the inside you may want to direct people towards a special product within store.

 This is an important area. Plan it just as carefully as the external display.
Wonderful eye catching giant handbag in Selfridges' window
Notice how you can see into the store and the glass lift/elevator
 provides movement to attract the eye

 Avoid blocking out light to the interior

Depending on the design of your store, the window may be an important source of light for you. If this is the case, use a display system that will not block out the light. 

Let  people to see what is happening inside the store.
Notice that the inside of the store can be seen from the outside

Your window is important - but so is what is happening inside. Don't block your window so much that it's not possible to see the inside of the store.

 If you want folk to enter your store  let them see what it's like. Keep the window display light so that people can get a 'taster' of the many delights to be found inside.

 Don't block out the view to the outside

Once you have managed to entice people to enter, they will feel much more comfortable if they can still have some connection with the outside.

 When designing the display it is helpful to imagine the view from the inside looking out.

 Lighting effects

Good lighting increases sales. This is a simple and very effective, way of creating an impact. Lighting can be used to create a mood by using colours. Create attention by making your lights move, flash or strobe. Use lighting dimmer switches to help you create just the effect you are looking for.

Think through your ideas and know exactly what it is you want to achieve. 

 Seasonal changes e.g. Christmas, Easter, Spring ,Summer...

Simple but effective idea of Window display
 a cascade of envelopes through the letter box
Store in King Street Hammersmith, West London
  Christmas 2013
You can really boost your sales by being aware of any special occasions and adapting your window to suit. 
People look at what you are focusing on. So, if your focus is Christmas be sure to catch their attention. Use the many different types of props that are available. Be creative - you can really make your window stand out from the crowd.

 Less is more…

You can make a big impact with small objects. In order to display small objects and get them noticed, you can use props suspended at different levels. 
This ‘floating effect’ will attract the eye of customers and really draw attention to your displays. 

Readability from a distance. Who is your message aimed at - people walking by or cars driving past?

Think about who is going to read your messages and where and when they see your window. 
If you are aiming at people walking past, the message you want to get across needs to be at around eye level and of a suitable size text that is easy to read without squinting. If you want to aim at people on the other side of the road, the message needs to be much larger. Larger banner type adverts may be suitable. If you want passengers driving past to get the message  from a car or bus- think - can it be read in a one second glance?

Test it out for yourself. Does your display allow the message to be seen where and when you would like?

Stack it high - sell it cheap may have worked for TESCO years ago- It is probably better for  post Thanksgiving  'Black Friday' or the January sales

You do not need to fill every  last square inch of space in your display. Instead, put fewer items and allow the eye to focus on the main items or products.

If you show everything you have in the window there may be no reason for people to enter the store. 

Instead, make people curious and you will be surprised at the result.

Good Selling !

Selling lessons on display from Piccadilly's Fortnum and Mason and Oxford Street's UseSelfridges

Here is another post on selling displays. The professional window displays from London's top stores are a good source of instruction

 Use the Three Dimensions

Displays do not have to be only height and width to think about. Think about using not only the height and width of the window but also the depth. In other words, make your displays three dimensional. 

Even if you are just displaying flat posters, they do not have to be square on to the window pane.. Staggering the displays or putting them at an angle will make your display more interesting.

If you have the room, why not add some depth to your own window display?

What's your angle ?

Displays do not have to be set in a straight line. Consider making your window more interesting by setting display props and products at an angle. 
High items are best angled down whilst low items are best angled up. This makes them much easier to see from the customer’s point of view. You could also consider angling items towards the left or right. If most people seem to be approaching from a particular direction, this may be particularly relevant.

Keep it transparent
Clear use of House branding
 in Selfridges, Oxford Street Christmas window 2013

Gone are the 'old skool' conventions to have  backings to  window dsiplays and hide the view into the store. 

Today the appearance of the shop should be inviting in order to encourage customers to enter.

 Keep your window display, therefore, as transparent as possible.

There are many display systems available to help with display solutions, the primary being the use of very fine wires suspended from the ceiling and secured to the floor. 

When designing your window display bear in mind the view into the shop. Keep your fittings as minimal as possible. The impact of your window display will be far greater and customers will get an idea of what further treats may be ‘in store’ for them when they enter the premises.

Use of a turn table give the illusion of rolling
the snowball in this snow scene in Fortnum's window
Think about upkeep and maintenance of your display
How  easy will it be to change?

As mentioned in a  previous post, it is critical to change your window display on a regular basis. Think in advance just how easy it will be to change your display. 

If the change is too much of a hassle your team may not bother and your window will lose impact. 

If you have posters or graphic information to change on a regular basis, this should ideally be possible without the use of any tools. After all, time is money, and it just does not make sense for your staff to be wasting their time with systems that are difficult to change.

Make your window display systems as easy as possible to change and make sure that the displays are changed as often as possible.

 Don't display too high or too low

When designing your display, consider the person who is going to be looking at it. If you want your display to get noticed, then don't force people to get on their hands and knees or stand on tip toes.
This Giant Playdoh pot in one of the Selfridges windows revolved and caught the eye of kids plus the little Christmas figures in the spilt avalanche of Playdoh 
Make it easy to see and take in at a single glance. To get the best results, position your displays at eye-level. Remember, children and women are usually shorter than men, so you may want to position the displays lower if either of these are important to you.

 Enhance your corporate image

A window display is not a separate thing. It is part of your whole corporate image. When designing, you should therefore consider any corporate colours, styles or logos you may wish to include. Consider using an expert designer or your display equipment supplier to help you portray the right image.

Get your message across

Including a message of some type with your display according to certain research will increase its effectiveness by 53% .

What is the message you want to get across? 

 Are you after new customers? 

Do you want people to take some action e.g. purchase a new product or service?

 Make your display stand out from the crowd

Do whatever it takes to really be seen. It is essential that your message stands out from the crowd. Be creative, use movement, use lighting - get noticed.

Take a look at what others are doing - and not just from those in the same sector as you. 

The best ideas will come from the most unexpected places.

Traditional Christmas scene from a Fortnum's window this year

Use large graphics!

Your display is an important advertising space. If you want to be seen by people on the other side of the road or those driving by, make your graphics as big as possible.

 Creative use of colour

Colour can account for 60% of the initial impression. 

Make sure that you use the correct colours. Certain colours will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Get your name remembered

This could be one of the objectives of your window display. Is your name clearly visible to people looking in the window? If you want to get your name remembered, make sure it can be clearly seen along with your logo. Stop and think about how you can feature your name or logo in the display.

Traditional Carol Singer Scene at Fortnum's 2013

Use incentives to draw the people in

One of the main goals of your window display has to be to get more people to enter your store.

Voucher Point at Hammersmith Broadway December 2013
One way that you could achieve this could be to provide information about a special offer which is only available today.

 By making the offer time limited you will encourage people to take the decision to enter there and then. 

Related Links

Display Selling tips from Peter Jones shop windows

Selling lessons from Peter Jones Window Display Sloane square London 2013

Selling lessons from central Lonodn Christmas 2014
Whether you sell in a shop or work exhibition stands , 'do' sales road shows then you owe it to yourself to read this post.

We can all learn from the skills of  the professional window dressers from the flagship London stores.

 Your  display whether it be a shop window or exhibition stand, if used effectively, can

  • attract new clients to you,
  • enhance the image/brand of your business,
  • create customer loyalty,
  • promote certain lines of products/services
  • be a major 'lever' to increase your sales.
Reindeer from vacuum cleaner 
components Peter Jones , Sloane Square, London windows

 Are window shoppers really just “Just looking “ or "threatening to Buy" ?

Some USA research states that as much as 50% of all purchase decisions are made on impulse.

 Just consider  for moment the implications of that statistic - half of all decisions to buy are made when the consumer is out shopping and browsing.

When people are 'just looking' at your window there is, a sales opportunity to influence whether they purchase from you or from someone else.

 When you get them to cross your threshold, that's where the game begins - using the power of displays, signage, movement, interactivity, lighting and colour you can really increase your sales.

Dip into this group of  posts and try out a few of the ideas and come back for more later

 What would you like to achieve? Set your objectives

 You may find it helpful to make a list of the objectives you hope to achieve with your  display.

 Give yourself enough time

Your display is an incredibly important tool for growing your sales. You need to allow sufficient time to plan it properly. Set aside a specific time in your diary to think the whole display through thoroughly and make your plans.

 Who else can help you?

Who else do you need to involve in this planning process? Who else would have really good ideas? Picking "other people’s brains" is a well-known key to success.

Towel turkeys at Peter Jones Window display

 Harvest your client’s viewpoint

from  outside of your display and take a long hard look at it from a client's perspective.

Is it
  • well laid out?
  • well lit?
  • inviting?
  • attractive?
  • Would it entice you want to go inside / cross the threshold?

 Ask one or more of your clients to join you and find out what they really think.

Ask them how they think the display could be improved.

Do you have a Budget for your display ?

Make sure you allocate sufficient monies to achieve what you want. 

"Variety is the very spice of life..."  
Change it regularly

Think for a moment- suppose you are walking down the street – a street you walk down every day, past that same row of shops. Do you notice what is in the windows? Suddenly something attracts your attention and prompts you to enter the shop.

 What has made the difference? Probably, something has changed.

Polar bear made from laptops and cables from the 2013 Windows 
of Peter Jones in Sloane Street , London
Something caught your eye that is different from yesterday and it is this change, even if it were quite small, that attracted you. 

It is what has caught your attention and caused you to take action. 

However, if there had been no change, you probably would have walked right on by.

To catch the attention of your customers or prospective customers you must change your  windows / displays regularly. 

The change does not have to be major or expensive - even small changes are better than no changes. So decide to change something on a regular basis. Put a regular date in your calendar or agenda and take some action.

Add lighting

Spot lighting could be the one key factor in helping you to increase sales
Merely adding lighting can more than double your sales.
Coffee machine Penguins
 at Peter Jones Window displays
The reason is that lighting attracts the eye and draws attention to the display. Since 50% of all purchases are made on impulse then that must be your primary aim.

A poorly lit display will seriously spoil all the hard work you have done in creating the display in the first place.

Consider the effect you want from your lighting - the  overall level of light, highlighting specific objects or areas of the display etc.
 Remember also to consider colour and movement.

 Movement attracts

Studies by POPAI (Point of Purchase and Advertising Institute) have shown that displays with motion can increase sales by up to 317%

 Nothing attracts more attention to a display than movement. There are many ways of achieving this, such as: animated figures, props or mannequins, items on turntables, moving signs, scrolling banners, lights moving or changing colour, computer displays or video projection.


Voucher Point Station at Hammersmith 
Broadway Arcade December 2013.
 Touching the screen issues  voucher
 for local stores in the arcade.
You may wish to allow your clients to interact with your display . This is guaranteed to catch and hold their attention. Movement detectors that will detect when anyone passes near the window to touch-sensitive systems there are many methods.

A creative display in Peter Jones,
Sloane Square London Window using cutlery

Related Links

Selling lessons from central London stores and displays Christmas 2014