When I opened my first cart a number of years ago, I a
spent a lot of time talking with my product supplier
and asking questions.
At that time, they had the experience. And I had none.
When I came across something I didn't know, I would
get on the phone with them immediately and ask some
One day, at the end of one of these conversations, my
supplier shared something I found really worthwhile.
As I recall, he cautioned me to be wary of other cart
operators, and store managers that would come by...
... and complain about how traffic was 'down' this year;
or how sales were 'slow' this season; or how, 'nobody
was buying today'.
'Count on it! It doesn't matter what the traffic is like.
It's GONNA happen.'
When it did happen, he wanted me to not to let that
negativity drag me down.
And he wanted me to stay focused on what I needed to do to succeed.
Sure enough, within the first week I opened, a couple
of cart operators came by... complaining about how...
'Sales were slow'... 'Traffic was down'... and so on...
'Here they are, just like he told me', I thought.
I remember laughing a little to myself.
It was only my first week. I was making steady sales.
And I felt like things were going pretty well, despite
the 'down traffic'.
I found that whenever one of these complainers would
stop by, I just did my best to be polite.
Then I would quickly excuse myself from the conversation so that I could back to my own customers.
As owners of a cart or kiosk, we have a lot of reasons
NOT to let negativity affect us.
In my situation, I had invested a big chunk of my bankroll
to get started. And was investing a good amount of my time.
I knew I couldn't afford to let anything like that distract
me from my goals.
Now I've found in EVERY mall I have ever done business in, folks will come by with the SAME complaints... no matter how great the traffic is, or how well sales are going.
It's especially important to be aware of this phenomenon
so those complaints don't turn into worries that become
I did worry about how my staff might react to that
After all, my staff were a lot less invested in the cart
than I was.
I figured that if these complainers stopped by when
I wasn't around... I wouldn't be able to 'protect' my
staff from their damaging attitude.
And I didn't want any negativity draining the enthusiasm of my staff.***
So I made sure to tell each of my staff members ahead
of time to be aware that other cart operators 'might' come by and complain.
When it did happen, I wanted my staff to be thinking...
'This is exactly what Brady told me was going to happen.'
And I wanted them to react in the same way I did.
Dismiss the complaints.
Extricate themselves from the conversation.
Get back to helping customers.
As it turned out, we made a little game of it.
If another operator did stop by, and complain about the
slow sales or traffic... we made it a point to glance down
the hallway to their cart.
Invariably there would be a customer stopped at that
operator's cart or kiosk. All alone. With no one to
Of course that customer would eventually walk away
without buying anything because no one was there
to help them.
And I wanted my staff thinking THAT was the reason
why sales weren't going well for that complainer... not
the mall traffic... or some ethereal, 'No one is buying
I went on to do over $100K in sales that holiday
season... in the same mall where 'traffic was slow'
and 'sales were down' and 'no one was buying'.
So here's the point:
Complainers can drain the enthusiasm of you and
your staff if you're not careful.
Don't you buy into their negativity. Don't let your staff do it either.
The easiest way to stay on track is simply to be
aware these folks are coming.
Then focus your energy positively on what you can do to keep your business moving forward!
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