Mistake #34: Forget to talk to sales people!

The Gap. No matter what age, everyone wears jeans and T-shirts. Hell, even my 80-year-old father does! But, why can’t he go into Gap to buy jeans and T-shirts? When I walk into the Gap, I feel like I need a cane and a shawl with me from the look of the 18-to-24-year olds who infiltrate the store. So where in the world do the likes of us baby-boomers find stuff like that?


Just like Starbucks, The Gap claims that it grew too fast and ‘lost its way’. It now is redirecting its product development to go ‘back to basics’. Smart. But will it work? Along with losing your way, you lose customers. You lose consumer confidence. You lose revenue.


One assignment for all product developers/designers of Gap: go into the stores and talk to the sales people. What a novel idea! It is so prevalent in just about every industry that companies create an “ivory tower” approach to rolling out products.  The one thing they leave out is talking to the sales staff to ask what they hear, what they experience, what the customers are telling them. Even the most anecdotal information brings on a need for change, or going ‘back to basics.’


It’s all so simple.


Go talk to your sales people. Talk to them daily, weekly, monthly. What are your customers telling you?


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