How can you maximize profit with your retail business? Salena Knight knows the strategy. She is a business owner who started as a government employee dealing with teams of contractors, angry clients, and mayhem on a daily basis. Adding to that a miracle, her new baby who needed a sustainable baby product. Salena did what all great entrepreneurs do and opened a retail store. That’s when the life-changing lessons of business hit like waves on the beach, “How do I get clients? How do I manage inventory? What about staff?” Finally, she perfected the process, sold the stores, and now teaches others how to scale their own retail empire even in the face of Amazon.

Maximizing Profit Through Retail Business Strategy with Salena Knight

My guest is a business owner who started as a government employee dealing with teams of contractors, angry clients in general, mayhem on a daily basis and then a miracle, a new baby who needed a sustainable baby product and none was easily located. She did what all great entrepreneurs do and opened a retail store. That’s when the life-changing lessons of business hit like waves on the beach, “How do I get clients? How do I manage inventory? What about staff?” Finally, she perfected the process, sold the stores, and now she teaches others how to scale their own retail empire even in the face of Amazon. Salena Knight, welcome to the show.

Mitch, thank you so much for having me.

It’s quite impressive what you’ve done and I can’t wait to hear your story. I had been hoping to find someone who knows how to scale retail stores because we have people listening who run retail operations, so you are very welcome here. Let’s dive in and start with how you got started. Tell us all about those days as a government employee.

The government, it’s like working with a bunch of children. In fact, that was the catalyst for me opening the store. I had a little bit of a tumultuous childhood and was in a position where I was quite young, about fourteen or fifteen, when I had to leave home. My stepfather managed to get his parents to look after me, my grandparents, but they were in a completely different state. I was shipped off to live with my grandparents at the ripe old age of fourteen. It’s a very formative age for anybody. We get very rebellious at that age, prime teenager. I have to admit, I was probably a little bit resentful about having to leave my family, especially under the circumstances. My mother had a mental illness and she had some addiction problems. Her and my father had split up so he was looking after me and trying to find some way for me to live.

I was shipped to a completely different state with my elderly grandparents who haven’t had children for 30 years. I don’t think that we’re primed to have a teenager but they did their grandparently duty and they did have me there. Unfortunately, my grandmother was quite unwell as well, so I was only there for about six months before her health declined so much that you could see that they weren’t in a position to have me. Even though I would like to think I was pretty easy going and I was pretty self-sufficient, I’ve always been quite self-sufficient, we had to find somewhere else for me to live. I did have a little boyfriend at the time and his mother agreed to take me. I sound like I was a big problem child, but I promise it was not me. I was a victim of circumstance. I lived with them until I finished school and eventually moved out. The funny thing was moving between states, the education system back then was a little bit different.

As I moved, I progressed up through the years completely by accident. When I finished school, I was with my year 12, which was the equivalent of full twelve or thirteen years at school. I was only fifteen years old, just about to turn sixteen. I started early and then we moved into state. I was sixteen in January and we finished the October before, and I had to find somewhere to live. That was the agreement with the boyfriend who was no longer my boyfriend at the time. The agreement there with his mom was that I could stay until I finish school. Here I was not even quite sixteen and having to go and fend for myself, which is quite difficult. It’s hard to get a lease on a property when you are sixteen. Maybe that was even the beginning of my sales training because I could sell ice to Eskimos and I convinced a landlord that I was a very responsible person. I went and got a job and I leased my first apartment. I got a full-time job from there. That was the job with the government.

Fast forward, I worked my way up. I was an apprentice to begin with, then I was a team leader, and then I was a tree preservation officer, which was one of the highlights of my life when I got to that point. I was so passionate about sustainability and being in a position where I had the chance to change the course of the environment. That for me was great. It was like I have the ability to make sure that this earth is going to be around for my children if I ever choose to have them. Something that you discover when you work for the government and you’re an overachiever, there is no room for overachievers in the government.

YFTC 96 | Retail Business Strategy
Retail Business Strategy: Private enterprise loves overachievers because you do twice as much work for the same amount of money.

That’s common no matter what country you live in. That is so true. I do want to stop you for one quick second and acknowledge something that deserves to be acknowledged. First of all, you could feel real sorry for yourself as a kid and you didn’t, but you certainly could have and you would have had every right to do so with the circumstances that you described. Here’s the gift-wrapped gift that you got to receive that many others I’ve spoken to in that same situation have as well. When something like this happens to you, the level of personal ingenuity, resilience, and creativity flourishes and come through the roof because you have to do this to survive. You have to learn how to sell at the age of sixteen, you have to learn how to be super responsible, and you have to learn how to get along in life in an age where most other kids are trying to figure out what video game to play that day. I applaud you for the work you did on yourself. Now we’re seeing the results of that incredible work in you as an adult. Continue the story. Tells us exactly where you are. You decided to do this job and you love the fact that you’re able to help the environment. What got you out of that?

Thank you for those lovely kind words. I do see it from your point of view, but when you’ve lived it, you have no choice. What do I do? You have to change things so that you live a better life. This is where people break down into the victim mentality and people who choose not to let their circumstances shape what they become. Fast forward, I got to ten years in that position and I was literally told by the general manager of the council, “There is no place for you here. This is it. You can’t go any further. You either have to be happy in this position for however long you want to stay here.” The way the organizations are is they get on specific trades like engineering or sciences and math and something as esoteric as arboriculture and horticulture. They can’t see why you are even needed apart from the fact that you are needed. The management was all very old men with degrees in either political science or engineering. A young woman who was an overachiever wasn’t on their cards.

I left to work for a private company who was doing the contracts for the power line trimming, so same industry but in private enterprise. We all know that private enterprise love overachievers because you do twice as much work for the same amount of money. You put better systems in place, you drive your people to do more and be more. I did stay at that company for a good twelve months. We have to remember by this point, I was still young, 25 or 26, and so I’m in a completely different environment managing teams of contractors who are all men between the ages of 30 to 60. Here is a 26-year-old overachieving woman trying to tell them what to do. I feel like that is probably where I got my influence skills from with trying to negotiate with these people and showing them how we could have a win-win situation.

Sometimes the big stick doesn’t work. I did stay with that company for a couple of years and then I was head-hunted by the power company to who we were contracting to go and work for them because they wanted to upgrade their systems. I met with them for regular meetings and they could see I was coming up with ideas and these were a lot outside the box. I was trying to get the councils who had little GPS mapping systems of all their trees to give us their data and allow us to overlap the power poles and the different voltages and then create a scale where certain trees need pruning more often than others, so we would put all the trees into categories. As a result, you could almost predict where you needed to be at any time based on the weather. Of course, in a government agency, it wasn’t ever going to happen. The funny thing is ten years later, they are putting that in place now.

It’s like the story of Bill Gates whose first project was to figure out how to read the flow of traffic to sequence the traffic lights intelligently instead of everything being on mechanical timers. That goes back to the beginning of Microsoft, and yet it’s only now that many of those systems are starting to come into play. It’s funny. The problem continues to exist until somebody eventually does finally fix it. Your problem time has finally come?

Yeah. I did stay with that organization. Looking back now, I never thought that I was a systems and processes person. I am not the most organized person which is why I have a team of people whose job descriptions and job ads were “Are you a ninja organizer?” because I need them to be organized so that I stay organized. If you’re not organized, that is when the chaos comes in. I never thought that I was a planning person, a processes person, and a strategy person, but then I looked back and went, “Every single organization I worked for, I have completely streamlined their processes simply because I don’t like wasting time.” When I look back at the council, I’d implemented a brand new system to streamline applications. Then when I was working for the contractor, I had implemented a new system there and I was trying to do the integration with the council and the power company. Then when I went to the power company, we had a different type of application processes that the contractors had to put in.

We used to get 50 or 60 of those a day and they used to have to bring them in with paper. That was probably fourteen years ago. I was like, “No, we are PDF-ing these things. We’re emailing to each other.” It’s ridiculous that people have to drive to our office to send us these things. Again, I implemented a very basic system which was you had to email us the form and then the admin lady would stick it into a regular folder inside of our system, and an alert would come up to say that we had a new application. We will just keep PDF-ing the signatures and the descriptions. Each file was listed by the address and you had all the paperwork there. Of course, nowadays it’s way easier, but even back then I couldn’t see the point of somebody wasting their time to drive two hours to our office once a week to send these forms. It was ridiculous.

It catches up now. How did this event lead you to be in the retail business?

I got pregnant with my daughter. Clearly I’m very passionate about sustainability. I wanted products for her that didn’t exist. This was 2007 to 2008 before we had data on our phones and before Facebook became popular. The internet was there, but it wasn’t like it is now. I was searching for all these products online. I would go into forums because we didn’t have Facebook and I would be asking. It just came back over and over again. I wish I could go and see these products because they were new, they were interesting. I wish I could try them all. I want to try a baby carrier on. I want to see if this organic skincare product feels as good as they say, and that was it. I was like, “This is what we need to do.” I left the government job and opened up a retail store knowing nothing. I had a degree in business. Here’s something for nothing. A degree in business will not help you if you own an independent retail store.

My dad ran a gift shop. He ran it on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. My job was to carry the packages to our customers’ cars, but I watched every day. It was like watching how sausage is made. It’s a terrible thing. I watched the way that he ran this business. He was a great businessman, a fantastic salesperson and smart as can be, but retail is hard. You have to deal with unreasonable people with stupid requests. You feel like every day is a struggle that you don’t need. I was sixteen years old when I made the decision that I would never work in the retail business forever for the rest of my life because of that experience. I did end up eating those words later. Here again, it sounds like you decided that you needed to solve a problem, so you did. Tell us how that happened.

That’s my life. I’m a fixer. That’s what I love doing. I love fixing problems for people and maybe that’s born from the childhood I went through and always having to be ahead of the game. People talk to me and my brain starts thinking of ways to fix things. That’s my superpower. I can think of answers to your problems before you even finish saying them.

YFTC 96 | Retail Business Strategy
Retail Business Strategy: The only way that discounting works is if you have volume because you’ve got lower profit margins.

That is a superpower. It’s funny because we have that in common. My why is to find a better way. When I end up in a situation where someone like my beautiful wife comes to me and says, “Honey, can I talk to you about something?” Like you, I’m immediately going into, “I could solve that problem. Here’s a way to fix that.” She doesn’t want me to fix anything. She just wanted to talk to me.

This is one of the things I have learned. Those years of listening to whinging customers with trees, people either love trees or hate trees, and the same with retail. Sometimes, you just have to shut your mouth. Sometimes they just need to talk. I feel like I’m a bit of a pop psychologist as well from all the people I’ve spoken to. I can pretty much say without a doubt if somebody is ranting and raving at you, those difficult customers that you are talking about, those unreasonable customers, pretty good chance it has nothing at all to do with you. You just happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was the thing that opened the flood gates for the crappy day that they’ve had for the fact that their internet got shut off or somebody ran into their car or they got a speeding ticket or whatever. It has nothing to do with you.

It’s so true. Once again, here you are, figuring this stuff out the hard way. As a retailer, what made you decide to stop being a retailer and start teaching people how to fix their own retail business?

That’s a story within itself. That was many years of getting it wrong. I will be the first one to tell you every stuff up that I’ve had. I will tell you about the time that I invested $1,500 in these TVs that were going into hospitals and waiting rooms. I thought that was where my ideal person was hanging out. Moms are pregnant, they’re going to be in hospital. They need to see my ad. They’re going to have a baby, they need to see my ad. The flyers that I put out, the trade shows that I did, I’ll have to admit most of them were marketing strategies that I implemented which completely tanked and cost me tens and tens of thousands of dollars that are wasted on marketing. I had no idea about ROI. I had no idea about how to measure whether something was successful. I just figured you have to spend money in the hopes that people would come to your shop.

The first store that we opened was in a coastal seaside town with lots of young moms. The shop next door was a child model agency and the other shop next door was a family photographer. You can’t ask for much better clients than the people who are coming to those two stores, so I figured there’d be a lot of traffic. That was my first mistake. What I discovered is the people who are coming to see the photographer only come in the evenings because they work for a living and they come when your shop is closed. The people who are coming to the modeling agency actually don’t come to the modeling agency. The modeling agency is just an office. They all meet off-site. I probably didn’t pick the best spot to begin with, but that’s okay. You make it work.

One of the first things I worked out was if you need to get people to your store, they have to have a reason to want to go. It can’t just be that they walked past. I’m like, “We need to be the go-to people.” There isn’t another one of these stores anywhere in Australia. Nobody sells what we sell so we can be the store. Let’s be honest, I like to talk, so getting my opinions out there was like a win-win situation. That was when I discovered blogging. We’re talking back in 2008 to 2009 before all this stuff was famous. I was on Facebook when it first came out and I was pumping out articles and I was showing people, unboxing pictures because we didn’t do video back then. All these things that are now popular and all those content ideas for me were survival strategies. They were, “How do I get people to want to come to my store?” I need to be a destination. I need people to say, “We’re going to get in the car and we’re going to drive two hours to that store because we want to be part of that. We want to be associated with everything that store stands for.”

That’s pretty darn smart and it took a while to figure that out. I have to give credit to my dad. He figured that out intuitively very quickly. You know what his hook was? It was very simple. His hook was that he was a discounter before discounts were invented. People would come into our little retail gift shop and they would find brands that are exclusively department store brands like Lenox China that never sold at a discount. He was selling it at a discount, so people would come from out of state to drive to our little store on Coney Island Avenue to buy Lenox China and Wallace sterling silver wear at a discount. That little business grew into a fairly big store and supported our family for 40 years. It was all based on having this hunch that “Since discounting is taboo, I’m going to bring discounting to retail back.” You’ve got to understand, this was in the 1960s.

It’s like an outlet store before they existed.

With a complete full service retail. He would do everything. If you came in and you wanted something, he would package it up for you, he would gift wrap it for you, he carried, he shipped it, whatever you needed. He was so service-oriented, and that’s where I learned so much about how to create the ambassador programs that I do for my clients as well. This is such great information, Salena, and I love the path that you took. It wasn’t like you just knew it; you had to learn it the hard way. Sometimes the hard way is the best way.

I didn’t get it right the first year. I didn’t get it right the second year. I probably didn’t even get it right the third year, but somehow we managed 30% year-on-year growth, so clearly we’re doing something okay.

Audience, she is Salena Knight, the queen of retail marketing, management, and strategy. The story she’s told so far is fascinating about how she stumbled her way into retail success. The next part is when Salena is going to chat about exactly how you can take your retail business and bring it to the next level. Salena, are you ready?

I’m always ready. Let’s start with your dad, he’s the perfect example. When it comes to discounting, he clearly worked this out. The only way that discounting works is if you have volume because you’ve got lower profit margins. He needed to have that volume going through his store in order to make the same amount of money. He was also smart because he had a little store, it wasn’t on the main shopping mall, it was off to the side, because his customers were okay with that. Whether he knew this intuitively or he worked it out, he knew that if they came there, it didn’t have to be Nordstrom. They weren’t expecting beautiful chandeliers and marble floors. They were coming because what they wanted was an aspirational thing. They wanted to have your beautiful crystal and your beautiful China, but they didn’t quite have the money for it, so they had the aspiration. They wanted to keep up with the Joneses. As a result, they were prepared to travel a little bit further. They were prepared to go into the store that maybe wasn’t as fancy, but when they got there, they were completely wowed by the service. Who wouldn’t want to come back again and again?

You are so right. The fact of the matter is that there were times when my mom and I would say “Milton, the place is a little shabby. We should clean it up.” He goes, “Never. Are you kidding me?” We say “Why?” He goes, “Because then people will think we’re charging too much.”

Yes, he knew it. He knew the answer. I tell my clients the complete opposite. I don’t like discounting as your main source. It was different for your dad back then because he was cutting edge but nowadays, if you want to be the price-cutting leader, you need to have volume, which means you need to have a lot of stock. You have to have a lot of money in inventory and you need to have people coming into the doors or coming to your website by the thousands. The only way that you get that in this day and age is by putting your hand in your pocket and spending money on marketing and advertising. The numbers for a discounter are so minimal that they need to be constantly filling up that sales funnel, constantly getting traffic in otherwise, they go under.

YFTC 96 | Retail Business Strategy
Retail Business Strategy: You need to have a plan and choose something that you want to focus on every single month.

You’re right, we had a lot of inventory. I don’t know if it’s less so now, but one of the dangers back then is we had armed robbers enter the store during the day with automatic weapons. My mom and dad both worked there. They put them to the ground face down while they broke through our showcases and stole all the jewelry. It’s interesting. Having a lot of inventory was both a blessing and a curse sometimes because it attracted the right people and the wrong people.

That sounds so scary. I’m so sorry that they had to go through that.

They accepted it because it was part of doing business. They realized the odds of getting shot were very low. They had insurance. They knew that five to ten days later, everything would be back in stock and the showcases would be fixed. It shook them up, no doubt, but this was life. This is what my life was like growing up as a kid, working and living in a family with a retail store.

How formative is that though? That gives you grit and determination to make it work. Indignancy, I hate justice not being served. I am passionate. I know in this day and age that justice is not what you think it’s going to be. I love fighting for the little guy. I love fighting for what’s right and I hate seeing people trampled on, which is probably my why. My why is I don’t want people to have to go through the same pain that I did which sounds very sanctimonious. If I can give you a piece of information that means you don’t make the same mistake, why shouldn’t I? What’s stopping me from doing that? It’s why we do what we do because we want other people to get to their goals faster. They can do it because of the information that they learn from people like you and people like me.

Salena, tell us what to do next.

Mitch, do you know the number one whinge that I hear every retailer make? “I don’t have enough customers.” What they always say is, “If I could get more customers, I’d be okay. If I could get more customers, I’d be making more money.” The fact is getting more customers, as your dad knows and as every audience knows, no matter what business you’re in, getting more customers is plenty hard. It takes money. It takes effort. It takes copywriting. It takes advertising. It takes so much out of you to get a new customer. When people say to me, “I need more customers,” the first thing I say is “Not right now.” You’ve already got customers. Let’s love those customers to pieces. Let’s do what your dad did and gift wrap for them. Let’s deliver the parcels out to their car. The number one thing I see people make a mistake on is they spend so much time and effort trying to get more customers when they already have customers. They already have people who love what they sell, who love what they do, but they don’t treat them right. They don’t treat them as an asset. They’ve got their business insured, they’ve got their inventory insured, but they don’t insure their customers. I don’t mean with insurance from the bank or an insurance company. I mean they don’t take the steps to make sure that those customers are always going to be there for as long as the customer lifetime is.

This is the plight of all businesses and you know that. It doesn’t matter whether you have a retail store, an internet business, or a service business. This is the same advice that I give my own clients to the letter. Let’s make sure that we’re maximizing the value that we can get from our existing customer base before we bother spending money to try and find new ones.

The next biggest problem that I see retailers make is they forget that they’re a brand, whether it’s subconsciously because they don’t want to be associated with the big brands or whether they don’t know any better. They forget that their little independent store, whether it’s one store, two stores, it’s a market store, it’s an Etsy store, whatever it is, is a brand within itself. They forget that brand is allowed to have its own entity. It’s allowed to have its own voice. It’s allowed to have its own values. Those values and that voice are probably going to align very similarly to yours because you are the one who opened the store, but they forget to trade on that. I love using the example, the women in the audience will know what I’m talking about but Lululemon, the athletic wear brand. Let’s be honest, who in their right mind pays $100 for a pair of women’s tights?

What are you talking about? Women’s tights cost $100?

When I say tights, I mean running tights, leggings, $100 quite easily. They have stores all around the world and they sell millions of these tights or leggings every single day. They sell them because they have established a brand and their brand is about community. They have free classes in their stores where you can come and do yoga, Pilates, and mindfulness. They have cookbooks. Similar to that Nike “Just Do It,” just go out there, but at the same time you’re looking after yourself. You’re looking after yourself as a whole, your mind, your body, and your soul. They’ve brought all of that together. People want that. It’s the aspiration that we talked about, the people who are driving out of state to come to your dad’s shop to get the crystal and the china. People want to be healthy, they want to be fit, they want to be athletic, and they want to buy into that. Lululemon has done a fantastic job of building a community around their brand values.

There are lots of little stores who do that and this is what my story is, but I had no idea that that was what I was doing. I just wanted to help people. I just wanted to help these parents of newborns who were completely strung out with no sleep and all the hormones and all the stuff that you get overwhelmed with. I just wanted to show them that we could cut the crap and we could make life easier. You don’t have to have everything fancy. It’s okay if you wait until next week. It’s okay if you have to use disposable nappies instead of reusable nappies every now and then. It is your life and it’s your baby. You’re not going to ruin the world because you make a couple of mistakes here and there. I just wanted to give back.

My store has ended up building this community where people would come and hang out to be part of it. We started doing mothers’ groups and we started doing workshops and we started having educators come in. We teamed up with a baby health nurse to come in a couple of times a week and do free sessions. All of these built a community because my brand’s value was that I wanted to make life easier for parents. I wanted them to be able to come somewhere where if they didn’t know the answer, they wouldn’t feel like an idiot.

It sounds pretty simple to me. We see here in the States that this community-based retail is very popular. There are knitting stores that are set up so that they are shelving around the edges of the store and the entire center of the store are nothing but couches for people to sit and knit. There are people who literally go every day to the knitting store to sit and have that community with other people who are sitting and knitting. This is fantastic because it brings people directly in. It shows the others who pass by that you have a place that people want to be and it makes people want to be there, too. That’s a great idea and a great tip if you have the right type of business. We didn’t have that. That wouldn’t have worked in my dad’s store, but I could see how many businesses could do that. That’s what Barnes & Noble did.

I was going to say it’s the whole bookstore thing back in the 1990s where people used to hang out in the bookstore and have their coffee.

YFTC 96 | Retail Business Strategy
Retail Business Strategy: Knowing what kind of car your customer is driving, that customer that you want, not necessarily the customer that you have.

That’s the point of it. You’re already there, might as well buy a book, read a book. Salena, we could probably spend hours chatting about retail, but I love so much of what you shared. Can you leave us with a couple of tips, a couple of simple actionable tips that anyone in retail can put to work?

Yes. You need to have a plan. Even if you are not a planner like me, I want you to go and print out the calendar for the next couple of months and write in what you want to sell, nothing else. For example it’s summer, for February, I want to sell beach accessories. That is going to be the thing that I focus on because we’re getting towards the end of summer and it’s going to be my last push. There’s still enough weather to make it okay, so my February, I’m going to focus on beach accessories and now you have a plan. Now you can formulate what’s going to go in your window, what’s going to go on the front of your website, what’s going to be on your cash wrap desk to be an upsell, what’s your merchandising going to look like, what’s your advertising going to be if you’re doing print advertising. Now you’ve got a plan from simply choosing something that you want to focus on every single month.

Create a marketing plan, pull up the calendar, write it down. Simple, great actionable tips, Salena.

We can’t call it a marketing plan because otherwise people get scared and they won’t do it. We just call it calendar.

You’ve got another one?

You have to know where your money is. One of my clients was like, “Where do I spend my money on advertising?” I said, “Send me your books and we’ll have a look at what’s selling in your store.” You know what the answer is going to be. She’s like, “I don’t have a bookkeeper.” She just started working with me, so I said, “That’s the first thing we have to do because if you don’t know what’s selling, if you don’t know how much money you’re making, and if you don’t know what’s a poor performer in your business, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a retail store or any other type of store, if something is underperforming, you need to cut it off. You need to get rid of it. You need to clear it out and then invest that money in something that sells. You do need to be on top of your cash flow, on top of your numbers.” As much as it pains me to say this because I am the person who my bookkeeper has to email three times before I get off my butt and do the paperwork and send it through to him, you have to do it because I know that if I don’t send it to him, I don’t know how much money I have to spend on advertising and I don’t know if we’ve had a good month or not. Sometimes what’s in your bank account at the end of the month isn’t your money. Maybe you’ve got more coming in, but it hasn’t arrived yet. You have to have a plan and you have to be in control of your money.

It sounds simple, actionable and it’s exactly what I asked for. Thank you so much, Salena. That was a great tip. I have a question for you and this is my favorite question of the whole show. It’s the question that allows our audience to have a peek inside of what it’s like to be you and how you think and what you care about. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch, or an intense conversation with?

This is a question that will make me cry because I only have one answer for that and that is my grammy. She passed away before I met my husband. In fact, I met my husband a couple of days before she passed away. We always joke that she sent him to me. She was such a hard worker and now that I’m grown up, I can see how much she sacrificed. She was more of a mother for me than my own mother was and I can see how much she sacrificed for my brothers and my sisters and myself and even her own children. She was the one that gave me the work ethic that you need to know what you want in life and then work towards it. If I could have an hour, I still think about her. She’s been gone for thirteen years now and I still wish that I could have another cup of tea with her.

Salena, if I could help you with that, I certainly would but thank you for sharing. That’s a beautiful story and I know that she’s listening as you’re sharing that with me. Here’s the grand finale, the change the world question. What is it that you’re doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

I have a big dream and it is to be an international speaker, which sounds very selfish, but it’s not. I love speaking. I love helping people. I love it when I can connect with people in-person. Whether it’s on a big stage or in a small group, my goal is to be able to travel the world and help people have better freedom in their lives. That’s personal freedom to be able to do what you want when you want, and also financial freedom. I’m so passionate about helping people get to a point in their lives where every single day is not ruled by how much money they’re making.

Salena Knight, you have my stage and you could have it anytime you like. It’s been thrilling, wonderful, and fantastic chatting with you. I so enjoyed myself. Audience, I hope you did, too. Salena tells me that she has a giveaway for the audience. Salena, do you know what it is?

That was a great segue. Remember how I wanted to talk to you about carrying the packages to the cars? This is perfect. This is one of the questions in the guide that I’m going to share with your audience. It’s so insightful to be able to look at the kind of car that your customer is driving. I tell this to all of my clients, always go out to the car park and see what kind of cars are in the car park. Because then you get an insight into whether your customer is aspirational, they want more, they want to be keeping up with the Joneses, or are they in their element already? If they’re driving a luxury car, hopefully they can afford it, and you know that you can sell the high-end products. If you have the aspirational person, they want that but how are you going to script everything? How are you going to merchandise? How are you going to talk to them so that it is okay for them to spend a little bit more money to have the thing that they want? Knowing what kind of car your customer is driving, that customer that you want, not necessarily the customer that you have, that is one of the little secrets that I tell people to working out how you can completely develop your marketing plan. I’ll share a little guide with you on a whole bunch of questions that you can use to knock down who it is that you want to be selling to and how you can have these little tips and tricks to work out who that person is and where they’re going to be hanging out.

I’m sure that everybody in the audience who is a retailer will want that guide, so thank you for offering it. Thank you for sharing. Once again, Salena Knight, thank you for being on my show. I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.

Thank you. It’s been so much fun and thank you for curbing in my conversations because I do like to talk and you were fantastic at guiding me through to the next part of the story. Thank you so much for that.

My pleasure.

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