Cultivating growth 


Known for its friendly customer service, specialty products, and affordable prices, this California-based grocery chain has a cult-like following. Can you picture their Hawaiian shirts? Yeah, we’re talking about Trader Joe’s. From their attention to detail and quick problem resolution to their recognizable branding, their culture is deeply ingrained into everything they do. So much so, that it makes for a pretty similar, positive customer experience at all their locations around the country. This is what contributes to why Trader Joe’s is consistently ranked at the top of the customer satisfaction list. All while having fewer stores, products, and square feet. They even double their competitors in sales per square foot!

Trader Joe’s is an example of being able to feel the culture. It’s not superficial promises of “unlimited PTO,” free snacks and merch, or fancy office spaces that make their culture special (although we do love these perks!). It’s leadership’s people-centric foundation which everything else builds on. 

This is a sales culture!

It’s where everyone understands the impact they make and that every interaction is a sales transaction of sorts. Are you rolling your eyes, thinking here they go again with the sales thing? Think you don’t need to develop a “sales culture”? Having a sales culture impacts your bottom line and ability to grow.

Changing/establishing a company’s sales culture can happen, but it’s not going to be overnight with a couple of policy changes and some free pizza. It needs to be a little deeper than that – think, soil-level. With a mindset shift, a healthy and fun employee culture can be created, ultimately making your customer experience bloom.  

Whether you know it or not, there is some kind of sales culture within your organization. So let’s make sure it aligns with how you want your business to be perceived. Let’s start small and make a plan so it’s less daunting.

Get down to the roots

Leadership must be the tip of the spear, starting with clearly defined goals. Then, individuals can ladder their goals up to help themselves grow and, ultimately, grow the company. Start by defining your company’s goals and core values that align with both sales objectives and customer-centric principles. A few examples are emphasizing integrity, empathy, transparency, and a commitment to delivering value to customers. Post them somewhere visible so they’re always top of mind.

Now keep watering those seeds by:  

  1. Developing employees’ personal brands: Encouraging sales professionals to work on their personal brands empowers them to showcase their expertise, build credibility and confidence, and have authentic connections with customers. (Here’s some fertilizer.)
  2. Training and development: Provide comprehensive training and development programs for sales teams to equip them with the skills and know-how needed to deliver exceptional customer experiences. (It’s raining knowledge here!)  
  3. Continuous feedback and recognition: Establish processes for collecting feedback from customers and employees to identify areas for improvement and address issues proactively. Recognize and celebrate when employees make positive changes and listen to feedback. (You know science has suggested talking to your crops improves growth.) 
  4. Customer-Centric Practices: Review and adjust internal processes and practices to prioritize the needs and preferences of customers. This can look like streamlining procedures and eliminating barriers that hinder the delivery of exceptional customer experiences. (Think of weeding the garden.)

In today’s competitive market, prioritizing the customer’s experience by fostering a values-driven culture can help differentiate your team and business. When personal branding efforts align with company values and ladder up to SMART goals, sales teams can amplify their impact and create lasting impressions, driving customer loyalty and business growth. 

And you know what we say around here: Grow Big or Go Home®

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