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America's Research Group Announces New Book By Britt Beemer

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America’s Research Group announced that a new book by by C. Britt Beemer, CEO of America’s Research Group (ARG) with Robert L. Shook, THE CUSTOMER RULES, will be available in stores and on-line October 1. Published by McGraw-Hill, the new business book provides sound advice for retailers to survive and even prosper in these difficult economic times. Ironically, only one retailer is included in the success stories in the book, because as a group they didn’t merit consumer praise in the 9,000 interviews conducted by ARG for the book. The one exception is Cabela’s producer of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. "A natural impulse for companies in a down economy is to lay off people and lower expenses, but that kind of business strategy puts companies in jeopardy," says Beemer. In fact, wise managers will enlist the support of employees to establish customer loyalty and build the brand, according to Beemer. Here’s an excerpt from a chapter entitled, Sell Your Employees First" describing how Cabela’s makes sure that employees in all departments are their best salespersons: "Cabela’s, the Sidney, Nebraska–based direct marketer and specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping, and related outdoor merchandise, is hailed as the World’s Foremost Outfitter. A vast majority of its employees are outdoor enthusiasts, and a company program encourages them to field-test its products. "We have a saying," explains Michael Callahan, a former senior vice president of business development and international operations. "If it’s not good enough for us to use, it’s not good enough. Period. We encourage employees to field-test Cabela’s merchandise, and in particular, our own Cabela’s brand products. This applies to everything we stock... " ‘We require them to submit field-test reports,’ adds Dennis Highby, Cabela’s president and chief executive officer. ‘We encourage them to take brand-new merchandise right out of stock, use it, and, yes, get it dirty. We just ask that they complete the field-test reports in a timely manner. We want them to know what they’re selling.’ "While it’s good for morale to give free merchandise and services to employees, at the very least, we believe a company should give its employees a generous discount when they buy its products. By using the products, they become more familiar with what you sell, and second, they can say to a customer with conviction, "Yes, I use it." It also enhances employee loyalty. An ARG survey uncovers that 75.7% of employees who receive a discount express it boosts their morale. Some said that it shows the company cares for them, and others went as far as to say that it makes them feel special, like family."

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