Fred-Speak...

Mr. Meyer had many principles he stuck with all his life. Some were his, some were borrowed from others. They are here for you to enjoy and use.

There are three requirements for success: wisdom, action and will. A person must have all three or real success cannot be achieved. Wisdom is different than knowledge. Many people may have knowledge but only those that have wisdom know how to use it. Nothing happens until you take action. The best idea in the world is just an idea until somebody takes action. Will is what it takes to take the action and keep things moving.

Give Customers a full 16 ounces to the pound, 100 cents to the dollar. Cheating the Customer loses the Customer. Customers often know a lot more about our business and that of our competition than we think they do. They know value when they see it. If they don't find it from us, they'll find it from someone else.

Take care of the Customer, everything else will take care of itself. Without our Customers we have no business. If our store burned down tonight, tomorrow we could put up a tent and be back in business, because we would still have our Customers. However, if we lost all of our Customers tonight, we would be out of business tomorrow. That's why we need to take care of them and do business the way they want it done, not the way we think it should be done.

Begin where others leave off; take advantage of their trial and error. This is what scientists do to achieve results; it will work for us as well.

Use your brain for thinking, not as a storehouse. First, write things down so you don't have to remember them. Second, learn where to find information so you don't have to remember it (Another reason Fred would love the Web!)

You don't build a business; you build an organization, then the organization builds the business. Always put a good person in charge, give responsibility, accountability and fair rewards for success.

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Nothing is impossible, the impossible takes a little longer. Don't tell me what I can't do, or why it won't work. Tell me what I can do and how to do it.

Important, if true. Accept no argument until you check, check, check for the facts, the truth and the purpose.

Gather facts to learn, not support an argument.

When you look, you must see. Opportunities can be missed if your eyes and ears are closed to possibilities.

Explore everything, you never know where gold will be found. Not everything will work perfectly, but if we don't try, we won't know.

There are many solutions to most problems. Avoid locking on to one solution. A better solution may be the next thing you think of.

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Adapt others' ideas, don't adopt. What works for others may not work for us. Find and keep the best parts, disregard the rest.

Words are of vital importance.

Define Terms. Many words have more than one meaning. Two people can hear or read the same word and yet draw different meanings. Avoid wasting time by making sure everyone is working to the same definition.

Conditions control operations. When people see a chair, they think about sitting. When a merchandise peg in a store is 3 inches long, it is filled with merchandise 3 inches deep. When a merchandise peg is 6 inches deep, it is filled with merchandise 6 inches deep. The peg controls the inventory.

Think in pieces, break the problem down. Solving the big problem is impossible without solving the little problems that caused it.

Think like today's Customer. What the Customer needed and wanted yesterday may not be what they need and want today. The Customer reacts to what is going on around them, and that changes what they need from us. Stop, look and listen to what the Customer is feeling, doing, saying. Anticipate where they will be tomorrow.

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Act, not react. Be first with the new, let the others catch up with us.

Others' weaknesses are our opportunities. Identify and isolate the competitor's weakness, then intensify our strengths in that area.

Sell everything you do. Any change that will affect co-workers or Customers needs to be explained and sold; it should never come as a surprise. Change requires reason. Share the reason and involve others in the decision to change.

Always use Customer benefits in selling situations. Customers buy products because of what it will do for them. The more you tell Customers what the product will do for them, what problems it will solve, how it will make their life better, the better your chances of making the sale. Selling points feature the product, benefits feature the Customer.

Talk with people, not to them. In all communications, whether written words or face-to face, consider the needs, wants and feelings of the person you're talking with. Talk with respect and intelligence, give them the information they need to know clearly and accurately.

What's in the news we can use. Every day, thousands of people go through the paper looking for news or listening to the news on radio or watching it on TV. What they see, hear and read provides opportunities for us to sell. The weather, new products, colds, flu. Often, selling takes no more than putting the product the Customer wants to buy in front of them.

Merchandising versus Marketing. (Leavitt: Marketing Myopia 1963) Merchandising is selling what we own and need to sell. Marketing is selling what the Customer needs and wants to buy.

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