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Case Study: Influencer Training Helps Retailer Save Millions and Prosper in Economic Recession


The Challenge
As the housing market flourished over the last thirty years, Gallery Furniture enjoyed years of profitable sales and growth. But with the burst of the housing bubble in late 2007, the furniture retailer took a hard hit.

“When the housing business fell through the roof, we saw a huge decrease in our customer base,” says Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture. “In order to grow during the recession, we had to innovate or else we were going to evaporate.”

It was that need to innovate and take a larger share of the dwindling furniture market that caused McIngvale to go looking for a model to change behavior within his 150-person company.

“I could do as much blubbering, cajoling, screaming, and hollering as I wanted to try to get my team to change behavior, but I knew it wouldn’t get us where we needed to go,” says McIngvale. “I was looking for a process that would get my people to want to change their behavior and act in ways that give the customers what they’re looking for.”

The Training
A voracious reader, McIngvale skimmed a review of Influencer in the newspaper and was interested enough to pick up the book. After reading it, he thought, “These guys really get it.” It wasn’t long before he asked the experts at VitalSmarts to train his leadership team in Influencer Training. The group of twenty leaders spent the entire session focused on the challenges facing their business and implementing the Influencer principles into their goals.

After his management team was trained, McIngvale ensured that everyone in his company—from the furniture loaders to the truck drivers to the sales team—also got trained. Over the next year, 150 employees went through Influencer Training, and McIngvale occasionally invited outside vendors and key customers to attend sessions.

“We now use Influencer Training and the other VitalSmarts training courses as the main management tool for the whole business,” McIngvale reflects.

The Solution: Read our case study to learn how Gallery Furniture used the Influencer model to innovate the way they do business.

You can learn more insights and skills like this in Crucial Influence

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