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La-z-Boy Chain CEO on launching 5,000 ideas in one year

Brad Parker is the founding partner of Doorcounts and the CEO of a six-store chain of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries located in the Portland, Oregon area.

In the episode, we trace the origins of the first door counter back to Peter, a Russian transplant who spoke no English and put together an innovative ticker to monitor how many people walked into Brad’s stores.

You’ll find out how Brad’s team became lean practitioners and implemented TWI Training (combining doing and teaching). Why does Brad have his team tie a Fire Underwriter’s Knot on the first day of TWI training? That conversation kicks in at the one-hour mark, so keep listening.

Also, discover how Brad’s group generated 5,000 ideas in one year with less than 100 employees, implemented all of them, and won the Shingo Prize for Research (it’s a big deal).

We cover surfing to work, sleeping in recliners, and our Wizard Academy connection.

One thing we didn’t get to is the all-new foot traffic report you can get directly to your inbox. If you’re curious to find out how your store traffic compares to nearly 700 other mattress and furniture stores in the USA and Canada then subscribe to the Retail Traffic Index by Doorcounts—a daily digest of the previous day’s average foot traffic.

Also, if you’re looking for the radio spots we mention around the 43:30 mark, head to our Facebook page.

Thanks a million to Brad and the entire team at Doorcounts for all their support and for creating incredible tools and technology that are having a positive impact on retailers.

Full Transcription:

Mark Kinsley:

Nationwide primetime is coming up October 27 through the 29th. And you actually texted me what I find to be very good news. 

Mark Quinn: 

Oh, it’s huge news. Yeah, we got a text from nationwide and they’ve got their big primetime event coming up. And Kinsley after they did their big buying thing, the Palooza right, so then they come out of that, and then they have a keynote. And last time it was Mike Massimino who was an astronaut, guess who it is this time?

Mark Kinsley:

I’m gonna go with you and I. 

Mark Quinn: 

You and me, dos Marcos. Yes, that’s right. So, we’re really excited. You know, we’ve got the book launch coming up. And so, everybody who attends this session is going to get a copy of the book. And we’re going to take people through our book and kind of apply it back to the 5500 retailers in the nationwide member network. And what’s really cool about it for you and I is that it’s not just about mattress and furniture retail, what we were going to talk about in the book applies to anyone in retail anywhere. So, appliance guys, home theatre guys, it’s gonna work for them, too. So, I’m fired up about, you don’t even know what we’re gonna do. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Yeah, well, we have we’ve been trading ideas. And really, I think, you know, the economy is pushing into a place where experiences matter. And the experiences of retail are certainly changing. But how can you help your customers truly transform their lives, and I think that’s what we’re going to be pushing to. So really excited, make sure if you’re a nationwide member, sign up, it’s free for all members, or go to nationwide primetime.com to get registered, and we will see you there. So normally, right here at the beginning of the show, we also talk about our fantastic sponsor podium. 

Mark Quinn: 

Yeah, sure. 

Mark Kinsley: 

So, the cool thing is today, we have Brad Parker on the show, and we’re gonna get to know who Brad is and more Brad’s backstory, everything from him kicking down doors and wearing cut suits, to his time as CEO of a chain of lazy boy, furniture galleries in Portland, Oregon, we’re gonna get to all that. 

Mark Quinn: 

But you know, what’s great is that Brad’s middle name happens to be podium so, 

Mark Kinsley: 

Bradley Podium Parker.

Mark Quinn: 

That’s it. 

Mark Kinsley: 

So, Brad,

Brad Parker: 

I do love podium

Mark Kinsley: 

You, you are the founding member of door counts as well, door counts, another one of our fantastic sponsors. And we love you guys. And it’s been great to partner up with you. And then it was even more great for us when we found out that door counts integrates with podium. So, door counts, of course, allows you to do so many things with counting traffic and hooking it up to a CRM and a salesperson and making sure your customers are are taking care of and you have somebody accountable to them. But then there’s that moment, whenever somebody walks out of your store, you want to get a store review, or maybe even a product review later on. And you guys at door counts integrate with podium talk about that.

Brad Parker: 

Well, I love podium having that third party endorsement by you know, Google reviews, and all that is is magic for business. And you know, the cool thing about the integration is, having an awesome review system is is one thing, but then relying on people to remember to do it is a whole another matter. And the cool thing about that integration is it with door counts, you know, you process an opportunity and, and you’re done with it. But then there’s that prompting and that reminder in that integration with podium, that when you close out that opportunity, then you also can initiate the review. And it’s it’s all seamless, so people don’t have to remember, oh gosh, I forgot to to text the customer and send out the invite and all that. And with that integration, it’s just a natural conclusion of a good standard, you know, interaction with the customer.

Mark Kinsley: 

Yeah, you don’t have to think about it, especially whenever you have the door count system. And it’s going to you can automate some of those things. And you can have it attached to the customer and you can know what that customer did in relation to that review. And we love pushing people over to podium.com forward slash dls, DLS. If you’re a dos Marcos listener, you can get 10% off and you can try the essentials package, totally free. Go to podium.com forward slash dls and thank you very much, Brad.

Brad Parker: 

You’re welcome.

Mark Kinsley: 

So, we are on the show today. Brad Parker, the founding partner of door counts and the CEO of Brad is it six Lazy Boy furniture galleries in the Portland Oregon area? Is that number, correct?

Brad Parker: 

It is six. Yeah, there’s there’s four in Portland, one in Salem and one in Eugene.

Mark Kinsley: 

And so, we got hooked up through kind of the Dos Marcos world, our little sleep ecosystem. And one of the things that we always talk about on the show is we like to curate ideas and technology processes that are cool, whatever it is we can curate. That’s cool. We want to do it. And so, when we found out about door counts, we were just sold and we obviously align and so we want to talk about some of that stuff. But I think a better place to start is gonna be how do you commute to work?

Brad Parker: 

How do I, that’s, that’s a trick question. Well, most, most of the time I drive but whenever possible, I do ride an electric skateboard and an electric bike 

Mark Quinn: 

At a boy this is a longboard? 

Brad Parker: 

It’s a big long board. Yep. And it’s like surfing to work because there’s there’s a lot of industrial between my house and my office. It’s like two and a half miles. And there’s never any cars so I just get a kind of snowboard to work or surf to work however you want to do it. 

Mark Kinsley: 

It’s got to feel good. 

Brad Parker: 

It’s it’s it has nothing to do with, you know, saving fuel or anything like that. Although that’s a great side benefit. It’s about surfing to work, you know, or snowboarding to work. It’s just too fun. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Tell me about the bike now. Do I did I get the right information? Did you did you make the bike? 

Brad Parker:

I converted the bike. Yep, I did. It’s it’s, it’s it sounds really like oh my gosh, really amazing. It’s actually not that difficult. Just taking off the cranks and putting on a mid-drive motor and you know, a little battery where the, the the water bottle goes. But it’s it’s awesome. The thing just rips. And it’s it’s it’s way more fun than I ever thought it would be. I just thought well, I’m gonna try it. I’m gonna see if I can put the pull this thing off. And sure enough, it worked. 

Mark Quinn: 

Just an ad for battery powered bike. And it looked like a normal bike. But people are like, we’re having a blast driving these. 

Brad Parker: 

They are so fun. It’s It’s way more fun than people you would think it is. It’s way more fun. 

Mark Kinsley: 

So, I live in Well, we live right now in one of the bike capitals of the world in Bentonville, Arkansas, and I know that makes us close cousins with Portland. A lot of people are into cycling. And so many people around here now have the pedal assist e-bike. And that means you have to pedal for for the motor to actually kick in. But they’re riding around town with smiles on their faces. If you have to go out to a mountain biking singletrack trail where you want a session it and it’s a long slog back to the top. You know, it’s like having a ski lift underneath you. 

Brad Parker: 

Oh yeah. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Especially these jump lines and just have a blast. People are having so much fun with it. 

Brad Parker: 

This, it is a blast. I’ve done some electric mountain biking with my little sister, her one of her patients. She’s a, she’s a nurse owns Oregon e-bike and they’re in Hood River and hood rivers, you know, adventure capital, with a gorge and the windsurfing and kiteboarding and all that, but there’s tonnes of mountain biking trails. And we had so much fun riding those things. It was just it’s it’s really cool. 

Mark Quinn: 

I thought there was one or two and I just googled it. And there’s like the 12 best electric bikes and like I had no idea there was that many electric bikes.

Brad Parker: 

Oh, it’s boom, I think. 

Mark Quinn: 

So, Brad. We’re so fired up. And I want to make it clear too to having you on the show. You’re a sponsor for the show. But that’s really not why you’re here. You’re here because Kinsley and I really geek out on you and what you’ve created, because we’re such fans of that in terms of our industry hi Jonesy. We’re such fans of what you guys are doing because of what it allows for retailers out there to do, which is to not fly blind, to navigate the course of their business with good Intel and good data. Because if you don’t have that, then you are flying blind, and you’re kind of guessing at different parts of your business. So, we love what you do. So maybe you could start off kind of telling us like, what was your origination? Like, how did this whole thing start for you?

Brad Parker:

Well, for me, it was I was, I’m a data guy. You know, I like to know what’s going on and have real facts and numbers when I’m, when I’m making decisions and doing stuff. So, you know, when I started, there really wasn’t a way of knowing how well you’re doing. And a lot of it was focused on advertising because, you know, in retail, how much money you spend on advertising is obscene. And it’s worse now than it’s ever been. And the first time I saw, oh gee, we spend $50 per customer on advertising per sale. That can’t be right. So that was originally what I was going for was trying to understand how much I’m spending on advertising per customer. And, of course it evolves very quickly to how productive am I, with how productive are the are the people that work for me and how productive are they with the customers that are coming through the door. But I always dreamed of this idea that customers could be assigned automatically to the salespeople that worked in the store. And as much as I sought that as a solution, it didn’t exist. And to my knowledge, door counts is the only system out that really attaches a relationship. You know, it physically attaches the salesperson with the customers, they come in. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Let’s, let’s go back in time a little bit, though, and tell us the real origination story about the guy from Russia.

Brad Parker: 

The non-English speaking guy, oh, yeah. So, you know, I go into our Tualatin location. And this was, you know, long before any recessions and housing bubble burst and all that stuff, we actually had a part time load out person, because we did load outs at our stores. This is years ago, and Peter was hired by my manager and to all tonight went in there and, and I’m like, Hey, who’s this guy? Oh, this is Peter. We just hired him. He doesn’t speak English. But he’s learning and you know, he’s he’s from, he’s from Russia, like, okay. Turns out he was actually living from Ukraine. But I started to get to know this guy and find out very quickly, he’s a dream and wallpaper hanger. I’m like, well, that’s odd. My mom hung wallpaper, you know, in our stores. And so, I’m like, well, there’s, there’s a talent to that. Oh, by the way, is a journeyman electrician. He was an electrician for 10 years before he came here. And he’s a firefighter. And that’s just a few of the things that I learned when I first met him. And so, you know, fast forward 90 days, I think it was about 90 days. He’s speaking fluent English. And I really liked him, I started to really develop a relationship with this guy, just he’s very interesting. A lot of people aren’t who they appear. So, a guy doing loadouts is not someone that most people would give the time of day. But this is a super bright guy, very interesting guy. And a warm, nice guy really liked him. So, tell him about this dilemma, trying to figure out our traffic counts. And he goes to Granger, which is, you know, an industrial supply place. And he buys a, an infrared eye, a little digital display, counter thing, some sort of solenoids, and I don’t know what all. But he has this box of stuff. He goes I, I build you counter, I build you signals, I build you beams. Like, whatever, go for it, see what you can do. So, I come back about a week later. And he is literally cut a hole in the crown moulding of the store and embedded this little digital readout, it’s lit. Its lit-up display. He’s got these beams on the door, and he’s just putting his finger between the doors and the little things going click, click, click, click, click. He’s got no blueprints, no plans, there’s no I’m gonna buy a door counter install it, he built it from scratch. And kind of that was the first time we started, you know, effectively counting traffic in the mid 90s. And ever since then, it’s been, you know, sort of a, obsession, borderline obsession for me to accurately know what’s going on with with that, but that was, that was my first experience with a counter. And it’s actually we just remodelled that store a couple years ago and took the crown moulding off and there was the little you know, the little device was still in there. It’s kind of cool. 

Mark Kinsley: 

You have any sense of what Peter is up to these days.

Brad Parker:

That’s a different story for another day. But he’s probably when I when I’m I went to dinner at his house one time and and he was buying BMW v12s, the 760s I think they were. They have two computers and no one can fix the computers. Well, he knows how to crack open the computer and he actually solders in there and and can fix those computers and make those cars work. So, he was he was buying those all up for like 1000 bucks. And then fixing them and flipping them. That was one thing he was doing last time I talked to him. So.

Mark Quinn: 

Who knows? Have you guys ever seen the movie Ted lasso? Oh, it’s on Apple TV. You told me about that. You know is this true story reminds me of Nathan. Yeah. There’s like an equipment manager on this football team. It’s Ted Lasso. It’s on Apple TV. It’s really actually a fun watch. That they got this equipment manager. The guy like you doesn’t judge the book by the cover gets to know Nathan a little bit. And before you know it Nathan knows all this stuff about the team. No one’s ever acknowledged that he’s got skills. And he’s like drawing up like winning plays for the team. And so, it’s so good for you for like seeing the the opportunity in him. 

Brad Parker: 

Well, beware the chocolates that they they give you at a Russian dinner. At the end of the meal. They’re full of vodka, and they just thought that was so funny when I was popping those in my mouth and I’m like, you know, it’s like getting a red candy. You think it’s cherry and it’s fire.

Mark Kinsley: 

That’s standard at the end of Russian dinner. 

Brad Parker: 

Oh, they they were waiting. We just couldn’t wait till I started eating those because they were just thought that was so funny. 

Mark Kinsley: 

I went to a restaurant in London. And they said it was a Russian restaurant, its called bob bob Ricard. And one of my favourite things was at the table there’s a button and above it above the button, it says press for champagne. So, what did I do? Okay to press for champagne. And sure enough, they bring out a champagne to you. This is beautiful, beautiful climate to dine in. 

Mark Quinn: 

We need a button in our studio for champagne. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Yes, that would be a great tequila. That’s true. 

Brad Parker: 

I see. Is that a bottle of tequila behind you? 

Mark Kinsley: 

That’s number one. Number one to dos Marcos. Brad, you are Number one.

Mark Quinn: 

Number one, Brad. That’s right. 

Brad Parker: 

Okay. 

Mark Quinn: 

So hey, Brad, how did you, how have all your stores done. And now I want to get back to door counts. But there’s been a lot going on in Portland. Just curious how your stores holding up. I mean, have you survived kind of the craziness of the 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah, for Yeah, for the most part. I mean, other than all of us, you know Portlanders being heartbroken. What’s going on? You know, we’ve gotten through it. We had, we had some pretty significant impacts from the smoke and the fires. I don’t know if you guys followed that I have. I can’t bring it up on the screen. But I have a picture of our distribution’s dinner. It looks like a nuclear bomb has gone off behind it. And it’s an orange glowing cloud. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to do that. But it was in one of my peers has a store down in Southern Oregon and the fires were going right at a store they were evacuating at jumped the highway and burned in his entire town down. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Was that on fire?

Brad Parker: 

It was Yeah, the Alameda fire down in Medford and it was it burned up the town of Phoenix which is where their store was. It’s just heartbreaking. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Portland’s in the middle of so much right now you’ve have the ongoing protests in downtown Portland. Yeah, the worst air quality in the world for a period of time. Maybe still you have fires raging out of control burning down entire towns. I think that led me to drive fire burned down 2300 plus homes and businesses and beyond. It’s it’s a tough time in Portland in that area. 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah, it really is. I mean, I’m hoping since things usually come in threes that we’ve had the you know, the pandemic, we end the shutdown from all that the unrest, the protests and violence, and then the fires maybe that’s it, we’ll be done.

Mark Quinn:

Well, shifting gears into more pleasant things. And we are glad you are okay and we pray good things. 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah. Appreciate that. 

Mark Quinn: 

Area for sure. Brad, one of the things that Mark and I like we talked about in terms of just quantitative measurement of what you do. You have a lot of people how many people now have door counts? It’s like over 1000 doors?

Brad Parker:

I it must be like I’m not involved day to day to day with door counts as much. But yeah, it’s it’s definitely it’s getting up there. 

Mark Quinn: 

So, what are you guys hearing like back from people? Like what what are people most connecting to in what you’re able to do for them? Like? So, talk about may be from the lens of your own business? And then what are your your the people using door counts? What are they telling you? 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah, well, I think it depends on the audience. You know, there’s a lot of people that I have been told you need a traffic counter, you need a traffic counter, they get a traffic counter. And it might just be door counts or and that’s a big revelation for a lot of people. And as you go down, you know, up the level of sophistication of the retailer, you will, you will get a very different answer. Because there’s some sophistication built into door counts that we don’t we don’t even talk about it. I can’t even bring it up with people because it’s so far over their head, they wouldn’t know what to do with it. And it’s even, you know, it’s built in early on and I’ll kind of cover that but so having a sense of productivity is a huge aha moment for lots of people like real a real sense of their closing rate. And that hands down, it’s a, it’s a first time in their business history that they have it when they get our, our system, and they start measuring close rate, because it is accurate. And it is probably the first time any company is going to experience a true, accurate close rate. If they’re, you know, operating the system fully to its capacity, then again, you move up the scale, its sophistication there, those that are really good at getting close to that number. And so, for them, the CRM and follow up becomes the crux of it. And that’s, for me, that’s where the magic is in our organization. Because we have a lot of tools built into that system where you can create events, you can create weather and create rain out of nothing. And that’s that comes from taking non buyers, you know, prospects that have been put in and when you when you can track the amount of information gathered from a non-buying visitor and shopper. That, to me is as valuable as understanding how effectively people are selling. Because if you can get a name and address, a phone number and an email address from a person that you’ve just met, that’s done with trust. People don’t give away that information to anybody, unless they trust them and feel like their best interests are served. So, door counts will allow a retailer to track how effective their people are at gathering that information. We call it prospecting. So, because we’ve learned over time that people are in the market for home furnishings and bedding and all that bedding for way less time than furniture, but it’s about, you know, 10 days to three weeks, and then they’re out of the market. And if they don’t buy something, they won’t buy anything. It’s it’s really strange. So, within that time window, door counts let you pull those prospects together, create an event, send the information back to the sales people to do a true RSVP follow up, have a private event and generate a Saturday level amount of volume on a weekday with no impact before or after on regular business. Somebody who’s sophisticated will say that’s priceless. And I know door counts customers that’s that that early on said that that ability is what saved their companies from going under. So, you keep, keep going up the scale. Something you guys may not know is that there’s a level of sophistication that can be activated in door counts that lets the salesperson tell themselves or their manager, how far in the sale process did they get before they didn’t close the customer. So now you have real time coaching information. Was it during the opening the gathering phase, the demonstration or trial close? You know, close? Where did the sale fall apart?

Now, we’ve we’ve gone back and forth to activating that and turning it on and off, you know, but the reality is I’m not sure I know, a retailer that sophisticated enough and has their game together enough to actually use it. We’re not at that level. And we’re, you know, we’ve been lean practitioners since 2005. So having visual management tools and a lot of the follow up tools that you know, you’d see in Toyota. Those are things we’re very familiar with. And we’re not able to use that live level of coaching guidance, you know, that’s in there. So that’s a long-winded answer. But it really is, depends on the retailer. What their sophistication level is, to what their reaction is their aha moment is.

Mark Kinsley: 

So, Brad, one of the things that philosophically kind of brought us together, I think right away was the fact that we have all graduated from the wizard Academy. And yeah, you know, we’re talking about.

Brad Parker: 

My favourite place, man. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Yeah. I want you to explain what that is for people that don’t know but when I think about door counts and see what you’ve done in your business, and how you’ve applied, you know, deep thinking and how you’ve, you know, strategically outlined your path forward. It just reminds me of the deep thinking that goes into developing message, developing advertising you wanting to see if that advertising worked and making all these things hold hands. But let’s go, let’s go back to the wizard Academy. Describe to people what that is how you got involved with that and what it means for you? 

Brad Parker: 

Wow, left turn, I love it. 

Mark Quinn: 

And have you ever turned any anyone into an animal like Kinsley has, because you didn’t like them, because now that you have wizard skills, I’m just 

Brad Parker: 

That’s true. Well, I love the name of the wizard Academy, because it, it is a place for those people that are seeking what it offers. And it repels everyone else, just by its name. So, you have to try to go there, you have to try to go there and, and just like door counts people that are seeking real improvement, seek us out and it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a natural marriage, as you say, we were philosophically aligned. The wizard Academy is like, it’s like being invited to a think tank. And for people that like to understand how things work, and how to do to better and learn and be around smarter people than themselves. A think tank is like, really, I get to go, they’re gonna let me go to this thing. That’s how I felt when I went there. And in Roy Williams has a, you know, a long history in Portland from the Portland area radio Council. And I saw him, he came to Portland, and this was early on when his articles and his writings were not yet formulated into his book, which was a huge, you know, New York Times bestseller, the secret or the it was magical worlds book on, you know, his his advertising strategies and so forth, and how to do how to do it yourself. So, when I, when I met Roy and saw him, I mean, I consider him a mentor, he probably doesn’t consider me a pupil. He might not remember me. But he’s one person, like, who are your mentors, I would I would list him I have another mentor from Jamaica, you know, he is unbelievable business guy. But Roy is someone who’s, who’s a very deep thinker, and he’s, he’s really focused on the little guy. He doesn’t like corporate America, and he doesn’t like middle management, it’s you know, but covering kind of activities, he wants real authentic results and activity in you know, creativity from people. So, when I learned about the wizard Academy and read his first book, I was just like, I got it, I got to know more, I got to go to this, I got to go down there and check it out. And it took me a long time to kind of get the nerve to go. And it was a, it was a game changer. Understanding how the brain works is really what they teach. And then understanding how information goes into your brain. That’s basically my first trip, what I learned, and I’ve been, I try and go every year for different reasons. Ryan Dice, who started the digital marketer is on the board. He teaches a class so you can go and learn actually, from Ryan himself with 20 people. The classes are our maximum 20 people period, that’s all they’ll ever take. There’s and you’re there with like-minded people that want to learn and want to grow and want to stretch. So, for me, that’s that’s kind of thing so I don’t know if that helps explain it. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Our, I think it cut out a little bit whenever you were saying that the things that you learned, so resay that so we don’t miss it and then tell us as a follow up to that whenever you walked away from the wizard Academy, maybe the first or second time, what did you apply? or What did you notice yourself changing or applying?

Brad Parker: 

Okay, so what I learned was one of the, the base class that you go to teaches you how the brain functions in a very scientific way. Like it goes really deep and and then from that understanding how it works, how does information get into the brain, left side or right side. So there there’s a there’s a Monet version and a frank version and those you know, I don’t want to get into the the teaching of it but Monet is is you think about impressionist, and then Thomas Frank’s, a photographer and he is all about elimination of everything except what’s important. And those are fundamentals of good writing. You know in and you study the people that can write the most profound writings, you know Hemingway and those, the the the giants, and what they can do in a single page versus what it takes other people, 100 pages, and there’s great skill in that. So right away, I mean, I was already at odds with a lot of my peers in my approach to advertising just from what I learned from Roy. And and I believe that the message is the most important thing, and always will be. And a lot of people get hung up in the data, how many impressions, what’s the frequency, you know, whether it’s TV, or radio, or print or whatever, it’s never about that. It’s always about the message. So, I came away, I started really focusing on that as much as anything else that I ever did with with advertising was making sure that the message was right. And in a system with like, with Lazy Boy, lazy boy does so many things amazingly well. But it is a system and it relies on putting things together for a large group of retailers. So, personalization and meeting the needs of each individual retailer with a blanketed approach. There’s there’s inherent mediocrity and in a lot of that, because you you have to take off the top and raise up the bottom and sort of put a solution together that works for everyone. And that that means that doing things outside of that, you know, are challenging. So, I mean, that’s, I guess, answers your question.

Mark Kinsley: 

What are some of the examples that come to mind of messages that you were able to implement outside of that system that have resonated with people where you felt cut through the clutter or accomplish the goals that you had?

Brad Parker: 

Well, we were a big radio advertiser. So that in itself, is is markedly different. And I’m in Portland, Oregon, which is, is one of the the most unique radio markets in the country. It’s a radio test market for a lot of companies. Because it’s easy to cover. It’s not easy to cover.

Mark Quinn: 

People are saying radio is dead. 

Brad Parker: 

It’s not, it’s not going to it’s, they can say that let let let the people believe that. Cuts through in price to the listener and then you hear back over and over again, like 50 times from people Oh, I heard that ad was amazing. You’re like radio must be really dead.

Mark Kinsley: 

I also think about one of the one of the principles I learned at the wizard Academy in terms of message being most important. Was this idea of people making buying decisions, not in a vacuum? So, I’m a call my friend Mark Quinn, my friend, Brad mom and dad, they, you know, I might tell my friend Stacy, because she bought the same washer and dryer. And people are making decisions by trying to reach out to people in their network trying to get some of that word of mouth. Well, that means everybody in your ecosystem can become influenced with whatever medium they choose to consume. And people are consuming lots of different types of media. So, the message that cuts through is going to matter is going to be the most important thing. 

Brad Parker: 

Well, the thing the big takeaway for me was like how efficient the human brain is, at excluding everything that’s irrelevant. And that is a survival survival skill that is tuned to the most intense level of any creature on earth is like you can ignore everything that’s not relevant to what you’re doing to survive and in modern society that means I can ignore every ad that speaks ad speak because it’s irrelevant to me. I can I when as soon as you hear ad speak, you can immediately your brain goes don’t need to listen to this. So, our mission has been just to get people to like us. If somebody is not in the furniture market. Nothing in their life is saying we need to go buy new furniture right now. No matter what I say about price and ad speak that most companies do is going to make somebody go buy a sofa. Sofa’s are free today. Everybody sofas are free. Do you think everyone’s gonna come and get a sofa? No. They’re not. So, no matter what you think about the typical, you know, shouting price an item and doing all those things. It doesn’t, it doesn’t resonate with people who aren’t in the market. So does that mean you’re you shouldn’t advertise because you’re talking to all these people aren’t in the market. No, you’re putting money in the bank for the future. You want people to like you. 

Mark Quinn: 

You know, I love that. And that’s what I love about radio too, you can broadcast a story to a lot of people you don’t know if you’re targeting a certain segment of the population. And that’s what digital can do. And that’s what everyone’s geeking out on is the fact that they can go into a zip code and all that, but your approach Brad where, where you’re, you’re going out with radio, and you’re telling a great story and delivering a message to a large crowd of people. If you’re just here, you never know you could have missed so many people and to find the right story and the right message, then, not only are you getting them to like you, but you’re also appealing to a much larger audience that improves your chances of getting them into a store. Right? 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah. And here’s, here’s the funny thing, like you mentioned digital, right. So, if I have a message out there that resonates with people, they laugh, they think it’s funny, or they’re interested in it. You know, and I and I, you know, say, oh, wait, hey, today, September, September, September 23. What happened on September 23? Oh, that was the year I fell off the roof and straddled the fence. I remember that. I, my scar was bugging me today from when I fell off the roof, you know, is like totally made-up story. But suddenly, I have your attention, right? So, I’ve engaged you, you’ve listened to my ad. And then next week, there’s a new ad and I continue to engage you over time. And then I then I run some digital. And let’s say it is an ad, a digital ad or digital campaign that says, you know, this weekend, sleepers are on sale, or you can get a recliner for you know, whatever. The digital response is going to be huge, because the radio has done the leg work. And and Roy would say yeah, the digital weasels are going to take all the credit. So, somebody who’s really effective in their advertising with their message, who suddenly starts digital is going to mistakenly think digital is the thing. Digital did this digital did that, you know, it’s not the case, you’re doing the heavy lifting with a message. 

Mark Kinsley: 

I talked to a guy at, actually was at the digital marketer conference in San Diego, Ryan Dice’s conference. So, I was out there a couple years back, and this guy was analyzing his business. And he realized he was stuck at seven figures. And so, he put together this group of people that had taken seven figure businesses to eight and nine figures. And, of course, they talked about just the business principles, practices, operations behind it. But he wanted to isolate as much as possible down to the advertising component. And they were focused heavily on digital, these are econ businesses. And he said, finally, after weeks of meeting, a theme emerged, the people that went from seven to eight or nine figures, were advertising in certain streams. So in on certain platforms, call it YouTube, or maybe you have Facebook. And whenever something would work, they would put more money behind it. But then they reached a point of diminishing return. And they couldn’t just turn on the money machine and get more business. So, all of these businesses that made that exponential leap to eight or nine figures had one thing in common. They created surround sound campaigns, advertising and all 

Brad Parker: 

I like that surround sound, sounds cool. 

Mark Kinsley: 

They were doing, you know, it stuff, maybe in the analogue or the traditional space, they were doing digital, they would create these surround sound campaigns, email marketing, you know, Google display ads, social marketing content. And they said, when they did that, and they stopped trying to measure each dollar coming from YouTube, for example, that’s when they saw the true lift.

Mark Quinn: 

It sounds like what Brad was saying, what to tack on to what you say Kinsley is like em, right? What you’re saying is like, the radio is good. And it’s a broadcast thing. And it’s a wide net, you cast a wide net, but then with the digital, you come back and reinforce it kind of what you were saying. It’s not just digital, you come back and reinforce it. And those two layered on top of each other, like really creates great reason. 

Mark Kinsley: 

If your message is off. And you know, I always say is when things go wrong, they probably went wrong at the beginning, right? If your message was off, it’s not going to cut through the clutter. You can’t grab attention and talk about I fell off the roof and straddle the fence. You can’t do that. Nobody’s gonna listen to what you had to say. So, spending any amount of money or creating any type of surround sound probably isn’t gonna work. But I’m sure those businesses that this guy was talking about got the message right. And then they were able to put out. 

Brad Parker: 

The other, the other thing is that it is insanely difficult to write good copy. That was the other thing. I was like, oh, you can you can do all this work and have the most amazing strategy for buying media and getting your message out there and then you’re like the what happens is the last thing is like oh, we need a spot to run or we need to you know we need a digital ad and that’s where the least amount of time gets placed. So, one of the things that that Roy has the wizard Academy has you can subscribe to be part of the the American Small Business Institute and once you’re subscribed to that you can send in copy and Roy will every month they have an hour long live meeting and he takes stuff caught copy that people have submitted any read does it and you look at it it’s like having it remembered member in back to school when Rodney Dangerfield had Kurt Vonnegut has his tutor is writing tutor. And you’re like how? How can somebody take these words and make them so much better and work better? And it’s just that just becomes a pursuit that it never stops yielding good fruit you know you the better you are at writing if you if you work on that and continue to work on that it never stops giving. And the best thing that was a huge thing. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Yeah, the best thing you can get from your audience is a reaction. I remember I told you about this I may have mentioned on the show, but I wrote an ad for Englander that went in sleep retailer and it simply said it was great sex or great sleep, either way, Englander’s the answer, and there was a little more to it than that. And I got a, I got a phone call from a retailer that did not sell our product in New Hampshire that said it was incredibly offensive, and we should be ashamed of ourselves. And then a couple weeks after that, I got an email from a friend of mine, Robin as Aveda, McCroskey in San Francisco, who said, It’s brilliant. I love this ad. It reminds me of something we did in the past. So, it was an ad that actually got a reaction. And I think so many people are scared of those reactions, good or bad, but the middle is death, you would rather have a love or reactions to your message. 

Brad Parker: 

Well, that’s funny. You mentioned that. A years ago, I hired a studio in Seattle to make some two spots. And I hired one of the best writers I know. This guy was in Portland. And he’s a, he’s a genius. He’s raw on the spectrum. You know, he’s just one of those incredibly talented guys wrote, he wrote to spoof monster ballad spots. And they’re, they’re absolutely hilarious. And I ran this one by my friend’s mom, he’s his, he’s a Christian evangelist, and his mom, you know, they travel the world. And I ran it by her. And she was like, ah, and then she smiles. She goes, but it is funny. And it’s, it’s about these two people singing back and forth, you know, futon baby. And she says, it’s so ugly. And he says, but it was my brother’s fraternity brothers. And she says, who calls the shots now it goes back and forth. And then it says, It’s Lazy Boy, or you’re cut off. And then he says, we’re going to lazy boy, but it’s in this big monster ballot. And well, it accidentally got traffic on to the local Christian radio station, which I’ve used forever. And lazy boy got like 50 phone calls.

Mark Quinn: 

But you know, Christian people have sex. So that’s okay. 

Brad Parker: 

They do. And it was funny. It was funny, but some people don’t have a sense of humour. And they didn’t they didn’t appreciate the humour, but it was funny. And even if I every time I listened to those ads, I think I could run those today. And they still hold up amazingly well. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Do you have those you can send our way can we put them on our Facebook page?

Brad Parker: 

I don’t see why not. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Okay, send it to us. So go over to our Facebook page. Is it just facebook.com slash dos Marcos? 

Mark Quinn: 

Yeah, dos Marcos podcast.

Brad Parker: 

I’m gonna get myself in trouble. You guys got to keep me out of hot water here. 

Mark Quinn: 

Of course. Look at us. Like we are hot water. 

Mark Kinsley: 

We are hot water, you jumped in. 

Mark Quinn: 

You totally jumped in. You knew what you’re. So, Brad I love what you’re saying. And we talked about like at Roy’s Academy one of the thing that things that I loved is the two concepts the third gravitational body. Kinsley and I talked about that a lot, right? So, in our world, we took a concept of a mattress. And then we took a concept of construction being marrying two things together. And then we called them hybrid. And then we were trying to figure out how to launch it into the market and so naturally, we picked a rap video to create a story around that that was the third gravitational body and our story 

Brad Parker: 

Doesn’t belong, but it fits. 

Mark Quinn: 

It doesn’t belong. But it’s just so weird that like, you can’t help but like, look at it or pay attention to it. So, you were talking about like, it’s easy to drowned out the noise. But when you’re using dialogue, like you talked about, or that third gravity, have you found those techniques that you learned with Roy, have you like use some of those and some of the copy you’ve created? 

Brad Parker: 

Yes, yes and no. I, I tend to find myself doing things the most difficult way I don’t, I think it’s a defect. So, we’ve we’ve done a lot of dialogue spots, which are the most difficult to write. And, and racking our brains and trying to put a dialogue because we want personality to come through I went to Ad week, it was wizard Academy, where you get three or four of the partners, and you send a bunch of material and your business profile in in months in advance and you prep for this thing. And there’s only there’s only 10 people there. And it’s for I think it was four partners per client, per per business. And then they spent like five hours with you analyzing all aspects of your business, not just advertise thing and, and, you know, the fact that we’re a lean practitioner and our culture and how we conduct our business with, you know, respect for the individual. We like their years when we’ve generated over 5000 ideas with less than 100 employees and implemented them that that story was like critical for them to be told, I’m like, I don’t you know, what, how do you tell that, like, well, that’s the thing, you have to you have to be in your ads, you have to voice your ads, you have to include some of that those elements. And, you know, I get overwhelmed with that I start to feel like I’m getting way out over my skis. And, you know, kind of get like I said, that system wide messaging that takes place with a system like Lazy Boy pulls big tends to pull me back more to the middle. So, I really haven’t been able to step out that far. And part of it is just, you know, I I don’t want to I don’t want to be at odds with the system. And there’s the risk of that. And I also don’t want to get too far afield from my TV messaging which is produced by Lazy Boy and and and our agency. And you know, I can’t create my own TV ads. That’s just not part of how these systems work. So, I don’t know I that third gravitational body and really being out there is something that I aspire to. And and I’m not sure I’ll ever get there. 

Mark Quinn: 

We got you. We’re gonna write you a spot. Yeah.

Brad Parker:

I can’t wait. I have no fear. 

Mark Kinsley: 

We only have 

Brad Parker: 

And I have fear. 

Mark Kinsley: 

You just have to air it on the Christian radio for sure. So that’s the only request.

Brad Parker: 

Why did I agree to this podcast?

Mark Kinsley: 

Yeah, I’ll take another hard hard turn. Because I have these random things. I’ve jotted down what is the Shingo prize?

Brad Parker: 

The shin, oh my gosh, you guys, I love you. So, so if this is, I’m just gonna be honest, if you if you described a business that was operating perfectly, and you broke it down to every area that you could possibly imagine and you had a descriptive level of optimized behaviour and execution. And then you had a way of measuring that against an organization, you would be getting close to what the Shingo prize is. So, if you if you know of a company that’s won a Shingo prize. It is so difficult to win, that you can be you can rest assured that that company is phenomenal. Now, I didn’t win one of those. What what I did was we had this crazy idea that we could shorten the learning curve of a salesperson from a year from a new hire to be effective and try and get that down to let’s say 90 days. So, my my good friend Mike Martin was a guest instructor at of TWI training session at ASCO steel in Portland and and he came back and said, you know what, there’s this methodology called TWI, that was used to train women during World War II, to weld, build ships, boats, guns, tanks, planes, take an unskilled workforce and was used to train two and a half million women that were in the manufacturing side of the war effort. And what if we could apply that to training salespeople? Most people would say, we’re not having this conversation. You’re crazy. And I’m like, Sure, let’s let’s do it. So, we spent two and a half years, breaking down the process of selling, and the training of it, putting it through this methodology that was refined during World War II, that was actually used in the rebuilding of Japan. There’s a whole history here, that’s fascinating. We had the original Marshall Plan documents that were in the vaults of Toyota, the original papers, right, and how to execute this thing. That and we, we, we pulled it off. And when we when we’re still running TWI training sessions in our business, we are running one this week with four new hires. And our people come out of this training, you know, pretty much at a veteran level of effectiveness in 30 days. It’s that effective. And so, we submitted our our we did a write up on it, a case study on applying TWI training methodology to sales, which is a very, it’s for tangible process. And the crux of it was to train lens grinders to build bomb site lenses for the bombing the bombers, with the Harris bomb site that was developed by the Kansas farm boy, you know, that was like a measure of 100x more accurate or 10x more accurate than German bombers. The American bombers were able to hit targets very accurately from this little bomb site that this Kansas farm boy had developed. To guide lens for a site like that is considered a black art. It takes five years apprentice program to learn how to grind lens, you grind a lens, and I’m gonna totally geek out on this stuff. And I’m sorry if you guys are like what are you talking about? So, you grind a lens by heating up Amber’s, ancient tree sap, you heat it up, it gets soft. And and you use that amber to grind this lens. So that was one of the one of the processes that you really wanted to shorten during World War II. So, at the end of the war, it was a two-week process to train someone to grind a lens from five years to two weeks. There’s your evidence right of its effectiveness. So, we anyway, we submitted our case study and we won a research prize for that.

Mark Quinn:

So, So Brad, what is can you

Brad Parker: 

really cool accomplishment. I think I think our connection’s really bad right now. Yeah. How about now? 

Mark Quinn: 

We’re back. 

Mark Kinsley: 

We’re back. Right? 

Mark Quinn: 

We think we’re back. Are we back Brad? 

Brad Parker: 

You guys are, you look like 1960s high definition. 

Mark Quinn: 

So now we’re back. So, can you, can you? Is there a way to summarize the difference in a normal training approach to what you guys did? Is there a way to make to explain that? 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah, yeah. So, in our training, as you study, you know, let’s say opening the sale, and might be 200 words and five pages. In the TWI training methodology, it might be 40 words, and it’s a very basic process that’s proven, it’s so proven. It’s, it’s used by hundreds of companies now worldwide. There’s a TWI training society, there’s conferences for it. And it’s basically you it’s, it’s learned by teaching. So, the when you when you I might even have some notes on this here. So, let me find this really quick.

Mark Kinsley: 

What does TWI stand for? 

Brad Parker: 

Training within industry. It’s a military acronym, it’s really kind of a lame thing. But so, we remember this, the so think about this, we remember 10% what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we do and 90% what we teach. So, what what TWI does is it combines doing and teaching. And so, you’re taking the process of selling which is you know, open, gather, demo, close, follow up, those are the basic steps and you know, steps of selling have been around for 10,000 years. He break it up into a whole part whole. So, I’m going to teach you the process in seven steps. I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to show it to you. And then I’m going to show it to you again and tell you the major steps of what I’m doing. I’m gonna break it down. And then I’m going to show it to you, again, major step and key points of what what, what’s key about that each step, and then I’m going to show it to you again, and I’m going to tell you the major step, the key point, and the reasons why I do it, then I’m gonna have you do it. And then you’re going to do it three more times after that telling me the major steps, the key points and the reasons why. And so, you’re automatically doing it, you learn by doing it, and then you learn by teaching it. So, in selling, the way we do it is we have a five-day camp. And it’s whole part, also Dale’s part. And day two is open or day three is up and gather demo. Day four is open, gather, demo, close. So, by day four, we have done the opening and the information four times, are open four times. So, the most important step in the sale is opening the sale and getting trust and building relationship. So, we’re repeating that through the week, every day, we add on to it and add on to it, then add onto it and force it. And so that process gets someone who’s never sold in their life through an active roleplay. And describing their steps as they’re going through it for a week. By the end of the week, you can watch someone who’s never sold in their life, go through an entire sales presentation flawlessly being watched, and describe what they’re doing as they do it. So, it takes a tremendous amount of trust, and, and respect, and, and a safe environment to do that. Like more than you can imagine. Because it’s terrifying.

Mark Quinn: 

It’s the biggest fear, right public speaking and get in front of your peers. And yeah, and try and try and try and do after that. But I mean, how important is the selling process? So, the fact that you took that much time to refine it, that’s incredible. And turnover in our industry is what it is. So, it’s a it’s a higher result area to invest time and attention. So maybe they have one for podcasting. We could like, learn how to do this, right? 

Brad Parker: 

Yeah, I mean, the it’s, it’s fascinating, we’ve taught, we’ve probably had, I’m gonna say 30 different companies non related to retail, none of them retailers, retailers, they’re, in fact, your listeners are probably turned off by now they’ve probably signed off is they think we’re crazy. They’re like, well, we have a system, we have a check sheet. It’s like it’s not a check sheet. It’s not a check sheet. It’s completely different than that the fact that it took us two years to break down the process into a job breakdown sheet, which is what TWI uses is, you know testament to how difficult it really is. And one of the one of the early things that I learned was like there’s this thing called the fire underwriters not, and they were they had all these fires when electricity was first brought to cities, there was always fires related to electrical connections. And because there was always a cord, and and wires were external to the wall, they weren’t in the wall. And so, when people got electricity brought into their apartments, and in New York, for example, they would run the wires and they would hang these fixtures from their ceiling and they had a cord to pull the you know to turn the lights on and off. Well, without a proper knot on the wiring, when the more they pulled on the more it would arc it and would light the fixtures on fire with cause of fire. So, one of the earliest electrical codes. It was a fire underwriters knot on the fixtures. So, what one of the very first things we do on day one of our TWI training is teach someone how to tie a fire underwriters knot. And there’s a sheet that we have that’s from the 20s that tells you how to tie a fire underwriters knot and you give people the sheets and you give them the chords and you say here tie it and they’re like they can’t. So, you show them how to do it and you give them the sheet and you show them and they can and then you use the TWI process. First major step, second major step, third major step, first major step key point, second major step key point third major step key point. All the while you’re showing it to him and explaining it as you do it. And then the third time, you’re doing major step key points. And this is why we do this. And people need to know why they’re doing things to learn. They always ask, why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Well, it’s important to give eye contact to a customer, when you’re shaking their hand, it’s natural behaviour, you want to, you want to show genuine interest in someone. So, making eye contact when you shake someone’s hand when they walk through the door. That’s the reason why they want you want them to trust you. So obviously, I’m getting two major steps shake their hand, key point, look him in the eye, you know. So, on day one, you can have all these salespeople, new hires that can tie a fire underwriters knot in about five minutes. And when you see that take place, and you’re like, you, okay, maybe you guys aren’t crazy, we start to lose the crazy part, because we talked about all this history. And, you know, how, how big a breakthrough this this training was. It then it all starts, like 

Mark Kinsley: 

We start we talked about earlier about grabbing people’s attention and doing something, you know, unexpected to disrupt the schemas in our guessers that we have in our brains. And so, I can imagine people coming into your, your work environment? And how are we going to learn how to be a better Lazy Boy recliner salesperson, we’re going to tie a fire underwriters knot? 

Brad Parker: 

Well, that’s right, there’s your gravitating body, 

Mark Kinsley: 

It changes my entire expectation. And then through the lens of that activity, you’re able to demonstrate why this process works, you went from somebody who was completely unable to tie this knot to someone who’s who’s able to do it. And what, you know, 

Brad Parker: 

What we’re trying to do in this process, and I think this kind of goes to the heart of door count itself is that what we’re trying to do is build muscle memory for people on doing standard right behaviours. That’s what the goal of TWI is to give a basic level of standard write behaviours, when somebody is a new hire, and where they’re not going to get it in, you know, in a five-day boot camp, we all know that, and it’s going to take them time, but we have refresher course, at 30 days at 60 days, and at 90 days, you’re trying to get people into a pattern. Once you have a pattern, when when the chips are down, and you have an angry or difficult or awkward customer, whatever people revert back to what they’re comfortable with and what they’ve you’re naturally, you know, accustomed to doing. And if we’re able to build in a pattern and a basic behaviour set that they can fall back to, and it might not be cemented in and be total muscle memory. But it’s like in tennis, if you have a natural backhand cross court shot, every time the ball goes over to your left side, you’re going to do a backhand cross court shot, it’s gonna become natural. So, you’re trying to build those skills in there that are natural. So, taking the guesswork out of it. And having that pattern, it’s like giving sales people the ability to go bowling with a guard rails on.

Mark Quinn:

You’re taking that Toyota, right and in quality over time. And that’s it too. It’s like process that is repeatable. So, you can get the same type of outcome. Right? 

Brad Parker: 

Right. So, until you’ve if you’ve equipped a person to be able to see, that’s one of the principles of lean is being able to see. I want to see waste for what it is. In a selling process waste is words, you’re saying too much, you’re saying too little, you’re having to repeat steps. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish with the customer, you want to eliminate waste. So, defining waste for what it is and giving people the ability to see is crucial. So, I think it’s unfair to put somebody out into a sale been trained and they’re not equipped. But then when you when you take door counts and now, you’re being the salespeople, and this is where I think we’ll get it wrong clips, the actual sale of the tools, they’ll post. If I’m a son and I looked my productivity every day in comparison to my peer’s health and last year and yesterday and last week and everything else, I don’t believe people want to fail I think they want to succeed they want to do better than they did yesterday and they wanted more money. So, what dork does, are and standard right selling behaviours, and gives people the ability to see how were they doing with those things relative to every single customer coming through the door and at that point, learning, like I said early, maybe before we started the show, you want a system that’s self-healing, and self-correcting. And when a fully trained salesperson now has accurate data on how well they’re doing with a customer, how well they’re following the pattern, are they including all the sale, those are all reflective in their close rate and their average sale, you’ve just given them the tools to self-improve. And if you have a lean culture, you know, peer to peer coaching or respect for the individual, you know, using scientific thinking, focusing on process, not people, you start to get this improvement culture to build in an organization on based on sales and people that, frankly, is not known for that. Retail sales, people are not known for each other, make more money, they want to make more money for themselves. And, and so there’s, there’s, there’s a lot of, you know, you said the wizard Academy kind of is for people trying to think about advertising different. I think door counts has been an outlet for us to apply a different way of thinking about retail. And, and I believe giving it the respect it deserves, giving salespeople the respect, they deserve. It’s, it’s hard. It’s really hard. So, anyway, a little bit of a bunny trail for you. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Well, I love what you how you think about things. And we talk about Roy Williams, and some of the teachings from the wizard Academy goes back to find something that inspires you and deconstruct it. And whether you’re talking about constructing a message or an advertisement, deconstructing a sales process, you know, picking your business apart in such a way that you you end up winning the Shingo prize for research, you clearly are very good at that, picking it apart, deconstructing it, figuring out what makes it work and what makes it not work. 

Brad Parker: 

I, that’s very nice. I think one of the, I would say one of the only things I’m good at is that convincing people that things are easier than they are. Otherwise, that, you know, getting people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. I think that’s my, where maybe my skills are not, I mean, I’m not. I don’t know how to do all that stuff. All I know is I can convince people that they can do it. And then they do it. Like, see, it wasn’t that hard. They’re like, You’re an idiot. That was impossible. It took us two years. Why did you make us do that? And they’re like, oh, I see. This was really cool. This works amazing. You know, TWI is amazing. I thought it was stupid. It’s not, it’s cool. So, I think that’s what it comes down to is being able to convince people that this isn’t going to be as hard as they think it is. 

Mark Kinsley: 

What do you think we should you and I teaming up right now, Brad? What do you think we should try and get Quinn to do what she convinced him to do?

Brad Parker: 

You know, see that bottle behind you. 

Mark Quinn: 

Sold.

Brad Parker: 

So, I see a chicken, a bottle of tequila. I don’t see a spray bottle. You know, maybe there maybe there’s something there. 

Mark Quinn: 

I don’t know why he talks me into stuff all the time. Brad. Listen, you I we set it at the beginning. And this isn’t blowing smoke. We we love what you do. Your approach to your own business, as well as what you’ve created with your accounts is incredibly cool. And it’s a great tool. And there’s a lot. And you said earlier, I think I’ve tuned your audience at a couple times, actually, you’re in the right spot for this conversation because our audience tunes into this show. Because they want to get better. They want to grow, they want to learn they want to be the best version of themselves and for their business. So, a lot of what you’re talking about really addresses all that. And we’re really grateful that you made the time for us and are willing to share. 

Brad Parker: 

I appreciate you guys. I just want to help people win and do better and elevate retail and help retailers win. I just think we get such a short stick, you know, and mocked and ridiculed or whatever people like Oh, I got a retail job. You know, it’s it’s a career and we are running companies that have a sales process, person to person, it’s not clerking, it’s selling. And I think it’s a great, it’s a great career. And if we can help retailers win, and do better, then I’m super happy about that. I just think that’s awesome. And I love that you guys are putting the attention on an industry that doesn’t have anybody putting anything is still that’s the case. I just don’t. So, I appreciate that.

Mark Kinsley: 

Well, it’s, it reminds me of something that we had a conversation with a guy named Brian Morgan, who’s going to be on the show coming up here in the next few weeks. And he said, look, when people come in to buy furniture and mattresses from his store in Austin, most of the time, they’re going through something, they’re moving into a new home, yeah, got divorced, they got married, mom had to move into a home. And that’s such a good chance to put purpose behind what those sales people those RSA’s, can do for somebody to help them out during this time of transition. And I, you know, we talked about it, when we gave our speech at the furniture today, betting conference, winning in the transitions is a sweet spot that not a lot of people pay attention to, you can win the hearts of people during their transitions. And who gets to do that? retailers does, because they’re going through something, there’s a transition happening, and we can be part of that in a positive way. 

Brad Parker: 

And we’re getting invited into people’s most crucial part of their life, you know, we’re affecting that where they live, it’s not a car, it’s not a wedding ring. It’s none of those things. It’s, it’s their life. And I cover this for like an hour in orientation with new hires, which I do with every single one is like, hey, this, this purchase happens about every seven years. And you think about how much life goes on between seven years and what what caused the person to get in their car today, turn the key in their car and drive to a furniture store, it is not a sightseeing trip, they’re there for something big, and give it the respect and you know, they’re inviting you into their life. And it’s a huge deal. I mean, I, I’m with you guys, I think that’s that’s a great point. And, and I try and really bring that home with, with new hires to give them a reason and for enjoying what they’re doing and having purpose with it. Because it’s it’s people, man, it’s people. 

Mark Quinn: 

That’s what I was gonna say what you’re talking about is just purpose. Like, why are you here? What are you in, if you’re in, you’re in the job, if your job is like sell stuff to people, that’s just not the right place for us. I’m sure that’s what you tell them. But if you’re here to serve the people, that’s what we see as our job with this podcast. It’s to serve this audience and help them. And if you do that, that’s the purpose, if that’s the intention, driving behaviour, then that gets you a different result than a guy that’s trying to sell stuff, right. 

Brad Parker: 

So yeah, and as a business owner, if all you’re doing is developing your people, you will do nothing but win. And that’s all we’re trying to do is just develop our people. And it doesn’t matter that we’re a retailer, we could be we could be making shovels, doesn’t really matter. You develop your people, they have a purpose, they feel respected. They feel like they have a contribution to make, they’re heard their ideas matter. And they’ll give you the world, they will run through a wall. It’s amazing. And, and it’s fun to be a part of like, they’re, you know, you just you got to you got to love it. When you see these light bulbs go off and people are like, did you see what I did? Oh my gosh, my idea it had this impact. My ideas, everyone’s using my idea. I’m like, Yeah, they are and we love it. And we were appreciative of that and recognize him for that. Super killer.

Mark Kinsley: 

Doug Stuart’s an amazing trainer, used to work for Tempur-Pedic owned Furniture and Mattress store that he inherited through his family. And now he’s just involved in training in and he said one of the biggest hurdles that he has to go through is a lot of people say, you know, what, if I invest all this money in this time into my people, and they leave, and he says, what if they? 

Brad Parker: 

What if they don’t? 

Mark Kinsley: 

What if they stay? 

Brad Parker: 

What if you don’t? 

Mark Kinsley: 

And what if they say? that’s exactly

Brad Parker: 

Yeah. Totally.

Mark Kinsley: 

Well, Brad, it’s been great having you on the show. I have one more question. Yeah. I have one more question. Since I try to tie it back to you know, we do a lot of mattress business and sleep and that entire space. So, I have to ask you lazy boy obviously known for recliners. How many people do you estimate hang on second? We may be frozen. Well, are we frozen again. Oh, we’re back. I think we froze. 

Mark Quinn: 

I think Brad was napping actually. 

Brad Parker: 

You guys are little bit frozen. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Just not at all. I was saying you know, lazy boy is known for recliners. And I’m wondering, in your estimation, how many people do you think sleeping their recliners every night? Oh.

Brad Parker: 

I would say, I don’t know how many. But I can tell you we sell a lot of recliners to people specifically as a bed. It’s pretty common.

Mark Quinn: 

Did you say you sell them in the people come in knowing that that’s going to be their primary place to sleep?

Brad Parker: 

Oh, yeah, absolutely. It happens every day.

Mark Quinn: 

Did you know that? 

Mark Kinsley: 

I just it was a question that came to mind because I’m like, Yeah, I know people kick back and sleep in the recliners. And you know, at one-point, lazy boy actually owned the Englander brand. Yeah. And so, I was thinking about the connection back to sleep. And I’m like, wow, and I know people that have reclaimed it, I thought, how common is it in. 

Mark Quinn: 

I was friendly with Doug, I can’t get the CMO at lazy boy to recall his last name Doug Collier, great guy. And I got a call from him about it one time. Yeah. Yep. I think of a recliner is a great place to nap. I think there’s a tie if they’re not sleeping all night. How many people take naps? If you ask that question. I mean, it’s like so huge. And so, I always wondered why they didn’t like talk more about that part of the use of that chair. I thought it was a huge mess. Because everyone loves to nap as a football game. It’s the it’s your little spot to go. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Lazy Sunday.

Mark Quinn: 

Lazy Sunday. Yeah. And they never really never really called that part out. So maybe, maybe there’s an opportunity, right?

Brad Parker: 

I’m telling you the message is the most important thing. And they don’t talk about that they don’t talk about the dog sleeping on the chaise foot rest. That’s all padded, you know and upholstered in the fact that you get your feet above your heart. That’s why people sleep in them a lot is to get their feet above their heart. They have swollen ankles, circulation issues. And that’s the only place they can get that relief. So, it’s very, very common. I don’t know numbers, but it it’s more than I would have thought. Definitely. 

Mark Kinsley: 

That’s why that’s why that’s why the adjustable base is becoming so popular retail. Interesting. I didn’t think that I thought you would have some sort of estimation, but I didn’t think it would be it happens every day. That’s a shocker to me. 

Mark Quinn: 

Well, since we’re talking about the recliner for sleep, we should. On the next episode recording with Brad, we’re going to be talking about people the number of people having sex in the recliner. So, I think it’s important we uncover that. 

Brad Parker: 

Good to talk to you guys.

Mark Quinn:

On that note, I look at the time 

Mark Kinsley: 

And that’s the beginning of that spot radio station. 

Brad Parker: 

All right.

Mark Quinn: 

Brad, thanks. You are a rock star. We are so grateful to you. 

Brad Parker: 

You guys are too kind. 

Mark Kinsley: 

Thank you for being with us and keep doing what you’re doing and keep developing door counts. We love it. We know a lot of our retailers love it. So, thanks for delivering what you do. 

Brad Parker: 

You guys are awesome. Thanks, man.

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