Disney on Ice came to our town, and even though I am childless and grandchild-less, I went to experience the Disney Magic and spectacle. I was not disappointed.

You notice the Disney difference from the second you step into the theatre. The lobby is lined with special merchandising booths and everything from sno-cones to cotton candy bags comes in a character-shaped container – and a premium price. The salespeople have their faces painted (which you can get too for a mere $16) and they wear crowns ($16) and wave laser wands (also $16 – it must be a magical price point).

But what stood out among the merchandising mania was one particular salesperson; he was masterful. He called out to everyone who went by. He ran two credit card machines simultaneously. He demonstrated his laser wands – the princess one when a little girl walked by and the Buzz Lightyear saber for the boys. For every single purchase, he asked the customer if they’d like to add a coloring book for $5. I am sure he had more sales than the other dozen clerks combined.

For Disney, merchandising isn’t an afterthought. In addition to the revenue it produces, the colorful themed booths set the tone and heighten the anticipation long before the show itself begins. The prolific clerk capitalized on this frenzy and leveraged it for increased sales.

Think of what the equivalent of merchandising is in your organization. You may not have sno-cones or princess necklaces to sell, but how are you creating an environment from the moment your customers enter and sending them home with a reminder of you?

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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