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Bill Crawford's Blog

“Don’t Touch It – Just Step Back – It’ll Flush Itself”

I overhead the exchange above in a men’s room. My first thought was, “doesn’t everyone know how these public restrooms work?” Certainly those that travel (I was in an airport), eat out, etc. would have seen this at some point.

The conversation, however, took place between a grandfather and his young grandson – possibly age 4. This lad probably wasn’t up on the nuances and advancements that are quite common in public facilities these days. It wasn’t his fault – he was young, new to this world. Kudos to his grandpa for helping him gain awareness and familiarity! (This airport, the newly remodeled one in Jacksonville, Florida, has some really cool hands free sinks and soap dispensers – the young man was thrilled with them!)

I am privileged to be speaking in several seminar sessions at Expo East in Boston next week. (You can find out about my seminars and all of the education and activities planned for the show at I think that focusing on material that I will be presenting about effective retailing cause me to make a connection between this conversation and the natural products marketplace.

How often do we in the natural products world just assume that those in our stores (or on our staffs) know things that common to us? How many sales do we miss out on and how much staff ends up frustrated due to our assumptions?

What is “organic”?

What is “natural”?

What are “free-range,” “excipient-free,” or any number of other product descriptors that we use?

Why do we put the new product in back when stocking shelves?

What is the “two finger rule”?

Assuming is a dangerous habit. If you are going to grow your store, you are going to have both new shoppers and new staff, educating them is a key to their growth and success – and yours!

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