Whenever we get invited to make a visit to QVC we get as excited as kids when they find out they’re heading to Disney World. (We also get excited when we get invited to Disney World. We get excited a lot.)
For any entrepreneur or small business person, QVC is like retail heaven. Not simply because they move a lot of product…but it’s an amazing retail machine. More than just selling our books, we look at each visit as a chance to learn from some of the smartest retail folks on the planet.
Even if you’re not a QVC customer you’ll be impressed with their operations. Imagine a 24/7/364 live television program (only Christmas day is pre-taped) where tens of thousands of dollars per minute are on the line. In the time it takes a host to sneeze, thousands of dollars could be lost. And if a host has to pee…well…they don’t. They just don’t.
Their studios are the most cutting edge on the planet, covering over 15 football fields of space. They showcase 1150 products on air each week, and have shipped over a billion packages to customers. There are only 25 hosts who do all this…without the benefit of cue cards or teleprompters. It’s all off the cuff. And from the heart. The hosts help choose which items they want to feature on their shows and only share what they personally like. Rule #1 of any retailer…if you don’t believe in it, don’t carry it.
Before we made our first appearance three years ago, we had to attend QVC University. It’s a day long program, with simulated segments paired with real hosts. We’ll always remember the most important lesson we learned: don’t sell. It’s all about telling, not selling. If you believe in your product, and QVC believes in your product, then all you and the host need to do is talk about it. Makes sense right?
Given such a high pressure environment, with so much money at stake every second, you’d think people would be all pushy and edgy. But that’s the most amazing part…everyone you meet at QVC is having a blast! We’re always lucky enough to be invited onto David Venable’s show, “In the Kitchen with David.” David, and his co-host Mary, are joys to be around. They love their jobs, and they love their viewers and customers. It’s really inspiring. And very Beekman.
Check out the slideshow below for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our most recent trip to QVC.