Welcome To Our Loss Prevention Community Blog

Our Community represents many different views and opinions facing the numerous issues in this industry.
Please feel free to comment and post on various topics facing the Loss Prevention Community today.
Diversity of opinions and views are always encouraged.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

7 Ways to Develop Rapport...Guest Blog article from Angela Nino at WZ.

7 Ways to Develop Rapport

7 Ways to Develop Rapport
by Angela Nino, CFI

Sometimes it seems so easy to connect with someone, and other times it seems nearly impossible.  How are you at connecting with people?  Are you naturally introverted?  Are you overly extroverted?  Everyone talks about how rapport is crucial for interviewing.  Rarely does anyone tell you how to do it.   Rapport is so much more than having a few good questions to ask someone.  Rapport is about you and your energy.  In her book “You Say More Than You Think” bestselling author, Janine Driver, discuses some ways to be mindful of our own behavior when communicating.
  1. Smile and offer a handshake.
Yes, this is basic rapport building.  People judge people on their handshakes.  I once forgot a guy’s name and referenced him as “the guy with the weak handshake.”  I don’t think anyone wants to be that guy.  If you want someone left with the impression of confidence, strength, power, and of someone in total control of themselves:
  • Use your right hand
  • Less than 3 seconds
  • Palm meets the palm of the other
  • Fingers curl
  • Grip pressure enough to know you are there, and does not make the knees buckle
  • A limp handshake could send a message of insecurity or make the other person uncomfortable  
Smile.  Wouldn’t you rather speak to someone who is smiling?   So pick up your head, put your shoulders back, and smile.  Offer your hand first, announce your name, make eye contact and show you are friendly and confident at the same time.
  1. Make them feel like an old friend at once.
Your body language broadcasts precisely how you feel at any given moment.  Every inch of you must be sending the signal that you care.  When we step into most conversations, especially an interview we are thinking too much. Instead, respond with candid, unself-conscious friendliness.
To trick your body into reacting, you can try this visualization technique.  Picture a good friend that you lost touch with and then suddenly you are in a Starbucks and you see them.  Now obviously you’re not going to go run up to your interview subject and embrace like you might your old friend.  Act like a normal human and say hi and shake their hand and smile.  This technique isn’t about the words.  It’s about how you feel internally, the energy you give off and how you make them feel.
  1. Make them feel safe.
When approaching someone under stress, there’s a warming up process you have to go through first because people are afraid of being judged.  Let them know you care about them, and acknowledge there is other stuff going on in their lives.  Make them feel valued.  This could be as simple as, “thanks for meeting me, I know you’re busy.”
  1. Come across as credible to everyone.
Beware of the appearance of lying.  If you feel uncomfortable or intimidated by the person you are talking to, problems could arise.  Whether you are talking to a person you are attracted to, a co-worker, your boss, or a subject during an interview there are a few things to keep in mind.  Refrain from shifting, touching your face, rubbing your nose, picking your nails, touching your neck, folding your arms, rounding your shoulders or biting your lip.  Of course context of the situation matters.  A lip bite on a date means something totally different.
  1. Don’t be a jerk.
Devices should be turned off when you meet with people you want to persuade.  Turn off the phone, look them in the eye, listen and pay attention.
A few taboo topics to avoid are race, accents, religion, politics and cultural heritage.  Avoid jokes with sexual undertones.  Unless you’re Betty White, it’s uncomfortable.  My favorite question to ask people is “what’s the most annoying thing people say to you in your profession?”  I’ve been taking cabs to and from the airport every week for the last 4 years.  I’ve learned cab drivers find it most rude when someone asks “Where you from and why are you here.”  Don’t be that jerk.
  1. Demonstrate empathy and understanding.
Saying “uh huh” is definitely better than a blank stare, and there are better options.  Try short supportive statements like “I can appreciate you decided that,” or “I understand why you would say that.”  When you respond in complete sentences you come across as more articulate, and your listener feels that you really understand.
  1. Have something in common with as many people as possible.
Ever go to a party with a significant other and you don’t know anyone there?  Then you find someone that you click with and gravitate to that person for the night.  It’s likely because you had something in common with that person.  Having something in common is the quickest way to rapport.  People like people like themselves.  Familiarize yourself with other worlds so you can discuss just about anything with anybody, no matter how little you have in common.  Get a magazine you wouldn’t typically read.  Follow different people on twitter.  If you do this every other month, soon you’ll know a little about a lot.
Half of communication is physical behavior and tone.  Less than 10% of communication is about the words.   If you’ve ever sent a text message or email that was misinterpreted, you know that tone and physical behavior matter.  Remember to focus on your own behavior and energy when building rapport.
- See more at: http://www.w-z.com/blog/7-ways-to-develop-rapport/#sthash.ir25MyEi.dpuf

LPDT, LLC offers the only E-Learning training for Retail Loss Prevention at www.LossPreventionAcademy.com.  Check out our awareness posters for shortage and safety at www.LPPosters.com. You can follow us on Twitter under LPACADEMYcom and Facebook under Loss Prevention Academy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Another Action Plan for Shrink......Really?

Do we really need another action plan for SHRINK?

A common tool in retail and I'm sure in other businesses as well, is to develop an action plan to address an issue(s). I'm not opposed to these in any way but, they can force us to try and recreate the wheel instead of re-focusing on the basics, a better approach.

As a whole, the basics of loss prevention have not changed over the years.  Yes, technology has come into play and it has forced LP Professionals to adjust their focus.  A good example would be using gift cards instead of paper credit vouchers.  The basics i.e. customer/employee theft and paperwork errors still are the overall theme to focus on.

Often, the action plan is to go back and dust off the last 5 action plans and reformat them in a new word document.  Time and time again I observed beautiful action plans that had incredible focus in the beginning fade as the demands of retail move it away.

If you are going to ask for action plans, here are some thoughts...

Focus on the basics.  A good block and tackle loss prevention program is always the best foundation.  As an example, if you are going to purchase locks for liquor bottles, insure that they are installed 100% of the time.  Often we see a poor execution of installing them which allows the shoplifter to just pick the one that has none!

Most action plans should not exceed 5 bullet points per major issue.  Too often we feel the need to turn in a 10 page action plan that has a zero chance of being executed properly and for the long term.  LP Professionals have to balance their requests with all the other demands of retail to get sufficient attention to execution.

Where possible, develop action plans as a group. Include those who will be doing the action steps so you can get a "buy in" to the program.  Without a "buy in" your chance of successful execution goes down.

Action plans ONLY work if they are followed up on a regular basis.  This can be accomplished via conference calls, store visits and or in meetings.

And lastly, hold people accountable.  If an action plan is realistic, the failure of those responsible for it's execution need to own it and also own the consequences for not implementing it.

It goes without saying, celebrate progress and wins along the way.

Enjoy your week,


LPDT, LLC offers the only E-Learning training for Retail Loss Prevention at www.LossPreventionAcademy.com. In addition,we offer a FREE job search engine for Loss Prevention at www.LPjobsFREE.com. Check out our awareness posters for shortage and safety at www.LPPosters.com. You can follow us on Twitter under LPACADEMYcom and Facebook under Loss Prevention Academy.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Loss Prevention and the Holidays...

It is that time of year.  Retailers are getting ready for the holidays. Holiday sets will be going up. Major banner ads will be hung causing havoc with motion detectors at night. Logistics will be ramping up to flood the stores with merchandise.  It is time for LP to make their holiday plans.

As with all holiday seasons, issues for Loss Prevention and Store teams goes up.  Many retailers will hire seasonal employees who knows their work life is limited.  This encourages them to steal faster if they are so inclined to do so.  Below are some points to consider while in the field....If we missed some that are important to you, feel free to post a comment.  We appreciate diversity of opinions.

*  Shoplifting goes up.  New employees trained on what to do?  Customer service them to death.

*  Robberies can increase.  Program in place to reduce the cash in the tills on a more frequent basis?

*  Receiving doors are up more?  Increased checks of back areas and dumpsters for stashed product?

*  Cashier accuracy is important.  Are they scanning accurately?

*  Don't ignore exception reporting.  Employees have a short window to steal via the registers.      "Sweet Hearting" goes with the holidays it seems.

*  Are parking lot lights adjusted for the new hours?  Customer safety is important?

*  Forget to take armored car pickups from 5 days to 7?

*  How to mange the opening on Black Friday?  Customer flow needs to be maintained to avoid the  elderly and children from being trampled over.

Those are some things to address...

As a reminder, you can brush up on your Interviewing and Interrogation skills with the new online Wicklander-Zulawski (WZ) course.  In HR/ER and complete investigations?  Check out a dedicated online course for them at www.WZAcademy.com.

Enjoy the holidays and check out our chalkboard video on ORC...


LPDT, LLC offers the only E-Learning training for Retail Loss Prevention at www.LossPreventionAcademy.com. In addition,we offer a FREE job search tool for Loss Prevention at www.LPjobsFREE.com. Check out our awareness posters for shortage and safety at www.LPPosters.com. You can follow us on Twitter under LPACADEMYcom and Facebook under Loss Prevention Academy.

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